Earlier this spring I attended the Journalism Interactive conference in Maryland. Amy Webb gave one of her always-great Tech Trends talks. The talk is embedded below but at the end she used the time to challenge journalism professors to go back to summer school and sharpen their skills for the sake of her students.

ContagiousWebb has constructed an eight-week curriculum that goes from June 1 to July 28. The first week is a good week to jump in at the last minute, as it covers digital collaboration – lots of reading and diving in to Reddit. In future weeks, there are books to read, so if you plan to participate you’ll want to get those now if you prefer the printed form. The first book we read (Contagious: Why Things Catch On) comes up in Week 2.

In looking over the syllabus, some of these concepts and sites are ones I’m familiar with. It’s impossible to be completely knowledgeable about everything even in my area of the profession, but nonetheless some of the elements of Webb’s syllabus are more basic to me at my current knowledge level. As such, I need to do some things to push myself further than the assignments. For example, in the first week we are to visit Reddit every day. I am a frequent Reddit visitor already so this isn’t much of a chore, so in that week I am going to add on the requirement that I need to comment on at least one story a day (or post a story in a subreddit). I am more of a lurker on Reddit as of now, so this modification will stretch me appropriately.

I’m going to reflect and blog on the experience at the end of each week and I encourage each of you to join me whether you’re a professor, a student, or a professional looking to learn more digital.

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Summer school for journalism profs
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