Calahan Steed’s Final Reporting for News Media 


International Feature Story


Post 11 Photography

For my research project, I wanted to capture students using technology while doing homework. This was an easy task to accomplish because all I had to do was go into an area where students hang out and take pictures. However, I didn’t want all of them to be of students just sitting around on their phones. I tried to make the pictures unique in their own way by making each picture different than the last picture.

To accomplish this goal, I would take a picture of someone on their phone in class. Then I’d go into the hallway and take a picture of someone on their phone waiting for a class to begin. Also, I wanted pictures of students socializing on their phone, and I wanted students on their phone/laptop doing homework.

Not all of the students I took pictures of were on their phone. Some students I took pictures of were of students working on homework. I wanted these kinds of pictures because my generation is criticized for being on their screens too much. These photos show not all college students are looking at their phones being anti-social. Instead, it shows that students work hard for their grades and aren’t on their phone constantly.

Video Project Blog

For my video presentation on technology, I wanted to see if I could get a different opinion then what I got on my audio. I talked to a research librarian and a sixth grade teacher to see if they could offer any different information. I was curious to see what the teacher had to say about technology because of how younger kids are becoming more tech savvy. Especially being in the sixth grade, these students are still trying to figure out when it’s appropriate to use their phones.

One thing that I liked hearing from my interview with the librarian is how she compared technology today to technology back when she was in school. She talked about how new technology makes it easier to do research papers because of how easy it is to copy and paste. Compared to what she had to due when she was in school because she had to manually cut out paper and paste it on to her paper. After hearing her story, it made me appreciate technology because I never thought of doing research like that and I’m glad I don’t.

The sixth grade teacher was more skeptical of technology helping students but did see positives with it. She liked how technology can be used for turning in homework and getting instant feedback. Also, she had shown frustration of her students not fully using their resources to figure out problems. I understood her frustration because I’ve used technology before to figure out problems that made me stuck. Both of the people I interviewed offered different perspectives of technology that was different than the college students I interviewed.

Blog 9 Audio Project

For my audio project, I wanted to compare college students together to see how they use technology. My project was about if technology distracts or helps students get their homework done. I wanted to see if the two college students I interviewed had any differences between them. One of the students is a first year student in college and the other student had completed one year of college before taking a year off. A similarity I noticed before I even started interviewing them is I could see how tech smart they were.  

The student I interviewed, who was taking the year off, had a lot of positive things to say about technology. He mentioned how convenient technology was for getting homework done. Some of the examples he talked about were looking up examples of problems if you aren’t understanding what the instructor is teaching. Another thing that I agreed with is how if he needed to change something on a paper, he could quickly use his phone to change it. The reason why he sees technology as helpful is due to the convenience.

The other student I interviewed mentioned how much he used his laptop for completing homework. The way he talked about his laptop, it almost seemed that he had a deep connection to it. However, after I thought about how I use my laptop for homework and I use it a lot for homework too. As a journalism major, I type a lot of essays on my computer and use the internet to listen to music and look up research. I agree with what he said about using his laptop a lot because I use it too.  

A reason why college students use technology to get homework done is due to the access these students have. Universities come with computer labs, WI-FI, and free printing to help students get their homework done. If the resources are there for college students, they might as well use them.

Meme Presentation

For the meme presentation, my group decided to present about the “Roll Safe” meme. I’m really excited to do this meme because this meme always causes me to laugh. The reason why memes like “Roll Safe” are so popular is because memes are a humorous image, video, or text that is spread throughout the internet. So the more people who think this meme is funny will share it across the internet for other people to see.

“Roll Safe” started on June 1, 2016 from a series called “Hood Documentary.” An actor, Ewumi, points at his head and smiles which became viral. The meme didn’t start spreading until November, but by the time the video reached eight months old, it had over one million views and over a thousand comments. Why the meme became so popular is because it involves poor decision making in critical thinking moments. A lot of people like seeing this meme because we’ve all had moments where we had poor results from trying to make a decision.

One platform that I saw the meme gain popularity from is by being on sports pages. Whenever a team loses, the meme is popular in expressing a poor choice made by one of their players. I’ve used this meme on sports pages whenever a team that I don’t like loses to make fun of them for their poor choices. “Roll Safe” is a popular meme choice because all what users have to do is just share the photo of the actor and write whatever poor thinking decision they think is funny.

What We Learned in NCT

We started off the year learning about how new communication technologies aren’t just blogs, social media, and google. Instead, we found out that new communication technologies have been around since the industrial revolution. Technologies have improved to fit the need of humans. Technology was used as a mean to control all areas of production, distribution, and consumption of manufactured goods. We’ve expanded into communication technologies because of humans trying to fulfill their need to socialize with other humans. The difference between these technologies is that communication technologies have coded information being exchanged.  

After learning about the difference between technologies, we learned about how humans crave knowledge. In the previous paragraph, I talked about how communication technologies have information in them. The reason for communication technologies like social media, google, and blogs have taken off is because of humans wanting information. Humans want to learn and share information and those technologies can quickly get humans their information they need. Tools like social media allow for quick information being shared as Facebook and Twitter allow users to share information with other users to spread knowledge.  

The participatory culture that technology creates ties in with spreading knowledge. People share information with each other what we produce for financial reasons or for personal gratification. We share the information because not everybody knows everything and as humans we want to learn about knowledge. For example, when I use social media I try not to share information unless I feel it’s important to me. When I share something, I want people to see that I found a piece of information interesting to share to the world.  

There’s another reason why I don’t share information constantly on social media is because we learned about Cambridge Analytica. We watched the video of the company explaining how they helped Ted Cruz out in the election by using data from Facebook. I don’t have anything to hide, but I don’t want my information being used by advertisers trying to sell me something. Facebook having the information be leaked is part of the participatory culture that I talked about in the last paragraph. Cambridge Analytica understands many people participate in social media and they want to gain information like the rest of us.  

The last thing we learned about in NCT was globalization. After the Berlin Wall fell, people were able to connect to other people a lot easier. Using open-sourcing, outsourcing, offshoring, supply chaining, and insourcing are ways to share information. The reason why globalization has become so popular is how easy it to connect with people around the world. People want to inform other people and globalization has made it easier for people to share knowledge.