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Well this is it.
Coming into this class, I wasn’t sure I was going to learn a whole lot because I was pretty sure I was in control of the technology I was using.
Sure, I have a facebook, I have a smartphone, I upload videos to youtube, but from what I could tell, I was in control. I had no reason to think that technology had a hold on my life and I wasn’t the programmer…but I soon realized it was programming me.
What an important class to take. Now that it’s over, I feel like I am walking away a smarter more conscious person. I’m connected to people through my new media devices, but I have become smarter with the the way and how much I use it.
Here’s a list of the 5 most important things I have learned in this class:
1. I have a CHOICE
Rushkoff said, “The digital realm is biased towards choice, because everything must be expressed in the terms of a discrete, yes-or-no, symbolic language. This in turn, often forces choices on humans operating the digital sphere.” This means that I need to not be a mindless drone that allows a computer to make choices for me. Technology is meant to be a tool to enhance what I already have, a brain. It is my responsibility to make my own choices, and stop relying so much on technology to do it for me. I think this is a valuable lesson I have taken away from this class. Reflecting on everything I have done before this class makes me realize that I did click yes-or-no, I didn’t bother to did deeper, or ask the question “maybe?” instead. As a human in the USA, I have the freedom of choice, and from now on I will never forget that.
2. Hackers know what they’re doing
I’ve learned that I need to know how to be the programmer of the technology I use. I need to know exactly how it works, and what makes it so advanced. It’s REALLY important to know how to write in HTML, the underlying code that powers the web. The two readings that really helped me understand this is of course Rushkoff’s book, “Program or be Programmed,” and also “How Digital Technology Found Utopian Ideology” by Fred Turner. When we read about the hackers, it made me realize that THEY are the smart ones. They have it figured out. No technology is too big to be conquered by them.
It makes me feel like I have been very intimidated by the very technology I use everyday. I’ve been a prisoner to something that could someday have a mind of its own. But after class discussions, activities, and reading these helpful articles, I have learned to not be afraid of the new media I am using. I am in control of it and I won’t let it get out of hand. It doesn’t run my life, and I am a real person outside of having a cellphone and a laptop. I really think it’s one of the most valuable things I have taken away from this class because I will be a better smarter person because of it.
3. Seperate Reality from New Media: Human Contact is Too Important To Lose
When I’m sitting on the bus, texting my friend who’s sitting next to me. That’s a problem. When I Skype my roommate when I could just go in the living room and talk to her in person, that’s a problem. New media and technology has wedged a gap between reality and the digital realm. I’ve learned in this class that I need to stick up for my humanity and break down the barrier that is keeping me from participating in real life. Rushkoff’s chapter on Space really made me think about how even though I am “present” in a space, my mind is not present at all because it is sucked into my device and transported to another destination and another realm. Face to face contact could possibly be one of the most important things we can do with other people to keep a strong connection with each other. It’s become too easy for us to just look down at our phones and participate in an alternate reality and escape the reality right in front of us. The more and more we let ourselves do this, the farther we detach from one another, and the closer we become to letting technology control our entire lives. By doing the digital media fast, I learned that I can pull myself away from technology and I won’t die. Human contact is just as important as sending an “important” text in the middle of class. I really just want to stress that I have learned to seperate the two, and focus on making more of an effort to remain in reality and not let technology pull me away from enjoying the aspects of being a human being.
4. Not All New Media is Troublesome
Along with learning how much technology can impact my life in a negative way, this class has brought to my attention many positive ways we use technology and new media to advance in life. After reading the article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” by Nickolas Carr, it really made me think about how I use and abuse google. Google really is a great search engine that is designed to help us find the information we are looking for, but most people don’t know the correct way to use it, the way it was programmed to be used. Once I figured out how to actually do credible research through the google search engine, it’s made writing research papers SO much easier. This class has helped me find a way to utilize technology and new media in the way it was intended to be used and I’ve realized that not all technology is harming us. Once we take the initiative to become the programmer, many new media devices and outlets can help us learn and interact with the internet. We’ve talked about anything from ethics behind sites like Myspace to participating in the remixing and mashing up of songs and videos. If technology is used correctly, it really can be a vital tool for us to use, and this class has definately left that impact on me.
5. Keeping Up To Date With New Media is Key
Where would our culture be without social media and the constant development of new technology? This class has helped me learn that social media and new technology are a vital part of our culture. We need to bring it upon ourselves to learn how to use the technology and participate. Before this class, I didn’t know what a stack was or even have a twitter for that matter. As much as I wish it was different, our culture is in a digital age and to continue to be in control of it, we must take control and participate in all forms of new media. Most of the readings we did in this class, warned us of what could happen if we let new media get out of hand, but also gave a lot of great advice on how to use new media correctly and participate. If you want to get ahead in the job world, you need to have social media promoting yourself and your talents. Listening to what everyone has said in class, I think this is a very true and accurate statement, and it is something I have taken away from the class and utilized.
