What is CreativityKit?
CreativityKit is a curriculum innovation program for all incoming undergraduate journalism students that provides the software technologies that help prepare students for their career while allowing them to use their own personal equipment.
By ensuring equal access to the storytelling tools they need, CreativityKits facilitate fast-paced, collaborative journalism that allows classes to embed themselves within communities, capturing the news as they witness it, and creating a more immersive, real-world learning experience. It also instills students with the mindset and skillset to succeed in the all-mobile, all-the-time demands of journalism today. CreativityKits, coupled with an iOS device (iPhone or iPad), lets students develop their mobile technology expertise from the essentials of backgrounding, writing, and multimedia newsgathering, to extensive, multi-dimensional, and engaging production and distribution of their journalism.
Journalism happens within newsrooms and without them. The CreativityKit and iOS device (which allows for easy capture and uploading of raw newsgathering such as photos, audio and video interviews, and video action) comprise the journalist's newsroom of today and tomorrow. Emerson journalism students will work with this mobile newsroom setup from their first course to their last.
Why have the CreativityKit program?
The CreativityKits standardize and raise the access to technology for everyone. Students get familiar with a digital journalism workflow so that more classroom time is devoted to learning how to gather news, tell compelling stories, and receive meaningful critiques of their work. All Journalism Faculty receive additional, ongoing training that effectively integrates these tools in their teaching. CreativityKits also allow the curriculum, the faculty, and the students to adjust and adapt to the ever-shifting demands technology places on journalism today. They ensure currency in the learning experience offered by the program. As journalistic storytelling becomes more complex and enriched, from serial podcasts to data-driven visuals and immersive and interactive experiences, Emerson journalism keeps pace thanks to the CreativityKit program. Feedback from students using the CreativityKits shows strong satisfaction with how they enhance their classroom learning and improve their technical skills in journalism reporting and producing assignments. Major operational issues have been rare with the CreativityKits.
What is the cost of CreativityKit?
First-year journalism students will be required to bring a laptop computer to campus that meets the specifications set forth by the Journalism faculty.
Our current standard is:
MacBook Air M1, 13 inch, eight-core cpu, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD -- currently $899
For students looking for a more robust system with a fan, nicer speakers and microphone, and a faster processor, we recommend:
MacBook Pro M1, 13 inch, eight-core cpu, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD -- currently $1199
Both will be available for purchase at a discounted rate through the Apple store via this link, under 'Recommended Systems':
This computer specification has enough power that it is expected to last all four years at Emerson. If you already have an Apple laptop, it may or may not be powerful enough to handle the software you will be using in the journalism program. Recently purchased Macbooks with Intel chips will likely function well, but if you are unfamiliar with your laptop specifications, you can reach out to the Help Desk to provide information to IT to review its capabilities.
Journalism students are also strongly recommended to arrive on campus with an iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad). The journalism curriculum is designed with the assumption that students will capture media, edit, and publish on their own iOS mobile device. Non-iOS device workflows will not be supported by the curriculum. Students who do not have an iOS device will have access to borrow from a small pool of iPhones available through the Equipment Distribution Center.
Emerson College completely subsidizes the CreativityKit software. Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Creative Cloud will be loaded to your personal MacBook upon matriculation to Emerson College. The software packages provided by the College will defray almost $1,300 in costs.
I already have a laptop, but it does not meet those specifications. Why can't I use it?
The hardware above is specified to properly run and load applications that are required in the Journalism curriculum for all four years of the program. Standardizing the Journalism Program’s laptops and software makes it easier to collaborate on projects and send students learning materials. This allows the Journalism Department to raise classroom expectations and help students reach a high level of achievement at graduation.
Are journalism students required to participate in the CreativityKit program?
Yes. By standardizing technology, the journalism program is able to progressively provide students with more challenging assignments in digital newsgathering and storytelling. All new journalism majors are required to adopt the CreativityKit program in order to successfully complete the program.
Students who believe they have significant barriers to participating in the CreativityKit program should contact Undergraduate Admissions to discuss any concerns and/or ways to enable them to best meet curricular tool needs.
What if I need financial assistance to purchase the CreativityKit laptop?
If a student finds the purchase of a compatible laptop and/or iOS device as a barrier to enrollment and demonstrates high financial need, the Office of Financial Aid may be able to assist. The CreativityKit Fund through the Office of Financial Aid can help support the purchase or rental of a compatible machine and/or iOS device. Applicants must demonstrate financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and funding is limited. Log into your Admission Portal and submit your application by 8/23/2021.
In addition to saving files on my laptop, where else can I keep my saved projects and back up my data?
All Emerson students have access to 25GB of storage on Box.com for general work. This should be the "go-to" location for saving Microsoft docs, Final Cut Pro X timelines, homework assignments, etc. Media files should be saved to an external hard drive.
Performing regular backups of personal data are essential and the responsibility of the student.
What policies apply to my use of the software provided as part of CreativityKit?
Emerson is a creative community that produces an abundance of quality work and respects the rights of authors. We don't tolerate the theft of other people's ideas and work. Students may refer to Emerson College policies on acceptable use, privacy, copyright, and security for more information.
What happens when I graduate or if I change my major?
When you graduate or if you elect to leave the journalism program, IT administrators will remotely remove any software licenses that were provided by Emerson College.
Please contact Journalism Department Administrative Assistant, Christopher Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.