Final

The entire concept of new media is too broad to define, too large to pin down, and too vast to concisely describe. My practicum experience with the Vanderbilt News Service taught me that blogs add certain experiences to the entire concept of new media literacy. The research I did made me look into what blogging actually meant, something that Rachel touched on today, and how much “metablogging,” or blogging about blogging bloggers actually do. Blogging is an art form, and to have people follow you as a renowned member of a community means that you have something to offer. The experience of researching what Facebook and social networking sites mean to community is truly frightening. I gave the statistic that Facebook would be the 4th largest country in the world if it were one, and that means that we are connected now by 1 degree to that many people. We are a quick search away. Along the lines of participating in all of these digital mediums we give ourselves agency to accept or not accept certain ideas.
Does belonging to Facebook mean that you believe in its tenets of matchmaking friends or playing its games or adhering to its inherent etiquette? The answer, I think, is that it is similar to belonging to a religion in a casual sense; you just kind of do it because everyone else does and you may not understand everything but it keeps you connected. What does belonging to Facebook really mean? It means you are a consumer of a good, the same way that if you watch Hulu you simply consume a good. My opinion on all of this doesn’t actually matter- and going back to metablogging, this response to any prompt only matters if anyone reads it. Does a tree that falls with no one around to hear it make a sound? Here is my tree falling. Agency is the key to new media, recognizing yourself as a key component to what new media does will unlock everything about new literacy.
Watching advertisements gives you a decision, conscious or not, you make a decision to buy or not buy or watch.

New Advertising

This presentation shows that children have agency in all of the new media outlets that exist. We are not passersby and to assume such is a misnomer and injustice to ourselves. We are then the saps of the industry in which we have all the power. Everything is catered to us, beginning with advertising and ending with…NOTHING. Hulu tailors advertising to allow us to watch whatever we want. Tivo allows us to watch only the segments of shows that we want to watch. ESPN allows us to browse only the sports that we want to watch. Everything begins with us, the consumer, and we are not just consumers when we respond positively. We are every bit the consumer when we just watch, when we just listen, when we just allow anything to permeate our lives in any capacity.
The key in my classroom will be to be active, to respond purposefully to each and every task put in front of you. I contend that in order to be savvy in the world that we are moving into, a world that will be overflowing with things thrown at us on a secondly basis, the skill of stepping back will be commonplace, the skill to respond and understand any action as a response will be invaluable. Simply using a blog is a response to a community that is taking over news, and the meaning of instantaneous. It is easy to step back and relax, it is hard to evaluate, reevaluate, and evaluate your evaluations as responses. Kids and students in the future will be required to interact on a level of consumerism that has never been seen in the world.
The interactions with media, new and old, that are happening now are astonishing and in 20 years will probably double, triple, and quadruple. Everything needs a response, that is ultimately what I learned through the whole experience of the practicum, and hopefully what this final post exhibits. You need responses to be relevant, not just to be consumed passively. You need to respond to be relevant, you can’t just take it all in and ruminate on it. The new world of new media is about who you know, not what you know, who you blog, vlog, and correspond with, not who you read. Maybe in that aspect the world isn’t changing that much- it is only the digital immediacy that changes dynamic. Speed, response time, and knowledge are all a web of confused entities, not to be unwoven but rather rewoven into sensible styles and more easily workable schemes. The new world of media is not linear, it is not straightforward, it is the tangled web that is the Internet, that is Apps, that is what we read for the second class of the semester.

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The Importance of Publishing

