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July 03 2011

20:07

How will Google+ (Plus) work for education?

ReadWriteWeb :: There seem to be three forces at play when it comes to education and social media. The first is a lack of force; second the force of fear. And finally, the third force is that of more and more educators who are embracing social media and advocating its use on- and off-campus - for student learning and for teacher professional development alike.

Audrey Watters spent past week with other teachers at the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Philadelphia. When Google unveiled Google+ on Tuesday, most of them were otherwise preoccupied. But now that many of the early tech adopter teachers are getting their Google+ invites, the question on their minds is "How will this work for education?"

Google Plus and education - continue to read Audrey Watters, www.readwriteweb.com

May 24 2011

18:10

Follow, Follow, Tweet Tweet (realities of microblogging)

Microblogs like Twitter are a great vehicle to help organize political demonstrations in countries run by corrupt governments (and an effective way to spread misinformation), but how can nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), libraries, government programs, and other mission-based organizations really use microblogs to promote their work, increase attendance at an event, get donations or mobilize or support volunteers?

I've updated my resource on Microblogs and Nonprofits yet again, this time adding much more information about live microblog/live tweet events. This is a primer based in reality - you won't find a panting endorsement about how you will raise millions of dollars via Twitter or Facebook or any other technology-tool. Rather, this resource is, I hope, a no-nonsense, anti-fluff, anti-hype, practical list to help nonprofits, NGOs and other community-focused initiatives explore microblogging and use it effectively with volunteers, event attendees and others they are trying to reach and engage.

Being able to work online is now an essential and much-sought-after skill in the work place, no matter what your job at a nonprofit, NGO, government agency, etc. This isn't the domain of just your marketing department anymore: program staff, those that work with volunteers, and anyone that works with the public or with clients at a mission-based organization has a role in using online tools on behalf of mission-based organizations. This updated resource is just one of many pages on my site meant to help those at mission-based organizations who want to enhance their online skills quickly.

Remember: content is still king. Be thoughtful and be strategic about whatever communication tool you use, even the flavor of the month.

March 15 2011

16:12

Cardiff Hacks and Hackers Hacks Day

What’s occurin’? Loads in fact, at our first Welsh Hacks and Hackers Hack Day! From schools from space to catering college’s with a Food Safety Standard of 2, we had an amazing day.

We got five teams:

Co-Ordnance – This project aimed to be a local business tracker. They wanted to make the London Stock Exchange code into meaningful data, but alas, the stock exchange prevents scraping. So they decided to use company data from registers like the LSE and Companies House to extract business information and structure it for small businesses who need to know best place to set up and for local business activists.

The team consisted of 3 hacks (Steve Fossey, Eva Tallaksen from Intrafish and Gareth Morlais from BBC Cymru) and 3 hackers (Carey HilesCraig Marvelley and Warren Seymour, all from Box UK).

It’s a good thing they had some serious hackers as they had a serious hack on their hands. Here’s a scraper they did for the London Stock Exchange ticker. And here’s what they were able to get done in just one day!

This was just a locally hosted site but the map did allow users to search for types of businesses by region, see whether they’d been dissolved and by what date.

Open Senedd – This project aimed to be a Welsh version of TheyWorkforYou. A way for people in Wales to find out how assembly members voted in plenary meetings. It tackles the worthy task of making assembly members voting records accessible and transparent.

The team consisted of 2 hacks (Daniel Grosvenor from CLIConline and Hannah Waldram from Guardian Cardiff) and 2 hackers (Nathan Collins and Matt Dove).

They spent the day hacking away and drew up an outline for www.opensenedd.org.uk. We look forward to the birth of their project! Which may or may not look something like this (left). Minus Coke can and laptop hopefully!

They took on a lot for a one day project but devolution will not stop the ScraperWiki digger!

There’s no such thing as a free school meal – This project aimed to extract information on Welsh schools from inspection reports. This involved getting unstructure Estyn reports on all 2698 Welsh schools into ScraperWiki.

The team consisted of 1 hack (Izzy Kaminski) and 2 astronomer hackers (Edward Gomez and Stuart Lowe from LCOGT).

This small team managed to scrape Welsh schools data (which the next team stole!) and had time to make a heat map of schools in Wales. This was done using some sort of astronomical tool. Their longer term aim is to overlay the map with information on child poverty and school meals. A worthy venture and we wish them well.

