Is There iPad Proof in the Points? by Nicole Kraft

Our iPad research project is actually composed of two separate aspects: the tool and the content delivery.

Our belief is the iPads will help make our students better and more quickly prepared for journalism married with multimedia and social media, and we are already seeing those results.

They have been Tweeting and linking since day one, and the photos (and in one case video) that accompanied their first articles were a great addition.

But we are also conjoining these efforts with a “flipped” classroom, meaning lectures, delivered on the iPad via iTunes U, are the homework, and work is done together in class.

That model requires that students be willing and committed to reviewing the lecture material at home, and that they retain what they learn.

If they do, however, it enables them to consume far more information than conventional class lectures could ever provide, for limited class time meant lecture material was being conveyed days (or even weeks) after they could/should have been using it.

That means their articles, theoretically, would be more developed than prior first-assignment efforts.

After grading the first assignment, I think we may be on to something.

Based on the grading rubric I provided, the first article edited well fulfilled all of the requirements, and was, in fact, published days later in The Lantern. It was the classes second Lantern publication, a record for the first article.

The minimum grade for any assignment turned in on time is 2.5 points, and the maximum is 10. the average grade was 7.76 among 29 students, as compared with the same article in the prior semester’s class of 6.48 (27 students).

In the Autumn of 2012, two sections of Comm 2221 had average scores in their first articles of 7.3 and 7.2 for 29 and 30 students, respectively.

This semester, the grade breakdown was:
10 points: 4 articles
9.5 points: 1 article
9 points: 5 articles
8.5 points: 1 article
8 points: 6 articles
7.5 points: 2 articles
7 points: 2 articles
6.5 points: 3 articles
6 points: 1 article
5.5 points: 1 article
5 points: 2 articles
4.5 points: 1 article

But I am seeing far more than just article results. Many in this class have quickly shown an understanding of news value and its has shown early an aptitude for identifying story ideas .

There were less AP Style mistakes than first assignments from past classes, which I attribute, in part, to the use of the AP Stylebook App, which allows students to bookmark and easily refer to “favorited” (i.e. often used) style concepts.

Students said the ability to repeatedly review the lectures enabled them to confirm concepts while they were writing, as opposed to relying on notes or memory.

In addition, we have already seen results from social media, as students have grown Twitter followers through their news oriented posts and blog posts about articles have been discovered and commented upon by the reading public.

All was not flawless. We had a fair share who did miss the idea of news, and we had issues related to story structure or a lack of qualified sources.

In addition, a guest speaker who came the day after the first article was turned in was met with blank stares when referring to aspects of that day’s lecture notes.

When queried, my students assured me their lack of preparation was isolated to journalistic fatigue after completing their first article, and I believed them. But we will keep an eye on their lecture progress and understanding.

Article two research has already begun, this time with a focus on Big Data and the goal all articles will be published on a blog advancing the Moritz College of Law’s Big Data Conference.

Let’s see what the next data set reveals.

By Nicole Kraft – Kraft of Writing – @Nicole_Kraft

Nicole Kraft’s iTunes U Courses and iBook Featured by Apple

Two of Nicole Kraft’s iTunes U courses were recently featured by Apple.

Kraft’s iTunes U course and iBook Always Get the Name of the Dog were featured in Apple’s Education Spotlight newsletter.

Kraft’s iTunes U course Writing and Editing for News is currently featured on the iTunes U storefront.

In addition, both courses are currently in the Top 10 on iTunes U and Always Get the Name of the Dog is #1!

Kraft’s grant project is already having a HUGE Impact!

The Ecstacy of iPads + Journalism: Hats off to Karlie the Mojo! #osucomm2221 by Nicole Kraft

We planned that class to begin to identify news value, but Karlie already had a jump on things. She had sent me a note with the desire to write on the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier set for our own Crew Stadium.

My response: “I love the story idea. We can definitely localize–and will start brainstorming it tomorrow. Thanks so much!”

Less than 24 hours later, Karlie had a story on its way to publication in The Lantern, and all of it had been developed on her iPad.

It all started in our class discussion, when we asked Karlie to explore her story topic, and she mentioned she had seen what seemed to be hundreds of people lined up in the Ohio Union awaiting a limited number of tickets.

“That’s a story,” we told her. “You need to go cover it now!”

We quickly familiarized Karlie with the apps she would need–Pages, InstagramEvernote–and suggested sources to question and what questions to act. We asked she keep us posted on Twitter.

By 2:15 she was out the door and headed to the Union, iPad in hand.

By 6 p.m., she was sending me a draft, which I edited on the iPad and sent back, and by 7 p.m. we had her story and her photos sent to The Lantern editors.

When I arrived at Ohio State the next morning, there on the front page was the first story Karlie had ever written on her iPad–or ever, for that matter–complete with a photo she had taken with her iPad.

I could not be more excited or more proud of her.

Karlie, too, was pretty thrilled with her effort, as she wrote in her blog:

I just finished writing my first article on the iPad–my first article period–and it was such a rush. The way it all came together was so spur of the moment and I loved it. I can’t wait to experience this many times over this semester.

I had a theory when I applied for the Digital First grant that iPads would make my students more quickly educated in journalistic skill and more productive.

A month in, it looks like we were on to something.