Here we are, a community obsessed with instant gratification, instant answers, googleability. It all adds up to this phenomenon assisted by the generation that too many people call generation now. It is my generation, the one that doesn’t like to listen as much as it likes to talk, the one that doesn’t like to read as much as it likes to type. The one whose hands march across the keyboard at 100 wpm (words per minute) and race down the highway at 100 mph (miles per hour). We created blogging, the need for it anyways. When news comes out, we want it. Now. At this rate the only thing we learn is everything that people care to write about in their spare time which is, in this ridiculous age of information, everything. Everyone’s opinions, much like mine generated on this blog, and everyone’s thoughts. A prominent English journal recently decided to post essays up for publication online and have readers review those essays. Essentially they were “published” before they were actually published (all 3 articles ended up being published). This issue is where my question comes from. If anyone can have a blog, and if everyone else can have a voice posted somewhere somehow, how important is publishing. This blog, for instance, how important is it? To me, all of this instantaneous publishing is posting, the term “publish” means to “issue publicly the work of:” (I got that from dictionary.com). I don’t like the informality, and the ability to publish as your own editor-in-chief, it kind of cheapens everything. Is media too watered down then? No. I think the bad is weeded out through process of elimination and dislike, but there is something lost in translation from the generation before us. To quote George Watsky, “if you think someone has problems with speech/then your impediment is listening.” That is the informal problem, we are too obsessed with me (trust me I understand the irony of writing this in my blog), but that narcissism is the problem that we have only found outlets to express instead of treat. Caution is my solution, wait before you post, read and reread and read someone else who blogged the same thing- I didn’t. I am part of the problem I guess, but I still like my solution.

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Continued on Social/New Media/Technology


So, apparently social media is pretty popular. The point I want to think about is that technology is forcing us to be more interconnected. What does this mean as a form of literacy? More importantly, how do teachers teach certain social aspects of technology to children with special needs? Is it more worthwhile to spend time teaching kids how to date on chemistry.com or learn Shakespeare? That’s not an entirely serious question (chemistry.com is far more important for the kids’ futures).
Seriously though, there is an entire population of children who already receives sub par instruction, does this continued aberration flow into the realm of new and social media? IRIS, at Peabody College, is a program that actually uses internet modules to teach special needs teachers. The center focuses on closing the gap of research to application in classrooms, focusing on special education students. I recently spoke with Dr. Naomi Tyler and she explained to me that the IRIS center, which recently received its second OSEP, Office of Special Education Program, funded grant, is growing yearly at a high rate. Faculty of high schools, elementary schools and colleges alike are using strategies and modules presented by the center to increase teachers’ abilities to help students with special needs. It gives students, who are learning to be special ed teachers, internet modules and materials to demonstrate cases of a particular learning disorder. It is learning via new media. Most importantly, it is a focal point of IDEA’s 35 anniversary celebration/recognition in the Senate on Thursday about its “Part D” funding, on personnel preparation, and how this funding from OSEP has enabled special ed teachers to bring current behavioral, and otherwise relevant research, into the classroom.
There is a lot of smoke blown about how new media is changing for the average person, but technology is changing the world for the whole world- and by that I mean everyone. We need to be careful to take everyone along with us. This video offers many similar facts as the first, but some new and engaging ones as well.

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Interconnectedness

So I showed you our video, what new media is. We think it really caught the essence of new media, the part of new media that is now worth focusing on is interconnectedness. On the internet everything is connected to everything else, through a network of hyperlinks. Interconnectedness is very important, and the next part of being so connected is expanding. Katie Lance talks about social media in one of her articles, 6 Reasons Why Social Media Works, that it does not exist to continue to market to the same people, rather “Social media exists for sharing and expanding your reach. It’s one of the ways you grow your audience without paying a single dime” (no page). Interconnectedness is exacerbated by social media, a particular kind of new media that continues to spread its reach over the globe.
Social media is obviously the new cutting edge technology, but what does that mean for the world, in the grand scheme? It means that a message that anyone wants to put out on the web and make viral is more achievable. Companies want their advertisements smeared all over each website we visit, not so we buy that product that day, but so we know that product when a friend brings it up in conversation. The links never end, the goal is to get the name off of the web, out of the computer box, and into houses. The goal is to make each name a household name. As long as everyone knows what Coke Zero is, what XBox is, what McCafe is, and what [insert your favorite name brand here] is social media has essentially done its job. How interconnected do we want to be? It doesn’t really seem to me like its actually up to us anymore.

