Tag Archives: Media Studies

Teenagers say goodbye to Facebook and hello to messenger apps

Gradual exodus of young people towards WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk is just as their mums and dads get the hang of social networking:

Parmy Olson, The Observer, November 10, 2013– Facebook made a startling admission in its earnings announcement this month: it was seeing a “decrease in daily users, specifically among teens”. In other words, teenagers are still on Facebook; they’re just not using it as much as they did. It was a landmark statement, since teens are the demographic who often point the rest of us towards the next big thing.

Their gradual exodus to messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk boils down to Facebook becoming a victim of its own success. The road to gaining nearly 1.2 billion monthly active users has seen the mums, dads, aunts and uncles of the generation who pioneered Facebook join it too, spamming their walls with inspirational quotes and images of cute animals, and (shock, horror) commenting on their kids’ photos. No surprise, then, that Facebook is no longer a place for uninhibited status updates about pub antics, but an obligatory communication tool that younger people maintain because everyone else does.

All the fun stuff is happening elsewhere. On their mobiles.

When mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp first emerged in 2009, they looked like a threat to mobile carriers. Everyone from Vodafone to Dutch operator KPN was mentioning them in sales calls. Mobile operators are estimated to have lost $23bn in SMS revenue in 2012 due to messaging apps, which host free instant messages through a phone’s data connection, which these days is often unlimited. Now these apps are becoming a threat to established social networks too.

WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in the UK and on half the country’s iPhones, according to Mobile Marketing Magazine, has more than 350 million monthly active users globally. That makes it the biggest messaging app in the world by users, with even more active users thansocial media darling Twitter, which counts 218 million. About 90% of the population of Brazil uses messaging apps, three-quarters of Russians, and half of Britons, according to mobile consultancy Tyntec. WhatsApp alone is on more than 95% of all smartphones in Spain. The power users and early adopters of these apps, the ones you’re most likely to see tapping their thumbs over a tiny screen, are under 25.

Part of the reason is that gradual encroachment of the grey-haired ones on Facebook. Another is what messaging apps have to offer: private chatting with people you are friends with in real life. Instead of passively stalking people you barely know on Facebook, messaging apps promote dynamic real-time chatting with different groups of real-life friends, real life because to connect with them on these apps you will typically already have their mobile number. The trend flies in the face of recurring criticism of young people – that their social lives are largely virtual – when many more are in fact embracing the virtues of privacy and services like WhatsApp, which shun advertising.

“I only use WhatsApp to communicate and send pics these days,” said Natalie West, a twentysomething financial sales associate in London. In the last few years she has used Facebook less and less because she doesn’t want “the whole world to know” what she’s doing. When people set up events and get-togethers on Facebook, West and her boyfriend tend to reply on WhatsApp instead because “it’s more personal”. For similar reasons, some 78% of teenagers and young people use mobile messengers to plan a meet-up with friends, according to research advisory firm mobileYouth.

Another factor is the rise of the selfie, often silly self-portraits taken at arm’s length with a mobile. Almost half of the photos on Instagram feeds among people aged 14 to 21 in the UK are selfies, according to mobileYouth. Sending those photos via a mobile messaging service is safer than broadcasting them on Facebook, since they’re less likely to be seen by a boss or dozens of Facebook friends you forgot you had. Selfies are even bigger on Snapchat, the evanescent photo sharing app that deletes a photo several seconds after it has been viewed. With about 5 million active monthly users, the service has inevitably become a favoured way for teens to send sexy or even naked photos of themselves, an ill-advised practice known as “sexting”. But teens also love Snapchat because it allows them to send inane photos of themselves without fear of leaving a permanent digital footprint.The California-based app is seen as so hot, with so much potential for growth, that it has already been pegged with a $2-$4bn valuation in the Silicon Valley tech community. Estimates are even higher for WhatsApp, which makes money through an annual subscription; some observers suggest it could be worth $5bn or more.

