“Class, Please Pull Out Your iPads!”

Technology is so simple to use for today’s generation. Hand a middle school or high school student a new phone, laptop or tablet and they will have that thing up and running and surfing the web in no time. Kids in today’s society can look up things so fast it’s unreal the power that they have given the technology available.

I see kids in elementary school walking around will iPhones in their hands and Kindle’s in their backpacks. Teachers are no longer telling students to put away their cell phones and laptops, but they are experimenting with the use of technology in classrooms. The technology offers applications that can make the classroom learning experience more enjoyable and memorable.

Ken Doctor’s Law No. 9: Apply the 10 Percent Rule is a simple technology equation. Let your technology do 90 percent of the work, while you do 10 percent of the work. The technology is already programmed to assist us with what we need to get done. All we have to do is simply type in a search word or create a username for the program. Neil Johnston took iPads to a classroom, taught the students a song, and showed them on an iPad app how to play that song on real instruments.

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A school in Texas allows students to use cell phones donated by HTC to practice decimal points, take pictures for research projects, or beam documents to one another. Other apps offered allow students to match math equations to answers and combine pictures to make your own weather reports or podcasts. In Alabama students can tweet questions to their teachers, or use Skype on their smart-phone in Nebraska for an interview. In Mississippi high school students are learning about history through Who Wants To Be A Millionaire on a large screen with answers displayed while students use a remote to choose the correct one. The technology is there and it is programmed, you just have to know how to use it.

This is important because it is changing the way kids learn today because there are so many new tools to use with teaching in the classroom now. This can increase interaction amongst the classroom and get kids more interested in what they are learning about because they get this cool iPad to play music on for an hour. It makes the learning process limitless because you can do practically anything with technology.

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I saw it on Facebook

The other day I heard about a shooting that had happened in Richmond during the early hours of the morning. I didn’t’ hear it on the radio driving to class, I didn’t watch on Fox or ABC news, and I didn’t read it in the paper; I saw it on Facebook.

Newspapers are declining and people are going elsewhere to get their news. Everything about them is changing. Sections of the newspaper such as classifieds, personal ads, or the travel section are being cut due to websites such as craigslist.com, Yahoo travel, and the new trend of online dating. They are also making more online versions of their paper rather than printing it everyday. This has affected society because the newspaper companies are going bankrupt since people can now get the news from their website for free and some newspapers no longer exist causing people to be laid off from work.

Ken Doctor’s Law No. 4 states, “The Old News Is Gone. Get Over It.” The days of having a newspaper hit your door at 6 a.m. just in time for your morning coffee are coming to a stop. People are beginning to use the Internet to access their news much more frequently than before. Thanks to technology, it is now easier for us to access the news from almost anywhere. People no longer have to sit through their long commute home or wait for the commercials on the radio to be over with to get the news. They can simply pull out their Iphone, Blackberry, Droid, or tablet device and use the Internet connection to find out what’s happening now. College students can get on Facebook or Twitter to see what is happening on their campus or the surrounding area, and that news always travels fast.

Everyday when I get on Facebook I don’t really see people posting pictures or comments on their friends’ walls anymore. I see people posting news clips from YouTube or links to news sites of something that had recently happened. Everyday I scroll down my newsfeed and it tells me that this many of my friends have read this article and I usually end up reading it myself. I get the majority of my news from seeing what my friends on Facebook have posted.

The decline of newspapers and rise of Internet use has changed society. People can get their news from anywhere and they don’t need a subscription to it anymore. News is always happening and now it’s even easier than before to access with just a few clicks of a mouse.

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Headlines, Headlines Everywhere I Go

As I have grown and matured over the years, I have begun to watch and read more news. I watch it on TV, a news website, or YouTube; I read it on a newspaper, magazine, smart phone application, billboards, and pretty much everywhere I go there is some type of news to read or watch. When I am sitting in weekly meetings with my sorority I am watching our news happen.

