Lec 1 | MIT CMS.930 Media, Education and the Marketplace

Lec 1 | MIT CMS.930 Media, Education and the Marketplace



my name is Shakira me Ogawa I teach at MIT in this brief presentation I would like to make some observations about media I'm particularly interested in forms of media that have emerged they have interactivity built into the design cd-rom the internet in other forms of digital media delivery systems make it possible for users not only to consume media but also to create it this is what Bob Metcalfe in his online lecture calls community media I'm going to call it personal media to contrast it with mass media let me begin with something that happened at home last week I have a young daughter who isn't speaking quite yet but she has acquired many tools for communication one such tool that she uses often is the following whenever I do something that she likes such as singing one of her favorite songs and she wants me to repeat it she will do this ah ah ah she learned this from my wife and I when we say one more time she learned to amplify the message by using both hands recently my daughter has been allowed to watch some TV last week she was watching Sesame Street and at one point Big Bird sang a song and did a dance to go along with the song my daughter liked it and at end of the song and the dance she turned to Big Bird on the screen and went ah ah of course Big Bird didn't respond but instead went on to whatever was next on the script my daughter turned to me with a puzzled look like what happened what happened was that my daughter discovered mass media in mass media there is a clear line of demarcation between those who produce the media and those who create it my daughter didn't realize this and she wanted to have a hand at producing Sesame Street she didn't know that the whole point of mass media is that you sit back and consume it this is because up until that time her whole world are on her was a personal world where she could manipulate things in people compare this illustration of mass media with another form of media that has spread throughout the youth culture of this world video games in video games the whole idea is that you can control the action in the game in fact the more that you can control the better you are you get more points and you get bumped up to a more challenging level video games are an example of personal media the point that I want to convey is this personal media in a variety of forms will increasingly encroach on mass media we find examples of this today in the u.s. young people of today are watching much less TV than young people of 10 years ago as much as a 100 hours per year less don't have Scott who mentions this in his book growing up digital tells us that the young people who were interviewed for the survey said that they are watching much less TV and they're using the computer more to play video games and to use the Internet in Japan the use of cell phones and particularly iMode is growing at an explosive rate i mode is the use of the internet with your cell phone people in the industry tell me that young people in Japan are spending anywhere from $50 to as much as $200 a month on a mode and this has led to a decline in the revenues from mass media products such as comic books comic books are a mammoth industry in Japan but with young people using more and more of their disposal income on iMode and other forms of personal media we can expect that the revenue will continue to decline from mass media products I now want to turn to my own work with media I created a multimedia program called star festival with a team of media and curriculum specialists from MIT and from other institutions in the Boston area star festival is very much a personal media it's about my own story of a Japanese who grew up most of the time in the United States what I want to tell you are some concrete examples of what I saw happen in the star festival classrooms I can tell you that just about everything that I saw was a surprise and often it was exactly the opposite of what I expected star festival is a multimedia program it has video graphics soundtrack text and 300 original photographs from my family collection these photographs are for the most part black and white and these photographs gave me the first clue that the kids were using star festival in a way that was completely unexpected I observe star festival classrooms in Boston in other areas one day I was in a kindergarten class in Boston and the teacher was using star festival after a while the teacher told the kids going play with star festival the kids clicked around the program randomly for a while as if they were playing video games but then there arose spontaneously a consensus that they should look for a certain kind of photographs these photographs they decided to look for our photographs of me when I was their age there are several photographs like that in star festival of when I was a kindergartner when the kids were satisfied that they found all of the photographs of me when I was their age then they went on to explore the rest of the multimedia space but with those photographs as a starting point now I thought that was neat but I didn't really understand the significance of it at the time later I was visiting the same school in the same building and I was in the fifth grade class and to my surprise the same thing was happening the fifth grade kids were going through the program looking for my photographs of when I was a fifth grader around age 10 once they looked for all and found all of the photographs of me when I was their age then that became the beginning the starting point by which takes for the rest of star festival what did this mean well you could probably think of many ways to understand this for me what is signified is something fundamental to any form of media the notion of point of view point of view from whose perspective is the media being presented the kids in Boston the kindergarteners and fifth graders found their own point of view in star festival the kindergarteners by finding my photographs of when I was a kindergartner and the same with fifth graders the important thing is that they found this point of view on their own it wasn't presented to them by taking this point of view that they discovered they were able to go inside the program and beginning with that point of view that they established they were able to explore star festival from that point of view that they selected on their own this is fundamentally different from mass media in mass media you're watching something who's