prepI’ve been neglecting the blog a little over the past week or so, but it has nothing to do with the holiday season.

What’s been eating up my time is prep for next semester. I’m excited about it, because of what I’ll be teaching. But getting ready has meant anywhere from three to nine hours a day of research, writing, coding and thinking.

Starting Monday, here’s what I’ll be teaching, and why I’m excited:

Fourth-year: an academic course called Daily News Production but should be called Daily Newspapers in the 21st Century. It’ll be a combination of the recent history of dailies (roughly from the mid-1960s to present), the current reality and the possible future(s) for newspapers. This is a great course to teach, because a significant chunk of it is taught on the fly, in response to events that will take place (paywalls, etc.) during the semester.

Third-year: a hands-on course in multimedia journalism that will bring all the students’ existing skills (writing, reporting, researching, writing, audio, video, etc.) together to create an original, in-depth, multi-story package on refugees and Canada. Along the way, I’ll be teaching them Flash and other tools for interactivity.

Second-year: Continued development of the storytelling skills through our Kwantlen Chronicle course, with students producing content for three print editions and continuous online publication. Among the new skills I’ll help students to add to their toolbox are geo-based storytelling through Google Maps and building quick interactives.

First-year: First year students get me twice. Once is for Feature writing, where they’ll spend the semester producing a 3,000-5,000 word feature (as well as reading and learning from a list of exceptional features). The other is called News Production, but should more properly be called Multimedia Storytelling: it’s their intro to audio, video, interactivity, alternative text forms and all the rest, and results in at least two multimedia pieces of original journalism that will be published on-line.

It’s a heavy load, but I love having the chance to teach the full range of journalistic and storytelling skills, while exploring what’s happening with media and what it means for these bright, young kids.

And, it means this blog may be quieter than I would like it to be. We’ll see.

And now, back to the course prep.