Session Title:

The fix is in: Social mobilization & school reform

Session Description:

Citizen journalism is a growing phenomenon empowered by web 2.0 technologies. See how to utilize it in your classroom to empower students.

Purpose and Objectives:

Purpose & Objectives (Lecture, Panel, Model Lesson, BYOL, and Open Source only)
Please elaborate on your earlier short description with a detailed overview of the purpose and objectives of your presentation. Describe your objectives as participant outcomes (i.e., what will participants know and be able to do as a result of their participation, or what specific skills will
be introduced and practiced). Also include, if appropriate:
• educational or infrastructure challenge/situation
• technology intervention (include specific names/titles and descriptions, if not widely
known and available tools)
• models employed (include brief description)
• lesson plans or instructional activities/strategies employed (include a brief description of your instructional electronic resources or tools used)
• evidence of success

During the 2009 election protests in Iran, thousands of citizens used their mobile devices to send images and updates to the world. Moments after a plane went down in the Hudson River in 2009 the world saw images of the event from the water because one person on a ferry boat took a picture with their cell phone. In 2010 news and information captured by citizen journalists in the earthquake disaster in Haiti played a primary role in the response and recovery effort.

Citizen journalism has emerged as a world-wide phenomenon made possible by the merger of connective web 2.0 technologies and mobile devices. When citizens are part of the news cycle, ability to utilize these tools is an important skill to possess. The purpose of this session is to model how teachers might both teach students about citizen journalism and help them engage in real-world issues as citizen journalists through the use of social tools.


  • Attendees will know how to use social media tools to collect and distribute information
  • Attendees will learn so mme strategies for social media use applicable in multiple classroom contexts.
  • Attendees will understand/discuss ethical and legal implications of citizen journalism.
  • Attendees will understand how to teach students to engage in citizen journalism using social tools.

Citizen journalists, equipped with littleore than a cell phone, have sent images and updates to the world

haiti earthquake
iran election protests

ethical considerations
civic responsibility/engagement
real world/authentic, make a real difference
beyond critical consumer to creator of information


Briefly outline and describe the sequence of activities participants will be doing on their
computers and the time for each. (Please plan for about 50 minutes of activities and allow 10 minutes or so for questions.)

10 minute introduction

-3 minutes to introduce our presenters
{Stager could be introduced during formal intros, but it could be effective to "introduce" him in the context of the model lesson in character as the guest speaker. }
-5 minutes to describe the context for the lesson and select participants to be “model students” in the lesson.
-Lesson will be taught to a high school or college level
journalism class. A guest speaker will be brought in to tell
talk to the class about an under-represented issue that deserves
more attention.
-It will be assumed that students in this class have previously been introduced to or will have some proficiency in at least one of the following social media: microblogging, blogging, podcasting, or video podcasting. It will be necessary to poll session attendees and ask those with experience with one or more of these to serve as the students in the lesson.
-2 minutes to establish a backchannel for the model lesson.
40 minute lesson
-”Lesson” objectives:

Learners will be able to define citizen journalism.
Learners will be able to provide examples of citizen journalism.
Learners will be able to use social tools necessary to conduct citizen journalism.
-”Teacher” (Presenter 1) activities
Show examples of citizen journalism culled from recent news and current events.
Facilitate discussion of what citizen journalism is and how it relates to students’ lives and civic responsibilities.
Explain how students will use social tools to take on role of citizen journalists during in-class “news event”: the visit of an education expert.
Introduce guest speaker.
Debrief news collection efforts with students after speaker.
-”Student” activities
Dialogue about definition and implications of citizen journalism.
Collect resources related to issue presented by guest speaker.
Share and distribute “news” of guest speaker event through social media tools (Tweeting, blogging, livestreaming, etc.)
-Presenter 2 activities
Comment on instructional strategy for managing students’ use of social tools.
Draw attention to news products created by model students
Comment on alignment of instructional strategies and activities with supporting research
[Could be interesting to have separate rooms for model and external groups, with external group viewing via livestream or only seeing their news products. Also consider: Presenter 2 moderates meta-discussion via backchannel.]
-10 minutes to discuss what citizen journalism is and how people participate in it, providing examples of how it has been used.
-10 minutes for our guest speaker/newsmaker to speak to the class. [Stager will be encouraged to be highly quotable, volatile, etc. to make the “event” richly newsworthy.]
-20 minutes to engage students in spreading word about this issue online using tools like YouTube, blogs, Twitter, Delicious, and more.
{During this model lesson the "students" in the model class will serve as the first wave of a social media campaign. The other presenter will guide the audience to serve as the second wave of this social media campaign and illustrate examples of how this wave ripples out beyond the session walls}
{I'm not sure how advantageous it will be to be explicit about first wave, second wave, etc. I think they'll be looking for a clear delineation between the "content" of the lesson and the "analysis." I'm more inclined to mirror their language about the analysis as "strategies" and "key conditions for successful implementation." We will of course be using that discussion to launch the second wave, but I think we need to phrase it so that discussion/analysis is the main point and the second wave "activity" is byproduct or engagement if we mention it at all. Keep it simple and general?}
20 minute debrief & reflection
-This will be setup like a panel discussion with some of the session "students," the guest speaker, and teacher being the panelists. In this discussion panelists will discuss potential applications of citizen journalism in education, and the ethical and legal concerns about its use.
{We could also or instead use the panel time for the second wave. They see it in action in the lesson, we analyze it in parallel, and then during the panel they can attend to the meta-discussion and/or take part in the social media campaign.}

Also, indicate exactly how any prerequisite software you listed earlier or web-based
tools/resources being demonstrated will be used, and reiterate how participants will access it (i.e., download during session vs. come with it preloaded). And, be sure to indicate if there are any major differences/limitations/exclusions between Mac and PC platforms.

Supporting Research (Lecture, Panel, BYOL, Model Lesson, and Open Source Lab only)

List any articles, books, websites, recognized experts, or other documentation that supports the importance of the session topic and/or the practices/information being presented.

Presenter Background

List your qualifications and experience with the topic (and those of any co-presenter, if