Wednesday, November 22, 2006

JMC 163: The world listened

Looking back on 163
We have had a great time teaching 163. We took to heart what the department chairman said to me when he recruited me, that we had a "blank slate." We have accomplished a lot. Every student in the class has created a podcast for their midterms. For their final projects, most students have completed, or are doing, video multimedia projects.

Through their blogs the class took the Skype story, went global with it and changed the course of the university. When the publisher of Skype Journal learned about our coverage of the Skype story he picked it up and ended up coming to our class and speaking with us.

He wasn't the only one who came. We have brought in speakers who are recognized around the world in new media and are excited to see it is being taught. The students got to meet some folks who are changing the world through new media and got to see some technologies that are just now on the horizon. The students learned not only how these communications technologies are growing in leaps and bounds while the old traditional media is fading; the students learned why. This "why" is so much more important. The "how" may be enabling, the "why" is empowering. In my opinion, why is more important than how. The how is changing all the time. The how changes like waves in the ocean as new technologies emerge. The why, on the other hand, is like a tidal wave of change that is not just hitting journalism, it is hitting business, it is hitting politics, it is hitting the world.

The course, and the school, has gotten a lot of positive recognition thanks to Journalism 163 (as it is now being taught) and is on the cusp of getting a lot more. J&MC is out in front on this and we instructors have put our hearts and souls and a lot of work into this class. We have learned a lot and have had a wonderful experience.

Most importantly our students have gained valuable skills and more. They have gained insight into the global "new media" conversation (often called "Web 2.0") that is going on and how the media landscape is changing and why things will never go back to being the same as they were in the past.

That is what we did with this "blank slate" and I think our students will be better equipped to deal with the real world of emerging "new media" journalism because of it. We did this all without having even a printer in the classroom because frankly, we did not need one. We did not need paper. The class was all out there for the world to see on the student blogs and the world listened. That is the coolest part, the world listened.

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