Learning at Olympic levels

Two students and I head out tomorrow for Vancouver and the Winter Olympics. We’ll be there testing a couple of new mobile journalism iPhone apps for Vericorder Technology Inc.
The apps will allow journalists to record, photograph, shoot video, edit and transmit the work all from (in our case) the iPhone. I’m excited, but somewhat skeptical.

I’ve had the privilege of working at two Olympics: Atlanta with USA Today and Australia with the Associated Press. To say I was well equipped both times is an understatement. I was armed with two laptop computers, back-up memory cards and card readers, digital SLR cameras and lenses and about 3,296 cables.

Our work will have a different tone in Vancouver, covering more feature stories than actual events. Instead of lower back pain from all the equipment, I’m anticipating major hand cramps as I try to manipulate waveforms on the iPhone.

I’m not usually pessimistic, but my experience will serve as a nice counter to the optimism the students will bring. And boy, are they optimistic. They can’t wait to get to the BC International Media Center (oops, I forgot we’ll be in Canada) Centre and tackle their first story. They’re ready to put this system through its paces, hoping it can keep up with the skills these advanced students have. If this software fails for our students, it’s not going to work for daily journalists.

So it’s on to Vancouver for us. You can follow the work from Vericorder’s Mobile Journalism Revolution team at www.mojo-revolution.com.

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