By Jarrett Ireland, Karen Fisher and Nick Nelson
Read Renee’s scholarly article, “Multiple Visions of Multimedia Literacy” and Alice Robison’s “New Media Literacies by Design.” THEN watch the PBS video “Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century”
After watching, compose a blog entry that explores 3 – 5 key ideas presented in the film. Take careful notes of key phrases in the film. Which of the programs featured in the video was most interesting to you? What were the most exciting and compelling moments of the video? What aspects of this approach to learning seem troubling, unrealistic or difficult? How likely is it that these approaches to education reform will become normative in our society in the coming years? What might be some potential positive and negative consequences to these new approaches to learning? What questions are raised by or left unanswered by the video?
Use at least 3 hyperlinks in your blog and select an appropriate image to match the main ideas that you explore in your writing.
DUE: October 6
Most people have a favorite video blogger, and YouTube has brought many to fame. This young man is one of my favorites because he’s so charming.The author of this video is Charlie, a teenager from England who has become relatively well known and has passed the 1 Million “subscriber” mark on his YouTube Channel “charlieissocoollike”. The purpose of this video is the same as every other personal YouTube channel- to get more views on the video to generate revenue (partnered YouTube channels earn money based on how many views videos get) and to increase subscribers. Charlie uses a quirky-funny approach to gain attention in the beginning, but you can only have your attention grabbed if you’re watching it. Most people don’t think about it, but YouTube stars put a lot of thought into their titles. “Challenge: Hoedown Throwdown” represents two factors- firstly, the challenge trend that was sweeping YouTube at the time where viewers challenge the star to do crazy thing. Using a fad of the time attracted attention, as did name-dropping the “Hoedown Throwdown” the name of a Hannah Montana dance that most are familiar with, whether or not they’ve seen the movie. This video represents the lifestyle of someone who lives vicariously through their computer and encourages others to do the same by becoming a subscriber. It would be difficult to interpret the message differently as this video is in fact quite pointless, though entertaining. Ommited from the message is the typical begging for subscribers- something that was probably carefully planned to make him seem like an experienced and uncaring vlogger concerned more with his viewers than with himself. Though these vlog-type videos are made by amateurs, they still represent unique marketing tactics that one might not see when watching the video for entertainment.
“Throughout the country, young people were logging in, creating elaborate profiles, publicly articulating their relationships with other participants, and writing extensive comments back and forth. By early 2006, many considered participation on the key social network site, MySpace, essential to being seen as cool at school. ”
(Boyd, 2007: 1)
In this quote from Danah Boyd’s work entitled “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life,” Boyd explains that by 2006, it was socially unacceptable for young people to not have and operate a Myspace page. This demonstrates media literacy as a social practice perfectly. In order to be “cool” youth must be computer and internet literate enough to operate their own profile and participate in other peoples Myspace profiles. Youth society demands that a youth has these skills in order to be accepted socially.
“MySpace accidentally left open a technological loophole and their forms accepted (and then rendered) HTML and CSS code. Capitalizing on this loophole, participants can modify the look and feel of their profiles.”
(Boyd, 2007: 6)
Here Boyd tells how a mistake on Myspace’s creators part led to a new way for users to express themselves, through using HTML and CSS to design their profile the way they liked. In order to have the “coolest” profile, teens began to explore their internet literacy and learn to use code to achieve something that would impress their peers. Social pressures motivated Myspace users to learn something that they wouldn’t have otherwise.
“Friendster implemented this feature to encourage people to write testimonials about their friends for strangers to read…. Over time, reciprocity motivated people to write creative testimonials back and forth, creating a form of conversation…”
(Boyd, 2007: 7)
In this quote, Boyd tells about the original intention of the public comment section- facts about the owner of the profile so that strangers would know about them- and the transformation that occurred, making the comments section a place to have conversations. Social pressures motivated people to be more creative, to write bigger and better- because everyone can see it. Interestingly enough, I think that this social phenomena may have simultaneously contributed to decay of literacy. Personally, I remember a time when it was cool to not fully spell out words and ignore grammar, encouraged by the public comments section and the youth view of “the cool way to type”.
The essay that I found most interesting was Dannah Boyd’s “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life”. For this reason, I looked at the works cited of that essay for the next portion of this assignment. The first one that caught my eye was a “Parent and Teen Survey” taken by the PEW Internet and American Life Project. I googled the title and organization and was directed to the most recent Parent and Teen Survey, taken in 2009. It took some unsuccessful searches and a bit of frustrated clicking around to find the “Data Sets” section. Here i had to scroll through four pages to get back to data taken in 2004, the data used by Boyd in this essay.
The data is taken from two groups, parents in general as one group, and parents of “online teens” as another. The data shows that more than 4 out of 5 parents from each group go on a computer at least on an occasional basis and use the internet to send and receive email. The survey covers a variety of areas, asking questions like, “are there rules about when or for how long [your] child can go online…” and asks about opinions on the impact the internet has on todays children. This source was a lengthy but interesting read, and I noticed that the fact use by Boyd was from one of the beginning questions- which made me wonder if Boyd herself read as much as I did to complete this part of the assignment.