New Media for Filmmakers and Educators

Thomas W. Campbell

This entry is an initial response to the challenge of embracing New Media as a creative and business model for filmmakers, journalists and teachers.

Part 1 – What is New Media and why is it so valuable?

New media is a concept that comes almost intuitively to students – which means that professionals in academic environments, specifically college professors, have a wonderful opportunity to connect with them in a direct and engaging manner. It’s not a matter of being hip or trendy, especially in the eyes of our students. Understanding and implementing a meaningful New Media curriculum is a way to challenge students to address what they intuitively know and to help prepare them for digital realities of the creative and technological market place.

How do students – and adults – use new media in day-to-day lives? According to the 2011 Horizon report, recently released by the New Media Consortium . “The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialing…” The internet is making our work more mobile, more collaborative, and more complex. The mobile phone is a powerful new media tool that we, as professors, often disdain (at least in the hands of our students). It turns out that mobile devices (phones, iPads etc) are a major technology to watch – and consider adopting – according to the Horizon report. They are already in the hands of almost every student – why not find ways to integrate it into the learning experience? WordPress, for instance, one of the coolest and most powerful blogging platforms – has a mobile app for blogging and editing. Wouldn’t it be cool – and useful – if students began to think of their phones as creative academic tools?

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Machines, Mood and the Future of Happiness


Are we ready for the interactive world?

The purpose of museums are to enshrine the past – it was filmmaker Luis Buñuel who suggested that we destroy all of them and start over. But the Museum of Modern Art just concluded an exhibit that seemed to come from some point in the future. Talk to Me, which closed on November 7, 2011, brought together hundreds of examples of machines that communicated with human beings in funny, complex and extremely thought provoking ways.

Machines allowed interacting humans to experience becoming an animal, let men feel what it is like to have a painful and messy menstrual cycle, linked phone calls and text messages to a device that slowly asphyxiates the one who answers, put the game player into a Gentrification Battlefield, demonstrated a device that allows a paraplegic graffiti artist to continue experiencing the rush of tagging large buildings using interactive software and laser projection, and presented a demonstration of a slingshot that let you paint SMS text messages across the surfaces of buildings (again using laser light projection). And, if you needed a metrocard to get home there was a full-scale working metro card machine ready to take your money. Some of the ideas were simple yet compelling – a beige retro disk drive able to detect when liquids are spilled would rise up like an animal with little legs to avoid damage to itself – a machine able to physically demonstrate self-preservation.

Ready or not – the interactive world is already here.

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