New Media Blogs


What Kind of Tech User Are You?
The Pew Internet & American Life Project asks this in a quiz you can take to get a sense of where you fit in the tech spectrum.
Here are my results:

You are an Digital Collaborator
If you are a Digital Collaborator, you use information technology to work with and share your creations with others. You are enthusiastic about how ICTs help you connect with others and confident in your ability to manage digital devices and information. For you, the digital commons can be a camp, a lab, or a theater group – places to gather with others to develop something new.”

To all of my students: What are you?

I am thrilled to report the news that I am home, which means back in Evanston and back at Northwestern University’s Medill School — my favorite place to commit journalism.
The revival of this blog offers a way for me to continue chronicling my hike up the learning curve of new media. Just when I thought I’d rocked the whole social media Twitterverse, it’s time to shoot some vimeo for the vlog.
In my neverending pursuit to find more ways to tell people stuff, I’ll drag you along for this, too.
Medill offers faculty and staff a wide range of technological seminars and classes to keep us all upgraded.
Cheers!

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Below is a response I wrote to a student’s blog post questioning the validity of Twitter (a question I believe is crucial!!) Her sense was, what’s the big deal?

In trying to explain the big deal, I tried below to engage her in the larger question of being open to all of the new media technocrapology flying at us. We have to know it exists, learn how to use it, find out its role in industry, decide if it does anything for is in our personal/professional lives, and once we’ve figured that all out, either use it or chuck it. Then get back up and wait for the Next New Thing to whiz by us and start all over again. That’s just the deal, and part of the fun. If it’s not fun – or funnISH, well, that’s another challenge. “This seems stupid” lets us off the hook in a way that I want my students to push through. Even if it is stupid.

Your critical eye and suspicion about new media technologies is a good instinct…I have it too. I think it’s important to strike a balance between being critical and being curious.

If all the big shots are using Twitter, and it is having an impact on global disasters, it’s something we must at least know about. That’s the deal with new media. Stuff erupts, you must become familiar enough with it to decide whether or not it works for your life…but you still have to know what it is, what it does, and why folks love/hate it. Especially if you want to be a broadcaster, your future will be full of these kinds of technologies. You’ll need to be open to the stupidest of them, and then decide for yourself what the possibilities might be.

I present this stuff as it comes at us. Don’t mistake me educating you with me trying to convince you of something’s worth. The worth is in the exploration and information.

Okay, so obviously I really liked that blog post because it engaged me, forced me to think and apparently required me to respond in detail. THAT’s a great post! I’d like to see you pushing yourself more to write more and really use the blog to the fullest potential you can.

Your career goals require you to be an expert in all of the forms I’m presenting, so if that’s what you’re wanting, take full advantage of the class to get yourself in a marketable, educated position for hiring. I’m so glad the Globe photo spread made an impression on you. As I keep saying, the most powerful way I can teach you all of this is to share examples and people who are doing great work. Describing a great photo essay to you is, well, not anywhere near as useful as having you explore and engage with one on your own. Okay, so push harder – in class, in your blog.

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A student of mine is writing a story about Twitter on campus for another class. I thought his questions — and hopefully my answers — were worth a blog post:

1) What’s your official title at Oregon State University? What name would you like to be referred by in the article? What’s your age? Finally, how long have you been teaching?

ANSWER: I’m an Instructor in NMC at OSU. Pamela Cytrynbaum. Second reference is always “Cytrynbaum.” I’m 43. I’ve been teaching in one form or another for 12 years.

Now onto our subject.

2) Do you think Twitter is widely used by students on campus? Have you encountered Twitter in any of your classrooms (as an interruption or distraction, perhaps)?

ANSWER: No, I don’t see much use of Twitter on campus at all. In fact, I’ve been surprised at how few students have even heard of it when I raise the question in all of my classes. Very few of my my students — most of whom are new media students — use it. I require my NMC 301 (Writing for the Media Professional) students to learn it and do one assignment where they Twitter an event. It’s important for them to know what it is and how to use it. Once that’s done, it’s up to them to continue or not. Some do.

