Friday, January 31, 2014

Making Meaning in Your Blog Design

Students are investigating the use of color in design - AND they will promptly apply what they have learned to their own blogs, and will write a reflection on the changes they made, and how these changes affect the "meaning" of their blog design. Some of the artifacts, articles and engagements they will utilize in their research are:
  1. Chapter 7 of Robin Williams' The Non-Designer's Design Book
  2.'s Color Design Chart: Psychology of Color
  3. Claudia Cortez' interactive "Color in Motion"
  4. Adobe's Kuler Website
  5. DigitMatt's Intro to Semiotics

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Future of Music is Now?

In the remake of the futuristic movie, TRON, we see a glimpse of what is purported to be the future of music:
And it seems that the predictive power of that sci-fi flick is quite significant when you look at the headlines in today's papers:
Cool. But how can we frame our understanding of how digital technologies have shaped (and are shaping - and will shape) the world of communication in which we live? Students in CM410 will reflect on their readings, and watch a piece from CBS Sunday Morning that aired over the weekend. We will look at digital inventions such as Mix Tapes, Napster, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, Netflix, etc. and observe the way artists such as The Grateful Dead, RadioHead, and Beyonce have broken the old media paradigms with new media thinking.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Upsetting the Old Media Apple Cart

In this section of Intro to Digital Literacies I, students will consider how new media is changing the power structure once dominated by a handful of old media organizations. The will listen to (and watch) a lecture by Michael Wesch: "An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube," and will consider how the web changed the landscape of communication, entertainment, etc. (Their blog posts will reflect select illustrations and information in the lecture that provoked their thinking.)

From Chris Anderson's
The Long Tail

They will also consider the implications of new media's impact as it relates to business models, commerce, and other concerns by reading selections from Chris Anderson's The Long Tail, paying special attention to the history (and future) of "The Hit."

Watch their blogs for insightful commentary as the prepare their minds to engage communication in the brave new world of the digital age.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Some Ideas You Provoked (and Some Ideas to Provoke You)

A note to the students in Spring 2014 CM 410 - 
Some of your comments made me think about the question, "What is Even (Still) in Print?"
  • New York Times - daily online and in print
  • Christian Science Monitor - weekly in print, daily online
  • Encyclopedia Brittanica - no longer in print, all online (Want a print copy?)

Your comments about how "Commonplace/Easy it is to make movies" made me wonder about...
  • Vine/instagram
  • Reality TV
  • Remixing videos of others 

And of course the very popular "Bed Intruder" song - which became a #1 Hit on iTunes.

Your comments on letter-writing made me wonder if we will still have something called "Handwriting" in the future?

And many of you mentioned how multitasking and the ubiquity of screens might fracture our attention spans? Well, those comments are a perfect lead-in for our next assignment...

Now, to provoke some of your thinking with your next article, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"
As you read the article, think about these questions to provoke insightful comments in your next blog.
  1.  How does the author describe changes in his attention span?
  2. Do you relate to the experiences of Scott Karp or Bruce Friedman? How so?
  3. How did the typewriter affect the writings of Nietzsche? Can you describe how specific technologies have altered your reading, writing, thinking in similar ways?
  4. Authors Lewis Mumford and Joseph Weizenbaum both discuss a piece of technology that changed human life in incredible ways. What device was it? 
  5. How has the Net changed other media, like TV, newspapers, etc.?
  6. What do you think of Taylor's "system" and philosophy? Based on the info in the article, what do you think it would be like to work at Google?
  7.  What was Socrates' fear about the invention of writing? Can you apply that concern to other technologies?
  8. What does Richard Foreman see as the difference between the ideal human of hi stime and the ideal human of the digital age? Do you agree with him? What are the implications of such changes? 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Class Blogs: How? What? Why?

How will students communicate their discoveries in CM 410?
Students in CM 410 (Introduction to Digital Literacies I) have built their blog sites as a place to record and share their research, writing and reflections on the course materials and projects. Their names will appear in the "Blog List" to the right soon - and they will also link to this blog, and to the blogs of their colleagues.

Students will also customize their blogs with some of the many GADGETS available, ranging from clocks to bio info to search buttons to social media links, etc. Students will investigate various design possibilities and will share ideas with others in class and in their blogs.

What will students talk about on their blogs?
Students will talk about their work, their growing awareness of how digital technologies shape, and are shaped by, their users, and - of course - about their thoughts on articles like these:
(Students will post their thoughts on the Kevin Kelly article over the weekend, and will tackle the Nicholas Carr article by class time on Wednesday.)

Why are the students doing this?
When students use this digital social media forum (a public blog) to write and thoughtfully about digital media, they are engaging a singular opportunity of "meta-literacy" that offers expanded self-awareness and perspective though their engagements andcritical users and composers of digital media.
reflections. That is to say - they will no longer be uncritical "consumers" of digital fare, but will be critical composers of digital media.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

And So It Begins... Again.

Did you ever write a letter?
With a pen and paper?
And put it in an envelope, and attach a stamp and drop it in the mailbox?

Everything you need for our first class discussion can be found here:

Students especially enjoyed the interactive "The Wilderness Downtown".