By Nicole Kraft – Kraft of Writing – @Nicole_Kraft

First Article on the iPad by Karlie Frank

I just finished writing my first article on the iPad–my first article period–and it was such a rush. The way it all came together was so spur of the moment and I loved it. I can’t wait to experience this many times over this semester.

I used Pages on the iPad to take notes during my interview. I realized it is really hard and really slow to type one handed on the iPad, so note to self, when you’re trying to get all your interviewee’s quotes down as fast as possible, make sure you’re at a desk or table so you can use both hands! I felt so goofy when I asked one of my interviewees if we could go to the counter nearby for me to prop up my iPad, but it made the rest of the interview ten times smoother and I was able to make eye contact with the source with both hands free and feel like I was making more of an effort to make the interview conversational.

I used the camera and video recording functions on the iPad to take some shots of the D-Tix line at the Union, and the quality was alright enough, I’m just disappointed I didn’t get shots of the line when it was an even crazier mob scene.

Today I learned that when it comes to getting a comment from the police department or another institution/business that has regular work day hours, do it ASAP. Don’t wait until after 4 o clock like an idiot like I did today when they’ve already left the office for the day. I should have saved my Twitter searches of the event for after I made this phone call and got the police comment, because let’s face it, most of us always have our phones on us making Twitter a 24/7 accessible source. Next time, I know to prioritize with my contact of sources, especially when the deadline is in just a few hours.

I thought it would be cool to use the Panorama app to show the line at the Union, but I was never quite satisfied with the result. I wanted it to include even more people, but when I moved the iPad faster the picture got blurry. Instead, I chose to go up a level in the Union and take a more bird’s eye view of the line which turned out to be very effective.

I used my iPhone to tweet the class hashtag on my way to the Union, and I think I will likely usually do that, because my phone is more often in my hand and accessible for quick tweets than my iPad. I used my laptop (MacBook) to actually write the article, looking at the notes I had taken in Pages on the iPad propped up on the table next to me.

Probably my favorite part of gathering information and writing the article was searching on twitter for hashtags related to the event, for people who had something to say about the change in ticket dispersal. I was lucky enough to find a source that was disappointed with the change to a lottery and able to articulate this in a level-headed way without sounding just plain bitter and crazy. I learned that you have to verify Twitter DM exchanges with a phone call or email, otherwise your source could be anyone pretending to be someone else on an account!

Looking forward to sharing my experience in class tomorrow!

By Karlie Frank – Student in Nicole Kraft’s COMM 2221 Course – Getting My Mojo

OSU Journalism iPads: One Step Backwards, Two Steps Forward by Nicole Kraft

We are just completing our first week with the iPads, and we may finally be hitting our stride.

Tuesday was spent with Cory Tressler getting acclimated with our apps, setting up email and preferences, and encasing them in our OtterBox.

Almost every students seemed to sigh in relief once the iPad was ensconced in the OtterBox, as it was a more rugged and equal partner than a defenseless, fragile baby.

Typing was our first challenge on the day, as we tried out the virtual keyboard as a normal QWERTY and in a split screen. Whether typing with thumbs on the split works long-term in long form is yet to be seen, but many were giving it a try.

Our first real challenge came Wednesday, and it had nothing to do with my students. So eager was I to get started teaching them journalism that I jumped in with news value and story ideas, and encouraged them to start typing with Evernote.

What I failed to do, however, is help them navigate our iTunes U course and the lectures they would need to keep up with our flipped class.

I also neglected to take into account the fact that they were truly four days behind on the lectures since we did not give them the iPads until Tuesday, and I had originally planned they would watch the videos over the weekend and be ready to roll by Tuesday. When I started talking about story ideas, I received a few blank stares and realized we need to take baby steps before we could start to stride toward a story.

Thursday brought an apology and a step-by-step journey through our iTunes U course schedule and our text-book, “Always Get the Name of the Dog.”  I also introduced them to practical uses for apps like Evernote, Penultimate and HootSuite, and let them play with my Jot pen.

By the end of the class we were talking about story ideas and had looked at the six facts–Who, What, When, Where, Why and How–and their role in journalism.

It felt so good to be back in familiar territory.

Judging by the Tweets (some of which are being Storified), students are embracing the lectures and our conversations Thursday and Friday were spirited and showed a clear consumption of the online material, and we had an enthusiastic time pairing off to take facts and turning them into a summary lead to end our week–typing furiously into WordPress.

I am alto thrilled as students discover iPad and app secrets that we don’t know (how to do admin changes through WordPress app being one). I think the technology has made us even more of a community.

It was hard to hide my glee when the one person who said she was confused waved me away when I started to explain iPad intricacies. “I’m not sure about writing the inverted pyramid,” she said, to which I blurted out, “Thank goodness–we can fix that!”

Challenges to ponder:

  • Editing WordPress was a challenge for one student through the app. I’ve asked her to call so we can walk through.
  • Typing on the iPad is slow going, and I fear thumb typing will be tiring. I went for a keyboard in my own work–wonder if they will as well.
  • They are tweeting like champs, but next week will start with photos and brief video when they seek stories. That will be a lot to do for one assignment.
  • One student keeps gravitating toward the Mac instead of the iPad, but we are working on it!

By Nicole Kraft – Kraft of Writing@Nicole_Kraft