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Archive for the 'Education' Category

Next up! Journalism Interactive at the University of Florida

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Journalism Interactive

Getting Interactive

Tomorrow SnapStream will be participating at Journalism Interactive 2013, a new conference focused on intertwining journalism education and digital media. Host of the second annual event, the University of Florida houses one of the top 10 journalism schools in the country.

Scholars, practitioners, teachers and students, from universities near and far, will congregate at Journalism Interactive to share their successful approaches for delivering journalism education in today’s metamorphic media space.

Journalism Interactive

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Dear Teachers, TV Makes Kids Happy

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Remember the days when your teacher would roll in a TV cart from the school library?

You knew what that meant. TV in the classroom = awesome. The day’s lesson was about to come alive through video.

When we spotted this picture on George Takei’s Facebook page the other day, it made us smile, because it represents a significant trend in education. And we put our own little spin on it.


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TV Search in Journalism at Emerson College (Webinar Jan. 26)

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Folks, a tremendous peer-to-peer learning opportunity is on the horizon. Joining us from Emerson College in the heart of Boston, Journalism Professor Paul Niwa hosts an exclusive webinar with SnapStream on Wednesday, January 26.

Professor Niwa, a longtime SnapStream user and pro, will share his best insights on the academic use of television search technology.  Niwa teaches graduate-level journalism courses at Emerson, where he relies on SnapStream to find interesting TV content and create clips for lectures. Emerson students also have full lab access to SnapStream to conduct their own content analysis and broadcast research.

If you work in some capacity of higher education (or K-12), you’re probably wondering:

• How does TV search work?
• Why is it especially useful for studying broadcast journalism?
• How did Emerson College analyze TV content in the past?
• What are the best practices and research methods?

You’ll glean the answers to all of these curious questions. And you’ll come to understand how core teaching styles have changed as a result of embracing digital recording and TV search appliances.

TV Search in Journalism at Emerson College

When: Wednesday, January 26
Time: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. EST
Register: Link to GoToMeeting

- About Paul Niwa -

Journalism Professor Paul NiwaPaul Niwa has a successful career as a TV producer on top of his nine years of teaching journalism at Emerson College. He launched two international television networks, six newscasts, and a streaming media newscast for NBC, CNBC, and StockHouse Media, Canada’s largest internet company. He also helped NBC create “Early Today” and the award-winning “NBC Asia Evening News” in Hong Kong.

Engaging students in the classroom with technology

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Today’s generation is “growing up digital”, yet “wired for distraction.”

Matt Richtel of the The New York Times put it so eloquently, as he recently covered this emerging trend to illustrate a bigger academic issue.

A myriad of tech toys are luring students’ focus from their school-related tasks: computers, laptops, iPads, iPods, smartphones, handheld gaming consoles, and the list goes on ad nauseam! Imagine looking through the eyes of these millennial youngsters.

How can a standard textbook compete with the fun and interactivity of an e-book reader? How does a dull worksheet compare to a smartphone?

As educators and as a society, we must embrace new technology and applications, instead of trying to battle them or ban them from learning environments. SnapStream is a fervent believer in integrating technology into the classroom, and our specialty encompasses TV search and TV streaming.

Kids love TV. It’s a hot medium with moving pictures and sounds that combine to form a brilliant memory aid when it comes to retaining information. While TV is nothing new (per se), it’s still the most influential and powerful source of breaking news and local updates. (See results of a fascinating broadcast study released earlier this year.)

Plus, the delivery mechanism of TV is constantly evolving. Look at Google TV, which melds the Web and social apps with traditional TV. Consider SnapStream’s technology, which enables keyword search over televised closed-captioning.

While textbooks contain unchanging history, television adds a freshly updated perspective to the lesson.

Find a relevant program on the subject or unit in progress, and the planned lesson can be adapted to what’s airing today. New stories and developments found on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, CNN and elsewhere make for a brilliant curricular supplement.

So, what have we learned?

Students will be more engaged and stimulated when learning is hands-on. Taking the fun-and-games gadgetry they use outside of school, and using it in school, could be the recipe for a breakthrough.

And when technology funding is an issue, there are public service programs, such as Cable in the Classroom, and government grant programs like Ed-Tech, designed to help with that. Because let’s face it, the iPad is a luxury for a public school system… but television? Open access to TV should be a staple in all classrooms. (20th or 21st century!)

Readers, I’d love to know, what ways are you using technology in the classroom today? Feel free to share how you’re innovating with what budgets you have.


Education reacts to digital copyright freedom

Friday, August 6th, 2010

On July 27, the Library of Congress gave American educators the best back-to-school gift EVER. Better than any orchard-fresh apple or floral bouquet.

Under the newest revisions to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), it’s now considered a-okay to burn DVDs for educational or noncommercial use, which ranges in purpose from research to news reporting.

Among the five other new exemptions, it’s also now 100% legitimate to jailbreak the iPhone. Yet while that’s been plastered all over the news, why has the academic impact garnered so much less media attention?

