I think we got off to a great start during our first two class sessions, and I hope we can maintain the same level of participation and interaction throughout the semester. Next week, we’ll make sure that everyone in class is up to speed with our reading assignments, then we’ll dive into our first project, the Digital Literacy Narrative. Here’s a breakdown of how we’ll spend our time in class and what you need to do before we meet:
- On Monday, we will discuss the reading assignments that some of you weren’t able to complete this week. If you haven’t received your copy of Net Smart yet, please download, print out, and read this PDF of the Introduction (pp. 1–33) before you come to class. If you haven’t received your copy of The Social Media Reader, please contact one of your classmates (our class hashtag on Twitter would be perfect for this) and borrow the book so you can read danah boyd’s “Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle” (pp. 71–76) before you come to class. When you have finished the readings, add a comment to this post proposing a quote or argument from one of the readings that you would like to discuss in class. (Please add your post no later than Sunday night so I can see them all before class.) Last but not least, come to class ready to share a rough draft (not a complete essay, but more than a few sentences) of your Digital Literacy Narrative with your classmates. If you have multiple ideas for this project, that’s great — you can sketch out two or three ideas to share in class.
- On Wednesday, we will begin thinking about how to turn a written essay into a narrated video slide show. By the time you come to class, you should have a complete draft of your literacy narrative that incorporates the feedback you received in class on Monday. In addition, please read the following short articles about PowerPoint:
- “PowerPoint Is Evil,” by Edward Tufte
- “No More Bullet Points, No More Clip Art,” by Farhad Manjoo
- “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint,” by Elisabeth Bumiller
- “What Is Good PowerPoint Design?,” by Garr Reynolds
- “7 Ways to Tell Stories with PowerPoint,” by Carmine Gallo
Finally, consider this one last reminder to sign up for Twitter, create a Dropbox account, and add a comment to last week’s post if you haven’t done so already.
If you have any questions about our plans for next week, please stop by my office hours on Monday morning (8-11 a.m. in 427 Shanks Hall), send me an email, or contact me on Twitter. Otherwise, I’ll see you in class on Monday!
“The assumption is that we’re addicted to the technology. The technology doesn’t matter. It’s all about the people and information. Humans are both curious and social critters.” – The Social Media Reader (pg. 73)
“As social media becomes increasingly pervasive in everyday life, more and more people will be overwhelmed by the information surrounding them. And they will have to make choices” -(The Social Media Reader, 74).
“While many old-skool cyberpunks wanted to live in a virtual reality, always-on folks are more interested in an augmented reality. We want to be part of the network.” -(Danah Boyd, The Social Media Reader, p. 74)
This is very true. Networked always-on folks (which many college students are) are looking to supplement their busy lives with technology that allows them to interact and hack their time to make it more useful and fulfilling.
“Just because my phone buzzes to tell me that a new message has arrived does not mean that I bother to look at it. This is not because I am antiphone but procontext.” – (The Social Media Reader, 72)
I like this quote because I agree with it so much. Being procontext provides a glimmer of hope for the human race in that we’re not complete technological zombies yet and that we still have manners and can be responsible. I’ve never understood how people allow themselves to become absolute slaves to their phones…even to the point of endangering lives (ie, texting and driving)
“Then a little bird in the back of my brain wonders whether or not sleeping with my iPhone next to my bed really counts. Or maybe it counts when I don’t check it, but what about when I check Twitter in the middle of the night when I wake up from a dream?” – Social Media Reader, p. 71
I loved the opening paragraph of this essay because I felt that I could identify very strongly with the author’s musings about what really counts as “being online.” I sometimes feel like I walk around with my smart phone glued to my hand!
Then, later in the essay, I enjoyed her statement that “all channels are accessible, but it doesn’t mean I will access them” (p. 72) when boyd is talking about why and how frequently she chooses to respond to messages or emails. Every time something bings into your email inbox, you have to make a decision about how important it is, and the decision-making process is one that varies by person and by day.
I agree Liana! I love how she started out saying how she hates when surveys ask how many hours does she spend online (ironic since that was one of the questions in our first post). Anyways, I can relate because I never really know what’s considered being online and not, and the easiest way to do that is to subtract the hours instead of trying to add them up because I feel as though I truly am always-on except for when I’m sleep. It’s crazy to think but I am constantly refreshing Twitter and Instagram, always checking in on FourSquare, updating my status on Facebook, etc. For me, I really do believe I’m always-on throughout the day when I’m awake.
Excellent catch, George. One of my goals of that first-week post was to get us thinking about what counts as “being online.” Ten years ago (or even five years ago), it was a much simpler question, but today I find it’s almost impossible to quantify my time online. The line between “online” and “offline” is getting blurrier every day.
The Social Media Reader, pg. 73
“We’re passionate about technology because we’re passionate about people and information, and they go hand in hand. And once you’re living in an always-on environment, you really notice what’s missing when you’re not.”
Net Smart, pg. 2
“This know-how, from the art of growing social capital in virtual communities to the craft of cultivating wiki collaboration, might determine whether life online will drive us to distraction, or augment or broaden our minds.”