the point of view of which was chosen by somebody else so you are never inside the program but you're always outside of it as a result you are not able to to manipulate the media for your own point of view personal media is a kind of media where the user is able to select his or her own point of view often it's the users point of view or someone like the user the second point I want to make about personal media is the idea of appropriation to create personal media unique material stuff to build it with in personal media you take whatever you need to create the best best possible media with more and more things becoming digital this idea of appropriation becomes easier and easier now this is completely different from mass media in mass media content is sacrosanct it's even legally protected from appropriation by others it's called copyright recently we saw an example of what happens when a sacrosanct content in mass media suddenly becomes available for personal use Napster allowed people to download music for their own personal music library setting aside legal issues in their many what Napster shows us is the power of personal media when people are able to appropriate things for their own personal use they will do it and with more and more tools in digital media becoming available this is going to become more and more common the diss the difference between what originated with you the user and what didn't will become blurred let me tell you something that I saw in a star festival classroom that illustrates this notion of appropriation I was observing a 7th grade art class which was using star festival the students were assigned to do an art project and the artistic model that the teachers get and the teacher gave the students was a Japanese kokeshi a Japanese kokeshi is a wooden doll with a cylindrical body and a round head a traditional Japanese kokeshi reflects the image of the Japanese the skin is is white and often it's white to symbolize the traditional cosmetic taste of Japanese women but the kekkaishi that I saw produced in the seventh grade class was completely different there were kokeshi of every color there was even a kokeshi a married couple kokeshi that was interracial black and white this represented the the producer of the kekkaishi a girl who had interracial parents what this girl did was to appropriate the model of kokeshi but made it into her own image her parents now these dolls were physical objects but the students could have done this just as well in digital form as personal media the point that we see in personal media with this example is this people who are producing personal media media are not simply going to accept and consume media but they're going to appropriate things bits and pieces from sources their own and others to build their own media the third and final point I like to make about personal media in star festival is an Allpoint we all like to tell our own story I'd like to show you a clip from star festival that has triggered many many stories from young people this is a site from star festival about my mother and her experiences in world war ii there is an introduction to star festival which we placed on the same website that you're watching now the site that you just saw about my mother has triggered many stories from young people about their grandparents and ancestors suffering under the Japanese occupation the German occupation and stories about slavery some of the stories came from kids of Chinese and Korean ethnicity who talked about their grandparents suffering under the Japanese occupation these stories were moving and painful and deeply ironic in telling the stories of their grandparents they had appropriated the young peered kids had appropriated bits and pieces from my mother's site which was a site of a Japanese who suffered during World War two to sum up I talked about the increasing spread of personal media I know that three features of personal media that I saw in star festival the ability to control point of view the ability to appropriate things and storytelling I like to finish this presentation by looking at some of the consequences of what I said for education and also for mass media first education there are two points I like to make the first point is that it is important that we Institute media literacy into the core curriculum this is a point that my colleague at MIT Harry Jenkins has been pushing for some time young people are going to be spending more and more of their time creating personal media of different forms and not just for entertainment but for education as well they'll have at their disposal an increasing array of tools for creating personal media but they will necessarily have the knowledge for creating sophisticated media they need be taught that know how to create such media students will be very interested and highly motivated in being educated on media literacy the second point about education is how we teach the kids we can think of the traditional classroom as one that reflects the world of mass media the teacher is the broadcaster of information and knowledge and the kids are the consumers of this knowledge the as the young people's attitude towards acquiring information and knowledge shifts from completely a mass media world to one that incorporates the personal media perspective the educational system will have to accommodate this shift young people are going to be learning some maybe most of what they learn in schools through creating and recreating their knowledge through forms of personal media and education will have to accommodate this form of learning which is very different from the traditional classroom for mass media the question is will mass media survive in the face of increasing encroachment from personal media the answer is yes but mass media products will have to become consistently better the young people today are much more media savvy than the previous generations they are not just going to be looking at things like how the plot unfolds and how the characters are developed they're also going to be focused on much more technical aspects of media production a friend of mine told me about an experience she had with her 10 year old son in viewing a movie with him she was surprised that while she was looking at things like plot and characters he was focused on technical aspects such as how the camera angles were being employed to push the story along well that's it I thank you for listening if you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me

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