1. Identify three examples of a “new media”. Identify three examples of “social media”. Explain the difference between new media and social media using your examples.
New Media = Multi-user gaming environments such as World of Warcraft, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s), and Smart phones
Fun websites that talk about Gaming and MOOC’s. They offer ideas and information.
Social Media = Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
Fun websites that talk about Instagram and Twitter.
New media refers to new devices that allow 24/7 global access to content via electronic means. Interactive user interaction, the ability to form communities around the media content, and democratizing content creation, publication, distribution and access to content are all important factors in new media.This website offers more information about new media – (http://www.newmedia.org/what-is-new-media.html).
Multi-user game environments would be considered new media because the social interaction centers around the game content, users can participate in the game experience through character creation. MOOC’s are new and allow for learning on a global scale to take place through content made available over the Internet. Students may interact with each other and with the instructor. Smart phones are relatively new media. They allow the owner to take and send pictures, video, and other content to various forums on the Internet.
Social media could be considered a subset of new media. Instagram allows posters to instantly send pictures, video, and to add descriptive stories to their Instagram accounts. It connects users with their friends in a very quick friendly way. Facebook is intended for social updates, essentially allowing each user to spotlight the best and worst part of their lives. Twitter allows for immediate, brief comments or questions. Tweeters generally have followers who will receive updates whenever a new tweet posts.
All three offer a way of communicating with a broad group. All three have been used in education and have, to some extent, adapted to become more than just a social network as they are used by businesses and teachers to publicize companies or to connect with students through media that is more consistent with what they use on a daily basis. The big difference between social media and new media is that social media is built around the user. New media generally is built more around shared content and the medium.
2. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of integrating newer technologies into an online class? Be sure to cover the perspectives of the instructor and the student.
Students often enjoy the use of newer technologies in the classroom. Many students are already using these technologies so it feels more comfortable to them. Conversely, some students may not have access to the technology required at home. They may feel uncomfortable using new technology. Students will often collaborate in their use of the technologies to support their peers and even their teacher.
Teachers may find it challenging to incorporate new technologies in the classroom. They have to find ways to make it financially feasible to offer the tools for their students to use. Teacher’s have to know enough about how to use the tools to design lesson plans and assignments appropriately. They need to be able to offer technical support. They need to modify the resource or instruction to fit disabled students.
In the long term though, tools like multi-user games which allow for collaboration and improve language and communication skills and tools like smart phones or ipads that have been shown to help students with mathematics have shown to be quite beneficial to student academic success. Knowing the value of these resources and how to use them successfully in the classroom can be valuable in allowing teachers to work effectively with students of varying abilities and can increase student engagement and learning.
3. Consider each of the new media and social media examples from item 1 (you may also choose new examples if you like) in terms of their capabilities to be used as a communications tool, a collaboration tool, or a tool for sharing work/ideas/opinions. At a minimum you must identify the capabilities of each media, identify them as synchronous or asynchronous, discuss their relative richness according to Media Richness theory, discuss their potential Social Presence capabilities and compare them to other well known tools, especially those available in a common CMS.
|Media||Communication Tool||Collaborative Tool||Media Capability||Asynchronous or Synchronous||Media Richness||Social Presence||Usefulness in CMS|
|Multi-User Games||There is a great deal of communication among users. This type of game has been used to encourage language skills in students at varying grade levels.||There is collaboration between users in terms of making their way through the game.||Users can construct characters, make decisions in the game, and records of text can be accessed to assess learning.||These games can be either asynchronous or synchronous. A good explanation of how that works can be found at this site – (http://www.whatgamesare.com/2011/08/synchronous-or-asynchronous-definitions.html).||There is interaction between users. It isn’t as rich as a face-to-face interaction, but, especially, the creation of avatars lends to the richness of this particular media.||There is a strong social presence in these games. Users become very involved in the games and their fellow players.||Thus far multi-user games tend not to be found in CMS’s. However, as they are used more in the classroom, this will likely change.|
|MOOC’s||The level of communication may not be high in the sense that the course may be fairly static. Courses led by instructors would encourage more communication. Students may be required to interact in these courses.||Collaboration would be determined by the structure of the class. The classes are open to students on a global scale so there is an opportunity to know people from other cultures.||Students can collaborate with their fellow students, complete assignments, and take university level courses for free.||These would be asynchronous, unless the instructor arranged for some kind of webinar with tweeting or texting involved.||Communication is primarily between the student and the material so it would not generally be considered media rich.||This would depend largely on the course design.||Elements could certainly be incorporated into CMS’s. This type of instruction could be added onto the content already in a CMS.|
|Smart Phone||This can be used to communicate with the world via the Internet on a 24/7 basis.||Collaboration is the primary reason to use this device.||Phones can be used to record, text, listen, communicate, create videos, and podcasts.||Smart phones would be synchronous. Media created on a smart phone could be asynchronous in nature.||This would be at least mid to high level in media richness. People can communicate by voice or video.||This is highly social.||Assignments using smart phones can be incorporate into any CMS.|
