Archive for July, 2010

Seven Weeks in Lebanon

By Jim Scotton

Hariri Canadian University campus in Beirut, Lebanon

Photo Source: Hariri Canadian University website.

I am spending about seven weeks in Lebanon this summer teaching at Hariri Canadian University outside of Beirut. I am trying to orient International Communication course toward the Arab media. I am also doing research on the Middle East media since I have a contract to co-author a book on international communication. I am doing the chapters on the Middle East, Africa and China and the manuscript is due at the end of December.

I should be used to this by now since this is my seventh overseas university teaching assignment in six countries in Africa and Asia. There are 29 students in my class, which is an elective. All the students are majoring in either Engineering or Business. The university is fairly high up in the hills outside Beirut but it still gets hot during the 2-3:30 p.m. class. We have classroom fans, but if you turn them up you cannot hear much of anything.

Hariri Canadian University (HCU) began as a College of Business in 1999 with the help of Canada and the Hariri Foundation.  It now has 1500 students on three campuses. Rafiq Hariri, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon who was assassinated in 2005, wanted to develop a university that would help moderate income Lebanese students get a university education with tuition kept low through scholarships and a cooperative education program.

HCU has some strong Marquette connections. The university President since 2004 is Dr. Abdul-Rahman Arkadan, who was on the MU College of Engineering faculty before taking his new post in Lebanon. The Chair of the Department of Humanities and Languages and my supervisor is Sandra Whitehead. She has an M.A. in Journalism from Marquette and has taught in both the College of Communication and the Professional Studies Program.

Jim Scotton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism at the Diederich College of Communication.

Conference Technology Earns High Praise

By Carole Burns

Vatican Conference Live Stream at Marquette UniversityThis past week Marquette University hosted a Vatican Conference with a focus on communication.

My “Einstein” video team of student workers was called into action. We provided both video coverage and live stream coverage of the various sessions that were held.

I monitored the three video streams to assure that the stream was functioning properly. We put three MacBook Pro laptops to the task with attached Canon ZR900 video cameras connected via Firewire.  This setup allowed us to use tripods which would give us the best opportunity for viewable content.

If you check out the main website you will see the agenda and room numbers.  The streams were all recorded and can be viewed here: AMU Room 305: www.ustream.tv/channel/wttc-video-live
AMU Room 252: www.ustream.tv/channel/resident-einstein-live-tv
AMU Room 313: www.ustream.tv/channel/live-from-the-diederich-college-of-communication

In addition, I put on my photographer hat and practiced some of the techniques I’ve learned in the past two months. While I still have a long way to go – you can view the 400+ photos on my Flickr stream.

During the three days of sessions the Einsteins also provided much needed technical support.  They were available to assist with PowerPoint setup, audio and video feeds.

The event went like clockwork. The students used their training from the year to ease the nerves of presenters and show that Marquette University is the location for a technologically sound conference.

As presenter after presenter approached me to compliment the technology support they had received I couldn’t help but beam with pride. This was our opportunity to prove what we had been training for this past year, and we put all of our team work and skill into action and proved we could meet the challenge.

I know that this school year will be a strong turning point for the lecture capture series and that my team will be at the heart of a new phase in the Wakerly Technology Training Center.

Carole J. Burns is the Director of the Wakerly Technology Training Center at Marquette University. Follow her on Twitter @burnsy1217.

Facebook: Less Popular Than Paying Taxes?

By Jennifer Janviere
Facebook icon with red slashI’ll admit it: the headline “Everyone Uses Facebook and Everyone Hates It” instantly grabbed my attention. With 500 million users worldwide, could the popular social networking site really be so loathed?

Apparently so, according to the article on Gawker.com and the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which compiles public opinions about government and privately held companies each year. In a customer satisfaction survey released this July, the ACSI gave Facebook a score of 64 out of 100 points, landing it in the bottom 5% of privately owned companies. This makes the social networking site about as popular as airline customer service and the IRS E-filing system. In the category of social media, only the dwindling MySpace fared worse on the overall consumer satisfaction scale. Continue reading ‘Facebook: Less Popular Than Paying Taxes?’

