School’s out Friday

I love a good marching band, and the Ohio State University Marching Band are better than good, they’re exceptional. If you’re not impressed by their Hollywood Blockbuster show, then I’m sorry, but you’re very hard to impress.

I’ve been impressed by my students this week. We’ve been looking at the future of journalism in the digital age, engaging in plenty of discussion and even talking with Skye Doherty, a Lecturer in Journalism from the University of Queensland. Skye skyped in last week to give my students her thoughts about the impact of the digital world on journalism and its future. Next Friday, Jewel Topsfield from ‘The Age’, is visiting the class to add her thoughts to the discussion. I’ve been trying to think of an appropriate form of assessment and was really pleased when they embraced the idea of tackling another Project Based Learning task, this one with the driving question being, ‘How do journalists report news in the digital age?’ Here’s the outline of the task:

You are part of a team of investigative journalists who have been assigned the job of responding to a strange incident (or series of incidents) at Toorak College.

You are reporting on the spot, and are using whatever means possible to pull together a story quickly for readers who have heard that something has happened and are hungry for news. Your newspaper is highly regarded and your readers are interested in learning about what has happened.

To get your report out quickly, you will be using a page on iVE* to curate the story. We’ll be trying to get our iVE page looking like Storify. Storify can be updated quickly and is used by some of the most highly regarded newspaper teams in the world to deliver digital content to their readers who are used to accessing the digital versions of the paper.

What will your story contain???

*iVE is the name of our Learning Management System

They are enthusiastically working in groups and have come up with some terrific scenarios. They are planning in Google Docs and are assigning group members differing roles eg: some are writing the report, others will be filming witness interviews, footage of the incident etc. I love watching them sculpt the learning and really enjoy the creative process. Stress levels will increase as some of them realise that time constraints may inhibit their grand plans, but that’s all part of the process. Me, I can’t wait to see the outcome of their efforts – they have yet to disappoint!

Melbourne Cup Day here in Melbourne means a four day weekend ahead for me. I am beyond excited about that – relaxation, here I come! Enjoy the weekend ahead. Find the sun and soak in it. 🙂

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