19 September 2009

Warm up —

If you remember Nexi —

Let’s have a look at some similar and possibly more interesting developments: David Hanson: Robots that “show emotion”

Bulldog — The First Future Newspaper

Nowhere is it easier to understand what is meant when we say we are moving from words to pixels and bytes than when we examine the fate of America’s newspapers. Newspapers are more accessible on line. But there’s something more, we begin to see the power inherent when we movable type to electronic media.


Newspapers are looking for a solution, a way to maintain the tradition of the printed word:


Why are citizens having such a great impact?


What does the textbook say?

Look at these two blogs. Let’s review them. First the Huffington Post (Ariana Huffington) and then the Daily Beast (Tina Brown — Vanity Fair and the New Yorker) and the guy who started it all, Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report –




So where does this leave us?

Are you ready for…


2008-12-07 woman_screaming

Not afraid yet? Okay. Go to a computer, but resist signing-on to facebook. And definitely don’t play music or listen to your mp3, unless you’re ear-plugged into Mozart. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart_effect (I command you, as your teacher, to ignore the fact I’ve sent you to Wikipedia or to tell anyone that I endorse the site as an excellent starting point for your research.)

Next, while you and your computer are having an intimate moment enjoying “The Jupiter,” you will look up and then print out these names and terms; the print-out will then serve as your own hand-made study guide, your own creation. Take responsibility! These are the names I want you to look up and print out: Tim Berners Lee; Larry Page (or Sergey Brin); Mark Zuckerberg; Chad Hurley (or hint, hint — Steve Chen, Jawed Karim); Jack Dorsey; J Gutenberg.

Be Prepared!

Be Prepared!

Here are some terms to print out for your own personal handmade customized detailed study guide: Net Neutrality; be prepared to also explain what it means to you and to the future of the World Wide Web. (Hint: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jev2Um-4_TQ). Also, what do we mean when we talk about “The Long Tail.” Why might it be important? (Hint: Check Wikipedia.) Who developed the term? What is WIRED magazine, and why would it matter to Mass Comm? How does the index of our textbook reveal the velocity, the speed, at which Mass Communications is changing. Give an example or, rather, two examples. No! Cite three examples!

Old School Mass Comm

god2-sistine_chapelSome mind-altering changes took place in the 16th century. They helped to create the world we live in, the world we study in school. What were they? Well, there was the Reformation, for one. Now, you may name three other astonishingly long-lived, civilization-changing 16th century developments. What could have caused such monumental changes to occur in such a narrow frame of time, around 100 years? A UFO? Hint: It was a commonplace medium, which would eventually give rise to other media. (What is the difference between a medium and the media? Do you know? It could be in the test.) How would you compare that medium, which was invented around 1450, to the World Wide Web, which came to life around what year? (Be prepared to answer when, around what year, the World Wide Web was created.) And what do the developments of the 16th century suggest about the significance of the World Wide Web? Hmmmm. Were you listening to my three lectures + my very visible comments in a certain relevant blog???

And here’s some extra help… check Clay Shirky’s comments after the third minute through the 17th minute – http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cellphones_twitter_facebook_can_make_history.html

Okay, here’s what you most feared!

The Hard Part

Watch the video below and be prepared to explain in a brief essay why it might be relevant to you, to your classroom and to your educational experience.

youtubeWhy would YouTube be banned from the computers of our school? Why is YouTube important? What can YouTube do for you? The following video represents the core of our test because it not only talks about YouTube, it tells us a great deal about Mass Communications and the state of media in general. Here is where you’ll find the video under discussion on YouTube — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU

Or, if it works, you can view the site below:


3 Responses

  1. Did we learned about “The Long Tail” in class? Or is this just a requirement to learn for the test? It seems out of place , grouped together Network Neutrality, the World Wide Web, and analysis of the progress at which mass media is changing. Perhaps it breezed by me during class. However, after reading both the Wikipedia and Wired articles, I can understand why “The Long Tail” wouldn’t necissarily be reviewed in class: many articles on the subject give an intricate and complex definition of what “The Long Tail” is. That combined with the dynamics of the current 4th period class would make teaching us (and have the majority come to a consensous on it’s definition) the concept of “The Long Tail” somewhat challenging.


    • There was actually a handout using the long tail in class, but it dealt with the history of media. I discussed the long tail as a concept, as an idea to apply to blogging and to making blogs profitable, or at least prominent. I did not describe the concept in its purest sense. However, you may remember that I spoke about the long tail in relation to iTunes and Amazon, drawing a distinction with, say, the shelf space at Barnes & Noble.

      As to the grouping issue, the terms are randomly chosen based on significance not relationships, hence no grouping.

      Back to the long tail… I don’t think it’s inappropriate for the class to take up a particular media development on their own and read about it. That’s the best form of learning: to take what you’ve studied about blogging (knowledge) and apply it to a related concept, the long tail (critical thinking).

      That said, not everything on the “study guide” will be on the test because it’s my belief that a test should serve as both a learning opportunity and a measure of learning, not a mere opportunity to impose a grade. Grades bore me.

      Finally, I will take your comments into consideration. They’re good and appropriate. As you correctly point out, it may be asking too much of the class to grasp the long tail, so to speak. Let’s see how it plays, Monday.

      Thanks for being on your toes,


  2. Thanks for all the information your giving us about the test tomorrow Mr. Shear! I have to say, I think I made a pritty good study guide. I probably will be looking it over at lunch and in my 3rd period class.

    I dont really understand the whole “Old school Mass Comm” part of the blog really. Im going to take a guess and say we have to tell you what historical things from the 16th centuary changed mass media or mass comm as we learn it today and how it effects us, but im not really sure.

    The Wiki’ing really did work and I found the information pritty easily with in 30 minutes or so. By the way sorry I haven’t really been blogging as much as I’m supposed to be blogging, but I find it really hard to blog about stuff inless I come across it and it interests me. For an example, I found this cool puzzle video on YouTube but the uploader deleted it and wont put up the answer to the puzzle. With me being the not so “intellectual person” I cant exactly solve it. Any way I hope you enjoyed reading my response to this blog, and I hope to be recieving a good grade on my test tomorrow.

    -Jimmy Turkaly

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