The final, big reason why young people are gravitating towards messaging apps is that many of these apps no longer do just messaging. They are social networks. The best examples come out of Asia, with messaging platforms KakaoTalk (South Korea), WeChat (China) and LINE (Japan). All have tens of millions of users, with WeChat boasting more than 200 million, and take their services beyond offering straight messaging to games, stickers and music sharing. Before you write off digital stickers as inane, they are a decent moneyspinner for LINE: of the $58m the company made in sales in the first quarter of 2013, half came from selling games and 30%, or roughly $17m, from sales of its 8,000 different stickers. Some are free or, in Spain where LINE has 15 million registered users, cost around €1.99. Often users choose stickers instead of words when they need to express themselves, one LINE executive said; it’s known to have helped couples get over fights more easily by offering multiple stickers to say sorry.

Read More: The Observer

Video Gaming in the Classroom: Insights and Ideas from Teenage Students by Peter Halim

Peter and research participants in focus group

Congratulations to Peter Halim for successfully defending his thesis titled “Video Gaming in the Classroom: Insights and Ideas from Teenage Students”! Peter made the minor edits and closed his MA program, meaning that he will graduate in November. The thesis can be downloaded from the CIRCLE database.

Video Gaming in the Classroom: Insights and Ideas from Teenage Students

Peter Halim

For this research, four high school aged teenagers participated in an intensive one week video gaming camp, at which time they articulated their attitudes and ideas about mainstream video games and their place in education. The purpose was to explore strategies for utilizing mainstream commercial video games for educative purposes in the classroom. The participants’ insights along with observations made on their interaction with video games were analyzed through Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation and the General Aggression Model. In summary, the participants, more or less experts in gaming, enjoyed video games and described them as one of their favourite activities. Furthermore, it was found that video games played both a positive and negative role in the participants’ lives. For example, all participants seemed to have developed healthy values and relationships directly through playing video games during their pre-adolescent years. Conversely, their responses also indicated that they experienced limits to video games and did not see innovation from market and home to school as a smooth, trivial process. Rather, they provided key insights into aligning specific games with specific content, curriculum, and courses. The participants’ insights suggest that the use of mainstream video games for learning will most likely continue to be a fringe strategy implemented by individual teachers who actively discern the educational uses of video games. Game and gaming literacies are among the most recent entries into new literacies research. This thesis contributes to this research by exploring teenagers’ ideas about gaming in the classroom. In conclusion, this study finds that mainstream video games have potential to be effectively used as learning strategies in the classroom in the future pending on continued progress and interest in this endeavor.

June Kaminski wins 2012 CASN e-Health Award

June Kaminski (Kwantlen Polytechnic University faculty member and UBC PhD student)
2012 Nursing Faculty e-Health Award

Congratulations to EDCP PhD Candidate June Kaminski, recipient of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing’s (CASN) prestigious E-Health Award! June is an Instructor in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Faculty of Community and Health Studies. She has been an established national leader in e-health and nursing informatics throughout her career and this award recognizes her long-standing and ground-breaking achievements. She is completing research on e-health and informatics, and the challenge of innovation in nurse education. June works under the Supervision of Dr. Stephen Petrina within Technology Studies.

Kwantlen Press Release

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) nursing faculty member, June Kaminski, has been chosen as the recipient of the Nursing Faculty e-Health Award. This prestigious award was presented during the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing’s (CASN) Annual Award’s reception in Ottawa on November 13, 2012.

“I am very honoured and thrilled to receive this inaugural award from CASN and Canada Health Infoway, two organizations that I deeply respect and look to for leadership strategies for curriculum, e-health and informatics,” said Kaminski. “I wish to thank my nominators Dr. Noreen Frisch and Dr. Elizabeth Borycki from the University of Victoria, both creators of Inspire.net and our own Dr. Jean Nicolson-Church. Thanks too to our Dean, Dr. Tru Freeman for her continued support. I sincerely treasure the acknowledgement of my work and my passion for technology in nursing practice and education.”

