Thursday, May 5, 2011

"New Media" and its Implications in the Classroom

I just read a blog written by a past professor, Steve Krause, which mentioned that he heard the news about Bin Laden's death via Facebook. It is interesting because I actually saw the news ON the news, oddly enough. I often feel like I come into someone's conversation on Facebook ... I feel like I have missed something and everybody is already in the middle of talking about something important that I should already know about. This time, I was "watching" (using this as a loose term - more like using it as background noise) the Celebrity Apprentice when the announcement came on that President Obama was going to make an announcement ... on a Sunday night. Yeah, it made me a little nervous.

Shortly after the announcement that the President was going to address the public, the news anchor confirmed Bin Laden's death. What is unique to me in this particular situation is that I coincidentally had the TV on and was watching it live - which I rarely due anymore due to my overwhelming love of my DVR and my short snippets of time that I can watch TV. Admittedly, I have something like 95 unwatched items and I have to continually go in and delete things to make more room for things that I will inevitably delete in a week, but I digress.

Anyway, immediately after I heard the news on TV, I logged on the Facebook and watched the trend on Twitterfall. While Krause heard the news on Facebook and then turning on the TV, I did the opposite. I feel like his was a more natural progression and I wonder what I thought I might find from something like Facebook or Twitterfall that I couldn't find on the news. I think I turned to these things for comfort. I didn't really know what the implications of Bin Laden's might be, or if anyone else was thinking about the possibility of retaliation like me, but I wonder what implications or improvements my use of digital media platforms offer when events like these arise.

I also attended CAC today and the use of cell phones as "pencils" came up as well. This made me think about all the times when I grab my cell phone to write notes to myself about anything from small reminder notes, to a detailed draft, to a grocery list (which I love keeping in my phone because I always have it with me). These things really make me think about the use of these things in the classroom. We obviously don't like students using Facebook, Twitter, and cell phones during class, but I wonder how this may become prohibitive to the invention process and not prohibitive to the students' learning.

What are some of the implications of this? What does this mean in creating future assignments when possibly considering these digital mediums? What does this mean for rules and policies in school? What does it mean for our often already overloaded students to encourage MORE information at their fingertips all the time? I'm not sure the answer to any or all of these questions, but it is something for me to definitely continue to consider.

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