Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
At the gym today I was thinking about my syllabus for this Special Topics in Literature class I will be teaching in the Fall and about possible ways to use photo-sharing in the classroom. I am imagining the focus of this class being on the different ways that the West has be interpreted and reinterpreted through literature, but also through film and art. I want to spend at least one day during the course looking at art of the American West and I think that this would be a great time to use a product like Picasa or Flickr. What I would like to do is collect slides of work by Western artists – Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Georgia O’Keefe, etc – and make a slideshow. I would label the slides with their sources. I could show the slideshow in class and we could talk about the works, and then I could use a product like Jing to narrate the slideshow and put it up on Blackboard so the students could revisit it.
I also think there are a number of ways my students could used narrated slideshows in ENG 101 and ENG 102. In ENG 101 we often start the semester with a personal narrative essay. I would love to see students narrate slideshows of their personal photos either as a presentation of their personal narrative essays, or as a prelude to writing the personal narrative. We could use them as little “getting to know you” presentations at the beginning of the course, which would be especially great if the course was online. The students could also use a slideshow in ENG 102 to illustrate a literary text that they were working on. They could find images that fit with lines of poetry for instance, which would help them understand the imagistic qualities of poetry as well. They could narrate that slideshow by reading the poem aloud and then share with the class.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
1. What was the target audience for this social networking site?
Hi5 was founded in 2003 on the tails of MySpace to reach out to a more global community, mostly in Latin America from what I can tell. Both Wikipedia and the Hi5 website claim that it is the 3rd largest “social media site” worldwide. It is available in many languages and appeals to a more international community. One of my students said she joined it to keep in touch with some Puerto Rican friends she met on a cruise.
2. How long was the site in existence?
It definitely still exists. It looks to be a lot like Facebook. A member joins the website and creates a profile. Then the member can have “friends,” play games and listen to music. It also has groups and an option to “flirt.”
3. Why was it popular? What was its demise?
“Social Networking Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship” suggests that it came about as a result of demand for a more global social networking community. Most of the online reviews of the site say that it is great for keeping in touch with friends and family in Central America and also cite it as easy to use.
4. Is/was there another competitor in the same market that was more popular?
This seems to be the most popular site in the international market that isn’t also popular in the United States.
5. Would you ever consider creating an account and using it? Explain your reason using a personal experience as an example.
I don’t think that I would consider creating an account, unless I made a bunch of Central American friends. I recently deleted many of my out of use social networking profiles, but I still have a few. Mostly Facebook works for all my social networking needs. I don’t need to “flirt” or to play anymore distracting online games. I did live in London for a time and if there were a social site that more British people used, I might join that to get back in touch with those friends (but some of them are on Facebook anyway). That is one thing that is pretty cool about social networking, it does let users form an international community, and I’m all for that. I joined MySpace and then Facebook originally so that I could keep in touch with friends that lived all over the country. My best friends in the world are my best friends from high school and none of them still live in Arizona except for me. We have remained really close all through college and graduate school and they are going to be my bridesmaids in my wedding this summer. Although by no means is social networking the only way we communicate, the fact that all these communication technologies have allowed me to maintain friendships that otherwise would have been lost. Although I’ve never been big on making friends online, these sites are much better than a yearly Christmas card for keeping friends.