Technology keeps changing the way journalists tell stories and that has students in Professor Deb Wenger’s Journalism Innovation class experimenting with Google Glass this semester. The Web-enabled eyewear has been used by professional journalists to cover breaking events such as the Ferguson, Missouri, riots and feature stories such as NBA Draft Day through the eyes of Victor Oladipo.
Students were challenged to come up with stories that took advantage of the unique “point of view” video that Glass wearers can provide. For example, Ashleigh Culpepper and her partner Sarah Douglass had USA pole vault champion Sam Kendricks wear Glass during a practice session.
“The Google Glass story was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” said Culpepper, “being a pole vaulter myself I never have seen pole vaulting in slow motion. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.”
Journalism students Nicole Bounds and Gabriel Austin asked a dancer with RIOULT Dance NY to wear Glass during a rehearsal at the Ford Center with somewhat dizzying results.
“The most challenging thing is explaining to someone how to work Glass,” said Bounds. “I think it is especially hard because you can’t see what they are seeing on the Glass screen, which makes it hard to explain what to do next. With Glass, only the person wearing Glass can see the screen.”
Wenger says the class is designed to expose journalism students to the latest trends in journalism practice and hopes these experiments will help students understand what’s possible, as well as what’s effective, when it comes to the use of new technologies.
“You have to play around with tech and think through its applications before you can use it as an effective storytelling tool,” said Wenger. “These stories aren’t perfect, but producing them contributed to the learning process that every good journalist has to go through these days.”