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Welcome to Advanced Online Media

Spring 2015 - The Advanced Online Media course will be handled via the site.  

Telling Stories with Data - Speaker Series


Join us this semester as we welcome some of the most innovative professionals in the field of journalism to discuss the future of data-driven storytelling. Each of these speakers works for an organization that has received the prestigious Knight News Challenge grant.

Aron Pilhofer, Director, Interactive News, The New York Times
Thursday, March 8
2-5pm OM 320 Data Journalism Workshop - graduate students only
5-6pm OM 320 Reception
6:30-8pm OM 234 The State of Data Journalism


I Am a Drupal... (and So Can You!)



So, that's a Stephen Colbert reference. But basically, if I can learn Drupal, you can. I used this site as a platform to try out features, trying to develop the site to look as much like my previous site as possible. Toward the end of Christmas break, I started the Drupal 7 Essential Training on I have since gone through most of the course on Reporting and Visualizing Data, as well. I plan to dive into the Customizing Themes course next. Here I'll review a few of the features I've tested so far.


Drupal is a content management system. It's a bit more robust than Wordpress. For most people, Wordpress can be used to accomplish most site designs and can be customized with a wide range of features. But Drupal provides a lot more flexibility and functionality, so if you have very specific data, interactivity or ecommerce needs, it may be the best platform. There are many sites online that compare the two, but here are a couple good articles: Drupal vs. Wordpress: The Epic Debate and Wordpress vs. Drupal: The Saga Continues. But with the flexibility of Drupal comes more complexity. The first thing I learned about Drupal is that everything you do takes several steps. You can't just make a post and then it's on the site. You have to decide what type of content it is and decide where and how it will be posted. You may have to add additional features that you might assume would be available as a default.

Click Read More to continue with my adventures in Drupal.


Getting Started


As I am implementing several new features to this class this semester, I plan to blog about the activities so others may use these materials as a resource for adding these topics to their own programs/curricula. This semester, the Advanced Online Media course has two major team projects: the project (this is our 5th year covering SXSWi), and our new project funded by an AEJMC/Knight grant in which we will be reporting on Texas State's recent designation as Hispanic Serving Institution. So, we have an aggressive timetable and lots to learn.

We had our first class last night, a group of 14 grad students (well, 1 undergrad who was given permission to enter the class) ready to tackle the concepts of data and programming. This class is the next step that students in our program can take after a basic intro web design class.

We had several things to accomplish last night, basically getting everyone familiar and comfortable with the material we will be covering. You can see the topics on the Outline above, including the Intro to Web Development presentation. Follow the Read More link to see the complete post as I continue discussing challenges with hosting and our plans for SXSW. Celebrates 5 Years at SXSW!


This March, students in Dr. Cindy Royal's Advanced Online Media course will cover SXSW for the 5th time. Since 2008, a group of graduate students has attended and covered the conference at Over the years, the coverage has grown to include previews, video interviews and special events including the Taco Party that attracts visiting media professionals and scholars.

In past years, students have heard from and met some of the most innovative tech players affecting media, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Chris Anderson of Wired, media consultant and scholar Jeff Jarvis, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, Digg's Kevin Rose, gaming scholar Jane McGonigal, media scholar Dana Boyd, Twitter founder Evan Williams and more. The project allows students to use media tools while they are learning about them. Please visit to follow our coverage before and during SXSW Interactive 2012.

Class Receives Knight/AEJMC Grant to Study Hispanic Serving Institution Status


During Spring 2012, the Advanced Online Media course will study Texas State's newly recognized status as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Using a grant provided by AEJMC and the Knight Foundation, the class will work with the Jefferson Institute to use their VIDI data visualization Drupal modules to create a website about the process and status of becoming an HSI. Dr. Cindy Royal and Dr. Jacie Yang submitted the proposal which was one of 10 funded by the program.

In April, Dante Chinni who works with the Jefferson Institute and runs the Patchwork Nation website, will be visiting the class to hold a workshop on data visualization and the VIDI modules. Throughout the semester, guest speakers will visit either in person or via Skype, to discuss the role of data visualizations to the future of communication. Students in the class will get first-hand exposure to Knight News Challenge recipients and learn about current storytelling technologies. Stay tuned to this site for more details as the project progresses.



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