Media Bias

Monday, May 19. 2008

Our next topic in this class will touch on Bias in the Media.  The definition of bias relates to being slanted, or only telling one side of the story.  How the news reports facts can shape what we believe is true.  Please read this link. After reading that page, define these concepts:

  • Diversity
  • Point of View
  • Assumptions
  • Loaded Language

After you understand these concepts 9and how they relate to media bias) watch cable news (CNN, MSNBC, Fox NEWS), or read a newspaper or magazine.  Update your comment with an example you found in the news that might be biased.  This is very challenging, so don't give up if you can't find it right away.  Need help?  Look at how people are talking about China's earthquake, Myanmar's Cyclone, or Hillary vs Obama. 

Are you too wired?

Tuesday, April 1. 2008

Based on our discussion in class after watching the video, we can see that too many electronic gadgets may be distracting for kids.  With that in mind, read this article.

What are the benefits of having access to technology?  What are the drawbacks? Should parents place limits on tech usage?  Why/not?  Also, how will this affect the "have-nots"--those who don't have access to the technology--in the future? 

Since this blog requires a longer article to read, I'll let you post through spring break, but you must have your comments posted by the Monday on which we return to school. 

Are You A Native?

Monday, March 24. 2008

Welcome to New Media Design for Trimester 3!!!

want to get to know you, especially, how you interact with technology
in your life. After reading the following article, answer the questions
at the bottom of this blog post. Remember to sound smart!

Millennials' lead the wired life

New generation 'digital natives in a land of digital

By Athima Chansanchai

MSNBC contributor

Updated: 12:30 p.m. PT Sept
5, 2006

When they were babies,
compact discs were phasing out audio cassettes. When they hit pre-school, the
Internet came into widespread use. In elementary school, they learned how to
surf that ‘Net while vying for the high scores in video games and watching
Disney on DVD. In middle school, pagers and PC’s were part of daily life. In
high school, cell phones with organizers, instant messaging and cameras were in
every classroom.

In college, they can
order books online, bring laptops to class and IM friends while on study breaks
in the library.

This generation of
students is as comfortable with computer screens as the pages of their
textbooks — if not more so. As they go back to school, they’ll continue the
seamless integration of technology into their lives.

They’re known as
Millennials — young adults whose gadgets are like appendages to them. They
can’t imagine life without their cell phones, iPods, computers and being
online. As the Pew Internet & American Life Project astutely observed, they
are “digital natives in a land of digital immigrants.”

One such native,
Samantha Wachtel, 17, a senior at Tamalpais
High School in Marin County, Calif.
does two things when she gets up every morning: checks her pink Razr for missed
calls while she slept and she turns on her Dell computer. Before she leaves the
house for school, she checks e-mail, MySpace, listens to iTunes, instant
messages her friends and sometimes just surfs the Web via Google.

At school, she is
enrolled in the two-year film-based Academy
of Integrated Humanities

an New Media (AIM) program for juniors and seniors. It integrates three subjects
— English, social studies and computer applications. Each year, AIM has a
certain theme that students follow in each of the three classes. Each student
in the program draws from these classes to make documentaries.

“This generation is
really about expressing themselves — ‘me media’ — where they get to connect and
do it themselves,” said Caitlin McBride of Fresh Films, a sponsored
organization that allows high school students in certain cities to compete to
make films in a week.

The road to Wachtel’s
tech savviness began almost from the moment she came into the world.

She can’t really
remember audio cassettes, going right into CD’s as a child. VHS tapes and
players quickly became replaced by DVD’s. She grew up using computers,
recalling how even as a child she used Microsoft Word to type up brief
assignments. On family vacations to Lake Tahoe,
her family would use CD players for those eight-hour round-trip car rides.

“We still do these
trips but the only difference is that instead of CD players, we all have iPods.
We are a family of 6 and 4 of us have iPods,” she said.

Anastasia Goodstein
runs the YPulse blog and is due to release her first book, “Totally Wired: What
Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online” next spring, which is about
demystifying the relationship between teens and technology. She said Wachtel’s
experience, like other teens', has been defined by communal links forged

“Napster and peer to
peer networks was a really defining moment for this generation and explains
their sense of entitlement around intellectual property. They grew up file
sharing,” Goodstein said.

Growing up

A speech by Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life
Project, published in March, “Life Online: Teens and technology and the world
to come” described how “Millennials have a special relationship to technology.
They are not all tech-savvy…in the sense that they all know what’s going on
‘under the hood’ of their gadgets... but they have a unique attachment to the
communications power of these new technology tools.”

It’s an attachment
Goodstein said stems from some pivotal points in their upbringing.

“IM was a huge
development in that it revolutionized the way younger teens communicate with
each other — especially younger ones, they’re not going out quite as much.
They’re spending a lot of time on IM and text messaging finally taking off in
the states. All these are new ways for teens to stay hyper connected to each
other,” Goodstein said.

