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Camera drones in education Teaching students to make responsible journalism with new technology Lars Nyre, Astrid Gynnild, Frode Guribye. Dept. of Information Science and Media Studies. University of Bergen, Norway.


Unpacking the drone

Photo: Lars Nyre.


Vismedia – the mother project Vismedia is a research group at the University of Bergen. We focus on responsible uses of visual technologies in news media.

Vismedia is is funded by the Norwegian Research Council from 2015 – 2019.


Drone flying at Vismedia conference

Photo: Pü Høyden.


Students at Vismedia conference

Photo: Zulfikar Fahmy.


Innovation pedagogics Innovation pedagogics is about teaching students to be creative and daring in their approaches. Freedom to explore within limits. In our case students have the responsibility for designing a prototype for drone journalism.


Course plan Students are offered practical training in drone flying and drone programming, and are split into three groups who design technical prototypes. Vismedia researchers guide the innovation process by evaluating and discussing with the students in a series of four workshops. The course explores two aspects of responsibility; avoiding danger and making journalism.


Avoiding danger Drones can be dangerous for the pilot as well as bystanders. Difficult questions of liability could emerge, putting the University as well as students at risk. Strategy 1: Drone teachers follow all rules strictly, and students can only fly if all the paperwork is in order.

Strategy 2: Drone teachers allow students to practice privately, in order for them to improve flying skills. Students are given more responsibility.


Indoor flying practice

Photo: Giedrius StatuleviÄ?ius.


Outdoor flying practice

Photo: Lars Nyre.


Making journalism Journalism is bound by ethical requirements and expectations about accountability, relevance and interest, and in this sense it is always responsible. •

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- Journalism drone filming is not a surveillance activity, but transparent, with an operation manual and stated purpose. - Journalism has special privileges regarding access to information, and should act accordingly when the story requires it.


Prototype 1: Toolkit for reporters The drone is preprogrammed to conduct a series of standard shorts that are needed for a news report.

The prototype can apply face recognition technology to frame the shot during an interview, and the drone can be set to operate inside a geo-fence.


Prototype 2: Immersive news News reportage can be made with 360 degree drone filming, both indoors and outdoors. This �street-view� perspective would be novel in relation to television news. It would have a high level of immersiveness and interactivity for the user.


Prototype 3: Microphone drone Drone film that includes real sound from the flight, using microphones synchronized with GPS and time code. Drone video footage can become more documentary if sound is routinely included, and this would be a benefit for journalism.


Why RRI in media education?

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The objective is for the students to anticipate and systematically reflect on the implications of their innovations. Possible learning outcomes: - Students make independent decisions about drone flying and the risks involved. - Students think realistically about the potential of a new technology and the effort involved in shaping it. - Students create genuinely novel and valuable technologies for journalism.


Camera drones in education Teaching students to make responsible journalism with new technology Lars Nyre, Astrid Gynnild, Frode Guribye. Dept. of Information Science and Media Studies. University of Bergen, Norway.

Smart drones for journalism  

Teaching students how to be creative using innovation pedagogics

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