OR Magazine


Approximately 7.6 million smart tablets were projected to ship during 2010, the first year of this new category of devices (IDC, 2010).  In fact, Apple sold 15 million first generation iPads by the end of that year (IDC, 2011). As of June 2014, iPad sales have surpassed 200 million. 

Do these revelations demand that we all start teaching students about apps? If so, exactly what should we be teaching -- and what do we need to know? These are questions we faced at the University of Oregonʼs School of Journalism and Communication when we launched our first mobile media production course during the 2010 spring term.

While serving as a graduate teaching fellow at the SOJC in January 2010, I noted a Wall Street Journal article  that outlined how Harper-Collins was planning to publish enhanced e-books for a yet-to-be released tablet device created by Apple. I had a realization that, much like how short, behind-the-scenes documentaries add value to Hollywoodʼs DVD movie releases, this innovation could create new opportunities for digital storytellers in the book publishing field.

A flurry of emails began circulating in response and within days a number of key faculty members and Dean Tim Gleason embraced the idea of developing a course. This initiative faced many potential road blocks, especially if we intended to meet our goal of offering the course spring term. Our quarter system, the device’s release date, and Apple’s legendary veil of secrecy surrounding its new products provided unique challenges which required that we start the course a few days before actually having iPads. However, given our shared enthusiasm and the rapid rate at which publications like the New York Times and USA Today were rushing iPad applications to market, we saw few reasons to wait.  The 2010 video (below) chronicles our journey during spring term 2010.

Spring term 2011, we achieved another first. Adobe granted our request for prerelease access to their new Digital Publishing Suite, which is the same software used by WIRED magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and numerous Conde Nast publications. Over the 10 week term, an ambitious team of 15 of our brightest School of Journalism undergraduates created the first-ever student digital magazine for the iPad with these tools. The 2011 video (below) chronicles that story.

Spring 2010 - Pilot Course Video

Spring 2011 - OR Magazine

Spring 2013 - OR Magazine Behind-the-Scenes Video

Spring 2013 - OR Magazine Adventure Video

Spring 2012 - OR Magazine Behind-the-Scenes Video

Spring 2014 - OR Magazine Behind-the-Scenes Video

In spring 2011 my students created OR Magazine, the first university student-produced magazine designed for the iPad using Adobe Systems’ Digital Publishing Suite. Our first mobile media course was launched in spring 2010, as iPads were coming to market. We are one of three universities whose students have access to the same enterprise software tools used by Conde Nast and Time-Warner publishing. Our students’ innovative work won four Columbia Scholastic Press Awards in 2013 and three in 2012. See the progression of our work in these videos.

The Next Chapter: Graduate Profiles Two Years Later

Read the Poynter article.

Spring 2015 - OR Magazine Behind-the-Scenes Video

OR Magazine 5th Anniversary Retrospective