Murray State hosts Google training session

Nick Bohannon/The News

Story by James Turner, Contributing writer 

Students and professors alike have learned to Google a little better after a company trainer came to campus.

Trainer from the Society of Professional Journalists, Mike Reilley, taught students, faculty and staff how to Google better from 8 a.m. to noon, on Monday, Nov. 6 in the Waterfield Library. The techniques Reilley lectured on are useful for multimedia and reporting.

Michelle Hawks, sophomore journalism major, heard about the event from Assistant Professor Leigh Wright, who arranged the session.

“I don’t have classes on Monday morning, and so it was just a perfect opportunity just to sit there,” Hawks said. “I kept a running Google document. I took notes the whole time just like I was attending a class.”

For Hawks, the information she learned was invaluable. The prospect of using new tools like reverse photo look-up and Google Maps had her looking forward to the future.

“I’m so excited to be able to take this knowledge with me when I go out into the field,” she said.

The event also drew in professionals from around the area, including Amanda Mason, library information specialist at E.W. Grove Elementary School in Paris, Tennessee.

Mason learned about the event just days before from a Facebook newsfeed for a local news outlet.

“I immediately contacted my principal and colleagues and arranged to take a professional day off work to attend,” Mason said.

Everything Mason learned, she summarized and sent out to her colleagues. After learning something new, she trains her faculty and students.

During the four session workshop, Reilley demonstrated tools such as data scraping, Google Lens, Maps and Streetview.

Wright got the idea for the event after attending a seminar at the Broadcast Education Association Conference. They were giving demonstrations on many of the same apps Reilley showcased at Murray State.

“I thought, this was a great way to train students on how to use Google more effectively for news,” Wright said.

She brought Reilley to Murray State as a way to enhance the experiential learning opportunity for students.

“I do conduct an annual high school journalism workshop for the region, but this is the first time I brought in a speaker of this magnitude,” Wright said.

The event was sponsored by the JMC Department and University Libraries.