Final Project

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My Digital Media Project focuses on ‘The Growth of Technology and Social Media’ and how it has impacted our lives socially, but also how it has changed the face of education and introduced countless new methods of learning. We are currently in a digital revolution, where anyone without a smartphone or tablet is  basically an outlier. The two photo’s below show the contrast between when the Pope was elected in 2005 compared to when he was elected in 2013. These pictures highlight just how enormous the growth of technology has been in a mere 8 years and how pivotal a role our personal technologies are playing in significant life experiences. Also this trend shows no signs of stopping any time soon.

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With major technological advances in recent years, it is believed that the smartphone that we carry everywhere in our pocket and purses “provides a better communication tool that the President of the United States had access to 25 years ago”. This is no surprise considering that the “power, size and price of computer chips are expanding at an exponential rate (that’s 2x2x2x2… etc.!) every year” (1). It’s not just a specific age bracket or generation that are technically literate anymore, I read recently that a staggering 23% of children aged between three and five has been online at least one time (2). This scary statistic establishes how integrated technology has become in society at every level. It began with complicated digital machines that even the most astute scientists struggled to engage with, now everyone handles their media, social interactions and business digitally, be it through YouTube videos, Facebook chat or purchases on Amazon. The future looks bright as the phenomena of smart- technology begins to adapt and connect our social, media and business needs.

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In terms of education, the advancement has been staggering. A recent study conducted by the ‘eLearning Industry’ “estimates that about 46% of college students are taking at least one course online and that by 2019, roughly half of all college classes will be digitally based.” (3).   This is no surprise considering how technology has the ability improve student and teacher interactions, address student diversity and provide instant access to information. The two photos attached below are  visual aids which show the dramatic change that has occurred in our learning environment within the last 100 years. The first is a picture is of the reading room in the National Library circa 1922 with just reading pulpits as learning aids, whereas the other photo is one I took myself on my camera phone of UCD library. Every student in my photograph is utilizing a computer or laptop to reinforce and expand their knowledge.

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NLI 1922

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UCD 2016

 

We are spoiled for choice with such  a wide variety of learning platforms, with sites like Google, Khan Academy and Blackboard providing easy access and endless information on nearly any subject matter imaginable. This info-graphic features several statistics which highlight the unification of technology and education.

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Honestly, tell me what we would do if we couldn’t see a photo of what our friends ate for lunch or what holiday one of the Kardashians are on?  Of course these are a few of the most futile uses of social media  buts let’s not let these actions hinder the stupefying growth Social Media has experienced in the past ten years,  because ten years ago Facebook was only an idea. Today it boasts 1.59 billion users, that’s roughly 20% of the world’s population. Facebook is obviously the premier Social Media platform but others like Twitter and LinkedIn are not to be sniffed at, Twitter has grown from a meager 5000 daily tweets in 2007 to a reported upward of 500 million daily tweets at the end of 2015 (4).  The growth of technology has propelled Social Media to a new stratosphere, with TVs, Mobile Phones and basically any technology with Wi-Fi connectivity providing the user with instant access. LinkedIn is a prime example of a Social Media that’s integrating social and professional lives. It’s become commonplace to have your professional credentials on LinkedIn and  it almost places you at a disadvantage if you don’t. Of the millennial generation (15-35 year olds), 13% are active members either looking for employment or conducting business on the site . It also experiences a growth rate of 2 new users every second (5). The video I made below documents even more information about Social Medias Growth in recent years and our new found dependency on social interaction.

I hope my Digital Media Project has provided you with some insight about technology and Social Media’s growth and contributed to your perspective of the ‘Digital Revolution’. The Future is #Bright!

 

References:

  1. Barton, R. (2016). Technology’s Explosion: The exponential growth rate – Mainstay Technologies. Mstech.com. Retrieved 20 April 2016, from http://www.mstech.com/nh-it-blog.php?show=171
  2. Technology, 9. (2016). 95 Amazing Facts About Internet & Technology. Knowledgepublisher.com. Retrieved 25 April 2016, from http://www.knowledgepublisher.com/article-887.html
  3. Adderly, C. (2015). How Technology Has Changed Education – Blog | 2U. 2u.com. Retrieved 28 April 2016, from https://2u.com/blog/how-technology-has-changed-education/
  4. Krikorian, R. (2015). New Tweets per second record, and how!. Retrieved from https://blog.twitter.com/2013/new-tweets-per-second-record-and-how
  5. A Brief History of LinkedIn. (2016). Ourstory.linkedin.com. Retrieved 27 April 2016, from https://ourstory.linkedin.com/

