New Media

Filed Under (Work) by Laura Smith on 26-01-2009

I, for one, am fascinated by the possibilities of technology.  I spend way too much time a lot of time surfing the internet for information about the latest trends, as they apply to education.  And also, as they apply to making life easier and more interesting.  My “Totally Tech” elective is going to be discussing the topic of New Media, so here’s a little cross-post from our class wiki:

“Recently we have begun a discussion of New Media. What is it, and why do we care? Well, our class did some research on what it means, and the consensus was that:

“New Media is any kind of digital, interactive way of getting and producing information.”

Some of the examples that we listed were:

  • Youtube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Blogs

So, why should we care about this? Well, the way people receive information is rapidly changing from even the way our parents did. For example, when your parents were your age, they may have watched the news or read the newspaper to find out about current events. For today’s students, there are countless options available through the use of technology. Sure, you can still watch the news or (gasp!) read the paper, but you can also have your RSS feed reader send you automatic updates from MSNBC.com, or use your iphone Twitter app to check updates from your “following” list, which may include our new president. If you just said “huh?”, don’t feel bad. Technology changes so rapidly it is hard to keep up! Check out this link to one of my favorite blogs for another way phone and internet users are changing the way we get our news.”

My recent pesonal example of this was the CNN/Facebook live Inauguration “party” (although I doubt that’s what CNN would call it).  Basically, if you went to http://www.cnn.com on Inauguration Day, and logged into your Facebook account, you could stream the video of the ceremony and comment about it with other users (hmm… I wonder how many people signed up for an account that day just so they could comment…clever marketing, Facebook!)  It was very interesting to watch the Inauguration from this perspective.  And one of the most interesting things that happened to me that day was that the news about Ted Kennedy broke on the live chat BEFORE it even appeared on the television news!  For a person who is on the verge between being a Digital Native and a Digital Immigrant, this was COOL!  You see, in my classroom I had both the TV and the live CNN stream on the computer going at once.  There was a bit of a lag in the online stream, but not much.  However, I suddenly started seeing user comments wishing Ted Kennedy good luck, and things like “I hope he’s okay,” and so I turned to the TV and started flipping channels so I could figure out what they were talking about.  NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, etc. had nothing about this.  I did a quick Google News search on Ted Kennedy.  Nothing.  Comments were flooding in to Facebook.  About twenty minutes later, the NBC news reporter mentioned something about it on TV.  So, somehow, the online community learned this news before the television news media got a hold of it.  That’s pretty interesting, and I think this is only the beginning.

We are the creators of our news.  Just watch and see.

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