Friday, May 27, 2011

A smartphone is not a device, it's an appendage

If you attended the event "WIRED - Our Infatuation With Technology", earlier this year, you may remember that the theme of the opening remarks made by Mark Deuze (Associate Professor in Telecommunications at Indiana University) was, "we live in, rather than alongside media." His remarks were quite convincing; he didn't present a new concept, rather he just clarified our relationship with media and technology.

A Recap of Mark Deuze's remarks

"Research consistently shows how through the years more of our time gets spent using media, how multitasking our media has become a regular feature of everyday life, and that consuming media for most people randomly takes place alongside producing media. It is perhaps time we move beyond wondering whether all of this is good or bad for us, and accept it as part of our environment - like the air we breathe and the food we eat. In other words: we should think of our lives as lived in rather than with media. Ultimately, media are to us as water is to fish. The question is: how can we live a good and beautiful life in media?"

Then why not teach in the media?

First, let me clarify that I'm not talking about distance education here. What I mean is that even in the brick-and-mortar classroom based teaching, we have to revise our perspective. In the traditional methods, the classroom was at the center of education delivery, and everything else revolved around this "core". Today, "media" is at the center of a course, and classroom is one of the tools. The graphic representation below may clarify this point a little better.

The "After" version lends itself nicely to fit many other tools such as a wikis, videos, games, and animations. This perspective also encourages the use of media in the classroom.

Why is it so?

In the last year or so, I have offered office hours via brick-and-mortar as well as Adobe Connect, and the latter option was chosen more frequently. The year 201x's person has a new approach to communication. Not only is media the preferred method of communication, the new person has a much longer attention span in media than in face-to-face, so use of media even during a face-to-face interaction will get better results than the alternative.

The saying "I'm all ears" has never before been as true as it is today. We are constantly ingesting information, so there is a great opportunity to "speak".

To make a long story a little bit longer

In successful communication, the idea must be supported by three key building blocks: Content, Presentation, and Channel-of-communication. The use of appropriate channel is just as important as the other pieces.

In closing, here we are, in the media. We may have met here in the past and I certainly hope to see you here again, soon...