What will be the outcome of the future of digital media? Will it eventually become a negative influence on society? Just a distraction that will dumb down future generations and not be used to become more intelligent, all-knowing individuals. Or like Rheingold states, will our know-how allow our minds to be augmented and strengthened so that we become far more sophisticated citizens with broader horizons.
What do you guys think?
“People who are old enough to remember the world before it was webbed, and are simultaneously puzzled, attracted, and fearful about new media” (Net Smart pg. 3)
This quote reminded me a lot of my grandfather, who I consider to be a very wise man. He is constantly confused by social networking while fascinated by the fact that he can talk to me and see my face via skype. He is also scared that all the advances in new media will make society lazier and less informed. I think it is important we heed the warnings of our elders of how new media can not only make life convenient, it can be so convenient that we become complacent to the point of a dangerous level of laziness.
Net Smart, pg. 16
“When today’s infants grow up, they will be amazed that their parent’s generation could ever get lost, not be in touch with everyone they know at all times, and get answers out of the air for any question.”
“Being always-on works best when the people around you are always-on, and the networks of always-on-ers are defined more by values and lifestyle than by generation.” Social Media Reader, pg. 72
Does being always-on really work best when the people around you are always-on?
I always pick quotes that make me smile >:]
danah boyd, pp 72
“My always-on-ness doesn’t mean that I’m always-accessible-to-everyone,” she says nonchalantly.
Then I’m all like *tehehe. SUUUURE!
Netsmart, pp. 9 & 15
“Attention is a literacy that can thread all the other literacies together and hence is fundamental to the others in several ways. . . [and] even the smallest amount of attention is more useful than none at all.”
Hah! Take THAT teachers!
“I didn’t let my child loose on the streets without teaching her about traffic and looking both ways. Similarly, I don’t like to see otherwise well-educated people loose in digital culture without knowing something about what makes a small-world network work or why a portfolio of weak ties is important.” Net Smart, Pg. 24. Is he really comparing basics of physical safety to the ins and outs of the philosophy of digital culture?
Oh yeah, and Danah Boyd’s comments on instant gratification (SMR pg 73) are totally contradicting. The idea that she’d want to know information NOW while its relevant is instantly gratifying the thought. I think that enhancing the experience for her is actually instant gratification, and that’s ok. I just don’t see how it couldn’t be about instant gratification.
NetSmart, p. 20
“…gossip, conflict, slander, fraud, greed, and bigotry are part of human sociality, whether it takes place at the village well or in a virtual world, and those parts of human behavior can be amplified too. But altruism, fun, community, collective action, and curiosity are also parts of human sociality – and I propose that the Web is an existence proof that these capabilities can be artificially extended.”
To relate to what Eric said about older generations being reluctant to accept technology, I think this quote has a lot to do with that. They relate all the “bad” stuff to technology (gossip, porn, assorted evils) to the Web. But just as often as the negative stuff can happen, positive causes can be enacted too!
“Learning how to ride a bike is a skill you have to learn alone, and even if you’re the only person in the world who can ride a bicycle, you could get from place to place faster because of your operational knowledge, along with a working bicycle. If you are the only person in the world who knows
how to read, write, or hyperlink, however, your skill is far less useful than it could be.” Net Smart p 4
This is such a simple “duh” quote but yet it is so true and something I’ve never put much thought into. Social media and the web are entirely reliable on a network of multiple people and interactions.
“..What counts as online?”
Other people have mentioned the opening paragraph from “Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle” poses some interesting questions about what you are doing with your online time and when you are “online”. With smartphones it’s almost impossible to ever be disconnected. I find myself compulsively checking my Twitter and Facebook throughout the day whenever I have a free second. Like Liana said, I often feel like my phone is glued to my hand.
The Social Media Reader, p.72
“My always-on-ness doesn’t mean that I’m always-accessible-to-everyone.”
“The key to this lifestyle is finding a balance, a rhythm that moves us in ways that make us feel whole without ripping our sanity to shreds” (76, The Social Media Reader).
Isn’t that the truth. When I’m up to my neck with new emails and my phone is constantly buzzing and I feel over whelmed, that’s when I purposely lose my phone and I go for a walk without any electronic device. But when I went to Haiti and no internet and couldn’t use my cell phone I missed it. Its a blessing and curse but in order to keep myself from going over the deep end the balance in the “always on lifestyle” is what I try to seek.
“Five hundred years ago, Gutenberg presses did not immediately enable
people to overthrow monarchies, drive the Protestant Reformation, and
invent science as a collective enterprise. The interval between the technological advance of print and the social revolutions it triggered was required for literacy to spread. Print, a technology that leverages the power of the human mind by making possible mass distribution of written documents, required decades for the intellectual skill of decoding those printed pages to spread through populations.” ~ Net Smart, Introduction, p. 3.
I read this, and despite all of the other information that I gleaned from the readings, this was one of the nuggets of information that stuck with me as the most meaningful use of technology throughout the ages – to spark change in governments and regimes. The idea that every invention from today dating back to inventions from centuries ago helped essentially even out the inequalities of man might be an overarching generalization, but I think they do have a good point – am I on to something here or just blabbing?
I like how Rheingold says how technology can be good or bad depending on how people use it. This is the sort of thing we see in movies all the time, which tell us how to be careful of how we use machines.