Making Mojos: Finals Are Done, Projects Were Great, Reviews Are Mixed by Nicole Kraft

After two weeks of reflection, it’s time to sift through the feedback from Comm 2221 and the first generation of Ohio State Mojos.

Our first iPad adventure comes to an end--and a new one will soon begin.

Our first iPad adventure comes to an end–and a new one will soon begin.

As I mentioned in my past post, from my perspective, the iPad did exactly as I had hoped. It made the ones who wanted to be journalists more mobile and successful. They accomplished skills much faster than prior classes.

It also proved stressful and tiring for those students who were less inclined to embrace, and more than one said they are not interested in being journalists based on the amount of work and the constant and focused editing it entails.

Fair enough.

I loved the organization of iTunes U, and students in both class in which I used it (Comm 2221 and Comm 3404) resoundingly supported the flipped class.

  • I loved this class, really made you think for yourself especially with the flipped classroom.
  • Absolutely loved. Flip more classes!

But I also learned much from the criticism of this experience, especially the anonymous class evaluations that said he or she felt the iPads interfered with teaching the class and had too much of a focus. I certainly respect that view and aim to make it more a part of the experience than a focus.

As much as I learned from the constructive comments about the class–and me–I was equally thrilled by this comment:

Nicole is tough. yes definitely. However she is the right instructor to have if you just start your journalism major and try to figure out if you made the right choice. With her I learned so much about real life journalistic skills and am really excited and proud of being a journalist.

But rather then me telling you their reflections on the iPad, here is a sampling the feedback in their own words.

