The Scout Report -- Volume 27, Number 14

The Scout Report -- Volume 27, Number 14
April 9, 2021
Volume 27, Number 14

General Interest

Theme: Journalism

Revisited

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General Interest

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Alison
Educational Technology

Lifelong learners will want to bookmark this resource. Alison is highly regarded as "one of the world's largest free learning platforms for education and skills training." Launched in Galway, Ireland in 2007, the platform has grown and garnered a worldwide base, with more than 18 million learners across 195 countries. Users should click the green "Sign Up" button in the top-right corner to get started. Then, readers can search for courses by category or type, or try the job-based search engine to find learning opportunities relevant to the user's career goals. Learners can expand vocational skill sets with the health and safety and project management courses, build their business's brand with social media marketing lessons, and explore different interest areas with a broad array of offerings across humanities and STEM disciplines. Though the courses are free, users have paid subscription options that unlock additional features. The website can be viewed in five languages. To switch the default language, click the globe icon in the top-right corner. [EMB]

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Mineral exploration in northern Wisconsin
Science

Geologist Ernest K. Lehmann accomplished a lot in his 63-year career, including discovering some of the world's largest copper, silver, and gold deposits. Lehmann's company, E.K. Lehmann and Associates, went on several metallic mineral adventures in the Midwest, including northern Wisconsin. This work is encapsulated in paper records donated to the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, courtesy of his daughter Kate Lehmann. At the link above, readers can explore the collection's maps, sampling results, and reports. Both of the maps have interactive pinpoints. Plus, readers can switch between the Targets and Documents tabs below the maps to browse supplementary materials. The Documents section is particularly insightful as it links to PDFs of several of the reports, images, and other written materials described above. For additional browsing tips, users should click the "i" icon in the top-right corner. The project is led by principal investigator M. Carol McCartney and housed within the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. [EMB]

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Word Up
Language Arts

Word Up expands listeners' linguistic understanding, "one word at a time." Hosted by Daniel Browning, a long-time news producer and director, the program is designed to uplift "the diverse languages of Black Australia," and does so by sharing personal accounts of guests' stories about language. Most episodes are around five minutes long, so even busy readers can find time to listen and learn something new. Each guest shares several words that are meaningful to them. For example, actor and theater director Shari Sebbens shares words from grandmother's language, Bardi, an endangered Australian Aboriginal language from the Dampier Peninsula (see the February 13, 2021 episode). In the February 27, 2021 episode, artist Vincent Namatjira discusses Western Arrernte, a language family from central Australia. Select episodes also highlight themes in language; for instance, shortly after the Macquarie Dictionary selected its Word of the Year, Word Up released a program about "healing words," including the Pitjantjatjara word "ngangkari" (see the December 7, 2019 episode). The show is available on ABC Listen, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts. [EMB]

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Space Station Explorers
Science

April is Global Astronomy Month, making it the perfect time for educators to draw on lesson plans from Space Station Explorers. In collaboration with several partner organizations, including the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab, Space Station Explorers collects the best space-based activities from across the web. Content can be sorted by grade, subject, and learning environment (the various "learn at home" activities are perfect for caregivers and virtual classrooms). Readers can also use the search bar to find a specific subject matter (e.g., a search for "gravity" reveals five lesson options including "Ants in Space" and "Invisible Forces"). The lesson plans vary greatly, both in topic and design. For example, educators can check out the "Plants in Space" curriculum, an in-depth exploration of plant systems divided between multiple chapters. Alternatively, educators looking for a shorter option may enjoy the "Bag of Bones" activity, an individual lesson plan that combines life sciences, snacks, and space exploration. [EMB]

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The Dwoskin Project
Arts

Filmmaker Stephen Dwoskin (1939-2012), known for his experimental style, left a substantial archive that is now held by Special Collections at the University of Reading. The archive includes a wide variety of materials, such as paper documents, computer hard drives, audio tapes, video cassettes, thousands of photographs, slides, and negatives, posters, paintings, and designs. Led by Rachel Garfield (an artist and professor of Fine Art at the University of Reading), the Dwoskin Project is cataloging this material to make it more accessible for researchers. The project focuses on two branches: using the materials "to map the world around Dwoskin," and drawing on "recent theoretical approaches to the body, gender, and disability studies," as a lens on Dwoskin's work. Findings from the project are also highlighted in monthly blog posts, available via the LUX Blog tab. Keep up with the project's latest by checking out the Forthcoming Events section (under the Events tab) and following @DwoskinProject on Twitter and Instagram. [DS]

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Theme: Journalism

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Journalist's Toolbox
Language Arts