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Here I am

So with all of the new internet sites popping up there has to be a way to track how all of these people actually go to these sites. How many people track my twitter? Visit my Blog? Go to my website? Those three hyperlinks are not exactly rocket science, anyone can google them, but I thought I’d put them in a small area for you. My favorite is the twitter tracker, the blog author claims that people with more followers are not necessarily that interesting and some with no followers are way more interesting. Is either number or personal interpretation more important? No. We are self-serving in many respects, how many facebook friends we have, how many pictures we are tagged in, how much stuff we like, and how all of this comprises us is confounding. Nevertheless, it all does. The numbers are the important thing and there are plenty of internet trackers that allow you to see traffic across your media pages.
This is the important stuff that tracks your internet usage, where you go and what you do. Google can track down what city you are in and give you relevant responses to any given city. It is like an advanced and legal trojan horse I am not worried that google can hack into our computer or anything, but who needs to know all of this stuff about us. Does it matter how many times we visit “Ineednewsocks.com” I don’t know if that’s a website, but feel free to check it. No, but to us it kind of does and for the people who are trying to sell us socks, it definitely does. These counters are necessary for us as consumers, that is the ultimate answer.

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What Makes Bloggers Popular

The initial answer to this question is “I’m not sure” because I really don’t know how one particular blog attracts a multitude of readers while another, about the same topic, just does not. What about that Vlogger from my past post? Dan Brown is a popular video blogger who has hits on a lot of explanatory videos on Youtube.com. He is entertaining(ish). He is dynamic. The first rule of blogging is that you have to have a point of view, a good one, one that lends itself to critics and followers. The concept of response is integral in the world of blogging, if you can elicit a response then you can be a blogger, a good one. Someone like Joe Posnanski blogs about sports all day, and has that interesting take that it does take to make it in the blogging world.
Why is this blog not that popular? Well I have recently begun cornering the market on interesting multimedia effects in my own blog, but furthermore maybe my life isn’t that interesting. This is just a thought, certainly not truth, or maybe it is. So, more on what makes blogs big…multimedia presentations. We like having things inserted into our brains, we don’t like having to work for them. Radio podcasts, videocasts, all of these forms of how information can be placed into our brains, rather than us working for them to get there, are far more interesting and popular than actual reading. News sites now feature videos, and quick-hit podcasts; syndicated radio hosts offer up shorter versions of their shows via podcast. So what makes a good blogger? If you can get the information to the viewer faster you are probably better.
Hey, it only took me 282 words to explain that to you, I should be way more popular than I am.

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So what is New Media

Our project is a pastiche. It explains what new media is, through a consistently changing collage of images and sounds. The music is supposed to be reminiscent of the “htc” advertising campaign, about a smart phone. The idea that we took on was “the formal essay” versus “new media.” The idea that new media is taking over is not something that we highlighted, although it comes out a little bit. The idea that new media involves more than one author is also prevalent in the video. The mashing together of different media brings out the idea that there is not simply one author who controls authorship. New media is a combination of authorS that take control of the visual space. From the blogger (Dan Brown), me, Russ, and Kevin, to “Google,” everything exists as a controller of the visual area.   

The visual area is also something that is in flux as well. What exactly is the space that new media even talks about? Is it a screen, as displayed here. Can a piece of paper be new literacy? What if that paper is filmed and placed on the internet as a video? The most overwhelming part of all of this is that no one actually determines what new media is, let alone how people are supposed to interact with it. And we do interact with new media! Isn’t that a part of new media as much as anything else, a forum to respond is just as important as one to post. Blogs force interaction, “Wikipedia” forces interaction, “Youtube” forces comments. New media is a whole new mess to sort out, and I think we did a nice job sorting out some of it (not to mention the uncensored concept at the end, bloopers).

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Is the Internet just a fancy overhead projector?

Innovations in technology have led teachers to this idea, “teaching with new media.” What does this term mean and how has it changed teaching? Well, go to the top 101 websites for teachers and you will find helpful websites that assist with ideas of what to teach to which websites to use in teaching to lesson planning. Webquests bring a whole world into a classroom. The internet boasts a whole world shrunk into a laptop.