  • This semester has been amazing. I have loved using the iPad and become more comfortable using it than I ever thought I could be– I’m thinking about asking for a mini for Christmas.I really enjoyed shooting photos and video. I thought the quality would not be great and would take away from my multimedia, but I was wrong. The quality was perfect for my use. Over the course of this semester, I get a sense that my classmates and I have bonded with our iPads. Many people have laptops that are collecting dust in their rooms because the iPads have been a more convenient alternative for use in all of their classes…If anyone ever faced a technological issue, everyone was involved in class and we worked together to figure out a solution. I used iTunesU for the first time in this class and I wish every course at OSU had iTunesU supplements.
  • At the beginning of the semester, using an iPad to complete all my course work for this class did not seem possible and stressed me out just thinking about it. I decided that I needed to stick with it and challenge myself this semester and that ultimately it would be worth it. I’m happy to say I was right and I believe that using the iPad, although frustrating at times, was rather convenient to carry around to report news with rather than just a notebook.
  • Will I buy an iPad? Nope. Not gonna spend money on a little laptop that I’m not very good at working. I have my cell phone and my camera to take pictures with and my computer for everything else. Again, let’s remember that I’m not a huge fan of technology, so I’ve been anti-iPad since they first came out…nothing against this class or their usage in here. I do appreciate the opportunity to use them and to learn for sure that I do not need to go out and spend $500 or however much these are just to “fit in” with what the cool kids are buying these days.
  • The iPad has been a great tool for reporting news in this class. I definitely would recommend it for the future. I have an iPad myself, and this class has encouraged me to learn how to use it in different ways. I now have more knowledge of certain apps and ways to use it that can help me in the future. Although I did learn a lot, I feel like there were times when I had no idea how to use an app or I didn’t think that an app was helpful. I wish we could have had more time to go through a lot of these apps and explain how to use them, because the ones I didn’t know how to use, I avoided more….The iPads were really intimidating at first, but they became the most useful tool I used in reporting this whole semester.
  • Throughout my news writing class (Comm 2221) at Ohio State we have been given the challenge to become mobile journalists, as I’ve mentioned before. This challenge was really exciting at first but has now presented some frustrations. My first frustration is with the WordPress application for the iPad. I can log in everywhere except on my iPad which makes no sense! In addition, every time I try to paste something into the body it pastes into the title. I have since decided to stop using the application all together. Another frustration is that my iPad disabled itself somehow….It’s been an interesting journey to say the least!
  • Prior to this class, I was fairly familiar with the iPad, and I attribute that to my previous experience with iPhones and Mac computers. However, after having the iPad for 15 weeks, I can honestly say that I have learned a great deal about various applications that will benefit me in the future. I really enjoy using Pages and Evernote. They are great to take notes, and it is convenient that I can access them from all my electronic devices. I am also grateful for our AP style book. Not only was it easy to navigate during our quizzes, but there were a number of times when I was writing emails or other papers that I referenced it. (My friends even asked me grammatical questions knowing that I could use my style book to find the answer!)
  • I was not familiar with iTunesU before this class. I now realize how awesome it is. I really enjoyed having my textbook on the iPad, and the ‘calendar view’ was awesome! I plan to utilize it more as I move forward. I wish we would have done more with multimedia….Overall, I really enjoyed the class and thought it was structured in a way that was manageable, but also promoted a healthy learning environment. I can honestly say that I learned a lot!
  • This course has been amazing for me. Where I was in the beginning and where am I am now are two different places, and I believed me entering the twenty first century is a good thing. When getting the iPad I didn’t think I would utilize any of the apps the way I did, and now I have numerous ones I check daily. This iPad has taught me a great deal, and the fact that I can hold a conversation about apps and this device shows you how much I have learned and grown….I can’t lie going home to my family who still doesn’t know anything about technology and showing them I am able to use all these devices makes me look more intelligent and gives me bragging rights at family functions (sounds odd but its very true)
  • Now the semester is ending and we have had this whole time to use the iPads in our own ways to report news. So how well do I think I used my iPad…? Personally I think I could have been way more effective with using my iPad specifically for this class. In terms of reporting news I was very intermediate with everything. I only used the iTalk app to record interviews and then would take notes on the interview later on on my laptop and then put them on my iPad to write my news stories on Pages. I did write almost all of my stories on the iPad, except for the last one just because it was longer. This isn’t to say that I don’t think iPads are worth it to have as a student. Having the iPad to use this semester was an invaluable experience and I would definitely want to do it again next semester if I could.
  • It was sooooooo much easier to carry around the iPad than my big, heavy laptop to classes to take notes or look things up online quickly. The iPad made much of my day-to-day school work that much easier. I definitely think that if I had the money I would buy an pad of my own to have and use from now on. This class has been enjoyable and fun with the use of the iPads. Definitely a recommended class to friends in communications.
  • Overall using the iPad in this course was easy and an asset to our learning and reporting. At times it was frustrating when certain apps wouldn’t work right or we couldn’t figure out how to do something on the app version, but overall it was a good experience. The apps I used the most were WordPress, pages, the AP Stylebook the news apps and twitter. I never really used the Skitch, Penultimate, or Evernote apps. I feel that the apps you provided us with were all I needed to be successful. The iMovie app is terrible compared to the desktop version, so I might encourage students to find a lab with the program if they are planning on putting together professional looking videos, the app doesn’t give you enough to work with. If I was planning on going in to a journalism career I would definitely invest in some sort of tablet or iPad to work on, it is much more convenient to carry around and easier to have everything you need on one device rather than carrying around a camera, a video camera, a recorder, etc.
  • …[A]t this point in time I do not see the benefit in having an iPad. With or without the iPad I still felt the need to have my Macbook Pro with me at all times. With that being said I do not think it’s beneficial to add weight to my backpack that does no more than my Macbook which I carry at all times.
  • After this semester I probably would buy an iPad, if I had the money for it, even though I’m not really continuing on with journalism. I love it as a way to read all kinds of news, especially with the AP mobile and Dispatch apps, and the Washington Post. It was also useful because I ended up having another class with lectures on iTunes U, and I could see myself having more in the future. I just found it generally pretty useful for all classes, and if I had more down time to read this semester, it would have been really awesome for that.
  • I liked using the iPad for writing news stories but I found that for other projects in other classes I would still turn to my laptop. It was hard to transition from using the laptop to the iPad and I think I can still use the laptop more efficiently. The iPad came in handy for me for quick use, such as when I wanted to check something on Google, but I think I will go back to using my laptop after this.
  • I am not against iPad first of all. I myself have an iPad (although it’s a gift from my friend). But I do not see the necessity of having it. Talking about high tech, we have our laptops and Macbook. Talking about convenience, we have iPhone or just smart phones especially when iPhone becomes longer and longer along with iPad becomes smaller and smaller, I do not see the reason why both of them exist.
  • I definitely think we should seize the iPad use skills because everyone else knows how to use it. If you do not know how to use a new technology related to journalism skills as a journalist, it is hard for us to find a job when we graduate. It turned back to the beginning of this class. All we are doing here is to find us a job! So I do not think my opinions here really matter. I will try my best to like or at least to not hate it and be used to it in future uses.
  • I loved the newsroom days where we pitched ideas. I loved being able to have the iPad to type up my ideas instead of breaking my back by bringing my laptop, it also made the process better because it was more conversation, easier to flip between pages and apps, and more interactive by being able to show my peers what I was talking about and even passing around the iPad if need be.I hope that future classes get the opportunity to use the iPad. It seemed to make us excel better than previous classes in our learning process and specifically with AP style. While this did create some stress initially, this became one of my favorite classes because of how I was challenged, motivated, and pushed. This semester the classes that I didn’t do as well in we’re classes that didn’t teach me new skills or set a high bar for me like this class did.
  • I have loved using the iPad this semester. I have enjoyed using the iPad for not only my journalism work in Comm 2221 but also to aid in my other courses. The iPad is used friendly, easily portable, and keeps its battery charge for a very long time, which was more convenient than my MacBook Pro.
  • As a journalist in our society, one must be able to market themselves using the Internet and social media. These online tools are the new keys to journalistic successes, and the iPad helps to easily integrate these practices for a journalist. Not only can you produce high quality pictures and movies to supplement news articles but I easily accessed applications to integrate Twitter and my WordPress with my articles as well. I used the iPad for notes during interviews with Evernote and for recording during interviews with applications like iTalk. I became a mobile and fast-paced journalist while using my iPad this semester. I got very good at typing on the iPad and easily moving between different applications. I will miss my iPad a lot after this course, not to mention it really lightened the load in my backpack. I have told my parents how much I loved the iPad and how easy it made my portable journalism and coursework. I am hoping one day I can purchase an iPad and use it again for my reporting.

