Welcome back. Most of us in education are finally digging ourselves out of the rubble that comes with the first couple weeks of school. Administrative duties, forms to sign, students to corral, and all the other stuff that comes with a new term. For some reason I felt busier this time than I did last fall.
Mostly I’m settling into a role here at Lehigh that has been evolving here for the past year. I was brought in to help bring some direction to multimedia efforts here in the Department of Journalism and Communication, but that job hasn’t been so hard in part because all of my other colleagues are interested in this stuff. I have, of course, been working on curriculum changes and such that we need, but there has been no fight here.
JOUR 198 (Multimedia Reporting) is starting to encompass my other unofficial job as head cheerleader on new media. Nobody has told me this is my job, but it’s one I’ve kind of adopted. I have an excitable personality at times so this is a natural, but I see my role here as being the person to constantly extol the virtues of technology in our field in hopes that our students will catch the vision and embrace it.
Mostly I think there is the job of selling this new direction for us. I believe students need to see my passion and excitement for teaching them how to do these new things, and see my firm believe that journalism is by no means dead. The reason is that some of the tools I teach, such as social media, are new and weird for many and even to some who are educators in my profession. They aren’t making a lot of PhDs like me right now, although I believe that will not be the case for long. So there is still the issue that I am a bit unique in my own field and I have to sell people on why the things I do and think about are important. (more…)