As part of the independent study, titled "Becoming a Digital Leader and Educator," I hope to:
- Create an enhanced Internet presence that better or more completely brands me as a journalism educator.
- Create a sophisticated story using Final Cut Pro X that involves narration, video and images.
- Live tweet and Storify an event to demonstrate my understanding of social media and curating digital assets.
- Blog at least once weekly about matters involving digital storytelling and or emerging media.
- Read and review of "The Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence," by Erik Qualman.
- Write a final paper that captures the scope and breath of all these efforts and their relationship to one another.
If all goes well, finishing the independent study would leave me six credits short of my master's degree, which would feature a specialization in digital storytelling. The fall semester would likely find me in an advanced qualitative methods course and for the final three credits I plan on creating a professional project – one in which I would combine theory and practice to produce something to benefit journalism educators and students everywhere.
Pursuing an advanced degree has consumed much of my life since fall 2010, but I have learned so much from each course and each instructor and my classmates. It has all definitely enhanced my teaching; indeed, I wonder if I would have begun blogging if not a weekly requirement in Emerging Media. Well, two things continue to push me forward: 1) knowing that a master's degree is essential given my ambitions, and 2) marching across the stage next May to receive my degree at the same time my first students – "the originals" – do the same to get theirs.