Friday, September 05, 2008

Learning without walls - Video journalism, graphics, computing

Look no walls: Dental Nurse Convention lunch time. For most of the time, this all women convention had the windows to the hall blacked out, whilst all you could hear was raucous laughter.

I have been under the bonnet of css and html all day.

I'm presenting a short strand to faculty about Mashers.

The title of the preser is "Learning without Walls" and is intended to reflect the notion of students studying across disciplines and what some do.

I was struck as an undergrad that while Chemistry appealed to me, I was really interested in Economics.

In fact a day before my 3rd year exams, I was busy getting my head around "the law of diminishing returns" - my friend John still jokes about.

Eight years on I had my wish at the LSE for a couple of months studying global finance - marveling over the UK's penchant for "Boom and Bust" economics - loved it

Today, cross-discipline learning extends past any love affair; as a journalist it's almost a must.

In the corridor at uni, a heckle away are graphic information design students; below us, photography; to the left, film students and over the corridor Computer Science.

Diversity is the name of the game
They're all united by a common cause, but separated by these invisible walls. Graphics is graphics and journalism is journalism.

Yes, No?

There's a debate.

Graphic design into our multimedia era strives further for the art of telling stories, and communicating through pictures, words, music et al. You might almost say the same thing for Journalists, and then why stop there.

knowing a bit of what everyone else knows is the edge to get ahead.

The graphics students that approached me for an interview with their design for an e-newspaper with models left me slacken- jaw for several minutes.

But I still wondered how much more might they have done if they had a student journalist attached to their project.

Couple of years ago, I rounded up a couple of cross discipline students to pitch an idea to Richard Deverill, now a controller of Children's TV at the BBC.

It was that rare opportunity when different minds came together, tentative, not knowing anything about each other, but in a couple of weeks dreaming up the most imaginative ideas.

Learning without walls
Learning without walls is a bit like standing at speakers corner and saying it doesn't have to be this division of labour for learning and that we could learn a little more from each other: designers, coders, journalists and fashion, plus a whole raft of other disciplines.

In essence that's the space many agencies, heads of practising and educational journalism departments occupy, or would want to.

Here's where I should have played a clip from the BBC's Head of Multimedia Peter Horrocks.

In Final Year Projects, which I posted couple of days ago (you really must just take a brief look) online students push themselves pretty hard. Their briefs alone make for an hours reading.

Learning without walls is a sub culture many many of us, including students, already occupy; this is just to acknowledge what can be achieved and to see if there's room to provide further support to student mashers.

NB. Views expressed by David here in no way reflect that of the University or any reference to figures associated with it.

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