Mobility & Connectivity: Shifts in Teaching, Learning, and Providing Live News
Acknowledging and incorporating ways to develop novel ideas and methods is a core skill for students. An interdisciplinary course was developed using a didactic approach that combined emerging digital technology, social media, and traditional media into an interactive learning environment to produce and disseminate live, public, regional election coverage. Questions facing the course: Can a high quality, election news program be produced despite limited resources using emerging and traditional media and successfully delivered in real time to a diverse audience? How well will students of various interdisciplinary majors work together under the stress of a high stakes project and will (their civic understanding and engagement be increased? Unsolicited feedback during and shortly after the live broadcast, student written course evaluations, live audience attendance, and student grades suggest positive results. Challenged with limited resources and facilities, within the context of a live news production class of 30 undergraduates, a technological mash-up maximized experiential learning and produced a valuable public service to a potential audience of 60,000. Studio anchors, six remote field teams, a virtual set with polling data and social media were employed. Using smartphones for cameras, Skype, digital switching equipment, and cable access television, four hours of live election coverage successfully broadcast November 6, 2012 and simultaneously aired over TV, FM radio, and the Internet. The program won two media awards.
J. C. Barone