IS30240 – WEEK 10

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This week was completely devoted to the final presentation. I have yet to mention what my final DigiMedia project is on in this blog so here it is, ‘The growth of social media and technology’. Im going to  be using predominantly info-graphics, photos and a podcast as my compiled media. I feel this class was vital for all in attendance as she went through how to effectively plan for a presentation and ensure that you avoid waffling. I am a little concerned with the timing element but will have to practice and write a script to make sure i deliver every slide clearly and appropriately. One thing i often waste time on is the physical design of the presentation, constantly changing animations and transitions rather then focusing on the clarity of the content. The last thing we want is ‘Death by PowerPoint’ so we were provided with some design tips which i think should be applicable to every presentation you do: (1) Consistency, (2) Simple Design, (3) Readable Font, (4) Avoid Clutter, (5) Dark Font, Light Background

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And what use is a well prepared presentation without excellent delivery. Tone, pitch and volume are just a few factors that must be conquered if you want to effectively deliver your message or story. Try keeping one idea per slide too, you don’t want to have your audience overthinking or scrambling to take down information. When it comes to answering questions its vital that you don’t let out gibberish and answer them as briefly and concisely as possible. Paraphrase the question before answering and if you don’t know it, just say you’re not sure, its much better to be honest and say “I will try find that out for you” rather then pretending to know the real answer and wasting valuable time. So that’s pretty much it, practice WILL make perfect.I will be working on my presentation in the lab today and it will be posted along with a more in depth description of what its about and how i made it in the final week of the semester.

 

 

IS30240 – WEEK 9

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This weeks class focused on the controversial topic of copyright. I never realized how thin the line between ‘right to privacy‘ and ‘right to free expression‘ really is, how are you supposed to know   what content is fair game and what is crossing legal boundaries? There has been confusion over how much derivative works can stray away from their original counterparts for centuries such as  Bernard Shaw’s famed Pygmalion which became the revised version, My Fair Lady.

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 In an ideal world I think id have to side with the driving forces behind the fair-use of content like Kim Schmitz from kim.com or Kirby Ferguson of ‘everythingisaremix.info‘ who believe that the realms of creativity are constantly being recycled and that any material that is on the internet should be open to anybody. Of course this probably isn’t sustainable and would cause major commotion amongst writers, musicians whilst bankrupting some lawyers, but it would be interesting to see it in place at some point in time.

Up until about two years ago  i thought it was myth that people actually ‘paid’ for their music and film. I had no idea until class on Friday that there exists a collection of creation common signs, almost like road signs that warn people when it is illegal to use or download specific content. Here’s a list of them and how they work together, but all i know is im going to continue getting my music for as free as possible. Its all about the challenge!

 

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For our lab exercise this week we had to go back over our blogs from the past 9 weeks and ensure that we have given credit wheres credits due so ive compiled a list of the copyright material that’s been used in my blogs, you can check them out below.

Week 9 

Week 8

Week 7

Week 6 

Week 5 

Week 4 

Week 3 

Week 2 

Week 1

IS30240 – WEEK 8

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Video editing is no longer a skill that only a select few can do, its becoming a must have asset when it comes to the publication of digital media. In class last Friday we watched a short YouTube video about the basics of video composition. The information/rules suggested were rather similar to that of the digital photography video we watched last week which gives me some comfort if i decide to use a video in my final presentation. Even more surprising to myself is that i watched the 39:00min! video we were instructed to watch straight after our class. ( which i may mention again is on a Friday evening). It was about the fundamentals of cinematography starring film veteren Richard Michalak. One thing that particularly stood out to me was just how effective long/wide lenses are at distorting an image, it is only once you see them side by side do you see the full extent of the contortion.

Cinematography Learn from a Master   YouTube

Im a windows user but have never used windows movie maker and im only slightly familiar with iMovie so i was open to trying out YouTube’s editor even if you can only CC videos, audio and images and WeVideo. My first attempt was with YouTube editor is embedded below. Don’t ask me why it ended up being like the opening monologue to some cheesy US crime show.

Now onto WeVideo. It  was very easy to navigate but lacked features like the ability to put different soundtracks on different parts of the videos and when i published the video a ‘WeVideo’ watermark remained on the video. The permitted upload quantity was quite low too. But i cant complain, the free trial has plenty for beginners to start editing/creating videos. We had to use our own content for WeVideo so i just uploaded some videos from my time in Colorado last year. Enjoy!

https://www.wevideo.com/embed/#626631425

Honestly, from out lectures over the past 8 weeks i have found the practical aspect of video editing to be the most enjoyable task. It really incorporated together what we learned in photography, the legitimacy of content and podcasting. I believe that our 50 minute lab last Friday lab will be prove to be extremely valuable in the future as video editing becomes a more mundane capability in the ever expanding digital age.

