Michelle Obama rally at University of Florida — Big events can be great learning experiences for students

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Michelle Obama will be leading a rally on the University of Florida campus in a few minutes. Less than 30 minutes before the schedule time for her speech, the line to get into the rally extended from the O’Connell Center doors down the street and wrapped through the parking lot.

At the front of the line, people went through security clearance and received a bottle of water — welcome after the hot wait in line.

As we talked about in the graduate teaching class this morning, you as a teacher can’t compete with some events that happen on campus. This is one of those events.

As I was taking photos, I saw several of my students taking photos and conducting interviews. Such an event can be a great learning experience for the students and for teachers, too.

I took my two of cameras (a point-and-shoot camera and my iPhone) to the O’Connell Center with the idea of getting a few storytelling photos. I decided that one story was the line. I’d already seen several students holding Michelle Obama tickets walking away from the O’Connell Center. They told me the line was so long that they wouldn’t get in before they had to go to class or work.

The event provided media practice for me. I took photos the length of the line — from near the beginning to the end. I took photos on street level and then from the parking garage. My one set-up shot was of me holding a entry ticket in front of a section of the line. I decided to use WordPress’ slideshow option and show several angles of the line.

2 comments

  1. Great post. I agree wholeheartedly that there are a lot of things to be learned from events. I teach Event Management, so these kinds of events are particularly useful to me. But even for other disciplines, events are much more complex than people realize.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your comment. I would be interested in hearing how you would structure a class assignment that would focus on an event. And from having planned three-day (and two-night) conferences for 1,000 high school journalism students and teachers, I certainly can agree that planning events is very complex with 101 details.

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