Some insightful observations. Why should we teach media literacy? Right here is a good reason.
These children have grown up with digital technologies, but in a very limited way. They know a few things quite deeply, but they – as we did at their age – have no great appreciation of the subtleties of the tools. The expanse and use of the tools. The possibilities for tools that don’t yet exist.
They can push buttons, but they can’t make them.
Brad King: – Shut Your Digital Native Piehole (52 of 90).
Definitely poignant. How do we increase the literacy of kids? This is why we need media and digital citizenry taught in school. Kids grow up with computers, but they don’t know how to really use all the tech that’s out there. There is also Henry Jenkins’ position of ethical standards not being learned in an always-on world. Being native doesn’t equal being literate. And literacy has changed.
Where do the lines stand? We now live in an age where borrowing, copying and reusing creative works is the rule. From music remix culture to the more current trend in lifting authored written works for use in new publications, the boundaries of fair use and appropriation are blurred through the lens of this new participatory culture.
As the debate stands, there are quite a few sides to join. In this essay we will examine the scope of the copyleft movement and identify the beneficial aspects of adopting a Creative Commons-style approach to appropriation. In doing so, we will gain support from original copyright provisions in the United States Constitution as well as current real-life examples of the benefits. In appropriation of others’ works, it is important to respect the copyright holder’s rights. At the same time, in order for creative culture to progress, creators must be open to allowing their works to be referenced, used, and incorporated into new art forms.
Modern copyright law is a far cry from its roots, and provisions on fair use are not so fair. The United States Constitution declares,
“The Congress shall have Power…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries; (Article I, Section 8, emphasis mine)”
Today, copyright provisions last too long and in turn stifle the “Progress of Science and useful Arts.” In 1998 the time limit became the life of the author (or creator) plus 70 years with the passing of the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act. As Marc Garcelon (2009) points out, this is far longer than the “original 14-year limit that copyright established in 1790 (p. 1308).” In doing so, Congress further blurred the distinction between ideas and expression that Thomas Jefferson originally intended in writing the constitution (p. 1308). ¶ Read More…
Seen from a historical perspective, examples [of the Other] abound: think about the cold war and the mutual demonization between USA and Russia. Or take the anthropological literature which is replete with examples of aboriginal people either dehumanized and treated as animals or idealized as specifically pure, being-in-touch-with-nature, unspoiled creates (see Gaugin above). Whatever the image and values projected onto the other, it reflects usually not just a mirror image of our own identity but constitutes something that essentially withdraws from our grasp.
In this exercise of examining “the Other”, I’ve chosen three subjects – an Individual, a Group/Sub-culture, and an Action. The goal is for these to be foreign to me either negatively or positively. I attempted to choose subjects that affect me in way, which will be explained with the photographic representations I’ve chosen. The first step is to identify these subjects. ¶ Read More…
Recently I wrote about Google Buzz and some of its shortfalls, detailing what it does and doesn’t do well, along with some speculative scenarios that could see Buzz becoming a dangerous infraction on privacy. I think this did well to give a very basic overview of what Buzz does and, hopefully, help us be on the look out as responsible media users for things that seem just a little bit fishy in the Google world.
What that little project didn’t do is look at the inner workings of Google the parent company or how Buzz was birthed. Now, I’m not an insider and Google itself isn’t the most vocal about its trade secrets. However, with a little bit of research and the help of people who keep track of acquisitions, I think we can start to get a pretty good picture of what makes up Buzz.
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Rettberg, J.W. (2009). ‘Freshly generated for you, and Barack Obama’: how social media represent your life. European Journal of Communication, 24(4), 451-466.
The primary point of this article is that the information we give to social media, be it personal, travel-oriented, photographic, or anything, combines to create a narrative surrounding us. The author uses a personal example of Dopplr.com’s 2008 Personal Annual Report to show the ways location, contacts and chronology intertwine to tell a story. It is argued that the ways in which we document our lives in ‘personal media’ contributes to a type of cultural template that shape these narratives. Included in these templates are the ways in which this information is organized and presented. The media itself shows its users information about their travel, search history, or reading tastes generating what the author calls filtered self-portraits. The author suggests that this may be good as it allows us to see our place in the the cultural templates and larger stories of the world.
Stolley, K. (2009). Integrating social media into existing work environments: The case of
Delicious. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 23(3), 350-371.