 

 

IS30240 – WEEK 7

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Digital photography and photo editing now plays a huge role in our lives as we become even more reliant on Social Media. We began by discussing the various types of cameras that are out there, you’ve got your compacts, bridges, the more advanced DSLRs and my preferred  choice (purely down to financial reasons) the camera phone. Basically the difference between these is their amount of features. For instance a DSLR will trump the majority of other models on its aperture ability and depth of field capabilities primarily down to how advanced their lens are.

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Shutter speed is vital when it comes to controlling the amount of light entering the lens. I always see these photos of citys at night with white and red car lights streaming through the streets. I was ignorant to the fact that photographers actually sit with their cameras on a tripod for five or six hours with the lens open to absorb all the light rather then just editing a cityscape on some cool Photoshop software.

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All these factors including mega-pixels, reciprocity and ISO / ASA / DIN help contribute towards a photos composition. I was never really aware of how much premeditated thought goes into photos. Its amazing that after just one lecture i find myself noticing converging lines, using the rule of thirds and searching for repetition for interesting anomalies.

I have used the majority of the photo editing sites (GIMP / Pixlr / Picasa) our lecturer discussed prior the lecture so i was looking forward to start editing in the lab.

Online Photo Editor   Pixlr Editor   Autodesk Pixlr

I unfortunately don’t have a fantastic phone camera so chose to edit a photo from my pictures library, but i did take the original photo which is see above.

The first edit I made was to make it look old fashioned (1940’s era).

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My second edit was to make it resemble twilight.

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And the third edit was just me fooling around with basically any image processing tool Pixlr had.

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IS30240 – WEEK 6

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In class we focused on Social Data Analysis and Visualization. We were shown some really cool info-graphics in class. Some that looked more like a view through a telescope into the night sky rather then communities on Twitter, others that looked like a spiders web or an Infrared heat map and some that resembled a psychedelic print. We observed the capacity at which people were tweeting “Happy New Years” be it as ‘bonne annee’, ‘feliz ano novo’ or ‘新年快乐’.

Then we looked at social media activity surrounding the Indian election and the Irish marriage referendum, (#yes!), these show just how influential social media can be in modern political issues. I feel we as a species have become immune to how quick and easy it is to share information and have our say surrounding global issues. Especially the younger generations who are born with iPads rather than coloring books, they seem to observe the world purely through a phone screen or Instagram lens.I hope that this ‘Digital Revolution’ helps more people, particularly the youth become more aware and more active towards global issues in the future. They have the gift of exposure. One obvious thing i noticed about the Indian election info-graphic is the lack of network activity in Africa.

India s election  2014 so far on Twitter

This is not only a map of network activity, its a map of global development. Language and distance barriers are trampled in our desire to seek  new and old information.

But by far the info-graphic that I found to be the most captivating was that of the US in which a heat map was used to track homophobic tweets. It basically showed a divide straight down the middle of the country, liberal/conservative.Also for the YES campaign in Ireland we were able to analyze the most used tags such as ‘today’ or ‘voted. After seeing these unique and quirky ways to analyse data i was anxious to get using one of the tools such as NodeXL, Gephi or Netlytic ( the one we actually used).

Lets find out about the election..

Here are my Network and Text analysis for my #ge16 that i used in my Storify last week.

IS30240 – WEEK 5

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I had no idea how easy it is to source information online, its quite scary actually. I mean when 99% of Irish journalists use social media professionally and 79% in the US its only right for people to be educated about how to verify content. Between hoaxes, propaganda and edits how can we really be sure about the authenticity of our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds. Don’t just take my word for it ask Rita Krill who lives at 6468 Marbella Dr, Naples, Florida, (Est Home Value :$522k) and phone#: (239) 331-7395. Should I really know this information about a girl who simply posted a video on YouTube? and what point do we begin to question how public our lives really are? 6468 Marbella Dr   Google Maps.png

There are a ridiculous amount of tools for monitoring streams. We have Twitter, tweet deck, spundge and trendsmap just to name a few. Trendsmap is a platform that highlights the trending topics that are occuring around the world.In the screenshot below is what was trending in Ireland on the 1st of March.

Real time local Twitter trends   Trendsmap

As expected it was Ireland with riddled with election hashtags and some local banter. Following being introduced to the trendsmap site we were given the task of creating a ‘Storify’ feed. Here’s mine discussing the current election (#ge16).

You can check it out here: