Odyssey in Photojournalism: An iPad Portrait of Red Wing Minnesota

As a direct result of the OIT Faculty Fellowship Program I believe I accomplished two things for the students who took JOUR 4990: Odyssey in Photojournalism this past May. First of all my collaborator Mike Zerby and I were able to introduce Journalism and Art students to digital media and publishing. This included in-depth photojournalism projects for iPad in the form of Apple iBooks created with iBook Author. In addition each of the students created a digital publicationmagazine of their work for on-screen viewing on mobile devices and computer screens and participated in creating an on-demand print magazine of their stories now available on Magcloud.com. We were also able to provide the students with real-world experience working with a newspaper reporter and having their photographs published in the Red Wing Republican Eagle.  Finally, large-scale prints were made of many of the images and displayed in a public exhibition at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing.

The second result of this project is that we were able to provide the students with an intensive experience photographing in the town of Red Wing Minnesota for an extended period. Each of the students went out every day, like a working photojournalist, finding his or her own stories. This included interviewing town residents, visiting events, and documenting the local built and natural environments. Students were required to post stories digitally adhering to Associated Press standards using their computers and department-furnished tablets. This was done every day the students were on location during the three-week May session class.

Personally the OIT FFP has allowed me to return to a long-time interest of mine in the digital delivery of in-depth documentary and long-form journalism projects. In addition it has also re-introduced me to working in video and updating my non-linear video editing skills. As the journalism community continues to move to tablets and mobile devices and as still photography gets supplemented by video, I can continue to address the challenges of technology in my courses. By expanding my skill set into tablet publishing and mobile journalism, I believe I can continue to offer my classes relevant competencies into the future. Finally through the meetings with the other OIT Fellows I have been exposed to a myriad of educational technological choices, theories and opportunities. For me the whole process has been fulfilling on all levels.