A group of enterprising journalism students worked together with a group of computer science students in spring 2012 to produce an innovative digital media product called “AzteCast.”
AzteCast is a free mobile news app that provides information about campus events to faculty, staff and students at SDSU. The application allows for members of the campus community to contribute to the product, making it a collaborative news experience.
The students created the mobile news application in a special section of JMS 550, Multimedia News Laboratory. Instructors were Amy Schmitz Weiss, assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Media Studies, and Joseph Lewis, lecturer in computer science.
The power behind the app is its ability to “geo-locate” the news events on a Google map, making it easy for users — whether on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers — to find out what is happening on campus and where it is happening.
The mobile app operates on the Ushahidi (http://ushahidi.com/) open-source platform.
A grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation helped support the creation of the mobile application. The funding was part of a Knight collaboration with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) called, “Building a Bridge Between the Knight News Challenge and JMC Programs” (http://www.aejmc.org/home/2011/11/2011-12-bridge-grant-recipients/).
Dr. Schmitz Weiss was one of 10 scholars nationally to receive the grant funding.
The app is currently available for download on the iPhone in the App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aztecast/id541257765?mt=8
The website version of the app can be accessed here: http://aztecast.com/