Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
Explorations of personal and community journalism...
Traditional, Alternative, Online...
The new TAO of newspapers?

Subscribe to "Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

In It's the Software, Stupid, Wade Roush counters some of the criticism of the One Laptop Per Child program by pointing to a video on YouTube -- an 11-minute report on the birth of a calf in Uruguay.

It's not stop-the-presses stuff, but Roush is impressed:

It's an amazing thing to watch--at least, to a city slicker like me who doesn't get to witness the miracle of birth every day. But what makes this particular video remarkable is that it was shot by a fourth-year student at Villa Cardal's Public School 24, using the built-in camera and recording software on the student's XO Laptop, within weeks of the machine's arrival at the school last year...

The point of Roush's essay is that the laptop's hardware and software tools don't come with an instruction manual and, although they're being delivered through school systems around the world, they're not part of an detailed curriculum; they're part of a "constructivist" model of learning. Children are expected to discover a lot of the possibilities by themselves.

He quotes the OLPC official who pointed him to the Parto de una vaca video, speaking of the student videographer and friends:

"Nobody taught them how to do this, but they're already making their own stuff and posting it to YouTube! You can see this fluency developing, a sense of what it means to express something in video."

I'll agree about the little computer having great potential... As far as teaching my own subject with it, well, there are plenty of definitions of journalism that would accept the comment by one of the (young? urban?) viewers at YouTube: "omg that cow came out of the other cow, amazing."

While we're talking about news definitions, styles and techniques, I'd like my news writing students to look over some journalism instruction materials that the OLPC program has online, and discuss adapting the tips and storytelling guidelines to the needs of younger students and other cultures.

Those "Learning Activities/Journalism" tutorials at OLPC were written by Jack Driscoll of the Boston Globe for an earlier community journalism project. After visiting Roush's article and that video, I checked to see if Driscoll included a section on photography.

He did, including the comment "In some cases a photo stands alone and tells a story." Or, as our friend in Uruguay might put it, "Sometimes you just have to point the camera at the cow."

6:38:34 PM    comment []

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2008 Bob Stepno.
Last update: 7/19/08; 1:25:31 PM.
February 2008
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29  
Jan   Mar