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CyberWise Guide to New Media

About this Lesson

  • Type: Video Tutorial
  • Length: 3:57
  • Media: Video/mp4
  • Use: Watch Online & Download
  • Access Period: Unrestricted
  • Download: MP4 (iPod compatible)
  • Size: 16 MB
  • Posted: 10/02/2011

The CyberWise Guide to New Media is an easy-to-follow video and companion "Quick Guide" that helps parents and educators understand new media, which is the online and digital way of exchanging information. This is the introductory guide to the "CyberWise Guide" Series.

A short video introduces grownups to such terms as: online, digital, the Internet, Web 2.0, participatory culture, texting, FaceBook, social media networks, and more. It also explains how new platforms and devices have the potential to invigorate education. This video comes with a companion "Quick Guide" (downloadable pdf, below) that walks users through the "new media" basics.

After watching this video and reading the guide we hope viewers will be interested in the entire CyberWise collection of videos and companion guides! We believe no grownup should be left behind. For more information please visit and find us on Twitter @becyberwise!


Supplementary Files

  • Once you purchase this lesson you will have access to these files:
  • CyberWise_Quick-Guide_to_New_Media.pdf CyberWise_Quick-Guide_to_New_Media.pdf

About this Author

6 lessons

At CyberWise we help parents, educators, (and kids!) understand and use new media tools to invigorate education. Go to for a wealth of easy-to-use, credible content and materials that show you not only how, but why it pays to Be CyberWise!

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The CyberWise Guide to New Media

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 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

We are now on web 2.0 world, 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 is right.

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…

One of the things they’ve learned is that while the pace of all this technological change is dizzying to adult, 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.
Like Facebook
In fact, social networks like FB 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?
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

But what about all that texting

Well, great news text speak doesn’t hurt language skills. A popular assumption is that the act of texting is damaging our children’s (Thurlow, 2006) ability to successfully write Standard English prose.

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.

Another study of 8 to 12 year olds showed that children who regularly use texting shorthand actually improve their ability to spell.

Testing, it turns out, requires an understanding of what the original word should be.

Okay, so why does this matter?

Well it April of 2011 a report from the American Academy of pediatrics stated that new media helps students

Enhance their communication skills
Facilitate social interaction
Develop technical skills
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.

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