Teaching data journalism: Your best ideas

  • Event: 2015 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Brant Houston of University of Illinois; MaryJo Webster of Star Tribune
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Mar. 5 at 4:30pm
  • Location: International 4-5
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

*Moderated by Brant Houston, University of Illinois and MaryJo Webster, USA TODAY

What works best when teaching college-level computer-assisted reporting or data journalism courses? Find out in this session featuring a series of 5-minute lightning talks dedicated to teaching students how to use data in journalism. Instructors will highlight successful approaches, best teaching techniques and data for students - and more. Here is the lineup of speakers and talks:

•Matt Waite, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: How to teach data visualization using LEGOS

•Karl Idsvoog, Kent State University: Examples of data that students can relate to

•Chris Canipe, The Wall Street Journal: How to use baseball cards to introduce students to JSON.

•Chad Skelton, Kwantlen Polytechnic University: The "Human Pivot Table" exercise

•Jonathan Soma, Columbia University (Lede Program): The importance of teaching failure

•Derek Willis, The New York Times: An exercise that shows students that data analysis doesn't always have to involve numbers

•Jeff South, Virginia Commonwealth University: Having students write Data Drop Briefs, rather than stories

•Norm Lewis, University of Florida: Using Clery Act data to kick off the semester

•Emily Withrow, Northwestern University: The "Unclass" model

This session is good for: Anyone teaching part-time or full-time or planning to.

Speaker Bios

  • Brant Houston is the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois. Before Illinois he was executive director of IRE for more than a decade after 17 years as an award-winning investigative reporter in U.S. newsrooms. He is author of  "Data for Journalists: A Practical Guide to Computer-Assisted Reporting" and co-author of "The Investigative Reporter's Handbook." He works with nonprofit newsrooms and co-founded INN and GIJN. 

  • MaryJo has been data editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune for four years. Previously, she had stints with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, USA Today, Digital First Media and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She started her career as a reporter at small papers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. @MaryJoWebster

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