It’s such a part of
this generation’s daily life to maintain connectivity, said Beverly Wilkes, an
executive with Oz, a Montreal-based company whose gear allows IM programs to
function on cell phones.

“This is a technology
instant generation, instant with staying connected with group of friends,” she
said. “If you’re running to school you’re still able to chat with your friend…
In study period, you can’t jump on the phone, but you’re able to quietly tap
over a message and keep the conversation going.”

While Malcolm Gladwell
points to a select group of people who are natural “Connectors” who link to a
wide variety of people in “The Tipping Point,” this generation of students has
practically been reared to do that without thinking. They’ve tapped into the
communal kind of flow of information and have figured out quickly how to use
the technology they’ve got on hand to further it.

“They’re individuating
from their parents and finding new family with peers and they want to talk to
them constantly — whether that means commenting on MySpace, texting, IM’ing,
etc,” Goodstein said. “These are all these different ways to keep conversation
going digitally, 24-7. Any devices, any technology that helps them do that is
less about gear and gadgets and more about utility.”

Ten, 20 years ago,
going back to school meant shelling out for a new wardrobe and a Trapper
Keeper, she said. Now, it’s laptops, desktops and cell phones.

MySpace and YouTube

In a timeline of development for these teens, besides the aforementioned
technology, the major highlights would include: Internet based e-mail, laptops,
portable gaming, blogging/vlogging/podcasting, Friendster, MySpace and YouTube.

Wachtel explains
how important it is to maintain that connectivity through MySpace.

“I was against havng a
MySpace for a very, very long time. I claimed my house a ‘MySpace free zone’
for a while because I hated it when people came over and went on their MySpaces
to send comments and what not. Then one of my best friends made me one without
my consent and that is probably the only reason I have one today,” she said. “I
wouldn’t consider myself one of the many ‘MySpace addicts’ who go on five times
a day and compete for the amount of friends and constantly put up new pictures
of themselves hoping people will think it’s cool and comment on it. I simply go
on to keep in touch with people I hardly ever see or talk to.”

In Wachtel’s world,
pocket electronic dictionaries and Donkey Kong racing with her older brother
was the norm. Now, she finds herself on the computer every night either
typing up a report or doing research for a class. And in applying for colleges,
she downloads applications and finds out about the schools online.

When Stefani Beser, 19, of Pikesville, Maryland, applied to colleges two years
ago she did it all online, eventually ending up at the nearby Villa Julie
College, where she is about to begin her sophomore year.

“I personally though it
was easier,” she said. “With paperwork things get lost and ripped and you also
have to deal with postage.”

Like Wachtel, she grew
up with video games (a very early edition Gameboy), CD’s (her first one being
No Doubt’s “Tragic
”) and always, a
portable CD player. While she didn’t get her first cell phone until she was 15,
her younger sister got one when she was 11 — a fact of how advanced and how
necessary that particular piece of mobility has become.

It wasn’t until about
third grade that Beser was introduced to the Internet by the school librarian.

“I remember at first
wondering, how does this work, and it got to be where I can’t live without it,”
Beser said. Like many people her age, she uses her computer for e-mail, IM’s,
music, video watching, some blogging, Facebook and MySpace.”

For her, IM’ing is a
means to an end. And parents, you might want to pay attention to what she’s
saying as your students go back to school this fall.

“I also think cell
phone bills can get expensive, so it’s easier to send a quick message,” she
said. “With college friends split up all over the country, it’s saving you a
lot of money and it’s still a conversation.”

From the cradle to
college, this is a generation that’s not only emerged as one of the most tech
efficient and adaptable, and more than ever, linked to peers learning and
adapting the same way.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive

After reading our article for this week, we learned that people of
our generation are considered Digital Natives, meaning that our first
"language" is technology. Our first blog discussion will be a kind of
survey. Please copy the survey below, and then paste it into your
response, along with your answers. Please answer all of the questions,
and feel free to comment on someone else's survey response.

Your response is due BEFORE class on Friday.



What would you rather: be without TV or without internet?


Do you IM?

Do you Text?

What's your favorite website?

How long do you spend on the Internet each day?

Describe your parents' abilities and skills using the Internet/computers:

Do your parents limit/block your internet activity?

My main mode of communication is:

What do you think about sharing personal information on the internet? (name, hobbies, school, etc)


What's the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word:








File Sharing


Speaking of file sharing, what is your opinion of downloading music without paying for it? Is it stealing?

How could teachers better use technology in classrooms?

Are you a digital native or a digital immigrant? What about your parents?


Monday, February 25. 2008

I generally assume that any photo I see that was produced by the media, has been altered in some way.  Our topic today is based on Photoshop, and it's wide use in everything we see, from ads to art, to Myspace pages.  

