Teaching a new Web Development for Media class at Georgetown this summer

I’m very excited to be teaching a new course at Georgetown University this summer called Web Development for Media, which begins tonight in Clarendon. The class includes 10 journalism and five public relations graduate students in the School of Continuing Studies.

The course assumes no prior knowledge of code or web development and will be akin to a practical survey class — intended to guide students through understanding and using some key tools. With fundamental understanding and hands-on practice, they’ll be able to dive deeper and teach themselves more after the 12 weeks. Here’s the official description:

Merely using the web and digital tools is no longer enough for today’s media professionals. Journalists and communicators alike need to have a strong foundational and practical understanding of how websites and applications are built and how to troubleshoot when problems arise. This class does not aim to make you hard-core coders or require any web development experience, but we do want you to come away with some coding skills. You’ll also be able to more effectively collaborate with web developers and continue learning on your own.

Students will learn about the various phases of web development and the fundamental technologies used to code and design web pages by diving into HTML and CSS, plus some basic JavaScript, jQuery and PHP. Students set up their own self-hosted website using WordPress. Readings, guest speakers and hands-on learning activities and assignments will be the basis for instruction.

Follow along on the course site, check out the syllabus and let me know in the comments below what you think.

Music and code: Great insights from David Johnson, Zed Shaw and others

Some random thought about music theory and structure (namely, loops) floating around my mind led to an interesting discussion of music and code this weekend. The discussion was topped off quite nicely by a comment Zed Shaw wrote on Reddit about why being a musician can make you a good programmer.

If you can’t see the embed above, view the discussion on Storify.

Highlights from #asne news hacker (a.k.a. programmer-journalist) Twitter chat

I did a quick round-up of today’s #asnechat on news hackers. Enjoy!

Update: ASNE also Storified the chat.

Returning to Poynter: I’ll be attending the programming for journalists seminar

Poynter courtyard
iPhone photo from my May visit to speak to the 2010 summer college fellows.

Next week — Aug. 25-27, to be exact — I’ll return to my native Florida for a great opportunity at the Poynter Institute: a seminar that aims to teach journalists about programming and programmers about journalism. From the description:

Journalists will learn the programmer’s mindset, and programmers will learn how to see the world through a journalist’s eyes. Programmers will teach journalists how to turn data into usable information — and share great examples of efforts that worked.

The seminar also covers computational thinking, something I’ve written about previously. Needless to say, I can’t wait to discuss with other 15 or so attendees and instructors.

From the seminar page (with some links changed), the instructors include:

  • Regina McCombs, Visual Journalism Faculty, Poynter
  • Aron Pilhofer, Editor, Interactive News Technologies at The New York Times
  • Matt Waite, Senior News Technologist, St. Petersburg Times/tampabay.com and PolitiFact
  • Jeremy Bowers, News Technologist, St. Petersburg Times/tampabay.com
  • David Stanton, Technology Fellow, Poynter
  • Steve Myers, Managing Editor, Poynter Online

I know/have met in-person all of them — except Jeremy, who I look forward to meeting for the first time — and know that this will be an awesome seminar. Also, thanks to a handy Twitter search for “Poynter seminar,” I’ve seen a few tweets from others will who be attending. I look forward to meeting all of them soon.

Finally, a big thanks to Poynter for awarding me a partial scholarship for the seminar, made possible by the Ford Foundation. And thanks to Regina, Steve and Dave for answering my questions about the seminar.

UPDATE: The hashtag will be #journprog.