iReport is a CNN product that applies the YouTube concept to citizen journalism. Right now iReport is featuring a Google Map with “i” placemarks representing reports about Hurricane Gustav from citizens in the Gulf Coast region.
Applications for Education
In the case of a major storm like Hurricane Gustav, iReport offers visitors images and content that they might not see on television or in print media. iReport is an interesting place to get the “real story” from citizen journalists. Just as with a blog or wiki entry, visitors will, at times, need to be able to discern the truth through bias. For that reason, using iReport for stories that are politically sensitive might not be a good option for students younger than high school age. In fact, I recommend screening for language any video from iReport before showing it to a classroom full of students.