The recipient of this award is a faculty member from a Canadian school of nursing who demonstrates exceptional leadership and commitment to e-health in nursing education.  Aside from national recognition, Kaminski also received a $2000 award for her dedication to effectively integrating the use of information and communication technologies, information and knowledge management, and related professional and regulatory accountability into pedagogical materials.
The 2012 Nursing Faculty e-Health Award is a component of the CASN-Canada Health Infoway – Nurses in Training project aimed at preparing nursing students to practice in modern, technology-enabled clinical environments when they graduate.

KPU’s community and health studies programs are grounded in the concepts of caring, collaboration, inclusion and development of healthier communities. Programs vary in length from four year bachelor degrees to five month citations. For more information on KPU’s community and health studies programs visit kwantlen.ca/health.

Designing Immersive Language Learning Environments in Virtual Worlds by Yifei Wang

Congratulations Yifei Wang, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation, “Designing Immersive Language Learning Environments in Virtual Worlds.” Yifei’s defence on 11 December was textbook perfect, in both presentation and response to questions from the Examination Committee and External Examiner. Minor revisions were completed and submitted, and Yifei is now Dr. Wang! The dissertation research involves a sophisticated design and analysis of an immersive learning environment.

ABSTRACT

Designing Immersive Language Learning Environments in Virtual Worlds

by
Yifei Wang

During the past decade, there has been increasing attention to second/foreign language teaching and learning in virtual worlds. The purpose of this study was to explore affordances of a 3D virtual world platform designed as an immersive language teaching and learning environment.

Focusing on designing virtual worlds as a catalyst for change, three design phases (development of artifact, low fidelity prototyping, and high fidelity prototyping) were detailed and documented in this study. Nineteen students from a pre-service teacher cohort, two technicians and eight language learners from high schools in Vancouver as well as eighty language learners from universities in China were involved in this study; participants were asked to immerse themselves in the virtual language learning environment designed for the study. Participants’ interactions in the virtual world were videotaped and avatar interactions were recorded.

Group discussions, observations, suvey questionnaires and the video-stimulated post interaction interviews provided complementary data for understanding affordances of virtual worlds in designing immersive second/foreign language learning curriculum. Analysis of the feasibility study, low fidelity design, and high fidelity design suggested a more robust design for immerisve virtual language learning environments. Three design cycles revealed primary design factors of immersive second/foreign language learning in virtual worlds (embodied avatar, co-presence, and simulation) and their relative significance in the process of learners’ meaning-making and knowledge construction.

Findings showed that embodiment through an embodied avatar, community of practice through co-presence, and situated learning through simulation had a greater impact on the immersive virtual learning design. Building on a theoretical framework of embodied mind, situated learning and distributed cognition, this study documented features of learning theories key to language learning curriculum design in virtual worlds.

The findings and techniques resulting from this study will help designers and researchers improve second/foreign language curriculum design in virtual worlds. It also prompts designers and researchers to achieve a better understanding of how virtual worlds can be redesigned by rethinking learning theories. The refinement of design-based research stages into low and high fidelity prototyping provides researchers with empirically tested and nuanced understandings of the design process.

The SPRING 7th International Conference on Knowledge Generation, Communication and Management: KGCM 2013

Call for participation from the KGCM 2013 Organizing Committee, for the 7th International Conference on Knowledge Generation, communication, and Management: KGCM 2013

(www.2013iiisconferences.org/kgcm), to be held on March 19-22, 2013, in Orlando, Florida, USA. (image below from site)

Submission Deadline:

December 14th, 2012 (other deadlines are included in the conference web site)

**************** Special Tracks ****************

  • Case Studies and Methodologies
  • Interdisciplinary Research, Education, and Communication

• International Symposium on Integrating Research, Education, and Problem Solving

