Archive for February, 2009

Class No. 3 Spring 2009

February 5, 2009

The third class comes after the first two classes dealt with management issues and aligning the students on the little things that will smooth this transaction.

In this class, we discuss writing. The students had three chapters to read from the textbook on writing for print, broadcast and the web. They had an additional chapter to read on hyperlinks and when to use them. The student did the textbook reading but fell down on the hypertext reading. So, we will slow down because writing into a link is a skill and one that takes some mindfulness. The students will be mindful.

The professor showed the students his Gmail account where labels are now applied to e-mails as they come in. Students were shown how the information they put into the subject line helps manage their work and keeps it orderly. Not all on the same line.

The class then went into Google News and looked at the Tom Daschle story in today’s news and selected two stories to cut and paste copy and the url from the web into a Microsoft Word document. They learned the alt-tab key and how to use it to toggle between screens. Then they had a timed assignment where they edited the articles they had cut from the web down to a basic summary and wrote a link to the original.

The class discussed formatting and then looked at headlines and the different styles, especially the New York Times heds. The class will use a modified NYT style, capitalizing the big words and lowercasing the small ones (very simplistic). Headlines for the web were discussed, moving from the readings to real life.

The homework assignment for the next class is to create a beat pitch which shows some effort in researching the subject. 500 words.

That 500 word came up as students continuously asked: How long should the piece be. About a screen full of content is good.

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