by Nicole Kraft – @Nicole_Kraft


Nicole Kraft Presents to OSU Library Faculty & Staff

Nicole Kraft presenting to OSU Library Faculty and Staff

On Friday, December 13, 2013, Nicole Kraft was the keynote speaker at the OSU Library Teaching & Learning in-service day. Nicole discussed her Digital First Impact Grant, iTunes U courses, iBooks projects, and flipped classroom instructional approach.

Below is Nicole’s Prezi from her keynote:

The End is Near–Before We Begin Again by Nicole Kraft

Tomorrow will be the last “official” class of our Comm 2221 iPad Newsroom, although we will gather once more during finals week for one final moment of passage: the return of the iPads.

One of my favorite parts of the semester: Seeing Comm 2221 students like Maddie using their iPads in other classes.

One of my favorite parts of the semester: Seeing Comm 2221 students like Maddie using their iPads in other classes.

It is hard to believe how quickly 15 weeks have gone by–and how much of a roller coaster we have been on. I have seen the iPads become second nature for so many, as they navigate through apps and files to make assignments that seem to leap from the screen. As the articles got more difficult, however, I also saw some students pull back from the new technology to rely more on that which they knew.

(For our final online research post-test, 10 of 27 headed for laptops instead of the iPad.)

The flipped classroom executed through iTunes U became what we hoped–a self-contained learning environment, for students to take their class learning with them at home and on assignment, and the knowledge the brought to the class newsroom each week to execute the stories we needed to write was inspiring.One student even told me how she whipped out her iPad at a family gathering to prove the legality of one-party recording in certain states.

We had an extraordinary amount of sickness this semester, and the lectures allowed students who missed class to not miss out on learning–or rely on others’ notes. Grading on the iPad allowed me to return articles in half the time to allow even more revision or work together in office hours, and probably saved a small grove’s worth of trees.

All told my students spent $2.99 on reading materials for the class, and only a handful spent any more on additional apps or a bluetooth keyboard (to be supplied to the next class, thanks to money left in our Digital First grant).

Not all was completely rosy, of course. I did not factor in enough times to go through the apps, and many wonderful and handy ones were left unopened. We will address that better since the iPads will be ready to go from day one, as opposed to the week-plus delay we faced in Autumn.

I also overestimated comfort on our data story assignments, and the lack of source cooperation made that early assignment frustrating–a mistake I will not make again.

A previously unconsidered ramification seems to be that this push to become multimedia journalists solidified the path for whose who were or became committed to the craft. To those who were less sure, the push toward multimedia has promoted them to rethink their major a bit quicker than they may have in the past.

In past semesters, it was the speed or quantity (quality) of The Lantern class that may have turned them away from reporting. For others, our multimedia class could have been a tipping point. But this semester, Comm 2221 gave them a sample of all those pressures and responsibilities, some did not feel it was the right path for them.

For the students who became enamored and entrenched in journalistic technique, the iPad did all we envisioned it would. The world of multimedia reporting opened up and they created packages of which they had not even before imagined. One student who came from Agriculture Communications and was reluctant about the iPad and worried about his own writing skills produced one of our best feature projects, complete with video package.

Even he, however, acknowledged that certain skills are better utilized, when possible, on the laptop–such as video editing and WordPress blog navigation.

I am truly sad to see this semester end, for we came together to be quite the community and do some incredibly work. But I just as excited to begin the spring semester, which will allow me to use all that we learned to make even greater strides forward.

By Nicole Kraft – @Nicole_Kraft &