Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Google Search Tips on YouTube

Google posts some great instructional tools on its YouTube channel. I use this simple training video to help students better understand the different ways they can use Google search.

The first few tips are fairly basic, but later it shows how to use a timeline search for a research paper on green energy. It points out some great alternative techniques for expediting a general search. It's worth watching for a couple of minutes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

ConvoTrack Tool

I really like the new ConvoTrack tool, which allows users to track how a Web site is being mentioned in social network media such as Twitter, Reddit or Digg. It's really helpful to see how people are referring to a specific site and in what context. It's definitely worth bookmarking.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Beyond the Game Web Site: New Content

We just finished posting several new packages to the Beyond the Game Web site at Columbia College Chicago.

Packages include a stories on the closing of Driscoll Catholic High School; a feature on Chicago Slaughter player Chris Pisani, who overcame a hit-and-run accident to play pro football; a look at the economic impact on the American Le Mans Series auto racing circuit; a story and photo/audio slideshow on the Chicago Fire's crazy Section 8 fans and more.

The Advanced Sports Reporting students used Dreamweaver, raw HTML code, PhotoShop, SoundSlides, FinalCut Pro and Avid to produce the various packages.

The site also includes several broadcast packages on the Beyond the Game TV page.

You also can visit the Beyond the Game page on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Journalists and Wikipedia

I've talked with students a lot about their use of Wikipedia. I've had some concerns with using the online encyclopedia as users can post any information they like to the entries. Media often cite Wikipedia as a source, yet have they fact-checked the information?

Sure enough, a college student in Ireland posted a fake quote to an entry about French composer Maurice Jarre as part of "an experiment." Sure enough, several UK media took the bait and published the fake quote as part of Jarre's obituary.

Steve Walling has built a great slideshow instructing journalists on how to use Wikipedia. I really like this piece of advice he offers: "WikiPedia should be the first place you look for information, not the last ... it should help you form questions for your story, not give you the answers."