BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA – When the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games were held in Vancouver in 2010 many were worried the games would be a missed opportunity to engage students. For twenty-five fortunate students it presented an opportunity to be live reporters for the games thanks to a group of educators who created “Students Live!”
Close to eighty students followed the application process that included writing a blog post, creating a photo journal, or using other web tools to demonstrate why they would be good reporters for the Olympics.
For the twenty-five students selected for Students Live! the first challenge was using their friend connections on facebook and twitter to grow an audience. At mid-day on a regular school day they were challenged to get 1000 followers on their fan page. Many had never contemplated using social media to build a community like this before.
During the games they attended events on a daily basis, participated side-by-side with international journalists, and experienced the Olympics in a way that was envied by their friends. They compiled reports in English and French, published to a blog, filmed and edited interviews and for most, created digital content for a public audience for the first time.
Students selected to participate in the program were trained during December 2009.
Chris Kennedy, Audrey Hobbs-Johnston and Gary Kern, and with the support of Christina Adams and the Vancouver Olympic Committee created Students Live!
The project was featured on CBC and presented at TEDxUBC by Chris Kennedy.