Self Assessment

I understand that this was a new class but I was very happy with the way it was taught. I was curious about how this class would make sense for an English major and also how it would be taught. I thought the reading materials were well thought out and helpful in the learning of this course. I feel that I learned a lot from each discussion leader and their presentation. I also appreciated how each student, including myself used their own style in the way they presented.

I was nervous that this course would be difficult to handle this semester due to the volume of writing that I did for my master’s thesis. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the class wasn’t as demanding as I thought and the chapters were very interesting to read. I looked forward to the class discussions each week to help better understand what I read. I enjoyed hearing everyone’s opinion on the readings.

I appreciated the dialogue and opinions that my fellow classmates brought to each class. All of the presentations were insightful and well presented. I think this had a huge impact on my personal learning. Being in an atmosphere where the other students want to learn more and grow from the learning experience only enhanced my experience as a student. Also the topic of new media was an intriguing and informative topic. We all use social media and the world wide web but now we all have a better understanding of its features and how it affects our society.

I am embarrassed to say that the skills I have gained for this course are skills that I should have already acquired. I learned more about twitter and how to create a following and also how to use it to find information and trending topics. I also learned the power of the hashtag. I always just thought that the pound sign and the words that followed were made up. What I learned is that if used correctly the hashtag can be used to spread the word about a movement or event. Hashtags spread advocacy and it allows the user to be an advocate for things that are important to them. I personally think the #feminism hashtag is a great hashtag to look up on twitter every once in awhile. It is a small space on twitter where women tag things they think are amazing for women’s rights. It is very inspirational to check out sometimes.

Since joining this program I have decided that I would love to teach writing at the collegiate level. This Master’s program has taught me so much that with graduation only a week away I feel prepared to graduate. This class has allowed me to speak in front of the class and lead a discussion. I feel that this will help me in the future. By creating questions and asking the class for their opinions I am one step closer to understanding what it is like to teach a class. I have always enjoyed the opportunities I get from being in front of the class and engaging my fellow classmates.

This class taught me new skills, gave me knowledge about new topics, and changed my attitude on certain things. I learned that I should understand that everyone is different and everyone learns and grows in different ways. We all view media and technology differently. I never understood selfies but this class has given me a new appreciation of the cultural phenomenon. I look more closely now at the pictures on instagram and the tweets on twitter. I click on hashtags to try to better understand what they are trying to promote. I also stopped posting so much on facebook. After our discussions on sharing and what is important to the intellectual marketplace that is social media I have decided to only post important events in my life and think twice before I post my opinions.

Before I took this class I was a student who didn’t know much about the issues in new media. Now I understand more about how new media affects society and our everyday lives. As new things emerge everyday we as students and advocate need to learn how to use these tools and how they can help us in this always changing technological world.

Recap of the Semester

What have we learned about media and participatory culture that we didn’t fully understand before this class?

I was taught in my journalism classes as an undergrad that with the technology that we have today that everyone can be a journalist. Statuses and tweets are new ways of spreading news and controversy. Anyone can snap a picture on their smartphone and post it to the internet. Michael Jackson’s death was first found out by a picture taken by a nurse who worked in the ER when he came in to the hospital. Everyone can be a journalist now. But as we move forward with twitter and instagram, media has changed in the sense of participation.

Anyone can be an advocate now. Hashtags and followers allow people to spread a message that means something to them. The ice bucket challenge, #BlackLivesMatter, and anything Trump says spreads throughout cyberspace because of the way these things are shared.

I developed a better understanding of youtube stars as well. Youtube is a great source for clips, music, and all around entertainment. There are people out there who make millions of dollars from sharing their skills, stories, and lives by creating videos online. advocacy and spreading awareness can be done through youtube stars and their followers. Youtube has created a community of users that are constantly connected.

We got on a long conversation about Facebook. It is something we are all a part of but it drives us crazy. Going viral is a trend. We are constantly branding ourselves online. Our pictures, our statuses and the way we present ourselves is important when in the past we only cared about what our close friends and family thought of us. We all have that friend on facebook that starts fights in comment sections or posts idiotic articles or nonsense. We talked about how it drives us crazy.

We all agreed that we learned a lot from learning about participatory culture and new media.