I met the June 8 deadline. So, too, did 63 other educators, an impressive number given the two-week notice. Alas, I learned yesterday that I wasn't chosen to spend two weeks downtown at the Chicago Tribune or at The Oregonian in Portland. But the application process was still worthwhile. It forced me to do so something I have been meaning to for more than a year – create a curriculum vitae – and helped me focus on what I wish for my courses.
"My students, of course, use Twitter and Facebook," I wrote in my application. "But I want to teach them how it can and should be used for journalism, and not just for chatter. I want to teach them to love using social media to better find and present stories, to better gather information and gain sources, to better extend their own digital footprints. Most importantly, I want to improve my syllabi so my students produce well-crafted blogs and all forms of online journalism (videos, audio, photos, text, etc.)."
While studying the newspaper's websites, I paid close attention to their breaking news sections and blogs as well as their contests and forums. I also want to know more how these and other media companies employ mobile apps. This much is certain: if AEJMC offers the chance again next summer, I'll renew my application. I may also seek such an opportunity at a media company in Chicago or Milwaukee on my own. AEJMC Executive Director Jennifer McGill says the pilot program has inspired other educators who were not selected this time to do the same thing.