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JOMC 491: Teaching Online News in Secondary School Final Project lesson Starlyn Combs Learning Objectives: Students

will understand the three pillars of online journalism: multimedia, interactivity and on-demand delivery Students will modify a print package for online delivery by incorporating components that satisfy the three pillars of online journalism Materials Needed: Copies of pdf for Do Durham on $20 a Day (Falcons Cry, Dec. 10, 2009, p. 7) Computers with bookmarked page for good model Handouts for planning and evaluation Access to ISONN Wordpress site for Falcon s Cry Key concepts for notes will be displayed on PowerPoint slides. Lesson 1. First Five (warm up):Spend the first five today writing about why you might go online to look up movie times at Southpoint versus looking in the paper. Brief sharing (4 or 5 comments); as students share, generate brief list of values of print and online on board or poster sheet. 2. Introduction: We have a good understanding of what makes our print publication valuable to our school audience and community. Today we will begin looking at the fundamental differences in online and print journalism so that we begin to understand how to develop our online content in ways that are valuable to online users. 3. Activity 1: In December of 2009, we ran a story in our print edition called Do Durham on $20 a Day. We had decided to do the story early on in the year, but we developed it for the December issue because we knew kids were about to have a lot of free time over the holidays and they might want to be frugal in their attempt to fill the hours. Initially, we intended for two reporters to go together and make decisions about how to spend their $20 bucks, but they actually went separately, then compared notes to make suggestions for readers. Their instructions were that they had to include meals and stuff to do. Take 10 minutes to read and evaluate the page. Read the story, and then use the handout to help you evaluate our package. Students should do this activity individually and should have about 10 minutes to read and evaluate the package. When they have finished, give them 5 minutes to share with tablemates. Then have each table share one point of discussion. 4. Activity 2: For the next few minutes of class, look at the package I have displayed for you on the projector. Using the same kind of process, work with your tablemates to analyze and evaluate this particular Web site. Make sure you do the last part of the handout below the chart. Give students 5-10 minutes to work, then share responses with the rest of class. As students answer the last part of the handout, put ideas about differences on board or poster next to list from First Five. Point out similarities in and differences.(examples below) a. http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/9865032/ b. http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/travel/story/9837066/

5. Direct Instruction: (key concepts in PowerPoint presentation for students to include in notes; in boldfaced type within lesson plan) In the two activities you have completed, you have already noticed some differences between what print journalism does and what online journalism does. I want you to understand some specific terminology and concepts to express those differences in the newsroom so that we can better understand how do develop our two products. a. You must first understand that our Web site is not just an electronic version of our paper with the same exact content. You have already written about how you use the two differently and looked at print and online packages to see some differences. So, if we are to make our online content useful to our readers, we have to make sure it fits the reasons they look online to start with. b. Online media is different from print media because it i. Includes multimedia, not just words and maybe a static graphic. What are some kinds of media Web sites include that we do not see in print media? (students will brainstorm and we ll list in notes) How does that add to the story? News values of human interest, multiple components of a single story. ii. Is interactive 1. Information in print flows from the reporter to the reader. In online media, the information flows in more than one direction. How? 2. Users generate content 3. Users share content 4. Users respond to content 5. Some examples: tip lines for news; comments on stories, chats, discussion boards, social media iii. Provides on-demand delivery the user controls what he or she sees, the time, place and subject of content he or she views. How? 1. Links 2. Story is always available online 3. Searching 4. Multimedia components enable users to demand what they see, to have more choice in what they view. c. How do these ideas change how we look at journalism? If you think of the product as your story only, how will you have to change your thinking about what you do as a journalist for an online audience? Are you different as a producer than you are as a consumer? We are now going to look at these concepts as they apply to real content. 6. Activity 3: Let s look back at the online package we evaluated before. For five minutes, see if you and your tablemates can identify specific pieces of the page that match up with the three characteristics of online media I just identified and you put in your notes. The third column of Handout 2 is labeled Online Characteristic. Look at the answers you wrote in column two and try to match at least one of the three characteristics with the information you wrote in your answer. Share answers at the end of five minutes: what characteristics were present in the components of the online package and in which parts? 7. So What? (application) You have looked at both print and online packages, and you have learned some guiding principles as we begin to develop online content separately from print content. Now you re going to actually develop some content. a. Look back at the print story that we did on Durham. You are going to develop that content for the online package of that story. You have an assignment sheet to help

guide you in your process. We will be working on this content tonight for homework and tomorrow in class, so make sure that right now, you first read through the assignment and are clear about what you are expected to produce. Allow two minutes to read. b. You will be working in groups of three to develop your content, so in the last part of class, meet with your group and decide what content you might need to address the multimedia, interactivity and on-demand delivery characteristics of online content. You will spend some time tonight thinking through your suggestions and adding more before you meet again tomorrow and decide who will do what part. Later, we will learn HOW to develop those components and HOW to get them on our site. If we run short on time, the homework will be to read through the assignment sheet and brainstorm some ideas for online content (Step 1 of handout). The next class will be primarily a hands-on class for the student groups to research any additional information, make a plan for their package and begin developing it (Step 2 of handout). The next days will include lessons and activities in 1) how the CMS works, the practical parts of 2) posting, 3) linking,4) uploading media and fine-tuning an online package (Step 3 of handout). The teacher will have to adjust deadlines, etc. as students work and he or she sees needs for re-teaching, help with application of concepts and time for the practical part of building the package. Overall this foundation lesson and project will be the platform for applying basic concepts and for teaching the practical lessons of working with CMS, links, pre-produced multimedia, graphics, etc. Later, students will learn to create the multimedia parts (like audio and video) and then how to connect their package to other social media. The final package and some created components might end up being a kind of final exam project for Journalism 1 students or I will have them create a new online package as part of the exam, with a print package as the other part. I would pace this lesson to occur after we cover the fundamentals of reporting, writing, ethics, law, and design.

Since we are new to online journalism, my advanced production students those on staff would have to learn the basics of producing online news, so I would use this same lesson series with a package from this year. I expect that initially, our site will be a lot of repeating print content, but I hope we develop both strains as the year progresses. At least by mid-year, I hope to have some content developed specifically for the site that isn t in the print and that is repackaged specifically for online consumers.