MDIA 290 Hands-on Media Technology


This is the website and online resource for JOUR199 MT1 and MT2, the experimental freshman-only, half-semester class in Hands-On Media Technology at the University of Illinois. Full details about the class are available via the syllabus link at left. We also will take attendance electronically at the start of each class by completing the "LOG IN" form at right.

Net ID
Last 4 of UIN

In keeping with the class's experimental nature, the detailed syllabus of topics and assignments won't be made final until after each class member has completed a brief survey about which topics students are most interested in and what experiences and objectives they may already have. Getting to know each other and completing the survey will be among the tasks we do on the first day of class.

Each week, we'll be focusing on a different technology, selected on the basis of survey results. We'll include a general demonstration, which will be captured on video so you can review it later, followed by a simulated, generic assignment to use the technology to create some form of appropriate content. Prior technical or artistic abilities are not required. Although some students may already be familiar with some aspects of the programs we use, we will assume all are completely new.

You will need to spend time outside of class completing each week's assignment and probably consulting a resource like, to which your U of I credentials give you free access. You'll be able to use the lab anytime you want by swiping your iCard to gain entrance.

We'll also talk a bit on the first day of class about different ways in which media in general and journalism in particular are changing and looking at the possibilities for further study or careers in the field. Although times are changing and the often taken for granted role of metropolitan newspapers in society may be forever altered, the technologies we will be learning open up many exciting possibilities for creating viable, professional journalistic products and can be extremely useful in other institutional, marketing and advertising situations.

We'll also start off by looking and discussing at a humorous account of how metropolitan newspapers have been dealing with technological and societal changes: