Election season is upon us and many promanent news organizations are asking everyday citizens to become journalist with their cell phones. CNN is asking for iReporters from every state as voting occurs in the primaries. The ways it works is simple, just shoot a video or take a picture of some citizens in action at the polls, then send it along with a short message to email@example.com. Seniors in high school could create their own iReports as they vote for the first time, while younger students could create iReports of "exit" or "entrance" polls...or simply report on their observations at a voting location (such as a low voter turnout or a lot of excitement for a certain candidate). While I have previously written posts on the new mobile journalism phenomenon, news organizations such as CNN or ABC asking citizens to become journalist and publish their work globally is an exciting "entrance" into the authentic world of news journalism for many students. I have stated before (and am sure that I will again) there are many great resources on the web which allow students to create their own iReport or mobile journalist websites where they can post directly from their cell phones as news occurs.
One example would be creating a blog with blogger, and then using firstname.lastname@example.org to post pictures directly to the blog. They can use Eyespot to post videos directly to their blog (they can sign up for an account and in their settings designate that each video sent from their cell phones should instantly show up on their blog). Students can use Gabcast to post audio podcasts directly to their blog (again once they sign up for an account, they can create a new channel that will post podcasts instantly from their cell phone to their blogger blog). They never actually need to go on the Internet to create a multi-media iReport blog. Students can create iReport blogs around specific content themes such as "insects" for science, "2008 election" for social studies, or "local authors" for English.
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