For over a year and a half now, Discourse Media co-founder Erin Millar has been chomping at the bit to find a way to document, over time, the journey of a three-year global project called New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL), which is aimed at transforming education into something more relevant to the average student’s life. The challenge for us was to figure out how to produce a journalism product that would unfold over time, chapter by chapter, in real time, while capturing the pursuits of thousands of educators and students in countries around the world.
The story Erin (who’s been writing about education for over a decade) wanted to report is just beginning, so how could we create a piece of work without an ending?
We found inspiration in recent approaches that leading newsrooms have taken to adapting long form journalism to the digital age. Multimedia documentaries like The New York Times’ Snowfall, the Guardian’s NSA Files: Decoded, or The Globe and Mail’s No Safe Use give us hope that, despite the many challenges the digital era is presenting the journalism industry, newsrooms are harnessing opportunity and creating a wholly new form. Works like those mentioned above make it clear that the best news organizations will be relevant amidst the upheaval.
This new form of digital journalism inspired our response to the challenge of reporting on NPDL. We’re excited to announce the publication of the first chapter in the story: Deeper Than Knowledge.
Deeper Than Knowledge is also inspired by the work of the Solutions Journalism Network. Our vision was to document this network of schools attempting to change in a critical way that dug into the barriers and impact of promising solutions. We wanted to show the messiness of change over time.
Future chapters are in the works. We’d love to hear your thoughts.