Remote learning a success at Summer Institute

Remote learning a success at Summer Institute

This May-June the INCA Summer Institute was offered remotely for the first time in its 25-year history. Journalists from coast to coast to coast went online to teach students everything they need to know to embark on careers in journalism and storytelling.

“We seriously considered cancelling or at least postponing the Summer Institute,” said program coordinator Shannon Avison. “What makes the Institute awesome is that students are thrown into a newsroom, and they’re taught in-person by professional journalists. How could we reproduce that experience online?”

In the end, distance proved no obstacle to producing stories for the web, radio and television. Over seven weeks, experienced instructors from APTN, CBC North, Eagle Feather News and other outlets showed how journalists adjust and tell stories under any circumstances, combining ingenuity with home-based technology.

“I think we proved it can be done,” said Avison. “It was different, but we still bonded as a group, developed new skills and produced some great stories.”

A full lineup of news stories emerged from the Institute, as well as a one-hour radio special that aired on Missinipi Broadcasting on Indigenous People’s Day.

Avison sees an advantage to being online. “This summer, our students didn’t have to come to Regina; they could literally be anywhere with an Internet connection and a decent computer.”

As a result, student joined from their First Nations around the province, as well as Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw and Regina. As well, more instructors were able to join in from various locations, teaching everything from podcasting to 3D/Virtual Reality storytelling.