New Media Seminar — HCC Learning Web

New Media Seminar

Materials for the New Media Faculty Seminar, Fall 2014

One quick note for new participants of the seminar. I often get the question, “What’s this seminar about?” and I try to resist answering that because it can mean different things to different people and I don’t want to impose my own preconceptions onto them. I know what it’s not. It’s not about training people to use particular technologies. We have plenty of other ways of doing that. This seminar is about how the world is changing and ways in which we as educators need to adapt to those changes. Technology may drive that but we have to respond to that by rethinking what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. There is a wave coming (it’s already here in many areas) and we can either surf it or be swept away by it. In the seminar we will explore how this can be a fun ride, full of possibilities instead of dangers. If I had to pick a phrase from one of the readings, we need to learn how to use our tools to more effectively “augment human intellect.” The seminar is designed to get you thinking about just how we do that.


Unless otherwise noted, all readings are The New Media Reader. At Spring Branch we meet in the CIC (707). At Katy we meet in the Katy Room (231). At Alief we meet in C101.

  • Prologue – Janet Murray, “Inventing the Medium,” p. 3
  • 2/6 at Spring Branch – Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think,” p. 37
  • 2/13 at Katy- Norbert Wiener, “Men, Machines, and the World About,” p. 67; J.C.R. Licklider, “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” p. 73
  • 2/20 at Spring Branch – Douglas Engelbart “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework,” p. 93
  • 2/27 at Alief – Ted Nelson, “Computer Lib/Dream Machines,” p. 301
  • 3/6 at Spring Branch – Alan Kay/Adele Goldberg, “Personal Dynamic Media,” p. 391
  • 3/13 at Katy- Marshall McLuhan, Excerpts from the Gutenberg Galaxy and “The Medium is the Message,” p. 193
  • 3/27 at Alief- John Naughton, “Copyrights and ‘Copywrongs’ or Why Our Intellectual Property Regime No Longer Makes Sense,” from From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About the Internet (London: Quercus, 2012), pp. 237-256. (not in reader)
  • 4/10 at Spring Branch – Bill Viola, “Will There Be Condominiums in Data Space,” p. 463
  • 4/17 at Alief – Sherry Turkle, “Video Games and Computer Holding Power,” p. 499
  • 4/24 at Katy – Scott McCloud, “Time Frames,” p. 711
  • 5/1 at Spring Branch – Clay Shirky, “Personal, Communal, Public, Civic,” from Cognitive Surplus (New York, Penguin, 2010), pp. 161-181. (not in reader)


Books that we may have discussed in seminar or which I may run across during my research are at:


These are some of the videos I have mentioned or used in the seminar for reference or that I think have some relevance to the topic:

John Naughton talks about his book, From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg:What You Really Need to Know About the Internet.

Jim Henson’s IBM Training Video (1967): I think it is interesting and incredibly fun to imagine the impact this video had on a room full of IBM (white shirt/black tie) engineers in 1967 (the year I was born). As a trivia point, this is also the first time the Cookie Monster (he was green then) was seen. Why is this funny (or is it)? Why is Jim Henson’s jab at our funny bone so effective?

Patrick Kayton talks about the connection between Vannevar Bush, Douglas Engelbart, Tim Berners-Lee, and their views on cognition. Interesting discussion.

Steven Johnson: On how networks create innovation. There are obvious connections between this insight and Vannevar Bush’s vision from 1945. To what extent do we understand this basic point in our organizations today? Do we create these environments in our classrooms or our institutions?

Don Tapscott on Triangulation: Don Tapscott, futurist and author of Macowikinomics, takes the long view in his discussion of how “networked society” and collaboration are reshaping our society in this discussion with TWiT Network’s Leo LaPorte and Tom Merrit recorded September 7, 2011.

Jeff Jarvis speaks on the advantages of what he calls “publicness.” Professor Jarvis is a outspoken advocate of the advantages of sharing in the internet world and a keen observer of how this is disrupting established social and economic orders. His book Public Parts is on the book page.

The History of the Internet: I thought this was a cute animation of how the Internet was conceived and developed in its early years. Consider it a technical synopsis with good visuals.

Kevin Kelly speaks on the Technium: A brief interview with Kevin Kelly about his vision of the technium. I think it nicely encapsulates the argument he is making in What Technology Wants.

