Creative works at the student symposium

woman speaks at symposium, class full of students

The EWU student symposium is an annual event where students gather to present the research they have worked on through the past year. This year I went to one TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) presentation and a few journalism presentations.

TESL—traditional vs contemporary learning

Renee talked about the benefits and challenges of learning a new language through traditional and contemporary (new) learning styles.

Traditional learning involves collaboration. Students get together and learn a language in groups during class or after school.

This is what you may have experienced in language classes in school, where you learn in a physical environment with other students and study in your free time.

Contemporary learning involves learning online by speaking with native speakers. This type of learning can add onto classroom learning, or help non-students learn.

ESL students will usually feel more comfortable speaking to English students who want to help them learn than talking with classmates or teachers. Online learning is considered a safe ground where students can be more confident in their abilities.

Journalism—social media use in journalism

Grace talked about enhancing reader engagement through social media. She interviewed two people and researched Facebook and Google analytics to find well-received posts.

Grace found that good social media use involves being conversational, knowing the audience, and giving a reason to engage others.

Professional journalists encourage users to visit their website and use word filters on Facebook or other social media sites.

Did you know that Twitter changed journalism techniques? Journalists use Twitter to get news from across the globe minutes after something happens!

Finally, younger journalists can use Twitter to create their own brands. Twitter can be great for a new journalist’s portfolio.

Photo manipulation in journalism

Erica talked about photo manipulation and journalism. Photo manipulation should never be used to change the story of the photo. She said that modern journalism uses only photos with minimal editing.

Erica said that people send doctored images to journalists! These photos are edited to look real, but a few tips can help tell the difference between real and fake images.

Erica also discussed how to identify doctored images. First check the shadows and lighting. If shadows don’t match the light source, the image is probably fake. She says that it’s important to be skeptical of images online and to use common sense. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Erica also talked about reverse google searching an image. If you drag an image onto google, you can find if that image has been used in other places. Don’t use an image that can get you sued!

You can also verify photos by checking the metadata, information on the photo’s location, camera, and date. Unlike photos, metadata is fairly difficult to alter.

Finally, Erica said that photo manipulation should be used as a tool, not a weapon.

Verifying videos online

Dayana had a similar project: verifying videos. Dayana said that with the rise of citizen powered news, doctored photos are more common.

Verify videos by contacting the video author, using geolocation, and checking temporary details (including shadows).

Dayana then talked about geolocation. She showed us a video with a man stuck in his car during a flood in 2007. When she reverse image searched him, she found he was from a different flood. That doesn’t sound too bad, but journalists can get in a lot of trouble for using the wrong image!

Sports podcasts

Michael talked about how to create an interesting sports podcast.

Michael says that there are a few factors including: Fan engagement, forward thinking, strong advertising interest, and serious talks about culture.

One thing that Michael mentioned was that advertising was on the rise and podcast creators are making more money. Podcast creators also can use Patreon, a website that allows people to donate money to support podcasts, art, or music.

Apple podcast analytics can help podcast creators see which episodes are watched and where they are most popular.

More about podcasts

My presentation was up last. I worked with Sam to develop a rubric for successful podcasts. Presenting was a little intimidating at first but we got through it!

Good podcasts need interest, journalism in the field, schedules, and music transitions. We reviewed a few podcasts including Serial.

Wrapping up

The student creative works symposium happens every year in May. All EWU students are invited to participate, and the events are open to the public. This is a great opportunity for future Eagles to present and put in their resume.