First, read this article.  Then, for some fun, go to this page to see some historical photo forgeries.  To see how they make models look good, visit this page. To see a site where they have Photoshop contests, visit this page.

Here's your task for this week... spot a photoshop forgery and post the link. Tell us why or how the photo has been altered.  THIS IS CHALLENGING!!!!

Video Games: Where from here?

Tuesday, February 19. 2008

The 21st annual
Game Developer’s Conference begins soon. 
That reminded me of an article I read about a year ago, on an
interesting topic. 

First, read this article:


GDC Dilemma: Luring the Non-Gamer

By Susan Arendt   
12:30 PM Mar, 09, 2007

As the 20th annual Game Developers Conference wrapped up here Friday, programmers
and designers took home with them the daunting puzzle of how to win over a
target demographic crucial to the industry's ongoing success. And guess what?
It's not you.

It's your mom,
your little brother, your girlfriend -- anyone you know who would never dream
of calling themselves a "gamer," but who, if properly motivated,
would happily spend time -- and money -- playing games just the same.
Developers who never really concerned themselves with expanding beyond their
core audience are now realizing their very survival may depend on wooing
consumers who've never held a controller in their lives.

designer Warren Spector broke it down during his Wednesday afternoon
presentation on storytelling-in-gaming: As games get more and more expensive to
produce, any company that can't crank out a blockbuster is in serious jeopardy,
and counting on significant sales volume from the core audience is a risk that
developers can no longer afford to take. His suggestion for luring a new
segment of players was, not surprisingly, to tell better stories.

can be key to reaching non-gamers," he said, "but they have to be
emotionally satisfying and truly interactive."

The problem, as
Spector sees it, is that too much of a typical game's budget goes to flash --
graphics and physics, for example -- which have next to no appeal for the
typical non-gamer. That doesn't leave enough money for those elements that
would matter to a larger audience, like believable characters or realistic

The success of
the Nintendo DS and Wii is due in no small part to the company's dedication to
the "expanded audience," as Shigeru Miyamoto, the company's top game
designer, pointed out in his keynote on Thursday morning.

To illustrate
his point, he referenced his "Wife-o-Meter," his way of judging a
game's potential appeal by getting his wife to play it. If developers want to
expand their audience, Miyamoto said, the one thing they should consider when
designing their game is "How fun it is for people who don't play

Software's David Amor knows all about the power of what he refers to as the
"other 90 percent," a number he admittedly pulled out of thin air to
represent the chunk of the populace that doesn't consider game playing an
important part of their lives. His game, Buzz,
a simple Jeopardy-type quiz game that comes packaged with four buzzer
controllers, has sold in numbers that would make any developer salivate.

More than a year
after its release, Buzz
is still selling at full price, a rarity in a market that usually sees a
title's price slashed just a few weeks after its initial release. In a
presentation on Wednesday, Amor was direct with his audience that they needed
to change their attitudes about playing to the non-gaming market.

types of games are considered very unsexy by the industry," Amor said.
"But these games are more important than Gears of War. These are the games your
girlfriend buys and starts to play."

And now, for the discussion topic…

Our article for
this week brought our attention to video games. Specifically, we read about the
desire of game developers to widen their reach to include new audiences,
specifically girls and women. I know that some in our class are avid gamers,
while others don't play them very often. That leads us to the Question of the

Dr Klatt has
talked to me about the Sim game called Second
. In the Second Life game, you can buy, say, clothes for your avatar
(look up that word) at Urban Outfitters, and they will ship you that outfit IN
REAL LIFE!!! You can read books, listen to music, talk to politicians inside
this game. (Trust me, it's huge.) With that in mind, our question: What is the
future of video games? How will we "play" video games in the future?
Will they be a part of our lives? How can schools benefit from from role-playing
games such as Second Life?

Will I be out of
a job in a few years?


Buying your eyes...

Wednesday, February 6. 2008

AAAhhhh....Sorry for not posting this earlier! Garrick is rubbing off on me!

We talked in class on Monday about how commercials use persuasive techniques to convince us to buy their products. Your task... post a link to a commercial on youtube, etc. Complete the following:

Product or service being advertised:

Audience (who they're trying to sell it to):

Persuasive technique(s):

You have until THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14th to post your response.

BTW... that terrible yet magnetic McDonald's commercial...

My Talking Car

Monday, January 28. 2008

With all the talk about media being on TV, in magazines, in books, etc, we also see that our cell phones are becoming carriers of media. Our cars have satellite radio and TV and voice-activated GPS tracking. Wireless technology is bringing media to places we've never dreamed about. Example--in this article from Wired, we learn about clothes that monitor your health.