Our Digital Media Artifact
So there you have it, a girl who came into this course believing that technology will take over the world finally believes that if it is used correctly, it can be a vital and helpful aspect to our lives. What we’ve talked about in class really has changed the way I use technology because I’m much more knowledgable of the ways it affects my life and my humanity.
Just when I thought technology was winning…I finished this class and realized I was an equal contender in this new media race to end.
When I was about 14, my parents got my siblings and I a cell phone to share. It was a bulky brick of a phone, but it was such an exciting thing to have in my possession. My brother and sister didn’t seem to care so much about the phone because she was 12 and my brother was “too cool” to carry a cell phone because he was in highschool, so needless to say, the phone became MINE! I carried it everywhere and couldn’t imagine ever having a cooler piece of technology at my fingertips.
This is an article by ABC News about Kids and Cell Phones that I found really interesting!
I couldn’t text on it, I could only make calls on the phone, and it matched my mp3 player quite nicely. Technology has evolved so much even since I was 14 years old. Six years later a cell phone can do everything from text, make movies, to even talk back to you! (Siri haha)
If technology has changed so much in such a short time, I don’t think its hard to predict that technology will continue to evolve into something even greater. Cell phones will be able to physically talk to your friends for you and carry on a conversation if you are too busy to talk. iPods might be able to project holograms in the near future, so you can see the band playing your favorite song “live” in front of you!
This is a video of the rapper Tupac as a hologram on stage. It is so weird, but also so cool because it looks like he is really there!
I think that laptops will be a staple in the classroom and all homework, tests, and teaching will be over the internet. Students won’t have to leave their dorm rooms to go to all their classes. I think more texts books will become virtual and we will be able to use “virtual money” to pay for them.
The internet will only become more complex and grow into something that none of us can really fathom at this point. It has a mind of it’s own and will become the largest database of any information ever. Its something that no one can really predict the future of because it is already bigger than human thought.
If you had told me six years ago that I would have a Blackberry that could browse the internet, check my email, text, take pictures and video, and play music, I would have thought you were lieing. Technology is immortal, it will continue to grow and develop even when we’re no longer around to see it. We must take caution.
I can’t say I am disappointed that the LambdaMoo program would not download on my computer. From what I have read, it seems like it is difficult to use and quite frankly, dumb. Not a lot of people use this virtual world game because it can’t compete with other sites like Second Life or the Sims.
I found it interesting that we read Rushkoff’s chapter on Space. When we are in one place, but then using digital devices to put ourselves in another place at once, we are not really “present” in the original place because our minds are somewhere else.
I feel like this really connects with virtual reality games. You are sitting at a computer in one place, but your mind is playing out another life in a virtual world that isn’t real at all. This can be a dangerous thing. We are never where we say we are because we are always thinking about where we will be next; never emotionally invested in any social situation face to face, but emotionally attached to space and technology that gives us a false sense of reality.
I remember when I stayed the night at my friends house one time and she had just bought the Sims game. I thought we were going to do something fun like paint our nails or do our hair, but she had me sit next to her at the computer for what seemed like forever. While she was playing the virtual game, she completely forgot I was even spending the night, and when I woke up in the morning she was just shutting down her computer and laying down for the night.
That just shows how absent people can be when they are “plugged” into technology, that they forget their is a real human presence in the room, and act like what they are doing is reality and far more important than anything going on in the outside world. They act like they are in real relationships with characters that are nothing more than a bunch of ones and zeros.
LambdaMoo was an epic fail on my part and as a whole. I would prefer to try and stay connected with my friends and family in my sense of reality…face to face communication.
What can I say? 140 characters…
I knew there was a reason why I didn’t have a Twitter up until now…because I am brain dead when it comes to knowing what to do. For some reason a tweet just doesn’t work for me, and I feel like that may be socially unacceptable to say that out loud.
In Julian Dibbell’s article, Future of Social Media, Is a Tweet the New Size of a Thought?, she talks about how no one really gets the point of Twitter. I must be among the masses because I am clueless.
I actually found myself getting frustrated because I couldn’t think of something to say…”it’s not that hard” I kept telling myself. “People do this multiple times a day! Why can’t I think of one stinking thing to tweet?!?” What would people want to know about me or what I was doing? Oh yeah, “created a Twitter for class, doing homework till the a.m.? #mylifeisboring” I wouldn’t really want to read that on someone else’s Twitter because, truth is, I really don’t care.