Kevin Kelly on Triangulation: Kevin Kelly interviewed by TWiT’s Leo Laporte and Tom Merritt on his 2010 book What Technology Wants. Kelly presents a very different view of technology than the one we are used to. Recorded in November 2010 and highly recommended.

Kevin Kelly on the co-evolution of humans and technology: From a talk he gave in the Fall of 2010 at the Carnegie Foundation. Has he been reading Cybernetics?

Web 2.0: The Machine is Using Us: This is a classic Michael Wesch video . I like how it uses Web 2.0 to demonstrate what Web 2.0 is. Over eight years old now and still fresh and relevant. A classic.


A Vision of Students Today: Another, more controversial, video by Michael Wesch which is the result of polling and work done with one of his classes at Kansas State University.

Sir Ken Robinson talks about education reform in this illustrated video.

Sir Ken Robinson also gave two TEDtalks on the problems of education.

In 2006:

And in 2010:

Steven Johnson discusses where innovation comes from in this short illustration. It comes from a fusion of collaboration and long-term hunches. Think about how New Media facilitates that.

Eric Ries discusses the idea of pivoting and failure in entrepreneurship in this video.

Michael Wesch on TED: Michael Wesch explains why we should be teaching our students to be knowledge-able rather than knowledgeable. Very thought provoking. I showed the last 5 minutes to my class and got some interesting reactions.

John Seely Brown’s Closing Keynote to the New Media Consortium Conference, June 12, 2010: John Seely Brown, former director of Xerox PARC and author of The Social Life of Information gives his vision of how learning is changing today. Highly thought-provoking.

The Memex: Thanks to Doug Rowlett for finding this great animation of the Memex described in Vannevar Bush’s “As We May Think:”


The Mother of All Demos (the synopsis): One of our early readings is one by Douglas Englebart on “Augmenting Human Intellect.” In 1968, Professor Englebart produced what has since been referred to as “The Mother of All Demos.” The entire demo is on YouTube and I highly encourage everyone to watch it but if you don’t have an extra 90 minutes for the whole thing, here is a great synopsis video:

Frontline: Digital Nation: This excellent documentary discusses many of the issues of the seminar in a rather effective manner. I do think that at times it adopts the “fearful” humanist view more than the “hopeful” engineering view. Definitely worth the time, however. (This one is better to watch on the Frontline site as they have their own video player.)

Apple: Project 2000: Viewed the perspective of 1988, this is what Apple thought computing would look like in 2000. It’s pretty interesting considering who they interviewed at the time (Alvin Toffler, Steve Wozniak, Diane Ravitch, and Alan Kay).

Steve Jobs speaks at the Stanford University Convocation, 2005: This is the video we started watching in the seminar this week. He has some interesting insights into success in an entrepreneurial economy.

Alan Kay on Why Computer-based Instruction Fails: From 1987.

Alan Kay describes his Dynabook in 2002: He originally conceived this device in 1968. Look familiar?

Alan Kay’s TED Talk from 2007 discussing how technology only goes part of the way in reshaping teaching.

Scene from Annie Hall with Marshall MacLuhan: This has been referenced several times this week. Thought you might like to see it.

Lawrence Lessig of the Harvard Law School talks about the challenges copyright presents for creative expression in the New Media age.

Ruben Puentedura’s Six Minutes at the NMC Horizon Retreat 2012. Ruben is a master of understanding the interplay between technology and narrative. In this video he gives a 200,000 year tour-de-force in just six minutes.

A Bit of Fry & Laurie “Information Please”: This is a very interesting sketch (yes, that’s Greg House) viewed from the perspective of the information age. It made me laugh and it made me think – always a good combination. Note that it was made in 1989.

Michael Wesch at the Library of Congress 2008: Michael Wesch gives an anthropological introduction to YouTube at the Library of Congress.

Bill Viola’s Ocean’s Without a Shore: A short documentary on Bill Viola’s video installation in Venice in 2007. An excellent illustration of what he’s talking about in his article for the seminar:

Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s trend manager, looks at why videos on YouTube go viral. What does this say about presenting a narrative in a New Media age? How might this inform your assignments?

Daniel Pink on the science of motivation: Daniel Pink talks about what he has discovered about motivation. Consider how this relates to the structure of video games as described by Brenda Laurel or their “holding power” as described by Sherry Turkle.

