Making Mojos: How iPads Are Enhancing Mobile Journalism Education

Kraft, Nicole; Seely, Natalee
Journalism & mass communication educator

Journalism students can no longer focus on being just writers or photographers or videographers. They must leave college with a multitude of media skills to have the greatest potential for career success. The development of the iPad and supporting apps has created a “one-stop shop” of journalistic tools that enable students to learn those skills, including note-taking devices, recording devices, research platforms, and word processing. We conducted a yearlong study of beginning journalism students utilizing one-to-one iPads to examine the impact of iPads and journalistically focused apps in a “flipped” journalism classroom environment (where video lectures are homework, and skill development and execution are done in class). Our goal was to identify how the iPad could be used to augment journalistic training and determine whether use of such technology would accelerate and enhance student learning. We found that confidence in the iPad as a journalistic tool and perceptions of journalistic ability increased, as did students’ execution of publishable-quality writing assignments. Qualitative results identified some of the challenges and benefits related to iPad use in a journalism class. Overall, we found that students did utilize the iPad and apps to more quickly create publishable-quality journalism assignments, which included effective reporting and use of multimedia and social media.