The way we receive news is changing. Ever since I got a smart phone I have been more in tune with the news. I have apps that send me notifications when something major happens, I have YouTube to look up news clips or new music videos when I am not at a computer, and I have Facebook and Twitter that are constantly pushing news topics by people sharing links or re-tweeting. I have the option of what news I want to hear about each day.

People have the option of choosing between their local network news or national news. Network news attracts an older crowd, while cable news attracts a younger republican audience. Also, the younger generation is headed for the Internet rather than a newsstand for their readings. The change of news over the years is significant because people now have the option to choose what news they want to hear or see. Everything today is news and we get to pick it.

This can relate to Ken Doctor’s first law, which says, “In the Age of Darwinian Content, You Are Your Own Editor. We have now become our own gatekeepers; we no longer see the news world as a gated community.” This is explaining that the news is everywhere. Today, you have the biggest options of what type of news you want to hear. You can be all the way around the world and still know what is happening in your hometown. At the rate news travels it is practically impossible to not hear about something.

About 13 years ago, two boys went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School. The event covered the headlines in papers and magazines all over the country. A controversy that rose out of the shootings had to do with Cassie Bernall’s death and faith of God. It was said by Craig Scott, a sophomore at the time of the shooting, that the two shooters stood before Bernall with a gun and asked her if she believed in God. The young girl answered yes and was then shot.

Scott escaped the library of Columbine and told the story of Bernall as soon as he could. The story began to spread fast. Two Denver newspapers shared the story that Friday. On that Saturday, a rally that was held in Michigan turned into a festival for Bernall, which was also covered by the news. The parents of Bernall were interviewed on talk shows and also published a book on her story. Unfortunately, the story was soon turned into a rumor and is believed to not have really happened. But, Scott helped create that piece of news segment from the shootings. If it were not for him, nobody would have ever known about the girl who said yes. He chose a small part of what people saw in news that week.

This has changed the way I look at news because I never know what is true. You can’t believe everything you hear or everything you read in the news. But, it also has made me realize that I don’t have to watch or read that news if I want. I can get the news from somewhere else and so can other people. The options for news are never ending.

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My Prince Charming <3

Throughout my lifespan I have witnessed relationships crash and burn and I have witnessed relationships grow strong. One of the biggest things I have observed with them is the fairy tale ending girls’ think of in their head and the images that come with those endings. I believe that children have been influenced by all the fairy tales read to them and have this image in their head of their own Prince Charming and happily ever after that will fix everything. I also believe that these fairy tales teach children that the normal relationship is a man and woman and nothing else.

 

With the friends I have had over the years it seems that no guy they ever date will be good enough because in reality, they can’t travel to the top of a castle and fight off a fire breathing dragon and live happily ever after.  Girls are let down because they realize that this guy can’t fix every problem that they may encounter. Children are reading these fairy tales night after night when they are young and they see the movies and how perfect the relationships are and think that they need that. The endings of fairy tales influence young girls to think that they need a man in their life to fix the hard things. Also, the way the girls look in fairy tales influence girls thinking of how their image should look and how their Prince Charming should look and act.

 

The ideas that young girls come up with about their fairy tale endings can be closely related to sedimented identities. These are certain identities and meanings that a child puts on an object. They are reflections of a child’s decision about the materials they use in play as well as the identities that the materials hold based on the practices that are taught by the child’s family, school, and community. For example, most children are brought up in families that practice heterosexual relationships. Being raised by a man and a woman is like having a real live version of the child’s Barbie and Ken. So, when a young girl interacts in play she will most likely put the boy doll with a girl doll, to play husband and wife, and then she might add in a child doll to play the baby of the family.

 

This understanding has changed the way I look at children’s toys, movies, and books. These companies put these images on their products that make kids think that they need to look like that and act like that and to not settle for anything less than it. If Barbie were a real person, she would be about 6 feet tall, a 39-inch bust, an 18-inch waist, and 33-inch hips. That is one of the most unhealthy body forms a girl could ever have. The images of dolls and princesses make girls believe that they need that image and it causes teens to be anorexic or bulimic.