“What if the reason no one’s figured out why Twitter matters is that it’s bigger, in fact, than anyone’s imagining?” That’s a question I took from the reading and really started contemplating…
Considering I have lived through the days of MySpace and AIM, it’s hard to imagine people will be twittering forever. Maybe I just don’t understand it? Other people might get some sort of pleasure or thoughtful release by constantly tweeting, but it doesn’t do anything for me. The more I try to formulate thoughts in 140 characters or less, the more I realize I am putting an imaginary cap on my own ideas and what they are truly capable of.
But what about the fact that not having a Twitter account could potentially make you a social outcast? Has Twitter gained so much momentum in the virtual world that it is steamrolling real life, condensing it to 140 characters of pure popularity?
We must be real here. All Twitter really is a popularity contest. Who can get the most followers? Everyone is out to try and be the popular kid they probably weren’t in highschool, looking for people to care about their personal thoughts and actions. Hoping some people will care about where they are and what they are doing. You sell yourself by linking to videos and sites that you think will win over other people’s ”friendship” online.
But is it really an online friendship you have with your followers? I know for a fact a lot of people I know follow celebrities just to creep on them and find out what they are doing to satisfy their need to feel like they actual “know” this famous person.
I won’t knock the whole Twitter thing until I really give it a shot. The reading really did make me think about Twitter as a form of social media that may never go away. Some day the entire world will only be able to form sentences in 140 characters. Who knows though right?
For now I’ll remain in this love/hate relationship with the infamous Twitter and see where it takes me. One more thing that I have to update, and being as busy as I am, it doesn’t really make sense to do sometimes.
Twitter, twittering, tweeting, tweet…I don’t care what you’re doing…I’ll continue to stay firmly planted on the earth even when everyone seems to be sucked into the twittersphere.
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopidia that was created to “spread the wealth” when it comes to knowledge.
I created an account and it took me about twenty minutes of roaming the site to figure out how to work the software. It was almost so simple that it made it hard to figure out. I was surprised at how easily I could edit information on any wiki page I liked, which made me skeptical right off the bat about the type of information that is published on the site each day.
In Stacey Schiff’s article, “Annals of Information- Know It All: Can Wikipedia Conquer Expertise,” she raises the question, “What can be said for an encyclopedia that is sometimes right, sometimes wrong, and sometimes illiterate?”
An encyclopedia that does not always have accurate information should not be considered an encyclopedia at all. Where would we turn for correct information if all the information out there is unreliable and has the “potential” to be either true or false? We would have no way of knowing what to use!
Although I did not plan on publishing it, I went to the Days of the Week Wikipedia page and said there were SIX days in one week. I clicked save the edit and low and behold, it now said there are six days in every week.
Days of the Week edit
Schiff’s article gives the history of Wikipedia, and this video also gives a general overview of the history of Wikipedia, but it has more pictures!
Wikipedia is known for it’s users liberal approach to the truth, that is to say that knowledge is free and should be shared by anyone at anytime. Michael from the TV show, The Office, explains what this really means in the way of sharing information.
But I am going to have to aggree with Schiff when she said that, “Wikipedia remains a lumpy work in progress. The entries can read as though they had been written by a seventh grader: clarity and concision are lacking; the facts may be sturdy, but the connective tissue is either anemic or absent; and citation is hit or miss.”
The world is always changing and information should be constantly updated. I agree with that statement. But where are we going if we look up information, and we can’t rely on it, constantly having to question whether it is true of false. The truth is muddled somewhere underneath layers of lies and unreliable information because many people don’t know what they are talking about.
When I went in to add additional information or correct pages that I knew something about, at first I was quite hesitant. It made me question whether the information I was about to share was the truth because I wouldn’t want to publish something and have someone else be misinformed because I couldn’t get my facts straight.
Finally I decided to edit the Humphrey-Weidman technique page. The Humphrey technique is a modern dance technique that is widely used around the world. I inserted the edit that the technique is based around falling and recovering, which is moving to and from the point of your equilibrium. I got the information out of a book I had read, and you can find a lot of reliable material on World Cat Local and Google Scholar
I also edited the Broadcast Journalism page by making a few grammatical changes and adding that the internet has become a newer form of broadcast journalism, and I edited the page for Elmira Michigan because what wouldn’t I know better than my own home town?
Broadcast Journalism edit
Elmira, Michigan edit
This video shows how two teenage kids changed history when they decided to edit their names into a Wiki article about the mathmatic equation that is associated with X-Rays. No one knew the correct answer, so just accepted what they saw on Wikipedia as true!
