Thursday, June 28, 2012

Communications and Cyberspace: Chapters 19, 20, 12, 13, & the Epilogue

Chapter 19 explores the characteristics of e-mail. While e-mail is supposed to be a remediation of letters, what makes it unique is its oral quality. The instantaneous speed at which e-mails can be exchanged induces a more conversational type communication. This conversational aspect to e-mails have given the sender a more informal atmosphere to work within. Now e-mails are inundated with informal vocabulary, phonetic spellings, and colloquial sentence structures. Some of these habits have trickled into places such as school essays where such language is unacceptable. Another issue with e-mails is miscommunication. Sometimes people may read into things and misinterpret certain messages. However we have found ways to adapt this language to our true tone of voice through emoticons and caps locks.
In Chapter 20, author Philip Thompsen commences the chapter with a series of definitions of the term flaming. He says one of the primitive definitions of flaming is "to speak rabidly or incessantly on an uninteresting topic or with a patently ridiculous attitude". The definition of flaming has slowly broadened and now includes a range of negative social behaviors such as hostility and using profanity. Thompsen also concludes that flaming is both a media use and a media evaluation. This means that flaming takes into consideration both the behavior of flaming and the "social negation of what that behavior means." People may start flames by using all caps in order to indicate shouting or use less descriptive messages to suggest discontent.
In Chapter 12 one of the most valuable topics the author discusses is the value of VR in education. When students participate in responsive learning environments that are provided by VR are more like to retain information than the traditional passive learning experience. Information taken in by one's sight, sound, and touch instead by just viewing text and numbers often results in more efficient cognitive absorption. VR is also very practical for training purposes. The author uses the example of flight simulators where novices can practice certain tasks without the risk of injury or danger. VR is more active and can be more fun than a traditional classroom environment. I would support the use of VR in the educational system because often students are more conducive to learning when they are having fun or in a less formal environment.
Chapter 13 talks about the rising popularity of online education. While some still prefer the traditional face to face classroom learning environment, taking classes online has several advantages. Two enormous benefits of online classes are that it is cheaper and that location does not matter. One does not need to pay for transportation or worry about time commuting to school. Furthermore, the student does not have the hefty tuition of a university student because they are paying solely for the classes and not any of the facilities. It also very convenient for those who have many time constraints since classes are offered at flexible times. Although there are some subjects that would be more effectively taught in the traditional class room, online education has many benefits and several class offerings.

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