In today’s society it is more accepted for a man to be with a man or a woman to be with a woman and fairy tales don’t teach young kids that. I think a contributing factor to homosexuals being attacked is because kids are raised on fairy tales and are taught that man and woman relationships are the norm. I think fairy tales are great stories for children, but when they are learning from them, they also need to be taught that not every boy is going to be perfect, and there are some marriages that are not a man and a woman, and sometimes those relationships, unfortunately, do not work out, and that it is perfectly okay if you don’t look like Barbie or Sleeping Beauty.

 

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Looks Like Chevy Made It

The ad began with the image of city in ruins and a newspaper that had the title “2012 Mayan Apocalypse-Will World End Today?” Then, you see car headlights under a pile of ruble come on and the car starts to drive through the rest of the city. The car, which is a Chevy truck, meets up with three other Chevy trucks, all of which are driven by men. When the four men get out of there car one asks the question, “Where’s Dave?” Another man responds by saying, “Dave didn’t drive the longest lasting, most dependable truck on the road. Dave drove a Ford.” The men seem disappointed for all of two seconds until another offers Twinkies to everyone and they graciously accept and forget about Dave. This ad is suggesting that the only way people are going to survive the 2012 apocalypse is if they run out and buy a Chevy.

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The ad says more about Chevy trucks, not just that they are the best trucks around. First, it uses an all male cast, which can suggest that only men can drive a truck. It also has man’s best friend, a dog, rather than a man’s wife, fiancé, or girlfriend. I believe by having a dog in the back of the truck is suggesting that men would pick their dog over their significant other.

The 2012 apocalypse is something that has been circulating around for the past couple of years. Some believe it is going to happen, others don’t believe it at all. This ad uses the fear of the apocalypse to persuade car shoppers to buy a Chevy, so they no longer have to be scared of it. Buying a Chevy truck would be their solution to living through an apocalypse.

When one of the men in the commercial states, “Dave didn’t drive the longest lasting, most dependable truck on the road,” he is using superlatives to promote the Chevy truck. By using the phrase “longest lasting, most dependable,” it increases the intensity of the Chevy truck.

Chevy chose not to have any big Hollywood actors, models, musicians, or sports players in it. They used everyday plain folks so that viewers at home can actually seem themselves driving a Chevy.

The ad also uses the slippery slope persuasion by warning viewers about a negative future if you do not buy a Chevy truck. Only four men survived and it was four men who all had Chevy trucks. I think this persuasion technique can also be tied in with the name-calling persuasion. One of the men stated, “Dave didn’t drive the longest lasting, most dependable truck on the road. Dave drove a Ford.” Both of these techniques could influence viewers to reject Ford trucks and to buy a Chevy so they don’t die when the apocalypse happens.

Chevy creates a negative image towards Ford trucks in the ad. It suggests that Fords aren’t as good of cars as a Chevy can be. Also, by using an all male cast, it disempowers females. It is suggesting that women are not strong enough and are incapable of driving a truck and therefore they would not survive an apocalypse.

Ads do much more than convince you to buy their product. They have untold stories behind them that can be insulting to a certain gender or race. This year a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl was $3.5 million, so they should be able to tell any story they want with that price. By looking behind the product ads are trying to sell, one may come up with several different messages being told. Most people however, look at the big picture of ads and what they are trying to promote. Some people may even see right past the ad and just think the joke they told was funny. Which is the case for several Super Bowl ads because they are famous for being funny. In 2011 Hanon McKendry found that half the people who watch the Super Bowl game were just as interested in seeing the new commercials.

 

Advertising shows people how they are dreaming according to Sut Jhally’s Image based culture He also suggests that ads are here to tell us how we can become happy. That happiness should be maintained through the consumption of products. Raymond Williams believes that companys promote their products as having magical powers that can fix anything. So, if I purchase a Chevy I will be happy because it will somehow survive the apocalypse and therefore, it will help me survive it. I better survive an apocalypse if I own “the longest lasting, most dependable truck on the road.”

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My Media Artifact from Childhood

My name is Mary Lacey and I am a junior studying Communication Studies with a concentration in mass media at Longwood University located in Farmville, Va. Besides going to school in Farmville, I also work as a server at a local restaurant and wine bar called Charley’s. I spent my whole life growing up in Stafford, Va. with my parents and two older brothers.

When I was in the fifth grade terrorists attacked New York City
and Washington D.C. Since I was so young the teachers did not inform us of what was going on, but I do remember several of my classmates being picked up early from school. I also remember when school was out my mother was waiting for me in the front, which I thought was strange at the time because our house was right across the street. When she told me what happened I didn’t really understand any of it.

Within the months following the attack all of my friends dad’s were going overseas. It was a really difficult time for everyone I knew. Since my father was not military, he stayed home and I almost felt selfish that I had him, and my friends didn’t have their dads. As I look back at that time I think about how brave those people had to be to go overseas and how they were heroes to me and everyone else in the neighborhood.

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Lover from Far Away

In 2005, it was reported, by The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, that 3,500,000 people in the United States were involved in a long distance marriage, and that there was an average of 4.5 million college couples that were considered long distance.  Jocelyn Voo wrote an article for CNN Living titled, “Making long-distance relationships work.”  For her article, Voo spoke with a thirty-one year old mother whose husband was overseas in Iraq at the time.  The woman has two children with her husband who is stationed overseas, one being a newborn.  The couple engages in video chatting to keep their intimacy and commitment strong.  With the use of a web cam her husband is able to watch their new baby grow while he is gone for the next fifteen months.  Being able to see one another grow over those fifteen months, with the use of a web cam, is key to being included in each other’s lives while being apart.

I am drawn to this topic because I am a twenty-year old female who is now involved in my second long distance relationship.  Not only am I involved in a long distance relationship, but several of my close girlfriends and family members are as well.  From my personal experience, I can say that I have been worried about my relationship being long distance and losing the intimacy and passion that created our commitment to one another when we were not involved in a long distance relationship. One problem we have faced while being long distance is that we tend to argue more when we are apart from one another, but as soon as we are together, or can see each other’s smiles, it is like we were never even in an argument.  A friend of mine, who is involved in a long distance relationship, expressed her concern of her relationship to me once.  She told me that she worries everyday that her boyfriend will not want to commit to the distance anymore.

My older brother, Tom, is in the Marines and will be experiencing life overseas soon; he and his new fiancé will have to experience the world of long distance.  His fiancé has expressed her concern for how much she will miss him while he is gone, but knows it will be okay because of their strong commitment they have created towards one another.  Tom is only one out of thousands of military men and women who are experiencing long distance relationships overseas.

I believe this is an important topic because each year when it comes time for high school or college graduations, couples go their separate ways, but they want to remain committed to one another.  Also, men and women are being deployed overseas and forced to be in a long distance relationship every day.  Some people are even forced to be in long distance relationships because of job commitments.

The Family Liaison Office has suggested to work on creative ways to communicate to maintain intimacy for long distance relationships like, videotapes, faxes, or newspaper clippings.  Also, according to, “50 Ways to Improve Your Long Distance Relationship,” getting a webcam is the number one way to improve a long distance relationship.  Although talking on the phone or sending a quick text message to remind someone that you are thinking about them is fast and easy to do, video chatting allows you to actually see the other person, their facial expressions, what they are wearing, and how they have changed over time.

In a peer review article titled, Internet Use and Well-Being in Adolescence, a study found that one’s happiness correlates with the feelings of being connected to someone on a daily basis. Also, this article has stated that the use of internet communication, like Skype, may support that person’s happiness.  Around four-fifths of people who have been involved in the use of video chatting said that they were able to experience intimacy with their partner online.

Long distance relationships are time consuming and require a lot of work from both sides of the relationship. Some couples are able to sustain their long distance relationships better than others through the use of technology.  The advancement of technology has made it possible for couples that are in long distance relationships to maintain intimacy, commitment, and passion; more specifically, Skype, has made it possible.

Julia Wood, author of Interpersonal Communication, has defined passion as the powerful feelings and desire to be close to someone. I believe that passion is the key to starting a relationship.  One must feel a desire towards another if they wish to create a committed relationship.  When I first met my boyfriend, Tim, I had this feeling that I always wanted to spend time with him and talk to him on the phone; I had a desire to be close to him.  Once the two of us expressed our passionate feelings for one another, we were able to commit.

Wood has described commitment as making a decision to remain in a relationship with another person.  Tim and I have committed ourselves to each other, and our relationship.  However, some commitments, like Tim and mine, are long distance. Long distance commitment is hard work, but Skype has made it possible for my relationship to maintain a strong commitment towards one another.  We have committed ourselves to spend time on Skype everyday so that our passion for one another is able to remain strong. Committing yourself to a relationship is a big responsibility, but committing yourself to a long distance relationship is an even bigger responsibility.

Lastly, Wood has described intimacy as the feeling of being cared for and close to one another; the connected feeling one has with their partner through their passion and commitment.  From my personal experience, it is difficult to feel intimate in a long distance relationship when you are not able to see the other’s face everyday.  I believe that mine and Tim’s recent use of Skype has increased our intimate feelings towards one another, while being long distance.  The two of us are able to sit down at the end of the day and talk to each other and actually see each other’s faces.  Talking on the phone does work for long distance relationships, but by actually seeing his face I feel connected and close to him even though we are two hours apart.

Another aspect of interpersonal communication that Julia Wood has described is kinesics, positions and motions of the body and face. Tim and I used to be big phone talkers.  I would call after class and he would answer with a, “Hey babe, how’s your day going?”  This would make me happy that he was interested in my day, but when we started using Skype it was no longer just a casual, “How’s your day been?” it was his smile showing how happy he was of being able to see me.  Skype has made it possible for me to see Tim’s facial expressions so I know when he is happy, upset, or mad, and he is able to see mine.

This subject has broadened my thought of long distance relationships.  I was not really all for this relationship because the first long distance one failed miserably.  However, the use of Skype has changed my mind on them.  Being able to see your long distance partner everyday, even if it is just on a computer screen, will improve the relationship if that is really what you want to be committed to. But, you must actually be committed to taking the time to utilize the video chat with your partner.  I hope that readers are able to take with them a thought or resolution of improving their relationship if they are also dating long distance.  I am sure that other friends of mine may become involved in long distance relationships in their future. Instead of them worrying about it not working out because of the distance, I hope they are able to commit to the usage of a video chat program to maintain the intimacy, passion, and commitment they have created with another.

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Stay out of my bubble!

One night, my dad ate dinner at a small diner that had the counter seats to eat at. He sat at an end seat and was the only one at the counter, so there were about ten other counter seats open he said. Then, an old woman came in the diner and sat in the counter seat right next to my dad.

Personal space is viewed differently from each culture. While personal space is valued in the United States, in other cultures there is more focus on the community.  This is an important element of interpersoal communication because understanding space of another culture can tell an outsider how much status that person has and how much interaction they wish to have (Wood, 2007 p.135).

The term ‘proxemics’ refers to the study of spatial dimension of nonverbal behavior (Prabhu 2010). Proxemics is how people use and understand personal space. While interacting with a boyfriend or girlfriendit is normal to be less than a foot away from them and to be touching (Sheppard, 1996). However, while interacting with a classmate they might become uncomfortable if you are less than a foot away from them. Personal space also varies among nationatlity. Personal-casual space in North America is 18 inches;  Western Europe is 14-16 inches; Japan is 36 inches; Middle East is 8-12 inches (Proxemic Communication). My dad always goes to this little diner when he comes home from work late and he usually sits in the last seat away from people. He works around people all day and just wants a little time to himself. Then, out of no where this woman just comes in and invades his personal space by sitting directly next to him. In my dad’s opinion the women was being rude by not giving him space and she did not even ask if the seat was already taken. She had no value over her’s or other’s personal space. However,in her culture it might be rude to sit far away from someone.

Proxemics can broaden the understanding that people have of personal space. For college students who are thinking about studying abroad they have to think about the way those cultures view their personal space. Are they the type of culture who will shake your hand upon first meeting you, hug you, or give you kisses on the cheek? It is important to have this understanding so one does not come off as being desrespectful to another’s culture.

Prabhu, T. T. (2010). Proxemics: Some Challenges and Strategies in Nonverbal Communication. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 4(3), 7-14. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.Prabhu, T. T. (2010). Proxemics: Some Challenges and Strategies in Nonverbal Communication. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 4(3), 7-14. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Proxemic Communication. (n.d.). Changing minds and persuasion — How we change what others think, believe, feel and do. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/body_language/proxemics.htm

Sheppard, M. (July, 1996). Proxemics. UNM Computer Science. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://www.cs.unm.edu/~sheppard/proxemics.htm

Wood, JT. (2007). Interpersonal communication: everyday encounters. Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

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Help Wanted

I have had about three job interviews in my past, which all went the exact same way. I woke up early the morning of the interview to pick out a professional outfit and made sure I had plenty of time to get ready and have good breakfast. Each interviw started off the same way with the question, “What past job experience do you have that will benefit you in this area of work?” Then I went throught the other typical interview questions when the manager wanted to know what my strenghts, weaknesses, goals, and interests were, and what qualities do I hold for this position and what my responsibility goals were (Smith Career Center, 2010).

This topic interested me because I will be faced with multiple job interviews during the next few years and so will the rest of you too. As students go through their college years getting new summer jobs, winter jobs, or interneships, they are trained to go through interviews and what questions to expect from the interviewer. People are concerned with this, espeically now, because of the economy and loss of jobs throughout  the population. Will Plank (2010) stated in the Wall Street Journal that, “As the economy picks up, companies are starting to hire more. But managers often only get funds for a few key hires, so they have to select new employees wisely. That makes conducting a smart interview critical” (para. 1). Families and friends help others prepare for interviews by asking them the above example questions. To understand the way an interview works, one must prepare for one, go through such things referred to as, “mock interviews,” and actually experience a real interview.

The interview process referes to the scripts concept of communication. A script is the expected communication of people in certain settings (Wood, 2007 p. 73). In paragraph one I listed several examples of interview questions taken from the Virginia Tech Career Services web page. A typical script for an interview consists of the interveiwer asking the person being interviewed specific questions about their interests, qualities, srengths, weaknesses, goals, and what attracts them to this job. Different interviews will have specific scripts for the area of job. There are scripts for health jobs, teacing jobs, or management jobs. A script for a teacher might consists of a question like, “What ways do you think you work well with children?” A script for a nursing job would consist of questions like, “What areas of medicine are you iterested in working with?” Lastly, a script for a management postion might be, “What responsibilites make you capable of this authoritative position?”

The concept of scripts for interviews could broaden the understanding of what people are to expect during an interview. An important thing to understand about this concept however, is that each job field has different scripts for an interview. The wisdom Journal suggests for people being interviewed to prepare for questions that might be asked (Ron, 2008).

Ron, Initials. (2008). 7 common interview questions for the new graduate (or anyone else). Wisdom Journal, Retrieved from http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/common-interview-questions-new-graduate/

Smith Career Center, Initials. (2010, August 08).Typical interview questions. Retrieved   from http://www.career.vt.edu/Interviewing/TypicalQuestions.html

Willa, P. (2010). Five-must ask interview questions. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2011, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704302304575213962794390050.html

Wood, JT. (2007). Interpersonal communication: everyday encounters. Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

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Introduction Blog

I am Mary Lacey, I am from Stafford, VA and attend Longwood University. I am currently a sophomore at Longwood University studying Communications with a concentration in Mass Media.

Some experience I have with communicaitons studies is the previous classes of public speaking I have taken. In the class, I was required to make speeches in front of the class and my professor. Also, I am Sisterhood Chair of my sorority and plan and communicate sisterhood events for the entire chapter. I communicate with the sisters to plan these events based on their schedules to make it a date that will work for everyone.

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