Reynolds Journalism Institute Opens New Application Development Lab

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Missouri Journalism Students Can Use New Microsoft Technologies to Innovate and Collaborate

Columbia, Mo. (Aug. 21, 2012) — The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism today announced the opening of the Microsoft Application Development Lab, a place where students, faculty and others can innovate and collaborate using the soon-to-be released Windows 8 operating system.

In addition to normal business hours, students from the University of Missouri will have access to the lab on weeknights and weekends to explore, create and test new applications using the latest Microsoft technologies. Student innovation has been a hallmark of RJI’s success.

Microsoft Application Development Lab

Microsoft Application Development Lab

“We’re really excited to welcome Microsoft Corp. into our Futures Lab, where students, faculty and others get first-hand experience with the latest mobile and other technologies,” said Randy Picht, executive director of RJI. “This new space is going to be an excellent place to launch the projects and experiments that are going to help improve the quality and economic vitality of American journalism.”

The newly-remodeled space in RJI’s Futures Lab is equipped with Windows-based laptops, tablets and hybrids. Microsoft will keep the facility up to date this fall with new devices that run on the Windows 8 operating system following the Oct. 26 product release. The lab also includes Xbox 360 gaming systems with Kinect for Xbox 360-enabled motion, gaming and videoconferencing capabilities that will allow for new forms of interaction in business, communications and health care experiments.

In addition to hardware, software and furnishings a lead programmer will be on hand to help jumpstart key projects already on RJI’s agenda for Fall 2012:

  • Hearst Innovation is sponsoring the sixth-annual RJI Student Competition. Journalism, computer science and business students will once again develop new products and services for one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies, this time using Windows 8.
  • Faculty and RJI staff, including digital publishing director Roger Fidler, will supervise students as they build, test and train journalists to use Windows 8 applications for mobile newsgathering, publishing and marketing.
  • Colleagues from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and College of Engineering will collaborate with RJI to experiment on Kinect-based gaming applications to educate and rehabilitate young female athletes who are significantly more prone than their male counterparts to suffer serious knee injuries.

To learn more about the lab or to recommend additional collaborative projects, contact RJI Futures Lab Director Mike McKean.

About the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute
The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute works with citizens, journalists and researchers to strengthen democracy through better journalism. RJI seeks out the most exciting new ideas, tests them with real-world experiments, uses social science research to assess their effectiveness and delivers solutions that citizens and journalists can put to use in their own communities.

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