Hans Rosling uses data visualization to describe how the Western World marched away from the developing world over 200 years:

David McCandless on TED: David McCandless shows some of the data visualization projects he has been developing at a TED Talks session:

Tom Chatfield on TED: Tom Chatfield, author of Fun Inc.: How Gaming Will Dominate the 21st Century discusses seven ways in which gaming influences the human brain. I found a number of nuggets here that really made me think about some ways in which to restructure my class to take advantage of the motivational and cognitive lessons gaming teaches us. Worth 16 minutes:

Sugata Mitra: The Child-Driven Education: As I was reading Illich’s “Learning Webs” I ran across this TED Talks video. The convergence is astounding.

What if Ted Nelson did your Tech Support: Hilarious xtranormal video made by a seminar participant.

Scott McCloud at TED 2005: Talk about wrapping it up with a bow. Scott McCloud brings Vannevar Bush and J.C.R. Licklider into his discussion over the relevance of comics in a a New Media Age. A must see:

Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus – a nice summary of the main points in his book.

Tom Standage gives us some perspective on the social media, which he argues stretches back to the Romans (if not further).

Marshall Davis Jones in a great poetry slam on the effects of New Media. Entertaining and very thought-provoking.


The New Media Consortium Faculty Seminar: Early in its history Gardner Campbell and Alan Levine podcast and blogged this seminar on the New Media Consortium’s site. They made a weekly podcast discussing Professor Campbell’s experiences running and hosting the seminar as well as the reading of the week.

The remaining items in this section are best appreciated by subscribing to them in the iTunes Store on your iPad. They are all free. Just search for the title.

This Week in Technology: Where I get my weekly overview of the goings on in the technology industry. Leo LaPorte usually assembles a great cast of industry insiders and experts for a lively and entertaining discussion.

This Week in Google: Another of Leo LaPorte’s shows that benefits from its excellent panel of Leo, Jeff Jarvis, a professor of journalism at NYU, and Gina Trippani, a leading software developer. The focus here is on cloud computing and the Web 2.0 world in general.

iPad Today: This TWIT show is worth downloading and viewing the video every week. It has a great overview of applications for the iPad usually grouped around a theme (be sure to check out their Education episode)


iPad Apps

These are some apps I have discovered for the iPad that I thought the group might find useful. Search for these in the App Store on your iPads:

  • Net Matters: An app that is a book. Written by David Eagleman (who teaches at Baylor College of Medicine here in Houston) costs $7.99 and is in the App Store and not the iBook, this book store illustrates some of the possibilities for the future of eBooks as well as being an entertaining read.
  • Dragon Dictation: Dictate your blog or anything else – and it’s free!!
  • Nick Bilton: Nick Bilton is the author of I Live in the Future & Here’s How it Works. He has made his book interactive and has created this iPad/iPhone app as a supplement that includes links, excerpts from chapters, as well as the entire Introduction of the book. Worth a read.
  • Jotbook Free: A free whiteboard app that can be ported to an external screen or projector
  • Google Earth: Particularly cool with iPad Gestures
  • Flipboard: A controversial news reader application that has a great user interface but bypasses the traditional web (at least initially). This is a good example of the tension between “App World” and “Web World”
  • Qvik Sketch: A great sketching program that has to be experienced to appreciate (99 cents)
  • Wikipanion: A really nice app for accessing Wikipedia
  • WordPress: Will allow you to update and manage your blog via the iPad
  • Cloudreaders: A nice, free pdf reader for the iPad
  • Evernote: A robust notetaking and information application that many find indispensible once they’ve started using it
  • Dropbox: Keep your files online to be accessed from any device
  • NASA HD: For all of you space junkies this app aggregates NASA material
  • StarmapHD: An amazing astronomy app
  • Whackpack: Unlock your creativity with this app. The cards that inspired this app cost $14 on Amazon so this is worth the $3 on the App Store
  • Strip Design: This app will take any photo (or a sketch created in Qvicksketch) saved on your iPad, insert it into a comic strip format, allow you to add word bubbles, and upload it Facebook, Flickr, etc. Worth $2.99. (Thank you Ruben Puentedura!)


Some of my favorite geek cartoons. When you start getting them, you are a certifiable geek.


Geek & Poke

The Joy of Tech

Dinosaur Comics