Appreicating a Good Book

Anyone who has read any of my previous blog posts knows that I originally created this blog as an assignment for a class.  The class is over now, but I have decided to continue writing posts. 

My new posts will contain whatever I feel like writing whenever I feel like writing it, but lately I have been reading some really great novels and I have been talking about really great ones that I have read in the past, so the first few posts will showcase some of my favorite books. 

I will give my overall impression of the book, and analyze the plot, characters, and whatever else I feel is interesting or important in the story.

I want to share the joy that I have found in reading these books, and I want to share why I love them so much.  Hopefully, some people will find my reviews/ analyses helpful, and I also hope to get some people interested in reading all, a few, a couple or one of these books. 




I have settled on my idea to use clips from the show Gossip Girl to illustrate my concept. 

After my idea was peer reviewed, I thought about not only using clips from Gossip Girl to illustrate that new media allows people to grow a large audience to talk about whatever, but also that blogs can be used for meaningful purposes, such as writing for a cause.  Gossip Girl is about an anonymous blogger who gossips about the rich and famous in Manhattan and to a lot of people that is not a positive thing. 

I am not trying to say that this new form of communication that new media has provided us with is great because it allows people to bully, gossip, and spread rumors quickly online.  Instead, my message to people is that this new form of communication (a blog for example) allows people to share opinions, passions, and anything else that people want to share with the world.  Blogging does not  just consist of ranting and the reporting of false news.   I guarantee that almost anyone can find a blog that talks about something that they are interested in.

So, I will be using clips from Gossip Girl to give the overall idea of what digital writing, such as blogging, can do for someone; where it can get someone.  People can reach a large worldwide audience through blogging, and if people like what they read they will continue to read that person’s blog.  Blogging almost gives people a sense of authority and power because if they do gain an audience (even just one or two people) their posts will be anxiously awaited on by their followers to read what they have to say however often they post.

Rough Draft of Concept in 60

This is a rough rough draft of my video.  I have some other things in mind to do for my actual project, but right now I am still working to try to make what I am envisioning happen, but what you see in the video still covers my concept. 

Basically, I want to illustrate how new media has somewhat changed writing.  A large number of the world’s population is writing digitally on the Internet.  The Internet offers different environments for people to write and share their writing, and it can be done instantly.

Blogging, like we are doing in class, allows people to share advice and tips and their opinions on things such as politics.  This can be done on any content sharing website, but in my video I use the concept of blogging to deliver my message.

Today, almost anyone can take on the role of a critic or even a journalist on the Internet.  It is great that the public can report on stories that strike their interest and concerns.

Multimedia in Academics and Non-acadmics

“What’s in A Name?” made some interesting arguments and conclusions about the terms that are commonly used to define text created using different computer programs.  Prior to taking this class, I was not entirely familiar with such terms as multimodal or new media, but I now realize that these terms are closely related.

Claire Lauer argues that the definitions are not what make these terms differ, but instead the audience and context that are being associated with each at the time.

Lauer explores the terms multimodal and multimedia and determines how they are used differently in academic, industrial, and non-academic settings.  

From my academic experience, multimedia that I typically deal with are things such as power points, and maybe videos, but these multimedia projects always have to contain some educational aspect or discipline.  

I have never done a multimedia project for a class that did not contain some word texts.  Multimedia in another field and for another purpose such as a television commercial may include no word texts but it is still multimedia.  For the most part, the definitions for these terms are the same we just adjust the context accordingly to fit the purpose.


We’ve Got our Heuristics!

I will admit that at first I was not so sure about the heuristics that the class agreed on, but after reading over them on the class webpage I have to say that the criteria sounds pretty solid to me. 

I said before that creativity should be a part of the criteria, but originality is not really that important as long as the message that the student is trying to convey is understood by the intended audience, and as long as it is done in an interesting way.  Everyone is most likely going to have different ideas for this project, especially since there is no particular idea that the project should focus on.  The great thing about not having a specific topic is that the project subject is left up to the imagination or the passion that the creator has.  So, having somewhat broad heuristics is best for this project.

Attracting an audience, having a clear and effective message for that audience and presenting it all in a well designed way is all the criteria that our class needs to do this assignment well. 

Criteria Suggestions

I like the criteria for assessing multimedia listed on the Kairos webpage.  I realize that readership, form, media, and response are merely categories in which to base criteria, but the details that each one includes is exactly what I feel should be used to assess a multimedia project.  Students need precise details in order to produce a coherent and meaningful assignment.

The description for readership basically insures that the project deals with a topic that will still be relevant for a certain amount of time after the project is produced.  The form aspect calls for the purpose of the project to quickly make a point, but it requires it to be focused at the same time.  Media and response are concerned with that creative and logical aspect of the project.  These two categories also concern the audience.  Media and response call for the project to be appropriate for Kairos and they call for a understanding from the audience. 

I feel that having detailed criteria will give students confidence in what they are working on because they will know exactly what is expected from them.  From my experience, I typically produce better work when the criteria is clear and to the point.  Having broad criteria leaves the project open for anything, and the project cannot consists of just anything.  These projects need to show creativity and they need to be relevant to the topic.  Also, these projects need to have a purpose and they need to be easy to understand for the anticipated audience, and the delivery needs to be interesting. 


We Do Not Search for things on the Internet Because We are Dumb

My generation has been called plenty of names, but the most common names that I have heard are the digital generation and the dumb generation.  My generation has adopted some pretty dumb and dangerous fads (many in order to gain fame on the internet) from time to time and because of those things I could see why older generations would view my generation as less intelligent, but I do not agree that my generation is dumb because of being dependent on the internet. 

In his article “Is Stupid Making Us Google?”, James Bowman presents an opposing argument to Nicholas Carr and Mark Bauerlein’s argument that online reading somehow hinders intelligence and that generations of the digital age are becoming less and less intelligent.  Some of things that Bowman cites from both Carr and Bauerlein’s pieces draw some off the wall conclusions.

I cannot speak for other people in my age group, or lower age groups, but one assumption that Mark Bauerlein makes, according to Bowman, is that “online is the only kind of reading they know” (Bowman 1).  Personally, I read more offline than I do online.  I mainly read online when I have to read an article(s) for a class.  I will admit that during the school year when I am swamped with work I only read what I have to read for my classes, but when I have free time I read plenty for my own pleasure.  I read about four novels over the summer (the actual print versions).  So, I do read quite a bit offline.

Another conclusion that Bowman says Nicholas Carr draws is, “as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence” (Bowman 1).  As I have said many times before, one great thing about the internet is that it allows a person to gain knowledge about something by simply typing what they want to know into a search engine and then pressing search (and getting his or her information from a reliable source that the search engine has found of course).  However, knowledge about everything cannot be found on the internet.  Sometimes a person has to search in books in order to gain a deep understanding of something.  Considering that people cannot find a solution to everything through a computer then our intelligence is not and will never be artificial. 

 When you think about it, everyone gains knowledge, intelligence, etc. from some other source.  People do not come into this world already knowing everything that they will know in their lifetime.