I think it seems useless to many students. They’ve got texts and Facebook messages coming in…what do they need this shortened social networking tool for? Far fewer students seem to continue on with Twitter after learning it in class than with blogging. I have many students who blog for the first time in my class and then get hooked and build their blogs and keep them going. They see the value in that. I’m not sure Twitter offers enough payoff for the effort. For me, I’ve had lots of fun with it. I use it as storage for all kinds of links I want to keep for classes, to connect with organizations, media outlets, friends, writers, to keep up with their lives and work. I don’t follow anybody who uses Twitter to proclaim an ingrown toenail. I’m looking for actual information.

I’m a working, writing mom. I don’t have one second in the day to waste on that.

3) Do you think Twitter has any potential as a teaching aid? In your opinion, should teachers or campus officials use Twitter to spread information to students?

ANSWER: I can’t speak for any other teachers or tell them what to do. I know from being a Twitter Follower of the Chronicle of Higher Education (and a regular reader) that there are lots of professors arguing for and against the use of Twitter. One story I read was by someone advocating the use of Twitter DURING classes and conference lectures as a way to INCREASE engagement.

Personally, I’d lose my mind juggling that. I’d rather have somebody comment in person so I can see them, hear them, respond one human being to another. But this person argued strongly that for them, Twittering deeply enriched the teaching experience. It’s important to take it seriously, though, and not just ignore or disregard Twitter. There are plenty of stories and surveys that have found Twitter is the top social networking medium for helping people get immediate information on natural disasters, like the Indonesian Tsunami. But, as we’ve seen just yesterday in the news about the swine flu issue, it’s also a mechanism for spreading false or overly-hyped information that can be deeply concerning. Either way, it’s here, and the larger plugged-in world is taking advantage of this technology. We need to check it out for ourselves and make our own choices.

(more…)

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Eight Reasons Plagiarism Sucks
It harms readers, in its heart beats a lie, it corrupts, and five more.
By Jack Shafer
Posted Friday, March 7, 2008

http://www.slate.com/id/2186029/

* APRIL 15, 2009, 10:47 P.M. ET

Bookshelf – Wall Street Journal
It’s Not Theft, It’s Pastiche
College students plagiarize routinely, especially from the Internet.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123984974506823779.html

Cut and Paste 101
Have we created a generation of plagiarists?
http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:_TS1HZtsDG0J:nhs.needham.k12.ma.us/pages/stress-r/Docs/Website%2520Articles/Cheating/Renard%2520-%2520Cheating.pdf+Cut+and+Paste+is+the+enemy&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

From 10,000 Words:

Copy and paste: The enemy of the web?

Friday, December 05, 2008

As a police reporter at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, I gradually became accustomed to local evening news anchors reading my well-researched reports verbatim with no credit. When I made the transition to interactive journalism, copyright infringement became less of a problem as whole multimedia stories are a little harder to lift.

The familiar frustration was brought back in an instant when I discovered, via Technorati, that someone had plagiarized an entire post and its images. While the offending post has since been removed, it did call to question what writers, bloggers and photographers should do when they discover someone else is presenting content as their own.

My initial reaction was to turn to the Twitterverse because, as this post suggests, Twitter is great for asking questions. While waiting for responses, a quick Google search turned up this post on what to do when someone steals your content.

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Katy Weaver. She is editor of the school newspaper, The Barometer wrote this article as a final class project for NMC 301 Writing for the Media Professional.

The full article can be read online here:

http://media.barometer.orst.edu/media/storage/paper854/news/2009/03/10/News/A.Temptation.To.Cheat-3666700.shtml

A temptation to cheat

Most academic dishonesty occurs through plagiarism, but also includes cheating, fabrication, assisting and tampering

Katy Weaver

Issue date: 3/10/09 Section: News

The few sentences on every class syllabus at the beginning of the term can seem forgettable when it’s 3 a.m. the night before a term paper is due. Copy and paste commands are literally clicks away. A few accidentally non-cited sources could push the word count into the professor’s zone of requirement.Plagiarism is a temptation. However, it is also something that students and professors are feeling increasingly concerned about as the internet grows and media resources change.”

