Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Intro to Journ class: A hatch is plotted (haha)

Who knew I’d have a career in Journalism?

One of my students asked me what I wanted to do when I was in college. There were three things – a rock star (I didn’t have the attitude for it), a teacher (surprise, I am one now), and a US Marine (I wanted to put away the bad guys).

I wrote for the Eaglet, Hi-Lites, and the Guidon. Between college and my first job in advertising, I contributed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Since 2006, the life of a journalist has been more or less my career.

And in five years it has been fun and quite eventful and it has led to this. A sort of fulfillment of one of those three dreams.

Teaching Introduction to Journalism can be tedious. We’ll go through the rudiments of it. But…. for me the best way I can communicate my knowledge and experience to my students is to immerse them in it. Plus, everything that we do is inter-connected. And we’re going to have fun wile doing it. During class last Tuesday, we played a game of Family Feud.

You see during the first day of class, I asked them to fill up an index card with their basic info (including grades) and to answer briefly four questions that I gave them. The questions were related to expression and communication, their interests and ambitions, and what they hope to learn from me.

We go through the traditional journalism to new media (I am a practicioner of both). They will be doing interviews, videos, reports, and podcasts which they will post in a blog site. I also instructed them to take advantage of today's social networking. For example, the other week, I tweeted about how some streets kid robbed a taxi passenger of her belongings while in the middle of a traffic jam and under the pouring rain. That tweet was one of the most resonated of that day and even made the news. So in effect, it became part of the news. So what we're trying to do here is utilize that as a vehicle for reporting news.

You see, I divided my class into four groups where they will do individual and group work. We won’t have much written tests but the work they put in here will be the basis for their grades. Each group will come out with their own name (for their site) and put in different work. We will have guest speakers who will talk on a variety of topics as well (so they can learn first hand).

Intro to Journ is also a crash course into getting into business. Perhaps more importantly, it will also serve as a resume to the world.

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