Self-Analysis About One New Media Technology

Digital technology has changed tremendously in the last 30 years. Within that period, we have seen the rise of smartphones, easily downloadable applications from a single store, fast broadband internet, small personal computers such as the tablet, social media based on web 2.0 and web 3.0, web-based productivity apps, and many more. With that change, the modern student can do much more, and remain more productive in his or her studies. If I want to study, I can use the Google search engine, create flashcards with various applications, share them with my friends, or use what others have prepared and posted online. When my uncle was my age, he told me during an interview with him that he had to rely on Microsoft Word to create notes, and sharing them was hard, if not impossible. He could only copy the notes on a floppy diskette and share them physically because there were no web 2.0 sites where users could do that. The following essay will look at the main differences between web 1.0 and web 2.0 and its influence on students’ study habits and will employ the following keywords: digital media, web 1.0, web 2.0, web 3.0, mass media, web applications, mobile applications, and progress and convenience.

The world is moving away from old media to the new media. The oil media is analog and it includes some obsolete technologies such as cassette player. It is also limited but the new media is unlimited. For instance, with a CD, DVD, or cassette, people can have a limited collection for music but in the age of streaming music, the collection is unlimited. The new media, such as web 2.0 and web 3.0, is about sharing, collaboration, user generated content, e-commerce, context, social media, and sharing between information systems using APIs (Keane, Keane & Blicblau, 2014). The new media has the 4Cs of convergent media, which are the communications network, computing, content, and convergence. The four elements are apparent in the way I have integrated digital media in my learning and study habits.

The invention of the internet and the World Wide Web introduced massive changes to the world. For the first time, people could connect remotely and in real-time, collapsing time and distance. If a thousand miles separated two people, they could communicate almost instantly via a tool such as an email. However, the internet and the World Wide Web did not aid the changes and progress alone (Keane, Keane & Blicblau, 2014). Earlier innovations such as personal computers came in handy, as well as investments in building a network across continents and oceans to act information highways, made the internet and practical tool. Despite the progress, the internet remained a relatively limited tool in that era of web 1.0. Web 1.0 refers to the internet era where information flowed one way, from the producer or the creator of content to the consumer (Eveleth, 2019). Another limitation was in sharing content, especially from the perspective of learning. Since then, things have changed, as evidenced by the way I integrated the new media in my learning, which my uncle could not do in his day as a student.

I use three main tools, namely, Google search engine, mobile, desktop, and web apps for creating and sharing flashcards, and Pomodoro timers to track my learning progress and increase productivity. The Google search engine is a modern engine that can quickly dive into the internet and filter relevant content for the user by using a few keywords. For academic purposes, Google has a specialized engine for peer-reviewed academic articles known as Google scholar. Therefore, I utilize the search engine to search for relevant articles and content, and then use my online databases provided by my school to access the actual articles. Google is a far better search engine, with access to millions of published articles, but most are hidden behind a paywall; hence, there is a need to have an online database.

 

I have also integrated the digital media in learning by using Pomodoro timers to increase learning productivity. A Pomodoro timer is a tool first created by an Italian, Francesco Cirillo that encourages users to work for a period and then take a short break before resuming. The modern digital world is a complex and potentially confusing field. Just like the employees in the office who has to deal with so many disruptions, the learner also faces the same problem from emails, texts, phone calls, notifications from media applications, the urge to play games, watch video on YouTube, chat with friends, and many other disruptors (Song & Park, 2015). The solution lies with developing a rigid structure for operations, and Pomodoro timer, based on 25 minutes of work segments and a 5-minute break between the work, provides the ideal solution. I use the time to stick to a schedule and remain productive. By downloading the app on desktop or mobile, it is easy to track how many hours I have spent studying what, and I can store that data online, or on the cloud.

The integration I have described above did not exist in the 90s. The internet was in its rudimentary form, and Google was invented much later in the decade and was not as developed as it is today. Without Google, the then-existing search engines did not provide good search results; hence, searching for anything useful was a nightmare, according to my interview with my uncle. Therefore, conducting research relied mostly on the traditional brick and mortar library, and the journals available were limited. Online sharing of learning materials, such as flashcards, did not exist as well. Communication was only via emails and not comparable to what Anki has to offer, as I have described. For the Pomodoro timer, the much of a 1990 student could do was use his or her clock for timing, with little or no access to advanced features of the modern timer.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that digital media, as a type of mass media, has introduced significant changes to the world. From the perspective of learning, the difference between what was possible with technology in the 90s and today cannot be any clearer. When I interviewed my uncle about his technology use as a student, it was only then that I appreciated the progress and convenience digital technology has introduced, even for learners like me. I have integrated an advanced search engine as my preferred tool for searching for reputable content online, Anki application for creating and sharing flashcards and an app-based Pomodoro timer to keep my learning focused, as a strategic measure against the digital disruption technology has introduced into our lives. Without discipline, much of the progress and the convenience of technology can suffer erosion.

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