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New Media

How To Use This Guide This guide accompanies the CyberWise Guide to New Media which hopefully you just watched. If you are reading this guide online then simply click the links within to access the material they reference. You can also print this guide in order to have a hard copy on hand. Either way, we hope you find the information within useful. Enjoy! Webtreats, Flickr


What Is New Media? If you just watched the CyberWise Guide to New Media video then you know that a simple definition of new media is that it’s “the online and digital way of exchanging information.” While for many this way of communicating is no longer new, the fact that tools and technologies are constantly emerging and changing makes it feel new and different for most of us (especially busy parents and educators!).

While words like new media, digital media, social media, Internet, Web 2.0, online, etc. are often used interchangeably, what is important to remember is that we are now living in a “participatory culture” (Jenkins, et al, 2005) which means new online tools enable us to be to be both producers and consumers of media. You’ll learn more about “participatory culture” in the next lesson.

So What is Digital Media? The term “digital media” is used interchangeably with “new media.” It can be thought of as the different platforms on which people communicate electronically.

And What About Social Media? “Social media” is a subset of new media that allows for online interaction and engagement. It doesn’t refer to a specific tool or platform, but rather how that tool is used.

What are the Tools & Technologies? The confusing part is making sense of all the tools and technologies currently available. So we’ve compiled a list on the following pages that provides a broad overview of the landscape. Remember, all of this is continually changing and many of these technologies span more than one “type.” Hopefully this list will at least allow you to wow your friends, students, and children with your new media knowledge.



New Media Tools & Technologies TYPE




Online communities that enable users to connect with and share common interests with “friends.”

Social Networking Sites Linked In (SNS): Google+

Video Sharing Sites

Photo Sharing Sites

YouTube Vimeo

Flickr Photobucket

Blogger Blogs Wordpress

Video hosting and sharing sites where users upload, share, view and comment on videos. Image hosting and sharing sites where users upload, share and comment on photos. Blogs are websites (or parts of websites) that let users share commentary. They are usually updated regularly and encourage dialogue with readers.



Social Bookmarking Sites




Users send “tweets,” or short messages, of up to 140 characters to “followers.” Messages can be sent via computer or mobile device.

StumbleUpon Delicious

Digg Aggregator Reddit

Virtual Worlds

Second Life

Allows users to organize, save, manage, and discover bookmarks of resources. Similar to Social Bookmarking Sites, these“aggregate” and share information from multiple online sources. An online community that takes the form of a simulated environment where users can interact with one another, use and create objects.



New Media Tools & Technologies (continued) TYPE

EXAMPLES Wikipedia

Wikis PB Works

Google Search Engines Firefox

Content Syndication


USES A wiki allows many users to collaborate on the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages. A web search engine enables users to search for information on the World Wide Web using search terms.


Web syndication allows for a “feed” (flow of information) from a site that provides a summary or update of the website’s content.

c ur child’s fone

A way of sending information from a mobile device. Also referred to as messages being sent via “SMS” or short messaging service.





Short for “application,” an app is computer software designed to perform a specific task.


A blend of “ipod” and “broadcast,” a podcast consists of audio or video files you can listen to or watch on your computer or portable device.

This list is by no means exhaustive. And, really, the only way to understand the benefits of new media is to jump in and give it a try. There’s no need to feel intimidated. The good news is that we are all learning, trying, and testing together!



Jump In and Give It a Try! Don’t our kids deserve better than this? We think so. As confusing as the new digital landscape may be, it’s our job to survey the landscape so that we can be the digital role models our young people need. Here are some links to get you started: ★AN INTERNET GUIDE FOR BABY BOOMERS ★TOP 15 MOST POPULAR SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES ★TOP 10 MICRO-BLOGGING TOOLS The McAfee Digital Deception Study explores the online disconnect that exists between parents and pre-teens, teens and young adults. This study finds that many parents are not only unaware of how their kids are behaving in the digital domain, they are increasingly throwing in the towel. What’s more, • 62% of parents say they don’t think their children can get into serious trouble online. • Eight out of ten parents have no idea how to find out what their children are doing online The majority of parents (74%) freely admitted that they do not feel up to the task of monitoring their kids. Their main excuse: They don’t have the knowhow, time or energy to keep up, so instead, they hope for the best.




25 Text Acronyms Every Grownup Should Know

Sujin Jetkasettakorn, , Flickr


AEP= As Early As Possible


NUB= New person to a game or site


ALP= As Late As Possible


OIC= Oh, I See


BRB= Be Right Back


OT= Off Topic


B4N= Bye For Now


P911= Parent Alert


CD9= Code 9 (means parents are around)


PAL= Parents Are Listening


F2F= Face to Face


PAW= Parents Are Watching


FWIW= For What It’s Worth


POS= Parent Over Shoulder


HAK= Hugs and Kisses


ROTFLMAO= Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off


IMHO= In My Humble Opinion


SITD= Still In The Dark


IRL= In Real Life


TFH= Thread From Hell


J/K= Just Kidding


TTYL= Talk To You Later


L8R= Later


VBG= Very Big Grin


M4C= Meet For Coffee 6


CyberWise Guide to New Media Video Transcript This is a simple guide to help parents and educators understand new media and why it matters. Okay, let’s start by defining new media. The short definition is that new media is the online and digital way of exchanging information. The terms online, digital, the Internet, and World Wide Web simply refer to the virtual space where all this information is being exchanged on digital devices like computers, ipads and mobile phones. Got it? Oh yes, one more in case you blinked in the last few years, we are now on Web 2.0, which is the second generation of the Internet. And Web 2.0 enables users to interact and collaborate with each other as both consumers and producers of media. In other words, as media guru Henry Jenkins would say, we are living in a “participatory culture.” And when it come to new media, this is important. Okay, so here is what you need to know. According to the most recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average 8- to 18-year-old spends 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) using media on a typical day. Or, as we just learned: participating with media.

Additionally, because today’s young people are so good at multi-tasking, (like texting their friends while watching television for example), they actually fit 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7½ hours. In fact, kids spend more time with media than they do with their families or in school. Yikes. Why? That’s a good question. So good in fact, that the MacArthur Family Foundation has spend $50 million dollars studying digital media and learning trying to find out.

boboroshi , Flickr

One of the things they’ve learned is that while the pace of all this technological change is dizzying to adults, for young people the underlying practices of sociability, learning, play, and self-expression are the same as they have for hundreds of years. It’s just that today there are fewer public places for kids to hang out, so instead they are hanging out on these online friendship-driven social networks (boyd, 2007). Like Facebook. In fact, social networks like Facebook have surpassed email as the preferred method of communication in all age groups. And if Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest, after India and China. So who exactly are they hanging out with? 7

CyberWise Guide to New Media Video Transcript (continued)

Surveys of U.S. teens indicate that most teens use social media to socialize with people they already know or are already loosely connected with. Good news, right? But what exactly are they doing in cyberspace? A survey from the National School Boards Association (2007) reported that 60% of young people use their social network sites to talk about educational topics, and 50% talk specifically about schoolwork. (big sigh of relief).


Another study of 8- to 12-year olds showed that children who regularly use texting shorthand actually improve their ability to spell.  Texting, it turns out, requires an understanding of what the original word should be. Okay, so why does this matter? Well in April of 2011 a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that new media helps students: •Enhance their communication skills

But what about all that texting?

•Facilitate social interaction

Well, great news! Text speak doesn’t hurt language skills. A popular assumption is that the act of texting is damaging our children’s ability to successfully write Standard English prose.

•Develop technical skills

However, two studies involving over 700 young people found the higher daily use of texisms, was related to better informal writing. Results also showed that those who had the high textism density had higher verbal reasoning scores and that textism density was also positively related to word reading, vocabulary, and phonological awareness. U wold also think that texting would encourage poor Spelling. But according to a study in the UK u would be wrong.

•Enable collaboration •Increase community engagement •And shape identity You get the idea In fact, new media could be a useful adjunct to, and in some cases is already replacing, traditional learning methods in the classroom. Because lets face it, in this participatory culture traditional teaching methods are kinda boring. So lets help our kids. Our teachers. And our schools. Be CyberWise!



CyberWise Guide to New Media References boyd, danah. (2007). Why youth (heart) social network

Plester, B., Wood, C. and Joshi, P (2009). Exploring the relationship

sites: The role of networked publics in teenage social life.

between children's knowledge of text message abbreviations and school

MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

literacy outcomes. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Volume

Itō, M., Baumer, S., Bittani, M., boyd, d., Cody, R., Herr-Stephenson, B., Horst, H.A., Lange, P.G., Mahendran, D., Martinez, K.Z., Pascoe, C.J., Perkel, D., Robinson, L., Sims, C., Tripp, L. (2010). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Jenkins, H., Purushotma, R., Clinton, K., Weigel, M., & Robinson, A. J. (2006). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century.

Lenhart, Amanda, and Mary Madden. 2007. Social networking websites and teens: An overview. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Washington, DC: Pew/ Internet.

27, Number 1, March 2009 , pp. 145-161(17). Pondiscio, R. (2010, Jan. 2). OMG! Texting Doesnt Hurt Spelling. The Core Knowledge Blog. Rideout, V.J., Foehr, U.G., & Roberts, D.F. (2010). Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8- to 18- year olds. A Kaiser Family Foundation Study. Rosen, L.D., Chang, J., Erwin, L., Carrier. M and Cheever, N.A. (April 2010). The relationship between ''textisms'' and formal and informal writing among adults. Communication Research 2010 37: 420, originally published online 7 April 2010. Subrahmanyam, Kaveri, and Patricia Greenfield. 2008. Online communication and adolescent relationships. The Future of Children 18(1):119–46.

National School Board Association Study can be found at:



Suggested Viewing

Henry Jenkins, Director, Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and author of “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century,” talks about the new media landscape.

“Did You Know 3.0” is the 2012 version of the video about the progression of information technology (researched by Karl Fisch).



Suggested Reading

What Next? So what exactly does it mean to be “media literate” in the 21st century? Watch the CyberWise Guide to Media Literacy (in Quest 2 of the “Get Digital” Level of CyberWise Certified) and find out!

In the meantime here are some ways to “Be CyberWise.” Visit our Website: or follow us on Twitter: @becyberwise Be sure to check out and subscribe to our free publications: The CyberWise Daily

A daily paper full of trends and topics related to media literacy, digital citizenship, education and the responsible integration of technology into the classroom delivered to your email every day. The CyberWise Newsletter

In this new book, cyberculture expert Howard Rheinold explains how to use new media intelligently, humanely, and above all, mindfully. This is an essential guide to understanding how to make use of online tools without being overloaded with too much information.

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