New Media, Fall 2019/Lesson 1
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Introduction to New Media and Wikipedia
August 14–August 23, 2019
Welcome to the first lesson of a new New Media. I have spent considerable time re-imagining the course to make it more approachable, more practical, more up-to-date, and more new-media-ish. Each lesson will include some similar elements, but will consider a current topic in new media. As this is an online course, much of the actual teaching will be refocused to you, the student.
I will provide a foundation each week, but the impetus for constructing knowledge will be in your hands. You will get as much or as little out of this class as you want — it’s up to you. However, as long as you do all the assignments to what appears the best of your ability, you should have no problem passing the course. Who knows, you may engage with the material and excel. Hopefully, you will find it rewarding.
If you have not already done so, request access to the “NewMediaClass” volume on Google Drive. Many texts you will need for our study are located here.
Please make your Wikipedia account, link it to WikiEdu, and create your journal by August 18, 2019. Failure to do so will make you a “no-show,” and you will be dropped from the class.
The first thing you should do is create your Wikipedia account, link it to WikiEdu, then establish your journal. Please do these steps immediately — by the end of the first week of class. I must turn in the names of those who are “no-shows” to the Registrar, who will then be dropped from the course. This usually happens within the first week of class, so complete this section no later than Sunday, August 18.
First, blast off on the Wikipedia Adventure introduction and tutorial. In this, you’ll create your Wikipedia account and do some basic editing. Read carefully, and be sure you participate. You might take notes to refer to later.
When creating your Wikipedia account, you may use whatever name you’d like. However, let me encourage you to use something close to your real name to make my life a bit easier in evaluation.
Next, link your new account to WikiEdu. Wiki Education, or WikiEdu, provides training and assignments for getting you knowledgeable about and comfortable with editing Wikipedia. This is where you’ll choose your project focus and learn how to become a good Wikipedian.
You might spend a moment to familiarize yourself with their dashboard. Notice there is a timeline that contains training and assignments. While we will be following that timeline somewhat, always refer to this site for the timing of assignments and due dates.
Our class has been assigned a Wikipedia content expert that can provide assistance with Wikipedia and content. You can contact this person by clicking the “Get Help” button in the top-right of the dashboard. I recommend using this option as a last resort — after you have done your own search, looked through the FAQ, and posted a question to the class help page.
Finally, create your research and response journal by following the instructions I outline on the R2 Journal requirement. Hopefully, you read through these once; now, you should actually do them. Be sure to follow the directions carefully and post a link to your journal on my Wikipedia talk page in the correct section. Instructions for doing this are all on the link above; just follow the directions carefully, and you will have no problem.
Congratulations, once you have completed the above, you have officially joined the course. Again, welcome.
Journal Post 1
Let’s get right into it. I know you want to.
First, read my overview “Writing on a Wiki” to give yourself a quick introduction. Take notes or bookmark the page so your can refer to it again.
Review and bookmark the following pages:
Much of this should be review for you. These are skills, techniques, and conventions that you should heed throughout the semester. The new skills, like much in “Writing Top Ten,” you will practice and develop this semester. Consider the polish in the “Communications” part of your major.
Time to write your first journal post. Go back to your journal and click the “Edit” tab. First, make a section for your journal references:
This section should be paced at the bottom of the page and always remain there. As you write in your journal, your references will appear in the references section. You will accumulate plenty of them.
Now, above the references section, add your first journal post:
==August 14, 2019: New Media==
. . .
Where the ellipsis is, you should start writing. For this first post, I’d like you to define “new media.” Don’t do any research. Describe in your own words based on your current understanding what you consider “new media.” We will use this as a starting point to gauge your development as the semester proceeds. Try to be specific and use examples. See how many characteristics or examples of “new media” you can come up with and why.
As you write, hit the “Show preview” button at the bottom to see what your post looks like. Get into the habit of doing this whenever you edit Wikipedia. Always preview before saving so you can catch any errors. When you’re ready to save, write a short summary of your addition in the “Summary” box. When you’re satisfied, click “Save.” Congratulations, you have made your first journal post. Well done.
Now, let’s start our academic approach to new media with, appropriately enough, “New Media.” Next, read one of the other texts under Defining New Media. Finally, find an article of your own (or read another on my list) that defines new media and read it.
Journal Post 2
What did you learn about “new media” that you didn’t know before? Discuss at least three specific aspects. Practice citing your sources, including the ones I assigned, using the Wikipedia standard method. This will be your first opportunity to practice this, but certainly not your last.
Please have all of the above completed by Sunday, August 25, 2019. I will evaluate your this lesson the following day, email everyone a progress report, and post audio feedback at the top of the next lesson if necessary. This will be the usual format for submission, evaluation, and general feedback.
Questions? Please post them in the class help page unless they have to do with personal issues that cannot be shared publicly, like grades.
- You might have a look and listen to the introductory lecture I link at the bottom.
- Remember, PDFs that are not linked may be found on the NewMediaClass volume.
- Hint: you can click the ... at the top of the page and select “view source” to copy the code.
- We will be practicing this all semester, but it might be easiest to start with the citation quick reference. Just follow the instructions on using the templates. It’s pretty easy once you get the general idea. More on this in a future lesson.