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Check out Lisa Renard’s excellent piece, “Cut and Paste 101: Plagiarism and the Net,” where she explores the impact of new media on teaching and learning, offers a “field guide” on “Internet Cheaters” and identifies “three main types” of internet cheaters.

http://nhs.needham.k12.ma.us/pages/stress-r/Docs/Website%20Articles/Cheating

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Twitter is SO last week!

Flutter is the new Twitter!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeLZCy-_m3s

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When a high school cheerleader in northeastern Pennsylvania learned that she might face criminal charges after investigators reported finding a nude photo of her on someone else’s cellphone, she was more confused than frightened at being caught up in a case of “sexting”: the increasingly popular phenomenon of nude or seminude photos sent over wireless phones.
Almost unheard of a year or two ago, cases related to “sexting,” nude or seminude photos sent over wireless phones, are popping up all over the country.
What are the rules of the pedagogical road, here, in yet another bizarre exit on the New Media Super Highway?
Okay, like I don’t have enough to worry about trying to plan my New Media courses, which require relentless Twitter-like updating because so much happens every single minute. So I’m reconfiguring my language on the syllabus (again) about plagiarism to keep widening and deepening and broadening the big new media tent that it has become. (Post on that coming soon)
Next I come to the section on student conduct and appropriate classroom behavior to create an environment most conducive to learning with 77-82 students in a class.  I’m about discussion, engagement, exchange, not lecture alone…the bank deposit method where I have “The Knowledge” and you open your brain, receive it, vomit it back to me and I reward you for the reminder of my genius. Maybe it’s that I’m so confident in what I know and how crucial it is, that I’m comfortable with a conversation.  They teach me. I teach them.
Normally that happens and for the most part, my students end up feeling smarter and happier for having taken my class. Not all, of course, by any means. There are plenty for whom my style, the topic, my hair,  whatever, is simply enraging or whatever.  With new media, though, there are new implications. With new implications, come new lines on my syllabus. Like the one I’m putting on all my syllabi this term for the first time about how recording someone without their knowledge or consent is a Class A Misdemeanor in Oregon. If a student has a disability, that’s an entirely different set of rules. We will come to an agreement where all parties are made aware that recording is happening for this educational purpose.
But for the record, college students: In most states, it’s a crime to use any device to record someone without their knowledge or consent.  I hope to have a longer and more specific post on that soon as well.
I ask students to post photos of themselves with brief bios on our Blackboard discussion forum so I can start to learn their 77 or 82 names (I do that with my 27-person classes as well.) Many inevitably post photos from their Facebook pages: tube dresses made of yellow  police “CAUTION” tape, shots of body parts I don’t want to be able to identify in various stages of undress, dance moves that would make Elvis blush, a menagerie of images that, in the end, will not help me learn their names because their faces are smushed beneath ski caps, intertwinted with other faces or something else….you know the drill.
I show their posted photos and we do the “giggle test.” If your photo makes the class giggle, it’s not appropriate and would not make a potential employer giggle and it shouldn’t be on Facebook. I put that under “professionalism.”
There’s the usual no texting or Facebooking or im-ming in class unless I give you an assignment. And yes, I ask my students to commit various forms of new media during class.  A great way to bust them Facebooking in class is to get them to Friend you, and then during class when they have laptpos clacking away, just get on your Facebook page and see who else is on live. The kids LOVE that trick. Makes me seem very New Media hip. Once, when my students had a reporting assignment out of class and were supposed to be Twittering in from the field, one student didn’t come back to class. On the screen in front of the rest of the group I sent him a note on Facebook and Twitter — “Where are you? We’re all in the classroom waiting for you.” He wrote back and soon the door opened.
This is all appropriate and on point because these are New Media classes where we talk directly about the use, abuse, impact, relevance, dangers, emergence, transformation of new media in all forms. Plus I love playing with this stuff.
Now a new entry on the syllabus and in the Rules of the Road first-class talk. No sexting. Do I really have to say this? The New York Times says they’re sending naked pictures to each other in high school. In my 101 Intro to New Media class, most of the 77 or 82 students are in their first year of college. In fall term, the last school experience they had WAS high school.
Add this to my list. It’s child pornography and it’s a crime.
Remember when the most heinous crime we addressed in writing classes was the misplaced modifier?

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