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Monday, December 22, 2008

JEANZ, penguins and keeping it simple

The prize for most enjoyable PowerPoint at the recent JEANZ (journalism educators of NZ) conference has to go to Susan Boyd-Bell, who demonstrated the value of keeping it simple and letting a few well-chosen quotes tell a story.

The quotes come from students Susan interviewed as part of her research into the value of experiential learning, specifically on AUT's terrific student newspaper project Te Waha Nui. The paper, incidentally, won a couple of Ossie awards recently including 'Best regular student publication 2008'. I had the pleasure of working with this year's award-winning team (there have been others over the years) and it's lovely to see them walk away with a prize. Well done!

Here's what some students had to say about the experience:

This was my first JEANZ conference and I enjoyed it. There's nothing quite like having a couple of days to talk shop non-stop. Not to mention a cosy dinner with penguins at the Antarctic Centre (a few blurry pictures from my phone here).

The conference agenda was fairly broad and I don't intend to summarise the whole event here. But one point I will make is that it's good to see journalism schools countrywide teaching digital media, multimedia, web 2.0 tools for journalists etc in some form or another.

In a very rough nutshell:

Massey University runs a convergence course for its graduate diploma students giving them an introduction to talking to camera, working with audio, editing packages and writing for the web; Aoraki is offering multiplatform courses at its Christchurch campus.

Jim Tucker at Whitireia has a website his diploma students write for and create images, video and slide shows for; and AUT has a digital media paper which is largely taught online and includes an exploration of online journalism and building a simple website.

Wintec is teaching its pre-journalism students how to use web2.0 tools such as social bookmarking, RSS, blogs and simple audio and video editing software to enhance their study, research and ultimately their journalism.

More about that course in another post.We've learned a lot from its maiden run - including that gen x and gen y very often aren't 'digital natives'.

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