Posts Tagged ‘Mark Johnson’

Digital & Social Media Literacy

July 17, 2012

For the next two weeks, I’m teaching a college-level “Digital & Social Media Literacy” course to high school juniors and seniors through the University’s Pre-College Summer Program.  I decided to create a public blog for the course that can serve as a resource and area of discussion for others interested in the areas of digital media literacy, social media literacy or just digital & social media in general.  I’ll continue to add content to the site throughout the year, after the summer course ends.  I’m teaching a special topics course on Social Media at the University of Hartford next spring and the blog will be a resource and starting point for students enrolled in that course as well.  I’d encourage you to check out the blog and join the conversation.

For the course, I decided to focus the first week on “thinking” about digital & social media, exploring themes, concepts and ideas of digital & social media literacy, disruption and displacement, impact on traditional media, social networks, social media, youth culture, and participatory culture.  I gleaned ideas for readings and assignments from the work of communication scholars Howard Rheingold, Serena Carpenter, and Greg Downey and past syllabi of “social media” courses taught by Barry Hollander and Karen Russell here at UGA.

The second week of my course will focus more on “doing,” the creation and consumption of content through forms and platforms of digital and social media. I’ve been teaching some form of these “week two” assignments, through my “Media & Message: Communicating in the Digital Age” Duke TIP @ UGA summer course, or through my News Editing course, the past three years.  I would be remiss if I did not mention the work of Mark Johnson in advancing the teaching of digital literacies here in the Grady College the past few years.

Developing Digital & Social Media literacies are important and I’m honored to have the opportunity to join others in advancing the cause through teaching and scholarship.

Advertisements

SoCon11 Recap 1: Recapturing the journalism

February 5, 2011

As far as journalism goes, CNN’s Victor Hernandez was the star of the just completed social networking conference known as SoCon. 

SoCon11 was sponsored by Kennessaw State University’s Center for Sustainable Journalism. Despite a journalism center hosting what it billed as the southeast’s premier social networking conference, journalism has never been a central focus best I can tell.  The majority of attendees seem interested in social media marketing, public relations, advertising, entrepreneurship, startups and business ventures (big and small). So, it was refreshing to have a journalist from one of the biggest distributors of television news in our own backyard take center stage.

Hernandez was a member of the keynote panel, and delivered a breakout session about “platform agnostic” journalistic storytelling.  I found myself nodding in agreement with what he said more often than not.  As I tweeted, I wish that all of my News Editing students could hear Hernandez’ talk. They will have the opportunity to do so when he is a speaker at the ICONN conference taking place in Athens in March (rescheduled from January because of the snowpocalypse).

Hernandez reaffirmed that Grady’s journalism department  is on the right track with its curriculum. His philosophy about the changing nature of reporting the news is what we preach in News Editing.  The tools his “All Platform Journalists (APJ)’s”  use are what we teach.  As a journalism instructor, it’s nice to know we’re so in tune and aligned with industry practices.  As journalism changes, we change with it.

A few highlights from Hernandez’ session taken mostly from my live-tweets:

-70% of the “platform agnostic” story content produced by Hernandez’ team of “All Platform Journalists” (APJ’s) is aimed at digital.

-Hernandez’ reporters use Kodak zi8 cameras (the exact same as we use in News Editing at Grady)

-Hernandez said that journalists need to know Final Cut Pro, calling it the gold standard of video editing software used in journalism today. “It is an amazing skill to have and will pay back in spades,” Hernandez said. All journalism jobs will require Final Cut skills in the future, Hernandez said. (We teach the very basics of Final Cut in the News Editing course through Digital Literacy videos).

-Social networks and smartphones are “journo’s bff’s” according to Hernandez. “I can’t say enough about (the importance of) social networks,” he said (talk about knowing your audience haha).

-Journalists should come up with different ways to tell stories and avoid the “zombie effect” of going through the motions to tell the same tired-old cliched story that everyone else is offering. (We stress the fundamentals of journalism as storytelling at Grady).

In my department, Mark Johnson gets all the credit for moving Grady forward with its teaching and technology. He advocated the Kodak zi8’s and teaching of Final Cut and designed an entire digital literacy series of “how-to” videos that we’ve incorporated into the redesigned News Editing course.

Mark is a forward-thinking evangelical journalism educator, just as Hernandez is a forward-thinking evangelical journalism practitioner. Both deserve kudos and respect for charting a new path for journalists in the age of social media.

CNN's Victor Hernandez has the right philosophy about creating journalistic content across multiple platforms.