Students Report Across Platforms

Teaching Multimedia- Week 2 Post

Hi there, fellow multimedia students. You may know me from my post last week, from our class chats or from my much too long “about me” section. Regardless, here’s more on me for this week: I teach at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. My day consists of four introductory journalism classes, one photojournalism class and a section of yearbook, which I advise.

 As most of the millennial world is right now, I am extremely pro multimedia and social media. As our world changes and grows, we are given so many opportunities to make productive use of technology that we’d be silly not to take advantage of. As for my experience with the two, I would say it’s pretty diverse on both the teacher side of my life and the personal side of my life. Instagram remains number one in my book, but I stay pretty consistent with Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat (more of a receiver there than a sender), as well. Sometimes, I feel like in order to keep up with the way my students consume “information” (social networks), I should be a part of that world, too…so I am. Plus, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love social networks for a wide array of reasons.

 Since the start of my journalism teaching career just a year and a half ago, I can also say that multimedia has become a driving force of my own continuing education and what I teach my students. As you’ll see in my previous post, I constantly push my students to make their coverage multidimensional. They can and their audience expects it, so why not? Take the challenge. Learn the tools. Keep making journalism awesome. I linked to this site last week, too, but sites like this one, really help keep me on my toes.

 My students are all over on socials, but our media staffs specifically make use of Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. Of all of them, Tumblr is the one I’d like to explore more (mostly because I feel comfortable with the others, but I’m not quite on the Tumblr scene like they are).

 Which brings me to my purpose in writing this week. Cross platform reporting and coverage and what I’ve learned. It’s happening. It’s been happening. We all know it. Reporting is no longer just in the papers. Both the reading this week and my experience with social media have opened my eyes to the ways we need to be looking at each method of reporting differently. Each platform shouldn’t just be repeated information. For example, the posts that don’t belong on Twitter (full stories) that make it on Twitter and have those silly little dots indicating “story continues” make me crazy. Twitter posts are 140 characters, so that’s what should be used.

Instagram is photo driven, Facebook is where we can find our parents and community, Tumblr is more opinionated. Every platform has a different purpose and students need to define those purposes for their coverage. They should use them to the advantage of their readers, not just use them because they can.

 As we continue exploring social media this semester, I’m sure we’ll see many examples of this coverage done correctly. Many student journalists out there are rocking the social world– and we can learn a lot from them. Here’s a start. Check out this list of schools on Snapchat.

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