Thursday, October 11, 2007

Panel 1: Looking Back at the Past 5 Conferences

COLUMBIA, SC-- As the first panel ends, we’ve been taken back to the last five convergence conferences—with a retrospective that reminds us of the common themes that have come from these gatherings.

Having worked at multiple institutions, Jeff Wilkinson, now working as coordinator of the International Journalism Programme at United International College in China, provided 18 lessons learned from previous conferences. His presentation, “May I have a bandage please,” focused on the bleeding edge of teaching convergence at three institutions.

“When you say students know the technology, be careful, because they may surprise you,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson was followed by Tony DeMars, now at the University of Houston, who explained how his own teaching has transitioned from a traditional way of teaching media to a whole new perspective back to a mix of old and new.

“ The six years I’ve been involved have drastically changed my teaching,” DeMars said.

DeMars tied into his presentation research that came from his experience at WGEM-TV and a faculty internship at KHQA-TV in the Quincy, IL market.

Culture of change is the topic that Kolodzy focused on in her presentation.

“The issue is not the nirvana of convergence,” said Janet Kolodzy. Acting chair of journalism at Emerson College in Boston. “It’s the journey not the endpoint that is convergence.”

Kolodzy talked about the risk-averse culture of the academy.

“Our entire point is what we’re trying to do is to peer over the horizon,” said Augie Grant, the coordinator and convenor of each conference, which next year will focus on the participatory Web. “The reason we’re here, the reason we’re doing the research is to understand what is the next step”

Having recounted some of the problems or challenges from the past five conferences, Kolodzy was very optimistic about the next step and the progress made.

“We are beginning to figure out what you need to keep, what you need to throw away and what we need to modify, Kolodzy said.

No comments: