Final Project

Final Project [No. 9&10]:  Be finished and prepared to present in class Dec. 8th.

You may assemble a team or do this project individually.  Find a topic that relates to the subject matter of the course: the effect of new media on communication.  Remember our three basic tenets:

  1. Changes in communication technology (from the advent of written language to social networks) are never neutral.
  2. Changes in communication technology create anxiety because they transform the society, the media culture and even the language itself.
  3. Changes in communication technology are ultimately positive, in the sense that they create more readers and writers, more access for more people.

There are lots of ways to go with the final project.  You want to find one that seems important to you and that is doable.

You could take a historical slant. For instance, the telegraph created as much change in the 19th century as the Internet in the 20th.  It transformed the language, changed journalism, and coupled with invention of the stream-driven web press created mas-circulation daily newspapers.  But that’s only one case.  Can you give some insight into the present by finding a similar situation in the past?

You could look forward. Innovation has been rapid in the digital realm.  What’s the future hold?

You may want to take a narrow slice:

  • What does Web 3.0 have in store for communication?
  • What do apps for mobile phones and tablet computers mean for traditional media?  Will  apps transform magazines and other media properties?
  • Is mobile going to overtake the web?  What are the implications for society and the language?
  • Are computers and television going to fuse?
  • Can you come up with your own provocative question and try to answer it?

Finally, you could examine the present.

  • Can you chronicle the anxiety created by the rise of social networks?
  • Can you document the changes in the language that are being created by the web, texts, social networks?
  • Can you come up with a guide to mastering media for the contemporary communications professional?
  • Do you want to chronicle the current troubles of traditional print and broadcast media?
  • Is there a question that will be helpful for you to answer in your coming career?

Here’s what you want to do:

First, what question will you be trying to answer?  Email it to me by Dec. 1 at the latest.  Are you working alone or in a team?  What will be your work product?

You will need your answer in at least two different media.  If there are two or three of you, try three or four different ways of presenting some aspect of the same material.

You can do posts, broadcast emails, podcasts, videos, anything you can think of.  Extra points for figuring out how to work social media into your presentation.

Be prepared to present your project interestingly to the class Dec 8.  Figure that you have about 10 minutes.

About John Heckathorn

These are my teaching sites for Hawaii Pacific University
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