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