Ysgoloscope – This project aimed to be a Welsh version of Schooloscope. It’s aim was to make accessible and interactive information about schools for parents to explore. It used Edward’s scraper of horrible PDF Estyn inspection reports. These had different rating methodology to Ofsted (devolution is not good for data journalism!).

The team consisted of 6 hacks (Joni Ayn Alexander, Chris Bolton, Bethan James from the Stroke Association, Paul Byers, Geraldine Nichols and Rachel Howells), 1 hacker (Ben Campbell from Media Standards Trust) and 1 troublemaker (Esko Reinikainen).

Maybe it was a case to too many hacks or just trying to narrow down what area of local government to tackle but the result was a plan. Here is their presentation and I’m sure parents all over wales are hoping to see Ysgoloscope up and running.

Blasus – This project aimed to map food hygiene rating over Wales. They wanted to correlate this information with deprivation indices. They noticed that the Food Standards Agency site does not work. Not for this purpose which is most useful.

The team consisted of 4 hacks (Joe Goodden from the BBC, Alyson Fielding, Charlie Duff from HRZone and Sophie Paterson from the ATRiuM) and 1 hacker (Dafydd Vaughan from CF Labs).

As you can see below they created something which they presented on the day. They used this scraper and made an interactive map with food hygiene ratings, symbols and local information. Amazing for just a day’s work!

And the winners are… (drum roll please)

  • 1st Prize: Blasus
  • 2nd Prize: Open Senedd
  • 3rd Prize: Co-Ordnance
  • Best Scoop: Blasus for finding  a catering college in Merthyr with a Food Hygiene Standard rating of just 2
  • Best Scraper: Co-Ordnance

A big shout out

To our judges Glyn Mottershead from Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Gwawr Hughes from Skillset and Sean Clarke from The Guardian.

And our sponsors Skillset, Guardian Platform, Guardian Local and Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

Schools, businesses and eating place of Wales – you’ve been ScraperWikied!


March 04 2011

14:06

Participate in the Follet Challenge!

Follett Corporation has announced a challenge to recognize the most innovative school libraries.

Through the contest the company wants to draw attention to a strong link between well-developed library programs and students achievements. Six winning libraries will be rewarded with the cash-equivalent of products and services, i.e. books, audiovisual materials and electronic resources. The judges, comprised of library and educational professionals,,are looking for schools that “do the most outstanding job of applying technology, content and creativity in ways that engage students, foster literacy and critical thinking”.

 Applications are due June 1, 2011. 

Read more about the challenge and apply!

 

October 14 2010

19:48

July 31 2010

14:24

2008 Documentary about Columbia Journalism School (long)

Since the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism—the only j-school in the Ivy League—opened nearly a century ago, its mission has been to educate journalists and uphold the standards of journalistic excellence. Columbias Journalism School offers three degree programs: Master of Science in journalism (full and part-time), Master of Arts in journalism and a Ph.D. in communications. Students study journalism in the classroom, but also by covering diverse neighborhoods of New York City with close guidance and mentoring from their professors. Students form intense bonds during their time at the school. Every day, students are invited to attend and participate in lectures, workshops, conferences, and receptions with journalists who visit the school.

In the hours after the New Hampshire primary and the media’s confusion over the polls, Tom Brokaw tells Chris Matthews about ‘old time journalism’, where journalists report on issues and stop trying to predict who’s going to win.

July 27 2010

02:20

USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism for Prospective Students

USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism for Prospective Students The undergraduate degrees at USC Annenberg provide a strong foundation for people interested in working in the communication industries: the media, public relations, advertising, strategic corporate and organizational communication, political consulting, higher education, and many more. USC Annenberg offers three undergraduate degrees: * Communication: One of the most versatile degrees offered at USC, a bachelor’s degree in communication prepares you for professional employment or graduate work. * Journalism: With options in Print & Digital Journalism and Broadcast & Digital Journalism, undergraduate students focus on writing, ethics and the use of new technology in a rapidly changing industry. * Public Relations: Emphasizes communication problem solving, strategic thinking, applied skills and management, rather than communication theory; alumni work in all types of organizations. For more information for prospective students: annenberg.usc.edu

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