Professor Rodrigues was kind enough to answer some questions about the site via e-mail.
About 18 months ago I began hearing from employers that they were looking for interns with skills in social media management. I didn’t think that Facebook or Ning would work in a classroom setting so I began thinking about a way I could teach online community management without using the social networks already out there.
Durham College has a department called the Innovation Centre and its job is to provide support to faculty through workshops and courses. This department also funds innovative classroom projects so I wrote a proposal and applied for funding to create an online social network from scratch in June 2008.
The funding was approved and an outside website developer was chosen to build the site in December 2008. The website finally went live last week.
The goals for the site:
-This network will be used in my classroom to teach about online community management. The work and comments that are uploaded have to be approved before being posted so my students will take turns moderating the site.
-I’m hoping students will be able to see the craft of journalism through the eyes of other student journalists from around the world.
-The Resources page will hopefully become a handy resource area for student journalists. I will be posting links to reputable journalism training on the web; stories of interest to student journalists, interviews with journalists etc
The global perspective is welcome, and hopefully Prof. Rodrigues will update us as the site grows. Check it out and register if you’re a student journalist. Since I’m not a student, I don’t have access, so maybe some student out there could share some of their experience with the back end of the site.