Citizen Journalism

As I think about ways to expand the Hydroville Curricula to other audiences, such as community colleges, I also think about how to adapt it to give students technology skills that will help them in their careers.  Since Hydroville is about understanding and solving on real-life enviromental health problems in the community, it seems a worthwhile assignment would be to foster students to share real-life environmental health stories to their communities using video, audio, blogs, and even virtual worlds like Second Life.

Educause has a written a worthy article called, 7 Things You Should Know About Citizen Journalism.

What are the implications for teaching and learning? An important corollary to learning how specific applications work, such as video-capture and online publishing tools, is understanding how the products of those tools can be used to present a particular version of a story. Citizen journalism encourages students to think critically about what it means to be unbiased, to present competing viewpoints, and to earn readers’ trust. It also forces students to consider what separates a mere anecdote from a legitimate news story. Participating as citizen journalists can help students hone their media literacy skills, making those students better able to assess online information and use it in appropriate ways. Citizen journalism gives students the opportunity to receive community feedback on their contributions, helping them gauge their comprehension of a subject, and it provides students with authentic learning tasks, engaging with communities of users beyond the walls of the classroom.

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