University Response

Most educators have long assumed that the Fair Use clause which applies to publications would likewise apply to DVDs, and other new forms of digital media. Thus, the sentiment across the educational community is frustration with the federal government for failing to address rapidly emerging technologies, such as streamable and downloadable Internet video.

At Emerson College, where the Journalism Department uses SnapStream, the new copyright exemption is not going to dramatically change the way courses are taught, according to Assistant Journalism Professor Paul Niwa.

“However, the change to the DMCA [does] lift the burden of hypocrisy in the classroom,” Niwa commented in an e-mail.


“It has been uncomfortable for professors to try to convince students to respect copyrights while violating copyrights every time they show a DVD in class.” – Asst. Journalism Professor Paul Niwa, Emerson College


How it Plays Out with SnapStream

As you may know, SnapStream enables not only TV search and clipping, but also DVD burning of recorded televised content. Some professors and teachers like to archive and share files with hard copies, even with the options available for electronic storage and e-mail.

Up until now, this whole matter has openly resided in the “grey area” of copyright law. As the dreamers and makers, we have always put trust in our end-users to do the right thing, to harness our TV Search technology for good, under Fair Use and not Abuse.

But just to make sure no one is ripping movies to enhance a personal DVD collection, we do have tight administrative settings in place to limit and restrict user access to specific features.

In the Future

Looking ahead three years to the next official review cycle of the DMCA, Niwa says that his colleagues will proceed teaching with their best judgment.

“This year’s revision of the DMCA is a missed opportunity to encourage vibrant conversations between citizens about art, ideas and science,” Niwa expressed.

“In the meantime, citizens will continue to connect and create content without explicitly defined copyright protection.”

Talking with Paul Hitlin, Project for Excellence in Journalism

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Keeping our good word and following up from this previous post, we’re giving you the replay of our J-School webinar featuring Content Supervisor Paul Hitlin at the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Paul Hitlin joined us on 5/26 before a virtual group of university educators, all eager to learn about fresh methods of conducting research, as well as sources for funneling data-rich content into their institutions of higher learning.

"We analyze primarily what topics are being covered. How much time is spent on the oil spill? How much is spent on Iraq, on healthcare?"

Catch a glimpse into PEJ below. The clip illustrates how they’ve incorporated SnapStream into their quantitative research process, which is quite systematic. Visit our YouTube channel to view the remaining chapters of the webinar, including further insight from Paul on how they used to do things pre-SnapStream.

Top 10 things you didn’t know about PEJ:

10. Under the umbrella (not Rihanna’s)
It’s one of seven projects under the umbrella of the Pew Research Center

9. Defined by what they’re NON
“NON partisan, NON ideological & NON political”

8. They’re not a think tank, but
A “fact tank,” navigating the information revolution

7. You’ll never guess their claim to fame
The largest human coding news organization in the U. S. of A

6. Get this, they even have human bots
Well, kind of. 15 full-time coders that scour 52 media outlets daily

5. On a mission that’s possible
To evaluate and study the performance of the press (via content analysis)

4. Historically speaking
It started 9 years ago in the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

3. Serious news flash and power
News coding research began in mid-2006, with DVD burners and manpower

2. GRANTED for curricular support
Stony Brook University gave PEJ a grant to fund the SnapStream Server

1. Searching TV is a snap!
The team upgraded to SnapStream in January 2010

Customer spotlight: Project for Excellence in Journalism analyzes news with SnapStream

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Publishing widely regarded content analysis, the Project for Excellence in Journalism serves an important role: keeping the industry in check.

A non-profit, non-partisan organization under the umbrella of Pew’s Research Center, PEJ is a vital resource for journalists and citizens dedicated to the study and reflection of the press.

With teams of analysts watching and dissecting broadcast news on a daily basis, the Project makes great use of the SnapStream Server to capture traditional television and stream recordings right from their desktops, all in the name of empirical research.

Speaking to the Project’s Content Supervisor, Paul Hitlin, I gathered that this type of technology has made their workflow become much smoother; they were able to eliminate the hassle of burning DVDs and bringing them to their work stations, not to mention keeping them organized!

What they find useful about going digital: they can directly play back content and archive it. This makes it easy to handle simultaneous things–like side-by-side comparisons of news outlets and writing up research findings–all in one place, from the PC.

Register now

Webinar with Paul Hitlin Wednesday, May 26 3:30 p.m. EST / 12:30 p.m. PST

Paul Hitlin has graciously agreed to share his insights from the front lines, covering the bases of broadcast news analysis. On the horizon, he sees vast potential for the PEJ to expand the scope of quantitative trends they can isolate in the media from the source of TV search technology.

For professors and professionals in journalism and communications, there’s so much you can learn from Paul and what PEJ is doing. I hope you’ll join us next Wednesday, May 26 for a live webinar and interactive question and answer session.


How journalism schools and TV shows use SnapStream (by Columbia Journalism Review)

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Alexandra Fenwick at the Columbia Journalism Review interviewed me on a recent trip to New York City. That interview resulted in this piece about SnapStream and how folks are using it in academia and in entertainment. Check it out!


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