Computers boast a whole world on a laptop (connected via mouse)

With all of this interconnectedness, particular teaching programs like CALLA (Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach) aim to further connect issues, especially classroom to classroom and classroom to real life. ”
If skills are independent of content, we could reasonably conclude that we can develop these skills through the use of any content” (Andrew J. Rotherham, Daniel T. Willingham). These two authors go on to say that there are integral skills in math, science, and literature that are not transferable through certain media and other classrooms. Math has skills that cannot be determined through literature. Literature promotes skills that are not promotable through history materials. That is the rub, I think that through careful integration concepts can feed off of each other. If materials are interrelated then students can draw greater meaning and in turn better understand material in each class. The internet has a connecting ability to turn math problems into cartoons, and literature into an advanced equation of binary code. Are these two subjects inherently intertwined? No, but the internet brings one type of cohesion to them. The internet is a big overhead projector, projecting similar ideas into various classes.

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China, India, Indonesia, United States, and Facebook?

According to a Practical Commerce podcast Facebook, with a capital “F,” would be the fifth largest country in the world behind the four other countries mentioned in the title. Is that where we are in the world? So integrated to technology that we have to integrate it into census counts. Okay, if we are and if we want to consider that good, let’s consider some of the implications of counting technology as another piece of the world, 70% of the world is water, 30% land (I am ballparking), is another 100% airspace? The infinite levels of the internet are multiplying on themselves and in the 21st century it is businesses and entrepreneurs planting their metaphorical flags in metaphorical soil of the internet.
If we are about to start considering the internet another landmass in the world it is wise to start considering Myspace the ruins of Rome, Friendster the ruins of Greece, and Facebook circa 2006 (when I joined, it was only college students) as maybe the British Empire. Facebook is a new form of a country, I am okay with that. It means we are connected, in touch, and possibly even Facebook friends with other countries! Let’s use this opportunity to send out messages of well being and peace. All of the empires that have existed before have been adamant in demanding a severe allegiance, which we all seem to have subscribed to by deleting our myspaces, and peace within their borders. It is not that unrealistic. While an American soldier breaks into an unsuspecting Afghani’s house, let’s send them a friendly facebook message, or at least try. Why can’t the Tom of Facebook send out a “hey guys, let’s be real friends” message (he is already donating millions of dollars to New Jersey schools). Let’s start with kids. Let’s show them that we can be kind, even if it is in a sort of superficial way. Let’s have one day where you have to send out a random facebook message to someone in another country and be nice. Let’s make Facebook create a positive, and not allow it to continue without paying its dues, I want kids in my future classes to do that, to realize that. This power is the power a country as powerful as Facebook can wield. As Nike would say, “Just do it.”

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New Technology Misses

Is there anything today that cannot be done with a computer? How much do we trust computers, cars, and televisions over manual labor. We schedule Tivos to record our television on time, and we trust our computers to kill the viruses on their hard drives. Having killed six yellow jackets recently, with a good old napkin, it made me wonder how much we can actually trust certain things to the realm of technology. Literacy in new technology seems to be a continual spiral sideways into less responsibility on our hands (just then I spelled “responsibility” as “responsability” and luckily this little red line calls to my attention that I misspelled the word). Literacy in computer technologies is illiteracy in intelligence.
No more do I have to make sure I spell things right, I count on my computer. That is an exaggeration because I do think I pay attention and attempt to spell things properly, but when I have an English class, will spelling tests even be an issue? Aren’t pen and paper going the way of the Dodo. I remember in my math classes not worrying about the formulation of particular problems because I could use my calculator. When my fingers can walk and talk for me there is less harm that I can do. This scenario is not an exaggeration. Will spelling be obsolete? Will we trust everything to computers even when those computers are not 100% trustworthy? I think the answer in 2010 is that we have to. We have to trust computers because how reliable are we as people? I think the unreliability in computers comes from the unreliability of people. If God made us in His image then we made them in Ours, fallible. I am not trying to be religious, rather I am trying to be practical. Our creations do what we tell them to, correct us when we want them to, and break what we tell them to. Computer literacy is far more destructive, on a human level, than we give it credit for.

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