Category Archives: Media Literacy

Why Mom Was Right About Internet Stupidity

Today, out of curiosity I searched Google for ‘Kansas State University’ and the screencap shown below are the very first results I saw:

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Unfortunately, a K-State student was recently expelled over a very distasteful post she made on Snapchat. This student had attended K-State for three years (a pre-med student), and boom, just like that she was out, three years of college and no degree. Here are some things I don’t know. I don’t know what other school will admit her and let her complete her undergrad degree. I don’t know if she has accumulated debt while in college. I don’t know what she was thinking. There are a bunch of things I don’t know about this story.

One thing I do know. I know that it is possible to earn a degree at K-State without ever taking a class in digital literacies. It is possible in the 21st century to still earn a degree without experiencing any special emphasis on the do’s and do-not’s associated with publishing digital media online. Yet every single K-State student, if they so choose, can publish something that the entire world can see in an instant, by simply pushing a button or two on a pocket-sized machine that they carry with them everywhere they go.

Yes, I will grant, that many of our courses address this topic, along with many others. Perhaps even the core courses that every undergraduate student must take such as expository writing, takes a hard look at this topic. But I find it interesting that digital literacies are not at the center of what we teach in our general education.

A class like what my second-year digital media students are doing in digital storytelling would be an ideal learning experience for all K-Staters. Not only are we looking at the how of creating media, but we also are discussing the whats and whys of digital media. I think a class like what we are doing could fit very nicely right beside the traditional writing and math classes that everyone must take to graduate.

But every curriculum is jam-packed, and many would argue there is no room for another course. But what if such a course was put in place, and we are able to reach many more students early on about the good, the bad and the ugly about online activities? Learning from a bad experience, Kansas State University could ultimately serve as an example of what can be done in the area of digital/media literacy.

Acknowlegements: The idea from this post came from today’s Daily Create activity; an assignment from our digital storytelling class using Portent’s Title Generator.

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Woman Without a Phone

This image from the Boston Globe is going viral because one woman in a crowd of onlookers is the only one actually watching and not recording the event.

Grandma No Phone
JOHN BLANDING/GLOBE STAFF

I do this all of the time. Sometimes I regret not having a picture because I only watched. But there are many more times that I did record an event with video or photographs that I don’t even recollect experiencing. I was recording, but I wasn’t there. This woman was there. And now I am there as well, when I choose to be.

This past weekend was a perfect example. I brought a camera along to Emily’s softball tournament. I took some (quite a few, actually) photos. But most of the time, I was watching the game, and not having a care in the world about whether or not I captured a perfect photo.  Because they played multiple games, I was able to both enjoy taking photographs, but also spend most of the time watching my daughter play ball. It was magnificent.

Be intentional people, not mindless in your use of technology. It is a better way to live.

PS – Here are some softball pics. Her team got 3rd place.

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