This article provides an overview of the social bookmarking site Delicious.com and its functions. The professional use of Delicious is described in terms of activity theory and interaction design, making a case for specific and limited datatypes being particularly useful for technical communicators. The author argues that RSS and APIs allow technical communicators open up a centralized system, but these functions must be integrated into common use applications in order to gain widespread adoption into business workflows, with one proposed solution being the use of third party browser add-ons such as have been made for Firefox. The article then details the technical processes needed to achieve a useful level of integration, effectively opening up that centralized system.
This TED talk was used in my Media Literacy course discussions last week, and it’s just so true that I felt I needed to share it. Sir Ken Robinson talks about how the current education system basically sets us up for failure if we’re at all different. By stifling the arts and punishing mistakes, students coming out of school have a harder time grappling with real issues. They can’t think as creatively. Some may have pent up creative energies that were never allowed to be expressed.
Instead of diagnosing everything as a condition, why is it so hard to admit that something is a failure and work to correct it? Maybe it is that same fear of mistakes that schools are instilling in students. This is an inspiring (and hilarious) TED Talk.
This mini-autobiography was written as a class assignment for Understanding Media Studies in the Media Studies MA program at The New School.
Perhaps unlike some of my colleagues and predecessors in this MA program, my intellectual story hasn’t been defined by distinct, earth-shattering moments of revelation. In fact, very few people were involved in my scholarly formation in regards to this program. But maybe that makes my story all the more unique. Since childhood, my interests have always been shaped and informed by music, visual design, film, television and print. In some ways it seems this course of study was inevitable. In any case, I know why I am pursuing this degree, and in this essay we’ll look at the progression of circumstances and choices that let me to this point.
In high school my interests always stood firmly grounded in the technical side of media. As an audio technician I learned the skills of removing distraction to let whatever voice or message I was amplifying be understood as clearly as possible. This philosophy was one I developed on my own and succinctly stated to as many people as would listen to my yammering.
I learned the basics of the art of video editing in an internship under Tony Mercado. His experience as both a cameraman and editor for various documentary films, along with his prowess for technical processes, further developed my love of multimedia. At the same time, it definitely played up my computer geekiness. ¶ Read More…
Today Conan decided to finally follow someone on Twitter. His choice was random (so he says), but the lucky Sarah Killen has no doubt felt the power of his action. And it’s an interesting case study in the power of celebrity in the new digital participatory culture.
When Conan O’Brien first created a Twitter account we students of social media had a fun new game to play: Guess how many followers Conan will have after each refresh. When I got into the game, he had around 71,500 followers and jumped up to over 72k in less than a minute. And kept climbing. That was eight days ago.
What’s really interesting is Conan’s foreshadowing:
Today, Conan has 535,275 followers as of this writing (and climbing, no doubt). Sarah, the one person he decided to follow, gained over 2000 followers in a matter of minutes. And, as in Conan’s case, that number is still climbing.
Behold the power of celebrity in participatory culture. This makes me wonder if Conan and his crew realize the amount of influence they have on the web. I’m sure they do. Now, Sarah Killen’s life probably isn’t changing all that much. But she has been brought up alongside Conan’s image and, holding onto his coattails, so to speak. Pretty fascinating. I wonder if NBC is noticing this and realizing how incredibly bad their move to get rid of him was…
The following is a discussion topic that I am leading with @paisian in our Media Literacy course at The New School.
As this week’s topic is Digital Participatory Culture we (Neal and Joel) thought it only suitable to collaborate entirely on the discussion piece to kick this off. We used Google Wave to formulate our ideas and get a basic outline of what’s to come and then moved it into a shared Google Document to put the last formatting touches on it.
The discussion this week will break down what we took away as the most significant aspects of the new digital participatory culture and attempt to stratify all of these new ideas with your experiences, thoughts, ideas and research.
Many of us in this course have grown up with computers and the Internet present for most of our lives. Those of us who were recently undergrads most likely connected pretty distinctly with both the Jenkins and Watkins readings.
Jenkins defines this new participatory culture as,
“A culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices.”
With so much of our day-to-day lives wrapped up in the digital world, at some point you have to jump in and start contributing to the discussion. As Jörg has mentioned, Jenkins has shown us that in order to stay relevant and alive in the digital culture, we need to participate in it. Today, that takes many forms.
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