|This can be used to communicate, pictures, videos, and writings.||Instagram is intended to share messages and pictures with followers.||Instagram allows the user to post pictures, videos, and descriptive passages.||Instagram is largely asynchronous as comments replying to pics etc. will be done asynchronously.||The video, pictures, and text make it somewhat media rich, but the lack of one-on-one communication makes it less rich.||This is a vehicle for people to share their lives with the world so it is very social.||Instagram can be used in many assignments. Students could post and comment on videos or pictures that demonstrate experiments or projects they are working on.|
|Facebook communicates pictures, videos, and brief text posts.||Facebook has the same purpose as Instagram.||Users need to work within the confines of the Facebook Design.||Unless you get immediate responses to your posts, Facebook is largely asynchronous.||With Facebook, there can be one-on-one communication. This does add to the media richness. There won’t be a visual presence as with Google Hangouts though.||Facebook has become very social. People treat it as a way to express themselves to their friends.||Facebook can be useful as an additional function in a CMS. The private group function allows teachers to set up private groups for class which can make it more collaborative.|
|Twitter is entirely a communication tool.||Twitter allows responses to tweets so it can be collaborative in that sense.||Twitter seems to have one function only.||Twitter is largely asynchronous unless you have an immediate response to tweets.||There can be strong interaction between users, but it is not face-to-face. The richness is kind of limited. People do tweet pictures and videos though.||It is very social.||Twitter can be very useful in CMS. I attended a webinar recently in which we commented on the instruction via twitter feed. It was very convenient.|
4. Locate three high quality examples for the use of new media/social media in online learning. These examples may be existing courses, how-to discussions on a website or even in a journal article or book. Discuss each of these examples in turn. How much of the discussion is hype and how much is potentially useful?
Lan, Y., Sung, Y., Tan, N., Lin, C., & Chang, K. (2010). Mobile-Device-Supported Problem-Based Computational Estimation Instruction for Elementary School Students. Educational Technology & Society, 13(3), 55-69.
This article looked at a study intended to determine if mobile technology would improve learning for elementary students. The researchers gave half of the students mobile devices and the other half worked with traditional tools. They were asked to perform problem-based computational estimates. It was discovered that the use of mobile devices increased student interest and appeared to encourage students to collaborate more than those using the traditional, paper and pencil, approach. It was also found that using mobile devices improved meta-cognitive understanding of estimation techniques.
Peterson, M. (2010). Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games as Arenas for Second Language Learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 23(5), 429-439.
This paper looked at the use of role-playing games in second language learning. The researchers found that multiplayer online role-playing games improved learner motivation, increased student engagement in language interaction. Students proved to be more successful in building vocabulary than traditional methods. Students also seemed to be better able to communicate with peers in the game environment.
Tsui, Y. (2010, January 1). The Use of WebQuests for Helping Students Develop Their Information Skills. ProQuest LLC.
There are a tremendous amount of resources available via the Internet. Students must use information literacy skills to analyze the value of the information that they find. They also need skills in information acquisition and defining inquiries. This dissertation reviews the use of WebQuests in teaching information literacy techniques. Tsui found that webquests could be very useful in teaching information literacy skills. Tsui used rubrics to determine the success of the webquests in enhancing student learning of information literacy techniques. Students worked in groups which further enhanced the collaborative aspects of the assignment.
Wu, J., & Zhang, Y. (2010). Examining Potentialities of Handheld Technology in Students’ Academic Attainments. Educational Media International, 47(1), 57-67.
Wu and Zhang (2010) compared how English learning was achieved using hand-held devices. They looked at two groups. One of whom used handheld devices and one group who did not use handheld devices. They discovered that the students using handheld devices tended to do significantly better on spelling tests. They extended their study to basic mathematics and found the same positive results when handheld computers where used as compared to those students who did not use the new technology.
5. Choose one of the examples from item for and develop a method for using a new media/social media in a class you would design and/or teach. The method you develop should identify the tool, the reasons the tool you choose is most appropriate, a process for guiding the use of the tool, a sense of the scope of the use (length of time, amount of use), what kinds of interactions (student-content, student-instructor, student-student) the method is intended to foster and how the product or use would be graded/evaluated.
I teach an upper-division information literacy course. The course teaches basic skills in information literacy. From there it builds on these skills by applying them to subject-specific student research projects. A webquest would be a very useful tool to increase student learning and to make what can be a dry topic more interesting for my students. Using a webquest would allow students to collaborate and direct their own learning to some extent. I would create different webquests for different majors in the class and have students with the same major work in groups. This would increase student engagement in learning the concepts.
I would introduce and explain the tool in the class and would expect completing the assignment to take two to four hours to complete. I would have the students take a classic problem in their field and identify different types of resources that would work for their topic. They would follow the path established in the webquest to find resources. I would have the students present their findings in front of the class. Students would be given a rubric that would guide them in how they would be graded on the assignment. Grading would be based on their understanding of the types of resources they use, how they assessed those resources, how the resources answered the questions in the webquest, and the individual contribution each student made.