Welcome to the one place where EMAC is Whack!

"Attack of the EMAC" is Kevin Sharpe's class blog for EMAC 6300: Introduction to the Study of Emerging Media and Communications at the University of Texas, Dallas. He is an educational marketing manager and runs the Newspaper in Education program at The Dallas Morning News.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Power of the Podcast in Education and its Impact on Intellectual Property

Case Study Presentation:
Oct. 20, 2010

This instructional presentation will introduce several concepts of open education and emerging distance learning strategies that incorporate Web 2.0 technology and principles. The integration of podcasting as an instruction technique will be demonstrated.
Desired outcome:
Audience will be able to envision emerging educational environments that embrace open education resources including podcasts posted on Teacher Tube and ITunes University.
Instructional Strategy:
Set Induction-direct recall and prior knowledge from class assignment - specifically “Information Feudalism’s” final chapter (Chapter 14 - On the Importance of the Publicness of Knowledge) and its focus on the relationship between intellectual properties and universities.
Key Terms and Concepts:
* Paid online learning institutions
* Open education resources (wikis, open textbooks, learning management systems, 2.0 classrooms that utilize social networking concepts)
* Podcasts
* Teacher Tube
* iTunes University
Discussion Prompts:
* What are some of the educational benefits to incorporating podcasting into the instructional strategies?
* What conflicts might occur from educational postcasting that could impact intellectual property as well as education?
* How will educational podcasting impact/shape the future of the educational system?


What I WON'T be discussing during my CASE STUDY this week...

Happy Open Access Week!

To celebrate, here are some of the topics I want WILL NOT be discussing on Wednesday, 10/20/10 in EMAC6300 since there's just so much out there that covers, supports and/or expands on the topics covered in this week's look at shifting models of ownership as covered in "Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?" by Peter Drahos and John Braithwaite and in the video, "Steal this Film II."

I WON'T be talking about Creative Commons and one of its founders, Larry Lessig. I WON'T be talking about their efforts to launch Creative Commons licenses as a 21st approach to protecting -- as well as sharing -- intellectual property.

While I WON'T be talking about "Open Culture" and the most up-to-date concepts and issues as it relates to intellectual property, I WILL be focusing on some examples of Open Education and how intellectual property is impacted by some Web 2.0 Open Educational Resources.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Strategies to ‘kicking the ladder’ out from under corporate culture

One of the seven concepts Manuel Castells introduces as a significant consequence of the emergence of networks that integrate communication and information is the impact it has on rigid vertical bureaucracies. Could there be an end to the corporate ladder and organizations based on silos and top-down command-and-control cultures?

Transitioning from ladders to networks is certainly a dynamic cultural undertaking that is impacted by generational challenges and resistance. There’s been some significant research exploring organizational networks by mapping relationships and tracking interaction.

Those who climb corporate ladders – such as experienced managers and leaders – will have a tough time embracing organic and unpredictable network approaches to organization, especially when they’re on top. If it’s not broke, why fix it, right? The biggest objection might be concern regarding accountability. Who gets promoted when someone succeeds? Who gets sacked when someone fails? Those issues will need to be addressed and somehow resolved when persuading such a dynamic conversion.

While the impact of networks can be graphically communicated, results will need to be illustrated as well. Embracing networking should be positioned as a way to generate innovation within an organization. Change agents will need an understanding of the benefits of allowing diverse talent and resources to collaborate outside their traditional silos and how it will create relationships that go beyond maintenance mode.

As Castells points out, networks constantly reconfigure themselves as a response strategy in order to resolve issues or develop innovation. The constant change disrupts traditional organization and challenges the existing corporate culture – especially when leaders see for themselves that their value might be in question.

Skeptics resistant to a network approach to their organization’s structure need to understand their role in terms that integrate traditional concepts of the corporate culture they have embraced. Their value needs to be clearly defined and illustrated as well as the impact of driving innovation.

In order to inspire leaders to embrace such bold approaches, it should be clear that there’s an emotional investment needed to make the switch – trust. Accountability was mentioned earlier as being a major cause for concern. When a considerable amount of control and power -- as well as accountability -- shifts to networks, trust must be factored into the system.

Perhaps in a network-driven culture, accountability means dissolving teams and restricting networks rather than eliminating and replacing talented and experienced resources as a reaction to failure. It should also be pointed out that success doesn't always deliver promotions since the silo approach requires acquisition of new resource, which means effort and possible risk.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Modern Media vs. New Media in a Post-Industrial Age

The impact of Industrial Revolution principles on Modern Media is explored by Lev Manovich in his 2001 book, The Language of New Media. Manovich illustrates how Modern Media “follows the logic of the factory” that was first developed in the nineteenth century when a new organization of production – the factory system – replaced artisan labor. He then contends that as New Media emerges, industrial standardation is reverting back to customization that was common prior to the launch of the Industrial Revolution.

Artisan Laborers versus Factory Workers

The advent of the assembly line introduced two key concepts of industrialization: First, the standardization of parts; and two, a breakdown of the production process based on simple repetition and sequential activities.

Artisans who possessed a holistic vision and ownership of a product were replaced by assembly line workers who could be easily replaced since they were not required to master an entire process in order to produce.

Manovich explains how Modern Media – particularly movie, television and animation production studios – remediated industrial concepts. He then states, “New Media… follows a quite different logic of post-industrial society – that of industrial customization rather than mass standardization.”

Customization versus Standardization

His vision of New Media evolved into a post-industrial culture where artisan labor returns and replaces factory workers and assembly line production. However; as far as production is concerned – some significant “standardization” – rather than “customization” has emerged. As a matter of fact, this standardization of New Media production elements actually emboldens the return of holistic artisian workers who are replacing simplistic factory workers.

The emergence of standard production tools such as hardware (laptops versus netbooks versus smart phones), software (Microsoft Office versus Google Docs) and applications (WordPress versus Blogger) – as well as platforms (YouTube versus Flickr, Facebook versus Twitter) -- are now universal. These competitive brands and devices share standard interfaces in order to make the user experience intuitive and familiar.

Workers in an industrial environment –like Modern Media – are expected to be specialists. To succeed in New Media, these artisan laborers must be generalists familiar with multiple processes, phases and tools. For example, traditional print journalists from Modern Media transitioning into the world of New Media must be able to conceptualize and produce the visual elements – as well as the verbal. They become their own typesetters and press operators – let alone editors, graphic designers and camera operators – who can independently upload text and images plus digitally publish, market and promote their packages.

Consumers versus Producers

The “mass” transition from Modern Media to New Media would not be as dynamic if it were not for the standardization of New Media applications – from interfaces to coding language and user tools. As the standardization of digital platforms and tools become main-stream, the individual customization that Manovich declares is common in the New Media culture will be based on “how” and “when” consumers will “access” and “experience” New Media. The same holds true for “how” and “when” producers will “develop” and “launch” their packages.