Partnering with Macomb ISD to offer many benefits

This is a screenshot of a Tout video Maryanne MacLeod shot during my presentation.

This is a screenshot of a Tout video Maryanne MacLeod shot during my presentation.

As director of the Southeast Michigan Media Lab, I’ve had the pleasure of consulting with Maryanne MacLeod, director of the new Macomb Regional Community Media Lab at The Macomb Daily, Daily Tribune and Advisor & Source building in Macomb County, Mich. And, out of that relationship, we’ve had fun presenting free workshops to the public and brainstorming ideas of how to partner with community groups to build on our mission of bringing the audience inside the newsroom as news-sharing partners.

On Oct. 4, we both had the pleasure of hosting a meeting that included 14 Career Technology & Education directors from the Macomb Intermediate School District. In addition to their regular meeting, they came to learn about the Macomb media lab and what we can offer their students.

Maryanne shared information about the lab and its mission, in partnership with the Macomb Daily’s Kevin Martin, of working with CTE students. I presented on digital media and social media tools they could be using in partnership with us. Here’s a copy of my presentation, which is housed on my Scribd account.

Karen Johnston, career education specialist at the Macomb ISD, helped organize the meeting. The Macomb Daily has had a relationship with CTE students for years through the Making Connections banner, as pointed out my Maryanne in her blog post.

“As part of this hands-on CTE training at The Macomb Daily, students and/or instructors come into our offices to build a page with content creator, Kevin Martin, the Macomb Daily’s CTE frontman,” she writes. “Conversation between Karen and Kevin, fueled in large part by the launch of the Macomb Regional Community Media Lab Aug. 13, uncovered a mutual desire to upgrade the student experience by taking advantage of social media and community contribution educational opportunities now available at the lab.”

In my presentation, I highlighted such tools as RebelMouse, NewHive, Pinterest, Dipity, Capzles, ipadio, Tout, Animoto and encouraged the teachers to have the students create a blog, similar to a school newspaper only online, that they contribute to, and that we could repurpose in print. This mutually beneficial relationship will enhance our community coverage, while helping to grow their audience and give them real-world experience as journalists. The teachers and principals seemed most excited about the potential of RebelMouse, NewHive and ipadio, based on their questions. They had some concerns about moderation, and I encouraged them to develop their own work flows so they could abide by district policies.

I am excited about the potential of this partnership and I look forward to presenting in the future directly to the students. I’d also love to establish a similar relationship in Washtenaw, Wayne and Oakland counties with their ISDs or career consortium.

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New media lab opens at Macomb Daily

Southeast Michigan Media Lab intern Elise Waller works with Maryanne MacLeod at the new Macomb Regional Community Media Lab at The Macomb Daily.

Southeast Michigan Media Lab intern Elise Waller works with Maryanne MacLeod at the new Macomb Regional Community Media Lab at The Macomb Daily.

My intern and I had the pleasure of helping Maryanne MacLeod, community engagement editor at The Macomb Daily; Jeff Payne, editor of Voice Newspapers; and Jody McVeigh, editor of Advisor & Source, in launching the new Macomb Regional Community Media Lab June 27 in Clinton Township.

While Maryanne has been working with bloggers and the community for sometime, the media lab space, which came to be when The Macomb Daily moved into its new digs on Hall Road earlier this year, will provide a place the community can call its own, and where community contributions to 21st Century Media publications will be encouraged.

Our help consisted of setting up a number of accounts that will serve to promote the media lab, communicate with the community and facilitate activities at the lab. For example, we set up a uStream channel so community workshops can be livestreamed, and Twitter and Facebook to communicate with our audience and publicize our work, while also making connections with the community. We also set up an Instagram account and YouTube channel to share photos and video from our work in the media lab. The Macomb media lab was added to our Meetup.com account for the Southeast Michigan Media Lab so we can promote workshops and other activities.

We still need to set up a Tout account to share short-form video, a blog to communicate our activities and work with the community, Scribd account to share PowerPoints from our workshop presenters, WeJoinIn to schedule workshop presenters, a RebelMouse page to curate all of our social media content, as well as RSS feeds from our publications serving Macomb County.

Equipment for the lab has been ordered. They will be getting a few laptop computers and an iPhone. These will be available for in-house use by anyone who comes in looking for help in writing a news release, creating a photo slideshow or video, editing audio, or posting to their blog, among other things.

The idea behind the media lab in Macomb County is similar to the one in Washtenaw County, as 21st Century Media wants to provide community outreach and encourage contributions to our publications. For instance, at the Southeast Michigan Media Lab we have helped senior citizens set up Facebook pages to connect with family and friends, local chambers of commerce and political organizations set up Twitter accounts to boost their presence on social media, and representatives from local nonprofits write news releases about their newsworthy activities. In addition, we have worked with individual writers and bloggers, helping them fine-tune their writing and add bells and whistles to their blogs to make their blogs more visually appealing. We link to many of these blogs from our website and, in exchange, their blogs feature our headline widget to help drive traffic back to our websites.

If you live in Macomb County, feel free to stop by the Macomb Regional Commmunity Media Lab or if you are in Wayne, Oakland or Washtenaw County, you’re welcome at our media lab in Ypsilanti at SPARK-East.