Back to University – sort of…

Posted: July 10, 2011 in Data Journalism, My Data Journey

I thoroughly enjoy pottering along to hack days, workshops, meet-ups and data journalism camps. Anywhere that brings developers and journalists together is the place to be. The underlying trend I find in attendance (besides developers) is freelance journalists and teachers (university and industry). Now I love learning a bit too much having spent far too much time at university but I do admire those with passion in the teaching profession. I can’t get enough of the learning environment. Especially when it is collaborative and crowd sourced!

So it is with great pleasure that I have been invited to the Knight-Mozilla Learning Lab. It is run through P2PU and the webinars will be held using Big Blue Button. There are 60 participants in total and from their profiles, I’m sure nothing short of magic will come of this challenge. I am amazed and delighted that such a skilled set of individuals want to turn their talent to journalism and build atop the media platform.

They are all much more highly skilled at computer programming than myself and I am happy to be invited to contribute my opinions on the stupendous series of webinars they have lined up. I do plan on building something with my meagre hacking skills and will keep you informed on the highs and lows (expect lots of lows). Weekly assignments (homework, beautiful wonderful homework – yes I am a nerd) will involve blogging on the webinars which is right down my data mine (why does that sound wrong!?). What I mean is, it is in keeping with the theme of my blog however I try to lean away from opinion pieces as I claim no authority on such a nebulous subject. So any post I tag with MozNewsLab will be my reflections, opinions and ruminations. That being said, here are some of the speakers of the webinars I (and you) have in store (via Phillip Smith):

  • Aza Raskin is a renowned interface designer who recently held the position of Creative Lead for Firefox. He is currently the co-founder of Massive Health, and probably up to many other design-meets-entrepreneurial things.
  • Burt Herman is an entrepreneurial journalist. He is the CEO of Storify and a co-founder of Hacks/Hackers.
  • John Resig is a programmer and entrepreneur. He’s the creator and lead developer of the jQuery JavaScript library, and has had his hands in more interesting open source projects that you can shake a stick at. Until recently, John was the JavaScript Evangelist at Mozilla. He’s currently the Dean of Open Source and head of JavaScript development at Khan Academy.
  • Chris Heilmann is a geek and hacker by heart. In a previous life, he was responsible for delivering Yahoo Maps Europe and Yahoo Answers. He’s currently a Mozilla Developer Evangelist, focusing on all things open web, HTML5, and working open.
  • Jeff Jarvis is the author of What Would Google Do? He blogs about media and news at He is associate professor and director of the interactive journalism program and the new business models for news project at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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