An instructor at the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication built an iPhone app and a website called Resolving Door with the help of his students.
Daniel Schaefer teaches Citizen Journalism at the university.
Resolving Door allows students to post and answer questions, similar to Yahoo Answers. The website also includes a map of the CU campus with updated information on many locations. Eventually there will also be a section to connect with student government.
"The project is really about reaching out to a very specific crowd of people, a very specific community," Schaefer said.
Apple is interested in Resolving Door and has asked Schaefer to polish the project. He hopes to finish the work and get Apple to approve Resolving Door by the time classes resume this fall.
Schaefer says he wants to teach students to embrace the way technology is changing the way we get out information, especially now that so many people have smart phones.
"No one knows where journalism is going. It's moving into Twitter, it's moving onto Facebook, it's moving into all these different places and spaces. And so I really see us kind of like explorers , exploring uncharted waters with new instruments," Schaefer said. "We're all in the same boat, we're all trying to figure it out."
He says his students in the Citizen Journalism class have played key roles in deciding how Resolving Door works, and what information to provide students.
"So the students in the class have helped me inform the choices about which platforms we should move to, what technologies we should explore," Schaefer said.
The site will continue to change, because students are required to come up with a new innovation for Resolving Door each semester. Schaefer says students will also be tasked with moderating the questions and answers posted by other students.
Resolving Door is funded in large part by a $110,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation. The Dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Paul Voakes, was the leader in securing the grant.
Schaefer says he is also working on an Android app for Resolving Door.
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