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New Media Faculty Seminar Week 7

It is Spring Break this week at Baylor University, so in this week's podcast with Gardner Campbell about the Faculty Development Seminar: New Media as a Platform for Integrative Learning we review last week's discussion, but the next meeting won;t take place until March 16, giving our participants a bit more time to dig into Marshall McLuhan.

The last seminar meeting at Baylor was a discussion of Personal Dynamic Media by Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg (pp 393-403 in the New Media Reader (found online as a free excerpt of The New Media Reader) and this was the first one facilitated by a seminar participant. Some of the active discussion points was on how the authors cast the computer as a creative tool, using music metaphors as well as the notion of the computer becoming a tool in which its users can create new tools. This is manifested today in projects like Scratch from MIT. The group also wrestled with the implcations of a focus on children, in speculating if there were suggestions that adults have "too much real responsibilities" to engage in child like exploration (a notion that Gardner nor I buy into!).

Gardner also highlighted an interesting post in the discussion forums , where Chris Hansen connected the article's idea about external media acting as a feedback mechanism to thinking, something that he works into the way he teaches writing (plus others chimed in to help find the mysterious missing last page of the article in the book!)

For the next seminar session (and remember you have an extra week to digest the reading), we move to  two essays from Marshall McLuhan, excerpts from The Galaxy Reconfigured and The Medium is the Message (from Understanding Media) which are found on pp193-209 in the New Media Reader. You might be able to browse parts of The Galaxy Reconfigured in Google Books and there is a PDF for Understanding Media).

Known for the oft repeated, but perhaps little understand phrase "the medium is the message", McLuhan can be a bit "out there" on ideas, but Gardner suggests there is a lot of power and influence in McLuhan's work.

Or for a lighter view, we shared fond memories of the scene in Annie Hal l where Woody Allen pulls McLuhan in from the side to silence the loud critic behind him in line at the theater ("If life were only like this" is rather meta).