Education & Training

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ONA conference Oct. 5-7 features workshops on citizen-journalism, classroom convergence, crafting multimedia, digitizing print n

The Online News Association, formed by the new-media managers of major journalism organizations, is offering four one-day workshops prior to its annual conference, which this year is Oct. 6-7 in Washington, D.C.  There's a citizens-media summit at the Capital Hilton, a college-educators summit convening at USAToday's offices and at American University, a crafting-multimedia content session, and one on "digitizing the print newsroom."   All four workshops take place on Thurs., Oct. 5.  There's also a conference blog established.

EDUCATION: Kids concentrate, some grades improve, by summer research will show effects of outfitting seventh-graders with laptop

Teachers and administrators in two Massachusetts school districts that outfitted seventh-graders with laptops under a state-funding experiment say the program is cutting down on discipline problems. Students are happier coming to school, some parents say grades are improving and not too many children are said to be listing to music on their machines during school. The laptops were distributed two months ago; research on their effects on learning is underway with some results expected by summer. The Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative targeted schools in North Adams (pop. 14,000) and Pittsfield (pop. 44,285). [ALTERNATE LINK] (Original Source: The Berkshire Eagle, Feb. 12, 2006)

Apple's "iTunesU" service application at Univ. of Michigan is profiled by eSchool News

Students at the University of Michigan's School of Dentistry use their iPods and MP3 players for more than just listening to music--they also listen to class lectures and review notes, thanks to the "iTunes U" service which Apple Computer says it is making available free for educational use. (See story at eSchoolNews. Also check blog report.)

RESOURCE: A guide to technical create of a community web site by Jon Garfunkel

Boston-based programmer Jon Garfunkel has authored a reference guide to selection of software and functionality for community web sites. He says he "looks at news sites, shared interest groups, communities of practice or circumstance, and corporate organizations."

Universities join forces to implement new intitiaves to renovate journalism education

To revitalize journalism education, five colleges(Northwestern, Columbia, Harvard, University of Southern California, and University of California, Berkeley) met at the Carnegie Corporation of New York to discuss the needs of journalism. Carnegie Corporation of New York is assisting in funding of the project. The project, which has been in the making for three years, will confront problems of journalism such as, "The diminishing appetite for print, most especially visible with youth; technology, which offers many promises and challenges; and the increasing consolidation media and the focus on the bottom line."

Deans and directors unveil plan to improve J-school

Representatives from Columbia, Northwestern, Harvard, University of Southern California, and University of California, Berkeley are collaborating to "revitalize journalism education" with a six million dollar effort and a set of new initiatives. Says Hodding Carter III, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, "'This is an attempt to address the great dirty secret of journalism: that we are inherently conservative about what we do.'" (Chronicle of Higher Ed story) / (NY Times story) /

Getting smart about dumbed-down news

Alan Mutter writes in his Reflections of a Newsosaur blog about the public's tendency toward dumb news, writing, "Not that there was much doubt about it, but a new study has proven empirically that readers are more interested in poker and Paris Hilton than in stories about foreign policy." He says the way to get the public interested in real news is not to "dumb down the news to save their industry. Actually, it is quite the opposite. They have to get smarter." [ Visit Website ]
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