This makes me very wary of the type of information that I get from this site. Just because I don’t know the difference between Stalin’s birthday and Hitlers birthday, and by not knowing the correct answer to begin with, how am I supposed to know if someone else got it right. The fact that I am searching for the right answer or definition but have no idea if what I am looking at is correct makes me hesitant to use Wikipedia.
I understand the intention behind this site, don’t get me wrong, but only experts should be able to edit the information on Wikipedia, and it should not be open to the general public.
This video points out some of the same positive aspects Wikipedia has that I feel like Schiff pointed out in her article.
When I wrote my first research paper in highschool, I could never understand why Wikipedia was not a credible source. I didn’t understand that to be a creditable source was supposed to be an expert on the issue with sources to back up their opinions. I could be thinking I’m citing the right information, but then find out it was completely bogus and fail my paper.
It’s important that everyone sign up for an account and see for themselves how unstable Wikipedia’s information really can be.
Just think of the vandelism and misuse that happens to Wikipedia and the proven fact that their are errors on three out of four wiki pages. It may be good for getting some quick general facts that almost everyone knows to be true, and it has given us a way to define words that have never been defined before, but the negative outways the good in Wikipedia’s case.
Research Paper. Possibly the two most dreaded words in the English language to a college student.
I’m not going to lie, I still dread seeing the due date for a research paper in a syllabus the first day of class. The truth is, I am as guilty of trying to find the quickest and easiest way to research as the rest of us. I have changed a topic multiple times because the first search I put into google turned out to be a flop. I don’t like reading long articles to find the information that I am looking for, so I tend to skim over things and could be missing valuable stuff.
In Carrs article, What’s New About New Media he talks about how we are neurologically losing our ability to read and comprehend long articles or books. I found this interesting because as I was reading his “longish” article, I couldn’t focus as well towards the middle and end as I had in the first few paragraphs. Did he mean for his article to be lengthy to prove a point?
I find that when I am weeding out sources, the more complex the search it was to find the source and the more complex the reading is, the more I just want to run in the opposite direction. This brings in what Rushkoff said in Chapter IV of his book, “Life becomes about knowing how not to know what one doesn’t have to know.” I want to find a way to research so that I don’t have to read complex sources to find a good complex source. Where can I find credible sources for my research paper?
I still haven’t found a full proof search strategy that works everytime for me, and I have had alot of trouble in the past finding a scholarly source rather than a peer reviewed source. My freshman year I may have cited Wikipedia as a creditable source…in case you haven’t heard…that’s a BIG no no.
After reading, What Students Don’t Know, my scholarly source searching has become a million times better. It became clear to me as I read, that I had no idea what our librarians were actually for. I related to the students that don’t actually even know how to properly use the media outlets available to me to conduct my research. This video is about how technology is changing the libraries of the future.
Google Guide started my mini research project off on the right foot. I had never realized that I should avoid putting in filler words like “the” “a” and “is.” By keeping my key words short, specific, and to the point, finding sources for my topic became alot less stressful.
I chose to search the topic: How is new media affecting children’s learning inside the classroom?
The first key words I put into the Google search bar were : new media affects children
I had hundreds of sites pop up, and I thought to myself, how am I supposed to find a scholarly source out of all this mess? After a while looking, I finally found a link to a website that was created by the American Psychological Association. The link didn’t end in a “.com” it ended in a “.org”
After reading through the article, I saw that it had other scholarly sources at the bottom and other scientific articles I could read. This is a good site offered many good scholarly resources because not only did it talk about the affects of media on children, but it also gave many other resources to give even more information on this topic. Unraveling New Media’s Effects on Children.
My search didn’t stop there as I still a little iffy on whether or not it could be counted as a scholarly source. Instead I narrowed my search options to Google Scholar. I felt like the more words I typed in the search engine, the harder it was to find a scholarly article pretaining to my topic. Although that was a bit annoying, I did find two sources that would be great if you were writing a paper on the topic. This one gave statistics on the effects media has on children’s learning, Kids & Media.
The other scholarly source I found, gave a perspective on how new media has some positive effects on children’s learning, but also made interesting points about how its effecting the older generation. Young People and New Media.
Finally I ended my search at the LUC library page, a.k.a. The bain of my existance in previous years. After having read so many great articles on how to properly use the resources available to me through the school library, I found it so much easier to find scholarly sources that could help in this research project. The best resource I found was simply using EBSCOhost. It had so many creditable articles that could be used for the topic of how new media is affecting a child’s learning process. A source I found that might be helpful is The Effect of Media on Children.
Overall, this was truly a great process to go through. I learned more in reading and practicing the skills given to me by the readings in class, than I have in any library tutorial I have been given thus far at Loyola.