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 »

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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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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College Students on Streaming Video: Get Me Outta Class!

September 21st, 2010

Nearly a third of college students reported that their parents or guardians would be “very upset” to know how little they actually attend classes in person.

College Students on Streaming Video: Get Me Outta Class!

Here is an article posted on the campus technology site last week, which offers a great conversation starter on the use of video in the collegiate classroom. However, the initial commenter, who finds the practice “appalling,” elicited a response from me, which is worth referencing here. My comment, admittedly too verbose for this platform, is about eleven up from the bottom and includes my name.

Black Box Fallacy

August 23rd, 2010

“Media convergence impacts the way we consume media.” (14).

Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press, 2008.

Black Box Fallacy
Jenkins coined the “Black Box Fallacy” in response to the common argument that “all media content is going to flow through a single black box into our living rooms (or, in the mobile scenario, through black boxes we carry around with us everywhere we go)” (14). He goes on to cite a 202 Cheskin Research report that states that whereas the prevailing thought was one convergence and everything merging into one device, the reality is that we are seeing more divergence with many devices. Jenkins even discusses his own living room entertainment that includes television, cable box, VCR, DVD player, digital recorder, sound system, game system, and a mass of video tapes. Read the rest of this entry »