Your task for this week is to use your imagination. I’ll give you two options: First, If you could integrate media into your clothes, how would you do it? Why? What benefit would it offer? Your second choice is a bit similar. Where else, other than in your clothes, would you like to see media available? I talked about a few ideas in class. Let your imagination run wild!

Remember (Garrick) that all entries must be posted by class time on Friday.

What is Web 2.0?

Monday, January 14. 2008

Last week, Andrew and Sergio presented to the class an introduction
to Web 2.0, telling us that Web 2.0 sites are ones that invite us to be
part of a community, rather than simply making a one-sided

With that in mind, here's your task for this
week:  Find a website that you believe is an example of Web 2.0. Make
sure you describe the site, and give it's URL (web address).  Then,
tell us why your site is an example of Web 2.0.  You may not duplicate
any one else's example.  I'm looking forward to some great sites!

Candy Printer. It prints candy.

Thursday, January 10. 2008

    Wow.  Check this out!

Are you an internet addict?

Monday, January 7. 2008

Welcome back to blogging! 

For our discussion this week, we turn to the Washington Post, whose article about internet addiction got me thinking.  What is the definition of addiction?  Can a person be addicted to the internet?  Finally, do you think it is the role of a government to aggressively "treat" internet addicts? 

Please read the article and respond to these questions by classtime on Friday. 

My Life has a Soundtrack

Saturday, December 22. 2007

The reason I have a fat iPod is so that I can queue up a certain song whenever the situation calls for it. I'm not alone. Wired posted some funny ideas for life's soundtrack:


When you're... listen to...

Cleaning a whiteboard: "Erase You" by DJ Shadow

Taping your glasses back together: "Fix It" by Grizzly Bear

Checking your post's score on Reddit: "Over and Over" by Hot Chip

Backing up: "Slave to the Hard Drive" by Swayzak

Lifecasting: "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell

Texting: "Dexterity" by Charlie Parker

Playing World of Warcraft: "Epic Problem" by Fugazi

Designing your Wii Mii: "More Than Real" by Junior Boys

Writing a blog post: "Me, Myself, and I" by De La Soul

Checking your MySpace page: "Are Friends' Electric?" by Gary Numan

Tweaking your Second Life avatar: "The Perfect Me" by Deerhoof

Troubleshooting Windows Vista: "She's Defective" by Kid606

Surfing YouTube: "Hypnotised" by Paul Oakenfold

Sequencing DNA: "Lust for Life" by Iggy Pop

Battling a virus: "Flu Season" by Kid Koala

Writing a Perl script: "Never Ending Math Equation" by Modest Mouse

Placing a profile on Geek 2 Geek: "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by the Darkness

Playing Dungeons & Dragons:  "All My Heroes Are Weirdos" by !!!

Do you have any others???  Post a reply!

One Laptop Per Child

Thursday, December 20. 2007

The One Laptop Per Child initiative seeks to provide rugged, easy-to-use laptops for kids in impoverished countries (Rwanda, Haiti, Cambodia, Afghanistan). This is a cause I've been really interested in for a few years, as they've gotten up to speed.

If you read the website, you'll see that these are some really cool machines, especially for little kids (but teens and adults can use them for Internet and basic word-processing). They can be run off solar sources, car batteries, or hand cranks.

Right now (through Dec 31), they're having a deal called "Give One, Get One," which, if you donate $399, they'll send one laptop to a kid in a poor country, and you get one to play with yourself. The interface is NOT Windows, and it's very easy for kids to use. Plus it has a lot of features like a camera, mic/speakers, gamepad, long-range wi-fi, etc, and it's really rugged.

If you're interested, go to the link below. It's a good cause, a tax write-off, and you get a cool and inexpensive computer for yourself. I think I'm going to get one of these, and I'll bring it into class to show you.

Make a Homemade Speaker

Thursday, December 20. 2007

If anyone has some free time over break and would be interested in making a homemade speaker, I found this tutorial. Looks like fun. If it works, let me know, and I will do this when I teach Mass Communication Technology.

Vaporware 2007: Long Live the King

Wednesday, December 19. 2007

Good article about Vaporware (remember we talked about that in class last week?) from Wired.  

w00t! New Words for a New Year!

Monday, December 17. 2007

It's that time of year again when Merriam-Webster, the dictionary
makers, announce the new words added to the dictionary.  For this year, a
popular new word is w00tRead this article.

In such a media-rich culture as our own, we
"export" our culture through our TV shows, movies, websites, and
magazines.  And because we as Americans create a lot of new words, I
believe that "American" is a separate branch of English--a more
flexible and non-traditional branch.  (Some people may disagree with me,
and some may not like that fact that the US makes up so many words!)

Which words would you like to see added to the dictionary in
2008?  Your ideas might be techie words,
slang words, IM language… whatever.  Make
sure you define each word!