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Mobile Publishing students collaborate, create tablet magazine

Posted May. 14, 2014

By Audrey Fletcher

Create a tablet magazine with a focus on conservation.Kelli Fitzpatrick

Kent State University Associate Professors Jacqueline Marino and Joe Murray gave this task to their Mobile Publishing class at the beginning of spring semester.

Their 22 students from JMC and Kent State's School of Digital Sciences had 15 weeks to complete it.

Much like a start-up, these students brought together their different skill sets to work together on one project.

Branches, the resulting tablet magazine, is the first of its kind created in a course at Kent State University.

Branches brings the topic of conservation to young people, ages 18 to 35.  The student editors chose articles to provide a balance of content for those new to conservation and for those who have more knowledge of the topic. As a group, the class wanted to spark curiosity and inspire readers to think about conservation.Jacqueline Marino

The class partnered with The Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, and Holden provided access to information, sources and the environment itself. The arboretum was started in 1931, and today, it serves as a living museum and research facility.

Journalists chose topics, researched, interviewed and wrote. The completed articles covered everything from 10 simple ways to conserve to what happens when invasive species take over. Photographers and videographers shot and edited photos and videos, including one filmed from a drone flying above Holden. Then, programmers and designers took that content and built it into the completed magazine. This included coding interactive elements such as the 10 ways to conserve article where users can tap leaves to get more information. The class also created a social media plan, including a website to publicize the app,

They tried three different workflows before settling on a fourth, Mag+. This InDesign plug-in allowed them to create the interactivity they wanted to make this magazine more than just a print-like publication on a tablet.

The magazine was officially launched with presentations from both JMC and Digital Sciences students on May 8 in FirstEnergy and is now available as a free download in the iTunes App store.(Hyperlink: Robert Walker


Caption for the first photo: Kelli Fitzpatrick, editor in chief of the Branches tablet magazine, at the magazine's launch on May 8, 2014. Photo by Brian Smith.

Caption for the second photo: Jacqueline Marino, associate professor of Journalism school at Kent State, talks about the Branches tablet magazine, on May 8, 2014, in Franklin Hall. Photo by Brian Smith.

Caption for the third photo: Dr. Robert Walker (far left), director of the Digital Sciences School, listens intently to the Branches tablet magazine presentation at the launch on May 8, 2014. Photo by Brian Smith.