Understanding New Media – Institutions

September 30th, 2010

Connectivity brings new sharing of information and knowledge with others. What was once accessible only via a physical school, government building, or other public institution is now potentially accessible to persons all over the world” (113-114).

Veltman, Kim H. Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge & Culture. University of Calgary Press, 2006.

Virtual Communities
This term refers to the communities we form online that are generally based around a particular topic and that we use to communicate with others interested in that topic. The have, according to Cliff Filaggo in Hosting Web Communities, three characteristics: 1) focus, through a central subject or theme, 2) cohesion, through member to member relationships, and 3) interactivity, through member to member communication. (117 in Veltman).

This is very much the norm now, with the vast amount of forums and other online groups that exist online. One need not necessarily be a member or frequent visitor to many of these sites, but rather visit the community to answer a single question on a topic related to the communities theme. Read the rest of this entry »

Understanding New Media – Space & Time

September 28th, 2010

Veltman, Kim H. Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge & Culture. University of Calgary Press, 2006.

As I’ve discussed in the past, one of the greatest potential benefits of the online video conversation (OVC) in the asynchronous online classroom (AOC) or anyplace is in regard to space and time; there need be no spatial or temporal concerns in getting to a meeting at a specific a location or time. Rather, one can access a given OVC environment at any time and from the convenience of his or her own home, workplace, or other location. Read the rest of this entry »

Understanding New Media – Multimedia

September 27th, 2010

With every tool, man is perfecting his own organs, whether motor or sensory, or removing limits to their functioning. – Sigmund Freud (1929).

Veltman, Kim H. Understanding New Media: Augmented Knowledge & Culture. University of Calgary Press, 2006.

Veltman lists the major functions of computers as their ability to perform calculations, write, visualize, create multimedia, enable multi-sensory study, permit inter-media, interact, augment, delegate information/knowledge, and simulate synthetic reason. Of those on the list, I want to focus on multimedia, which is linked with three of the other listed functions: multi-sensory, inter-media, and inter-action. Read the rest of this entry »

Technopoly – The Academic Course

September 25th, 2010

Postman, Neil. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. Vintage, 1993.

Another take-away from Technopoly is somewhat oddly-founded, as it is based on a bit of a tangent that Postman pursues as an example of technologies coming in disguise (in Chapter 8: Invisible Technologies). He discusses the idea of academic courses in the educational world.

A course is a technology for learning. I have “taught” about two hundred of them and do not know why each one lasts exactly fifteen weeks, or why each meeting lasts exactly one hour and fifty minutes. If the answer is that it is done for administrative convenience, then a course is a fraudulent technology. It is put forward as a desirable structure for learning when in fact it is only a structure for allocating space, for convenient record-keeping, and for control of faculty time. (138)

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Technopoly

September 23rd, 2010

“Technopoly eliminates alternatives to itself in precisely he way Aldous Huxley outlined in Brave New World. It does not make them immoral. It does not even make them unpopular. It makes them invisible and therefore irrelevant” (48).

Postman, Neil. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. Vintage, 1993.

In Technopoly, Postman discusses the role of technology in shaping society and in changing it’s general view. He considers a technopoly, America being the only one currently, to be a society that believes “the primary, if not the only, goal of human labor and thought is efficiency, that technical calculation is in all respects superior to human judgment … and that the affairs of citizens are best guided and conducted by experts” (51). It is a not-all-too-positive view of tools and technologies running our lives (and for fighting back against such an occurrence), but it has a few select points I apply to my research.

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