Friday, May 29, 2009

Reflections from the 2008 IJIMS Team!

To create IJIMS, six undergraduate students (of varying backgrounds) were brought into the collaboration process of bringing computer programming to middle school students.

Here are their reflections:

Becky Bernot:: I hadn’t imagined that there would be many situations in my undergraduate career where I would be called to draw upon my dual background in mathematics and journalism. The Interactive Journalism Institute does just that: it seeks to bridge the gap between traditionally writing-dependent careers and the computing disciplines, two fields that were ostensibly at odds in the past but now have become increasingly codependent.

Andrew Chiusano: I believe that working with students and faculty from other disciplines has let me learn new ideas beyond my major. Also, working on a project that will actually go into use has let me learn valuable new skills that are not taught in class. I now have practical experience working with others to implement a computer system that meets the goals of a larger project.

Dan Gill: Having a strong computer science background, I really enjoy how accepting the children have been to programming using interactive animations, and how quickly they learned new things.

Scott Keiffer: As journalism major, I spent a lot of time analyzing new ways of doing interactive journalism and storytelling. As media moves steadily to the web, this kind of technology expertise will be valuable. I made projects such as interactive magazines and timelines to explain stories in a visual way.

Brett Taylor: I think that I’m taking a lot away from this program, which is infinitely more than I expected I would. I look forward to continuing with this program next year. I now know I’ve only begun learning about the topic that may actually be an extremely helpful asset with my (rather ambitious) plans for the future!

According to faculty collaborator Kim Pearson, IJIMS came through with a stream of thoughts and concerns. She said, “We started brainstorming the relationship between computer science and journalism.” As reflected by these student collaborators-IJIMS did just that!