Recent news from the Center for Civic Media | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Help Us Develop the Junkyard Jumbotron

The Junkyard Jumboron is a really quick, web-based way to combine many people's laptops (9, 12, 20...) into a giant, eye-catching display.

It's useful for...
...when you're organizing a rally, and you wan to draw the interest of passers-by.
...when you've assembled a cool collection of people, and you want to capture a unique photograph of the event.
...when your organization has a storefront, and you want to call attention to your cause.

All it takes is 3 steps to set up a Junkyard Jumbotron

1. Collect people's laptops, smartphones, etc and arrange them in a grid (on a table, in people's arms, etc). Any device with a web browser will work.

2. Point each device at a special url

3. Take a picture of the screens and the special "glyphs" that show up on them (thanks to the special url) and send it to a special email address (see left image below)

Now anyone can send arbitrary images to the Junkyard Jumbotron via email (see right image below)

My job, let me show you it

Recently, C4FCM sent out a job posting looking for a new outreach coordinator. As the current outreach coordinator, I'd like to share some insider secrets about how awesome working here is. (Spoiler: very!)

Civic Media: A Syllabus

Over the past few terms, I've been sharing here the syllabi of the new courses I am developing at the University of Southern California, courses which build upon my own research interests and are intended to open up space for students to pursue their own projects. In the fall, I am going to be teaching two classes, both graduate seminars -- Civic Media for the Journalism School and Medium Specificity for the Cinema School. I am sharing my Civic Media syllabus here and will share the Medium Specificity syllabus later this summer. I am sharing these in part in hopes they prove useful to other researchers and teachers and in part because I am hoping to help spread the word to USC students who might be interested in learning more on these topics. The Civic Media class is intended, as the syllabus suggests, as a nexus between Communications and Journalism students, but I also assume it may appeal to students in Political Science, History, Education, perhaps even some in Engineering or Computer Science who want to build tools for supporting civic engagement or activism. If you know of someone at USC who might be interested in this class, please pass the word.

The Need to Know

"The press has done an admirable (albeit belated) job with the technical complexities of MMS's (Minerals Management Services of the Interior Department) administrative failings. What is not being asked, and what the press needs to focus on, is whether MMS's problems are endemic to the entire federal government."
From Nieman Watchdog

Two stories in the media raised an eyebrow in June:

One was a front-page takeout on June 10 in USA Today on adult pools in Las Vegas. A legitimate story, to be sure, reflecting the world we live in. What was remarkable, considering the BP disaster and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, was that for the next five days on the top of the USA Today website the pool story continued to be No. 1 among the Top Five Most Popular Stories on the site.

On June 15 — five days after the original pools story ran — it still led the list. The most popular stories were:

Participatory Youth Media Training Conducted in Gaza

Voices Beyond Walls conducted its first ever 3-day Training of Trainers (ToT) course on participatory digital media and storytelling with youth at the Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy in Gaza City from June 28-30, 2010. The ToT was led by Dr. Nitin Sawhney, with assistance from Asmaa Al Ghoul, an award-winning writer and journalist in Gaza, and Nasser El Sayyed, the lead coordinator for Les Enfants, Le Jeu et l’Education (EJE) in Gaza.

While we expected around 20-25 participants, we were surprised to see around 36 young men and woman coming to attend all 3 days of the course. They all had prior experience working on creative programs with youth in local community centers including Canaan, Tamer Institute, Sharek Youth Forum, Right to Play, and the EJE woman and children’s centers in Gaza refugee camps like Al Abraj, Jabaliya and Rafah. Many even had experience with photo, video and drama techniques and contributed to the critical dialogue in the sessions quite well.


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