Curious about Clubhouse and other social media platforms? Figuring out how to make a proper FOIA request? Snooping for search engine optimization tips? Look no further than Journalist's Toolbox. Launched by journalism professor Mike Reilley in 1996, and since a project of the Society of Professional Journalists, the site serves as an information hub for those in the field. Reilley continues to update the site (sometimes weekly, sometimes daily) and it is now home to more than 150 pages and thousands of tools available under a Creative Commons license. For example, the home page highlights a COVID-19 reporting collection. Here, journalists covering the pandemic will find more than 500 useful resources, ranging from safety protocols to statistics. Other resources are cataloged topically in the left-hand column. To keep up with the latest additions to the site, click "What's New" in the top-right corner, sign up for the newsletter, or subscribe to the YouTube channel (links to do so are found on the home page). Readers can also keep up with Reilley and the Toolbox on Twitter, @journtoolbox. [EMB]

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The magical science of storytelling
Language Arts

Many modes and types of journalists exist, but the common thread across this diverse field is the power of storytelling. What exactly makes storytelling so powerful? As presentations expert David JP Phillips informs listeners in this talk conducted at TEDxStockholm, storytelling is not just an art, but also a science. Listening to stories releases neurotransmitters that have powerful influences over the listener's mind and body. For example, Phillips notes that "all storytelling is per-definition dopamine creating." Storytelling also impacts oxytocin (influencing empathy and trust) and endorphin levels (regulating wellbeing). In addition to describing the science behind storytelling, Phillips concludes this discussion with a bit of history. Though the methods for sharing stories have evolved over time, they have always served as a tool for "transferring knowledge." The rest of the insights offered in this 17 minute video provide a great framework as readers continue to share and consume knowledge and stories. [EMB]

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oTranscribe
Science

oTranscribe is a free, open source, browser-based app designed to assist journalists with transcribing interviews. The platform allows users to upload audio or video files, implement keyboard shortcuts, and employ other timesaving tools. Business journalist Elliot Bentley created the app, and it has since been acquired by the MuckRock Foundation (an investigative journalism nonprofit). The app has received praise from several journalism and technology sites, and for good reason. Transcribing interviews is a tedious process, and oTranscribe streamlines the operation. Simply click the "Start Transcribing" button, upload an audio or video file from a local computer or YouTube, and follow the keyboard shortcuts highlighted on the screen (and also described in detail by clicking the circular settings button at the top of the page). For added security, both audio and written data entered in oTranscribe remain on the user's local computer, rather than being stored on a remote server. The buttons in the top-left corner allow users to change the language or navigate to the help center. [EMB]

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National Association of Black Journalists
Vocational Education

Founded in 1975, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) offers programming and advocacy for Black journalists and media professionals. The nonprofit, which is more than 4,000 members strong, is based in Maryland, but it provides services globally and has multiple local chapters. NABJ's work centers on several goals, including strengthening connections between Black journalists, students, professionals, and educators; diversifying the journalism field; and expanding opportunities for Black students to see themselves in a journalism career. On the NABJ site, readers can stay in-the-know on upcoming events and conferences, browse the NABJ job search center, and engage with various learning opportunities such as the recorded 2020 LGBTQ+ Sensitivity Training. Additionally, under the News and Media tab, readers will find archived issues of the NABJ Journal, containing various resources and highlighting prominent journalists and their successes. Readers interested in joining NABJ will find membership information by clicking "Join" at the top of the page (note that various membership levels and corresponding membership fees are available). [EMB]

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Verification Handbook
Social studies

Social media and the expanding digital age have created new opportunities for journalists, but these changes have also brought a wave of challenges, from spotting bots to avoiding deep fakes. Crafted by a group of journalists with global expertise, the Verification Handbook ensures that journalists can rise to these challenges in the "complex and rapidly evolving information ecosystem." The book can be read online or downloaded as a PDF (available in English, Italian, Arabic, Turkish, and German). Chapters explain and explore key topics such as navigating messaging apps and other digital communication platforms, fighting disinformation, and understanding targeted advertising. Additionally, the handbook includes a few case studies that provide concrete examples of these principles in action. The full list of contributors, which includes journalists from the outlets BBC and BuzzFeed and journalism nonprofits and research institutes such as First Draft and Citizen Lab, among many other outlets, is found in the concluding Credits chapter. European Journalism Centre published the handbook with support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies. [EMB]

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Revisited

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National Center on Disability and Journalism
Social studies

Since being featured in the 12-08-2017 Scout Report, the National Center on Disability and Journalism has continued to expand resource offerings. Readers may want to check out The Disability Angle blog, covering timely topics such as the interplay between COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The National Center on Disability and Journalism (NCTJ) is a non-profit organization based at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. NCTJ aims to provide "support and guidance for journalists as they cover people with disabilities." These resources include the Disability Language Style Guide, which provides context and recommendations for inclusive vocabulary related to disability. Each entry in this style guide provides a history of each word and phrase along with recommendations from the NCTJ and the AP Style Guide. While aimed specifically at journalists, this guide may also be of interest to grant writers, educators, and individuals who write internal communications or newsletters. The guide is also available in Spanish and Romanian. Visitors will find a few additional resources on the Resources tab, including tools for educators and public relations professionals. [MMB] [EMB]

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