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Archive for the ‘Streaming Videos’ Category

Online learning has become a commonly known phenomenon. Whether you are home schooling or taking some online classes to accompany your regular teaching, a wide variety of classes have been designed. This does not exclude exceptional students. In another one of my blogs, I discussed how blind people accessed the internet and how they had surmounted their disability to use this form of communication. Today, I will present to you online classes for the deaf and the hard of hearing.

At the University of Pennsylvania, History, Education, and Guidance of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Introduction to Instructional Methods for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing are the two classes offered on this special online method (Slike et al., 2008, p.304). It works like a regular online class, with Powerpoint and a live video feed. The only difference is that the feed in done in sign language with a voice over for the hearing students in the class.

In order to evaluate students’ fluency in American Sign Language, some universities adopt an interview method. They would rent video cameras from their department and create a 15-20 minute interview with a teammate. Although this method worked, it was very time consuming and proved to be more work for the evaluators since students did not edit their work before submission (Miller et al., 2008). Professors are still trying to find the best way for evaluating their students in a fair and just manner; nonetheless some trial and error will be involved.

I think that online learning is a phenomenal tool for deaf / hard of hearing students. American Sign Language is the third most used language in the world (Miller et al., 2008) and “Currently, more than 500 colleges and universities in the USA offer ASL instruction as a world language” (Wilcox 2004). It is important for students who use sign but equally as important for the students who are studying sign and how this language can be further facilitated. Just as it was important for blind people to overcome their disabilities through a speech reader, it is an important step for the deaf community to have online classes offered as well.

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The Grammy’s is a music award show that has just completed its 52nd broadcasting. This year the hosting location was in Los Angeles, California on January 31, 2010. With a show being able to, annually, air for 52 years provides an evident picture that the fans, of these music groups and soloists, want this to continue. There was something different about this year’s show though. This year the Recording Academy has selected AEG Digital Media to offer fans worldwide an “unprecedented opportunity to experience and participate in exclusive, 24-hour live coverage of All Things GRAMMY from Jan.29-31 at GRAMMY.com” (2010, p. 1). This provided “millions of fan in over 150 countries behind-the-scenes access to event” (2010, p. 1). Not every has the opportunity to see such a great show live, but now anyone can not only see the performances on a television, but one can watch every detail leading up to it.

Allowing millions upon millions of individuals the opportunity to watch the minor and major details of the making of such an event provides an amazing opportunity for those interested in such things. This uploading further proves how everything is starting to be seen on the internet. If an individual missed something, then by using the right methods, there is a great chance that if one knows where to look, he or she will be able to find exactly what they are looking for.

This may seem like a good thing; however I don’t believe that this is just as great as we think. It is important to keep in mind that even though they are providing us with an ‘uncut’ view of the backstage activities, we cannot necessarily know what their definition of ‘uncut’ is and therefore how live was all of these clips. The organization is still going to want to be seen a certain way, therefore if anything filmed is going to jeopardize that it will be edited or deleted. Therefore the program is shaping how they want their viewers to see things and view them.

Without realizing this, anyone could be sucked into believing that if a certain person does this or says that, then he or she should also be able to because they will get the same outcome. The point of this then is that it is important to remember that even though a company may say that they are revealing all their information, most likely this is not the case. They are shaping things to how they would like to be seen, therefore having an impact on how we view and understand things. They have great access to our minds and power to shape them to however they please. That is if we don’t step up and understand the impact they can have on us. Luckily, we, the masses, have the ability to resist and twist meanings. We are not as easily influenced as they would like to believe.

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Overshare was announced as word of the year by Webster’s New World Dictionary on December 1st, 2008 (“Webster’s Word of the Year”, 2008)

I’m beginning to wonder if social networking sites are becoming a channel for overshare. By this I don’t mean you basic information (name, age, gender); I’m referring to personal information and experiences. This constitutes information that would normally be spoken about in soft voice in the corners of coffee shops around the country. However, with the advent of social networking sites, this information is going global instantly; it goes to your friend in Japan and your neighbour, your co-workers and friends of friends, your significant other and their family, your parents and siblings. Information on the web goes viral as soon as it is posted because there as so many methods of accessing the internet, so be aware of what you are posting. The picture on the right is an example of someone who lost their job because of their carelessness on Facebook.

CareerBuilder spokeswoman Jennifer Grasz (2008) said “People may be tweeting about their company, or maybe they’re…not realizing that there should be a separation between what they’re talking about socially and what they’re talking about professionally.”

The issue is our over- connectedness. We love to tell everyone what we are doing, where we are going, the embarrassing story that just happened, and the list goes on. Just as Michael Strangelove said in his book, The Empire of Mind: Digital Piracy and the Anti-Capitalist Movement (2005), we the users are becoming the source of much of the information on the internet, we are becoming the creators. Nonetheless, he does not mention the personal cost of the creation of this information. I believe that people need to be more aware of what they are posting on the internet and refrain from TMI!!

WatchWebster’s Editor-In-Chief Mike Agnes’s explanation of why “overshare” is  the word of the year

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