The Story Within

By Carole Burns

Camera Collection on Shelf in the Wakerly Technology Training Center at Marquette University.A question I often ask my digital storytelling students is “what is the story”?  They will look at me with an odd face (this is generally after I have just finished reading their first draft). What I need to explain to them that this is the main story – but they need to go deeper to find the story within the story.

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, using a sliding wooden box camera, made the first permanent photograph in 1826.  My recent bite by a shutterbug has transformed my once ‘Lord of the Rings’-themed office into a sort of museum of early camera and video equipment. This new hobby has offered me the opportunity to visit local thrift stores, rummage and estate sales, and antique shops. Along the way I find many interesting stories that go along with the equipment I purchase. Some of the pieces have been passed along from grandparent to child, while others waited patiently in a back closet to be discovered. My collection includes a video camera from 1948 and at least three that used to belong to my husbands aunt. But nothing prepared me for the story I would hear when I picked up my most recent camera. Continue reading ‘The Story Within’

Let Hacks/Hackers.com Help You Raise Your Digitial IQ

By Kathlin Sickel

Hands typing on a keyboardHow is your digital IQ? Do you know the alphabet of techno-acronyms from APIs through XML?  Are you current on technology products like Android, Drupal, Flash, and Tumblr? Do you know the difference between Blogger—one of the first mass blogging services, and Posterous—a newer blogging platform users can publish on via email; and do you understand technology concepts like geotagging, data visualization, mashup, and wiki?

Keeping up with the ever-changing, always expanding digital world that is now journalism, can represent a hurdle to most anyone. Just when you begin to feel confident about your Search Engine Optimization skills, along comes the idea of the Semantic Web to demand your attention. Fortunately, the job of keeping up has gotten  easier with an online, always accessible Survival Glossary posted at a relatively new website, Hacks/Hackers.com, (and re-posted as the Digital Journalist Survival Guide at Poynter.org). Continue reading ‘Let Hacks/Hackers.com Help You Raise Your Digitial IQ’

100 Years of Journalism of Marquette: Digital, Distinctive, Diverse

A broadcast journalism student works with technical equipment in Johnston Hall.It’s time of celebration: as Marquette University commences its year-long ‘Centennial Celebration of Women’ this fall,  the Diederich College of Communication will also celebrate an important milestone: 100 years of Journalism education. We’ll be keeping our readers up to date on a year full of activities and guest speakers planned to commemorate this event, so stay tuned!

To begin the celebration, we’ve posted some photos of our Journalism program over the years on Flickr. As Johnston Hall, the home of Marquette Journalism, undergoes renovations to transition our college into the future, these images offer an intriguing glimpse into the past.

View the “100 Years of Journalism” photo album on Flickr.

A Look Back at Cagli

By Steve Byers

The streets of Cagli, ItlayFor some reason I have trouble getting any sympathy when I tell people how hard I’ve been working this summer. I think it has something to do with the fact that I just returned from a month in Italy. But it was all hard work, believe me.

The month in Italy was as a faculty member in the Diederich College’s Cagli Program, a month-long stay in the small town (population 9,056) of Cagli in the Appennines Mountains in the north of Italy. That’s also where the work comes from. Twenty-five students from across the U.S. gathered in an intensive digital storytelling program where they earned six credits, three in digital storytelling and three in intercultural communication.

Each student (this year’s group included students from M.U., Gonzaga, Creighton, Kansas and Vanderbilt universities) took classes beginning at 8 or 9 a.m. (in intercultural comm and conversational Italian) and completed a digital storytelling project that involved their creating a magazine story, video, photo essay and website. This involved not only using interpreters but learning Final Cut Pro and Dreamweaver. The stories were on the 12th century town and its residents with most of the communication being in Italian. It was a different kind of storytelling. Continue reading ‘A Look Back at Cagli’