Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Owen's Visual Storytelling students going on trip of a lifetime to Atlanta

 Campus Pulse Promo from Owens Outlook Student Newspaper on Vimeo
This is an example of the Visual Storytelling students in action, recorded and published last month. Imagine what they will do after they get back from the CMA conference!
   The Visual Storytelling class will soon be packing their bags for a trip of a lifetime!
   Plane and hotel reservations are booked, and the students have notified their other instructors that they’ll be missing a few days of school Oct. 26-29. 
   With funds from Owens Community College Student Activities and an Owens Outlook student newspaper Block Foundation endowment, eight of us will be traveling to Atlanta to attend the Fall 2016 College Media Association convention.
   As the class instructor and student newspaper adviser, I believe this student media convention will pack a humungous educational punch that I can’t replicate. 
   We are one of nearly 100 schools that will learn the craft of all things journalism while sitting in choices of 360 breakout sessions, led by industry leaders and college media experts. The variety of sessions is quite impressive, and includes everything from learning how to write feature stories, get better sound out of your broadcast studio, and manage student media, to how to sell ads and become a better adviser.
      The keynote speakers alone are worth the trip. Here a few I’m excited to hear:
  •         Award-winning CNN producer/editor Jen Christensen, who will lead a panel on the Orlando shooting and its aftermath
  •      Tom Luse, executive producer for The Walking Dead television show about zombies
  •      Hank Kilibanoff, director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University
Visual Storytelling class in their first Owens Outlook meeting.
      All six of my Visual Storytelling students are also members of the student newspaper, a requirement of the course. Because we are a community college with no journalism program, I, as the sole journalism instructor on campus, have turned my photojournalism class into a practicum course. The definition of practicum applies because this course is designed to give students supervised practical experience in a particular field, in this case visual storytelling, which includes shooting stills and video, and podcasting.
   Also attending the conference is the Owens Outlook student business manager, a paid part-time Owens employee. Alicia is responsible for all of our business needs, including selling ads for revenue, which pays for our camera equipment. We also use ads to purchase gift cards for students who go above and beyond. Because Owens Outlook student media are not paid, this is one way of giving back (not all student media are students in the Visual Storytelling class. The Owens Outlook is open to all students).
   This is the third time I’ve taken students the CMA conference, and I hope it won’t be the last. There is no better way of inspiring students to be better communicators and informed citizens, whether they stay in the journalism field, or not.
   Each student will be required to write a blog post, including an essay and photos, about their experience after they get back. I encourage you to check out their blogs, which you can find here.
   I can tell that the upcoming conference has already made a difference in their attitudes and enthusiasm. Their attendance is nearly perfect, and their participation is amazing.
   Yes, I wholeheartedly believe the monetary cost is worth every penny.

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