  • Action Research and Action Learning
  • Peer Reviewing

    Information about the general topics can be found at the conference web site

    Submissions for face-to-face and virtual presentations are both accepted. Best papers will be published in the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics (JSCI)

    JSCI is indexed by Cabell, EBSCO, and DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), as well as in Google Scholar. (All papers to be presented at the conference will be included in the conference printed and electronic proceedings)

Details about the following issues have also been included at the conference web site (URL given above):

  • Pre- and post-conference virtual session
  • Virtual participation
  • Two-tier reviewing combining double-blind and non- blind methods

• Access to reviewers’ comments and evaluation average
• Waiving the registration fee of effective invited session organizers
• Best papers awards

Possible deadlines extension and information about the events being organized for the IIIS Summer Conference on July 9 – 12, 2013, in Orlando, Florida, USA, can be found at http://www.2013iiisconferences.org/current- deadlines.asp

CFP for Media Transatlantic: Media Theory in North America and German-Speaking Europe

Media Transatlantic: Media Theory in North America and
German-Speaking Europe

April 8-10, 2010; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Proposals due: Nov. 27, 2010

http://www.mediatrans.ca

Ubiquitous and indispensible, media technologies have taken on an epistemological or even ontological significance: we learn what we know, and we become what we are, through print, TV, digital, mobile and other communications. “No part of the world, no human activity,” as Sonia Livingstone says, “is untouched…. Societies worldwide are being reshaped, for better or for worse, by changes in the global media and information environment.” Seeing media as a lens or even as an a priori condition for understanding historical, social and cultural change has become increasingly prevalent and urgent on both sides of the Atlantic. However, with some notable exceptions, this work has been developing independently, producing a wide-ranging if fruitful heterogeneity. On the one side are the interdisciplinary and theoretically-engaged Medienwissenschaften (media studies), and on the other, work developing out of the Toronto school and a variety of theoretical and disciplinary traditions. The purpose of this conference is to deepen and expand transatlantic dialogue between North America and German-speaking Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) in the area of media theory — and to provide an opportunity for developing connections to other contexts as well. Areas of research and scholarship relevant to this dialogue include communication, philosophy, media literacy, and literary and cultural studies.

Confirmed Keynotes:
– Kim Sawchuk (Concordia)
– Katherine Hayles (Chicago)
– Sybille Krämer (Berlin)
– Dieter Mersch (Potsdam)
– Hartmut Winkler (Paderborn)
– Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (Vancouver)

This conference invites papers, in English, focusing on such issues as:

– Recent developments in media theory in North America and central
Europe, for example:
–   Media and materiality
–   The construction of “mediality” in theory and
practice
–   Media and the (post)human
–   The “mediatic turn” as milestone or misnomer
– The foundational contributions of McLuhan, Innis and the Toronto
School, of Flusser, Luhmann, and others
– Media as means of socialization and education
– Towards a philosophy of media
– (Inter)disciplinary implications of media-theoretical developments

Abstracts should be submitted using the form provided on the conference
Website: http://www.mediatrans.ca/submit.html

Contact,

Norm Friesen
Canada Research Chair in E-Learning Practices
Thompson Rivers University
+1 250 852 6256
http://learningspaces.org/n/
New Book – Re-Thinking E-Learning Research (http://elearn.tru.ca)

Search Engine

This CBC Radio program looks at the ways the Internet is affecting the society. Podcasts can be found at:

http://www.cbc.ca/searchengine/

The latest show presented the situation at Jena 6. See YouTude for an overview of the situation. This is Collateral Unfiltered News:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YuoiZnr4jLYÂ

Doll Web Sites Drive Girls to Stay Home and Play

Interesting article in the New York Times today about girls and social networking sites. The second page has some quotes from Sherry Turkle.

Technology Addict

On YouTube: Managing Editor of Forbes cries after The Today Show takes away his Blackberry for a week.

addiction.jpg

Click to play video