Tag: Live blogging

Freshers: How to use live blogging in learning


I’m a convert to live blogging.

The real-time reporting of fast-changing events, posted to blogs and pushed via social networking sites, is the latest buzz in the high-octane world of online news.

I used to think it was a fad. But just as Twitter broke the story of the Mumbai terrorist bombings in November 2008, live blogging has this year been crucial to breaking news about the Arab spring.

Fast moving

Live blogging, characterised by its real-time invitation for readers’ comment, an ability to move the story on quickly and link to external sources for wider discussion, now makes rolling TV news look positively passé.

As Matt Wells, formerly the Guardian’s blogs editor, recently noted: “They [live blogs] provide a useful way of telling stories characterised by incremental developments and multiple layers.”

As a lecturer in multimedia journalism, I’ve encouraged my students to follow the rise of live blogging. But I’ve also started to see how it can feed directly into the classroom – and not just for journalism students.

By fostering a spirit of collaborative interaction rarely seen in a typical tutorial, it engages students in a new and dynamic way.

Practical work

In March I made my first foray, live blogging the Guardian Changing Media Summit while my students posted questions and comments via Twitter.

Initially it was about leading by example. It’s one thing to tell students about differences between print and online journalism, but far better for me to post a living, breathing set of examples to my website.

Next I led a team of students live blogging a major event at the university. We posted the results live to the campus blog, combining news-led reporting with more chatty human-interest material.

This time it was about engagement and I was pleasantly surprised that the enthusiasm of students was palpable.

Learning points

So what did I learn from this exercise to make live blogging work for undergraduates?

For starters, a live-blogging exercise works best with the students divided into teams – the first is charged with news gathering, the second takes a reporting role, writing live news stories.

Next comes a team to push the content. I asked a couple of web-savvy students worked on pushing freshly posted content out via social networking sites, such as Twitter.

Finally, we needed an editor and I took the role this time. It needs someone tied to the computer to cast a second-pair of eyes over everything before it goes live, add links, embed multimedia and caption images.

In hindsight, I would also suggest appointing an editor in chief to take the overview and maintain a strong sense of context throughout the exercise while everyone else is frantically running round, posting content, tweeting and downing coffee.

Live bogs can take on a confusing, stream-of-consciousness feel, so it’s important to keep a strong thread of progression through the blog.

Making history

From the students’ perspective, it fosters communication skills, improves working to deadlines and builds confidence about conducting interviews.

Our students ended the day with a new sense of professionalism. They acted as ambassadors for the university in the way they conducted themselves on the day.

Personally, I found that live blogging teaches students about leveraging the strengths of the online medium – links, image galleries and video to build a story.

It also demonstrates the power of building a community.

By the end of the day I was sick of staring at the screen. But I felt satisfied that students had a decent selection of cuttings for their portfolio.

And, in our own little way, we had made a little piece of history.

* This story was first published on the Guardian Higher Education Network website in 2011 under the headline Using live blogging to enhance student learning.

ITA13 conference at Glyndwr University – Storify


It was time to party, they assured us, like it was 1413.

As the bi-annual ITA conference drew to a close after a week of keynotes, workshops and presentations at Glyndwr University, we all retired to the Ruthin Castle Hotel for the Jester’s Feast, a modern-day recreation of a medieval banquet.

It was a night of mead, meat and merry-making – a camped-up melange of Spamelot meets Carry On Up The Middle Ages.

For some, the highlight was a rousing chorus of Men of Harlech during the second meat course.

For others, it was possibly the goat-milking dance, whereby delegates were treated to a colour-guided guide to learning Welsh while pretending to milk the castle goat with the aid of a serving girl. Or possibly not.

Either way, the conference is over and it wasn’t all syllabub and showing off.

I ran the social media team, organising a group of five student bloggers to live blog the conference from Tuesday to Thursday last week.

We worked hard and our collective efforts are compiled in this Storify, ITA conference at Glyndwr University Wrexham.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 21.23.04

Take a read. Let me what you think.

And post your comments below.

* Liked this? Try My contribution to ITA13 and ITA conference coming to Glyndwr University.

ITA13 Conference coming to Glyndwr University


* Back on campus this week and gearing up for this major conference coming to Glyndwr University from September 9. My group of student bloggers [pictured above at MediaCityUK] will be covering the event – look out for updates with the hashtag #GlyndwrUni.

Registration is under way for the fifth International Conference on Internet Technologies & Applications (ITA13) to be hosted at Glyndwr University in September.

The biennial conference, which features a range of keynote speakers, workshops and fringe events, returns to Glyndwr University from September 10-13.

It brings together researchers from academia and industry developers from digital media, computing and engineering.

The conference has been held in Wrexham since 2005 and will this year attract over 70 delegates from over 30 countries.

The wider programme, including an exhibition of research posters, workshops and demonstrations of new technology in the foyer, will open up the event to the public for more general interest.

In-between-ness: using art to capture a sense of self, an exhibition of paintings, film stills and moving image by contemporary artists Karen Heald and Susan Liggett at the university’s Oriel Sycharth Gallery, also forms part of the programme.

Student journalists from the Broadcasting and Journalism programme will be live blogging the conference and events around it. Follow updates on twitter via the hash tag #GlyndwrUni.

Dr. Richard Picking, Reader in Human-Computer Interaction and Conference Chair, said:

“This high-profile event is good for the university, the local economy and it puts northeast Wales on the international map as a centre of academic research.”

Dr. Picking added: “It’s an opportunity for experts in a wide range of disciplines to share their ideas and research.”

More from www.ita13.org

Blogging the Ffresh Festival at Glyndwr University


A group of Glyndwr student bloggers featured among the young talent at the ffresh festival at Glyndwr University last week.

The four first-year undergraduate students, Carys Wright, Chelsea Taylor, Jack Hardiman and Wanyi Li, live blogged the student moving image festival of Wales for the university’s social media outlets.

Their articles included a mix of news items, interviews and personal blog-style reactions to festival events.

James Nee, Director of the Ffresh Festival, said he wanted to encourage more students to get involved in the festival.

“If you’re passionate about what you want to say and you try hard, ultimately, you’ll create something you’re happy with,” he said.

One of the most popular guest speakers was documentary filmmaker, Jes Benstock. He spoke of his enthusiasm for working with young talent from all walks of life.

He said: “I like working with non-mainstream characters, probably because I’m one of them myself.”

David Atkinson, Lecturer in Multimedia Journalism, who co-ordinated the team, said, “This was a great opportunity for journalism students to get a taste of a real-life editorial exercise.

“They worked really hard to create some excellent content,” he added.

Read more of the students’ work at the Glyndwr tumblr blog.

And read the day-by-day blog for the ffresh website by a Glyndwr NCTJ student.

What was your favourite events at the festival?

Post your comments below.