A shift that I’ve made in the way I teach multimedia is to get away from giving my students a lot of tutorials and how-to materials and to focus their attention on really inspiring projects. We have a staff Facebook group, and I frequently post stories and multimedia projects that wow me. Yet, if you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have a lot of extra time to scour the web for amazing multimedia productions.
That’s one reason I so appreciate The New York Times’ multimedia e-newsletter called “Focus.” (Here’s a sample.) It arrives in my inbox once a week, and it contains some of the publication’s best multimedia work from the past week. Typically, there are a lot of videos and the occasional interactive graphic. If I see anything that applies directly to teens or that relates to something my kids have covered recently, I’ll post the link to our group right away. Sometimes, if there’s something really good, I’ll wait and share it in class where we can really discuss it—something I did recently with their multimedia story package called “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.”
When I’m planning workshops or training days, I’ll sift back through some that I’ve saved along the way and use them as examples. A project The Times did about young adults with autism transitioning to adulthood included a story called “Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World,” which serves as a great example of how simple it can be to weave short video clips into long-form features.
So though I typically regret subscribing to anything by email, this is one that I actually use. If you’re interested in getting it, you simply need to create an account on the site if you don’t already have one, then go to “My Account” and “Manage e-mail subscriptions.” From there, you’ll see a list of all the e-mail newsletters available. This one’s called “Focus.”