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					                                                                      Media Literacy 1


Running head: EFECTS ON MEDIA LITERACY




              The Effects of New Media Technology on Media Literacy

                             Senior Seminar Students

                           North Greenville University

                   MCOM 4395 Mass Media Seminar/Capstone

                                 April 17, 2009
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                                             Abstract

This paper seeks to discover the impact that new technology, defined as having been developed

in the past ten years, has had on media literacy, with a specific emphasis on college students at

North Greenville University. The research attempts to determine whether or not participants

have heard of and/or have the ability to use basic modern entertainment and communication

consumer products. This research provides information based on 70 students who were surveyed

with the goal of finding out, “what people in the Mass Communication Department really know

about the technology that is available to them today.” The data that was collected and calculated

showed a high level of media literacy among the college students polled.
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                    The Effects of New Media Technology on Media Literacy

       In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore made the statement in his paper “Cramming

More Components onto Integrated Circuits” that the capacity of technology will double in size

approximately every 18 months while remaining at the same price. This idea has come to be

known as Moore‟s Law. Although the statement was intended as a hopeful observation and was

not intended to be an exact science, charts have shown that for over half a century, Moore‟s Law

has remained surprisingly consistent. Yet, in this world of microprocessors, megabits, DVDs,

and blogs, whose lives are being made easier, and who is getting left behind?

       Technology‟s development has been responsible for both mass destruction and for saving

lives. Technology has made the world a smaller place, especially regarding mass media, but for

some, technological advances has left them without a job. The simple fact that advanced

computers and machines can do the work faster, better, and for less money than people has cost

many their jobs. The lack of media literacy has left these people confused and in the dark about

how new mainstream terms, programs, and computers work.

       Over the past ten years, media technology has continued to advance, possibly affecting

media literacy. This research defines media literacy not as the message or as a comprehension of

the technical inner workings of a certain product. Rather, this study defines media literacy as the

understanding of how to manipulate, control, and use new media effectively, especially as these

new products are continually being released. Being media literate is not a one-time occurrence.

Instead, media literacy is a continuous process by which one researches, learns, understands, and

masters the tools of the media trade. Media literacy is essential for any successful venture into a

career regarding mass communication. Even journalism, the oldest form of mass communication
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and media, is constantly advancing with new layout programs, voice recorders and other forms

of technology.

       New media technology helps communicate in forms such as online social networks,

podcasts, smart phones, and smart technology, as well as products that receive high definition

signals. Automatic flush toilets, text messaging, and digital 3-D glasses for digital 3-D movies

may also fall into this category. New media technology has been responsible for the creation of

numerous jobs and the loss of many other jobs. People whose employment depends on

technology must keep up with and adequately react to technological trends in order to remain

competitive in the growing global marketplace.

       Within the last decade, technological advancements have paved a road that makes it

possible for children to send pictures across the world and amateurs to upload home videos in a

matter of seconds. However, a quick look at sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Blogger

reveals not only numerous grammatical and spelling errors, but also pixilated and undersized

pictures with poor formatting. Amateur video and audio components also have some of the same

problems, but the ease of use of effects in both have led some users to implement them only

because they can and not because it serves to make the overall production better.

       The researchers of this study hope to find how new media technology developments over

the last ten years has impacted media literacy among students. This study will survey North

Greenville University Mass Communication students. The survey will ask closed-ended

questions pertaining to recently released consumer products, such as high definition radio and

television. The survey will also ask questions related to participants‟ ability to operate touch

screen technology and their capacity to operate a global positioning system unit.
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                                       Review of Literature

       New media technology has been rapidly changing the standards of media literacy in the

past ten years. As such, broad research on new media technology‟s effects is not readily

available. However, trends and patterns can be discovered by looking at individual media and

how different age groups respond to new media. Social network, user-uploaded media, and print

media advances are three areas influencing current media literacy.

Social Networks

       The continual rising of media technology over the past 10 years has been quite

astounding. “Some call it a „media cornucopia‟ and others call it anarchy and a formula for the

dissolution of a common culture. The subject is the wild multiplication of media through which

people deliver their opinions on anything and everything, to which the Internet has given

unprecedented boost” (While We‟re At It). The vast amount of technology entering the

marketplace every year creates an inundated consumer with options and accessories not dreamed

of twenty years ago. One of these new phenomena is social networking. The Internet is no longer

a place solely for business purposes or research. People are able to login to their preferred social

networking site and communicate with others around the world for the sole purpose of social

interaction and fun. A major component in the popularity of these sites is the ease with which a

user can create and maintain their personal profile by managing pictures, information, videos,

blogging, games, hobbies, and networks of online friends.

       Social networking as it is known today had its beginning in 1997 with SixDegrees.com.

This site allowed users to create their own profiles for interacting with other users in the form of

a community. MySpace.com began as a music based community in 2003 followed by

Facebook.com for academia in 2004. Today these two sites hold 91% of the United States social
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networking market alone (Stroud 282). The popularity of these types of sites has grown

tremendously in a relatively short period of time. With this growth, applications, news sources,

and users have all joined in the craze of social networking.

       An essay entitled “Social Networking: An age-neutral commodity – Social networking

becomes a mature web application” by Dick Stroud states, “Arguably, the emergence of digital

media, their portability, and the kinds of convergence they have enabled are the driving force

behind the media multitasking phenomenon. As high-speed connectivity has expanded the

communication capabilities of computers, ...content that three decades ago was delivered through

distinctly different media can now be accessed through a single instrument.” With the ease of

availability in the last decade, the vast increase of use is not too surprising. “Teenagers' rapid

adoption of these social functions not only attests to the importance to them of social contacts,

but also seems to be changing adolescents (at least large numbers of them) from traditional

media consumers into real-time media critics… and media producers” (Roberts). Roberts

concludes that the media use by adolescents in particular continues to change the childhood

patterns of this generation.

       Arielle Emmett wrote an article in the American Journalism Review about major news

sources turning to social networking sites to increase traffic in their news medium. “Networking

news: traditional news outlets turn to social networking Web sites in an effort to build their

online audiences” quoted Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and general manager of

NYTimes.com, as having said, “Social media marketing is one of several essential strategies for

disseminating news online--and for surviving [in the news industry]” (Emmett). In her article,

Emmett speaks of the volume of news sources going into social networks to spread their media

and drive revenue. Ethan Beard, director of business development at Facebook, affirmed, "The
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Internet has gone through a shift from people who get information to people who get to each

other. But we realize there are a lot more pieces of the social graph than just people and their

friends. We've wanted to get media companies and journalists to have a place within the social

graph" (Emmett). In order to keep the popularity of social networks growing, companies outside

the realm of social networks will need to join the industry of online news dissemination through

social networking sites.

       Teenagers and computer geeks are not the only ones using and enjoying the new world of

social networking. Companies have also realized the power and benefits of these networks and

are creating their own profiles and networks. Douglas Edwards of Behavioral Health magazine

wrote an editorial on the benefits of using company networking sites such at LinkedIn.com. The

site connects businesses to each other for the purpose of sharing information and seeking advice.

Edwards gave the example,

       “A few agency CEOs already have recognized this and are using blogs to communicate

       directly with consumers--and anyone else who is interested or stops by the Web site.

       Although blog writing is not part of chief executives' job descriptions now, it soon may

       be. I envision a CEO using her blog to call on readers to contact their state legislators

       (made simple with e-mail links) to argue against cuts to behavioral healthcare funding.”

       (Douglas)

These different types of sites are increasing almost as rapidly as MySpace and Facebook did in

the early 2000s. However, businesses are more skeptical of the benefits of the networks to which

teenagers and young adults are flocking. However, given time, more users will be signing up for

advice, information, and to share their experiences.
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       Social networking created a new platform for the Internet. Through its ever widening

applications and information dissemination, users are able to use their personal profiles to share

their ideas, thus becoming media producers instead of only consumers. Since everyone now has

the capability of creating and sharing their personal stories, pictures, movies, and opinions, social

networking sites seem to be here for the long run.

The Expansion of Blogging, Twitter, and YouTube

       Recent advances in technology and software have made uploading content to the internet

easier than ever. Untrained writers can post their thoughts on everything from politics to pizza.

Kids with a camera phones can capture and post pictures of big and small events in their

everyday lives. Basic editing software and flash video cameras allow college students to upload

movies ranging in topic from news events to dorm room dancing. Each of these mediums is

changing the internet‟s use and having an effect on media literacy. Who are the consumers

behind each of these uploading mediums? And what will be the impact on media creation and

use?

       There are many questions surrounding the issue of blogging. In the article “The Future of

Blogging,” CNET News sought out to address a few major blogging issues, such as whether

blogs will replace mainstream media and how blogs are used. The article quoted Wharton Legal

Studies professor Dan Hunter, who believes that blogging is “„right up there with the printing

press when it comes to sharing ideas and disseminating information. This is not a fad,‟ Hunter

says. „It's the rise of amateur content, which is replacing the centralized, controlled content done

by professionals.‟” The article points out the importance of blogging in bringing down television

anchor Dan Rather, its increased role in politics, and the use of blogging in company marketing

(“The Future of Blogging,” 2005).
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        Blogging can also be credited with increasing media literacy and general literacy.

According to one Pew study, “blogging is helping many teens become more prolific writers.”

While emoticons and abbreviations are finding their way into student assignments, blogging

allows teens to develop a writing style that “is better suited to true intellectual pursuit than is

SAT-style writing.” Some teachers are using blogging as a classroom lesson in the difference

between formal and informal writing (“Blogging Helps Encourages Teen Writing,” 2008).

        When a plane crashed in Amsterdam on February 25, 2009, the first news and pictures of

the incident did not come from traditional media outlets. Residents surrounding the airport

uploaded tweets and pictures long before television news teams and newspaper were even aware

of the crash. According to one United Kingdom newspaper, The Telegraph, “One photo, taken

by Twitter user Diederik M, has already been viewed more than 72,000 times.” Twitter users are

becoming citizen journalists, and media outlets sometimes use Twitter users for interviews.

Mainstream media is also encouraging this instant news flow by encouraging news-related

Twitter topics (Beaumont, 2009).

        Media advancements are growing citizen journalists, but YouTube has yet to live up to its

news-delivering projection. While YouTube has the potential to become a valid news source,

there are still barriers to its news credibility. In a 2006 Harvard study, researchers noted that

“Perhaps the sheer accessibility of YouTube acts as a deterrent. The mediocrity of its content

could scare people away. Can something serious really sit alongside college party antics?” Other

barriers could include the general population‟s lack of journalism training and the networks

ability to pay for good citizen news content (Jones, 2006).

        Even though YouTube has yet to develop its news production ability, the medium is a

crucial part of expanding media literacy. The general population is finding unique uses for the
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video site and proving that they have the skills to work the technology. In a 2008 Chronicle of

Higher Education article, author Jefferey Young explains how college professors are quickly

becoming YouTube stars. This opens classrooms to a literal world of students and “several

colleges have signed agreements with the site to set up official „channels.‟ The University of

California at Berkeley was the first, and the University of Southern California, the University of

New South Wales, in Australia, and Vanderbilt University soon followed” (Young, 2008).

Print Media

       The advances in Internet and information technologies in the last ten years have brought

about a structural change in the way information is collected, transformed, and then redistributed.

Most people of the older generation prefer to get their news the old-fashioned way (i.e., from

newspapers and magazines). The younger generation, on the other hand, logs on to online

sources for their information needs. There is genuine concern that as the older generation moves

on, the old media will also gradually disappear. The rise of the new media has put the old (print)

media establishment on the defensive. The new is not displacing the old; however, increased

competition is making the old media pull up its socks and provide the additional value demanded

by a free market where the number of players has multiplied.

       Journalism has been going through several major technological changes during the past

decade. The pace of these changes is quickening even more now, altering the practice of the

profession as never before. These changes, which encompass a wide range of activities from

news gathering to dissemination, are bringing many benefits. At the same time, the profession

faces some negative impacts, too.

       As is well known, the print revolution started with the invention of printing by Johann

Gutenberg in the fourteenth century. The next important development was the arrival of
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telegraph. Computers have now brought about major changes to the scenario. It is important to

remember that none of the tools used by journalism belong to its own domain. However, in every

case, journalism brought in added dimension and character to the field of print.

       Some more recent technological changes that have had a huge impact on the print

industry include the following areas: page layout and design, advances in photography, the role

of the journalist, changes in distribution methods, on-line publishing, and employment in the

print industry. Over the past decade, several advances in the field of printing have led to more

predictable reproduction. Color proofing is more controlled and more reliable than ever in the

past. Film scanners and automated densitometers predict problems. Plate scanners help get the

press ready. Closed-loop registration keep things running tighter than could have been possible a

decade ago. Ink itself is constantly being improved and perfected. And presses can apply more

ink than ever.

       Although technological advances in print media over the past decade have brought many

changes, they have not brought a huge change to distribution methods in the print industry. Vans

still deliver newspapers. One can see that the Internet has had a huge impact. Online publishing

has made it possible for newspapers and magazines to publish their material over the Internet.

People can subscribe to the newspapers and view them online. However, this is not replacing

tangible print media. Some research, for example, found that 44% of consumers still base their

purchases on print advertising.

       In 1999, there were no mobile phone cameras and no blogs. Some amateur footage

emerged in times of crisis or in the event of a huge impacting news story, but professional

camera footage still carried the news almost immediately across the globe. However, today, the

volume of coverage is enormous – higher than for most other events in the past 10 years.
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Advances in telecommunications have enabled the scope of the tragedy and other larger news

stories to come to light relatively quickly. The full scale of these events takes far longer to be

completely detailed, but the media can now provide at least a sense of that scale almost

immediately.

       Regarding the current state of news gathering, news is delivered to an expectant audience

via radio, television, news website, mobile phone, and social media at almost the same time

across all platforms. Numerous media outlets initiate immediate specialized coverage at a now-

constant basis, with the majority of news within minutes of real time. The vast majority of people

still rely on major media organizations to deliver news rapidly, both locally and globally, whether

through print, radio, television, or websites, but these technological advances have drastically

changed how news is received. The print media is able to draw on a range of sources across

those platforms while also using traditional news gathering techniques to provide deeper analysis

in a matter of one or two days. This is an improvement from a span of two weeks which may

have been the case a decade earlier.

       “Citizen Journalism” and technological advances have not replaced traditional news

gathering. They have in fact vastly improved the scope of information sources available to

journalists and the speed with which they can piece together the elements of a news story. There

is no question the media is more diverse, with more than 25,000 blogs and other social media

and 15,000 news and other websites, 95 per cent of which simply did not exist in 1999.

       “Advertisers are becoming increasingly frustrated that classic media plans don't work as

       well as they used to. Print is capitalizing on this frustration because it is the one,

       unchanging and evergreen medium that holds audience loyalty and attention. The media

       landscape may be changing, but print remains the bedrock of modern communication.”
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       (Simon Grose).

Cell Phones: The New Pocket Computers

       Many communication advances have taken place over the last ten years. It is hard to

imagine life without computers or GPS systems and especially cell phones. Cellular phones have

become the go-to tool of technology. These cell phones are tools capable of being used by all

people. With so many uses in one device, cell phones are creating a highly equipped generation.

A cell phone user has all the following capabilities: GPS systems, internet, iPods, TV, Bluetooth,

touch and voice activation, cameras, and camcorders. Simply talking on cell phones is a thing of

the past. Users can text, IM, and even send video messages. Cell phones provide more than just

your standard voice to voice contact.

       Cell phone technology has not only become a wave of the future but it is actually making

it easier for those with intellectual disabilities and literacy problems to use the cell phone.

“Developments in smart phone technology and PDA-based cell phones provide an opportunity to

make the social and safety benefits of cell phones more independently accessible to this

population” (Stock 1155). A study done by The Journal of Intellectual Disability Research used a

specialized multimedia phone to test the ability of those with intellectual disabilities to operate

them and found that the participants did so with much more ease than with the standard

mainstream phone.

       Because of the widespread use and internet capabilities, the cell phone has become an

advertising tool as well. John Hadl, the CEO of Brand in Hand, a mobile strategy firm based in

Los Angeles, has taken advantage of the overwhelming use of cell phones and has begun to use it

as a marketing tool. “Hadl represents firms such as Procter & Gamble, and has been posting

banner ads on mobile phones on behalf of the consumer products giant through go2, a mobile
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search and content portal, for 18 months.” The primary purpose is branding,” he says. “We're

putting the banner [on the phone] so that at the end of the day, they will pick our product”

(Aronauer). Cisco Systems is also delving into the great advertising opportunities cell phones

provide. “Cisco found that advances in cell phone technology, like high-speed mobile Web

access, have redefined the user's experience, and retailers need to establish a mobile strategy to

capitalize on this growing trend” (Information Week). This growing trend is aiding in creating a

more literate mobile user with all needs met merely at their finger tips.

       How can the illiterate learn and advertisers sell more? The answer is the smart phone.

The smart phone has become the must-have of this century. “By contrast, the wireless

communicators that are treated with reverence nowadays have been anointed „smart phones‟”

(Baig). “These best and brightest cells handle most, if not all, the PDA, multimedia and other

functions.” Since the introduction of the smart phone, having a cell phone adds a whole new

chapter to one‟s life. The advances of cell phones have improved literacy for most people. As one

associate editor of the Library Journal wrote,

       “Getting a smart phone has actually made me a better person. I forget fewer things I'm

       asked to get from the grocery store and remember more birthdays with synced calendars

       and SMS reminders. I am more helpful to lost strangers, now that I can point out to them

       what's here and what's there with the GPS--driven maps in my hand. I'm a more informed

       citizen as well as a less wasteful one, consuming more news on far less newspaper.”

       (Hadro)

Technology and Age Groups

       Technology across the world has helped society communicate and make life more

convenient each day. In many case studies, people of all ages participate in the usage of various
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technologies and technological equipment. This has led society to a more sufficient way of

communication, handling business, and higher learning. Studies have shown that the dominant

technology phase that has become popular in society is virtual communities (From the Labs, 131,

671 – 679). Virtual communities include Facebook, MySpace, Tweeter, Google, Yahoo, AOL,

instant messenger, and many other internet sites (Software-Defined Networking, 122, 56-67).

These sites are web-based communication engines that allow users and people across the world

to communicate wherever and whenever. However, there are a few technologies that are

marketed to specific age groups.

       The Technology Review Periodical Journal states, “IPods are indeed a revolutionary

piece of equipment that is marketed to a specific age” (World Watch). However, technology has

taken a dramatic change, and now ages can be applicable with the usage of technology. From

kids with the usage of hand-held gaming devices that allow you to visit the web to adults with

emailing on their cell phones, everyone in society is becoming more Internet savvy.

       Besides emailing from their cell phones, people can now talk to and see a person through

an instant messaging program called “Skype.” With a web cam and microphone, the person can

literally call their friends through their computer and see them on the screen. This is an example

of a virtual telephone. This program is advertised to youth and adults of all ages. With

technology like this today, the younger adults are able to become more computer literate and

Internet savvy because the virtual telephone‟s interesting features draws them to learn more.

       MySpace is another technology program that markets and advertises. Its features include

advertisements for different companies and music bands or artists, blogging, posting of pictures

and comments, and different application groups. This program is geared towards young adults,

but it has also has attracted many older adults. Because of this, many people, specifically males,
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have been arrested for pretending to be somebody else. This shows the difference between

technologies and what is the dominant age of a specific technology being used. This factor also

demonstrates that the literacy of particular technologies can depend on the age of the user.

                                             Method

       This study addresses how new media technology has affected media literacy in the past

10 years. Media literacy is defined for the purposes of the present research as meaning that the

person knows how to work with and is familiar with a certain type of media-related technology.

The researchers really wanted to know how much people knew or did not know about how to use

technology today. New media technology was defined as referring to the technology that has

been made available since the year 2000. The researchers surveyed approximately 70 people to

find out what people in the Mass Communication Department at North Greenville University

know about the technology that is available to them today. The researchers surveyed students by

entering various Masss Communication classes and passing out surveys. The data we collected

from these surveys was put in a spreadsheet and graphed to better represent the data that was

collected.

Demographics

       The demographic approached for this study included college students between the ages of

18 and 24. The students were enrolled in some sort of media class at North Greenville

University. The researchers chose this demographic as they believed that individuals of this age

would have a slight, if not in depth, knowledge of new media. Another reason this demographic

was chosen was because in lower-level broadcast media courses, a larger number of students in

the classes are not broadcast media majors and do not have any interest in the broadcasting field.

These students are just simply taking the courses as electives. With that in mind, the researchers
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also got to find out what knowledge individuals outside of the media field had on the new

technology that was in question. The final consideration in choosing the demographic was that

the researchers wanted everything to revolve around a North Greenville University audience.

With this as the main target audience, the researchers could keep closer control of what was

being handed out and keep the actual results to a closer percentage point, rather than handing out

the surveys to the community and getting a smaller percentage of the actual surveys back filled

out correctly.

Survey Analysis

        The researchers considered several methods for gaining information and immediately

decided to ask questions included in a survey. A survey was the only logical way to reach the

demographics the researchers were trying to reach in a reasonable amount of time. The

researchers did, however, toss around the idea of conducting this survey by means of facebook or

distributing a hard copy in classrooms. The final conclusion was that most people tend not to

even look at group invites via facebook, so most of the targeted audience would not even receive

the surveys if the surveys were not physically placed into their hands. The surveys were passed

out in classes.

Survey Distribution

        The surveys were distributed over the course of four days. There were a total of 115

surveys that were distributed; however, only 75 students actually completed the surveys.

Students enrolled in Mass Communication classes were the target groups for the surveys. This

also included students with Interdisciplinary Studies degrees with a concentration in Mass

Communication. This was decided due to the availability of the students and to make the

process of passing out the surveys easier. The surveys were distributed to seven Mass
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Communication classes. In these classes, only Mass Communication students were asked to fill

out the surveys. However, this method was not very successful in that many of the students in

these classes were not Mass Communication students. As the surveys were distributed

throughout the week, we discovered that many of the students who were asked to complete

surveys had already filled one out in another class. After encountering this obstacle, students

who were in the Mass Communication department were surveyed in an attempt to get as many

surveys as possible completed. This was done in order to achieve a random sample of Mass

Communication students to help validate the results of the survey.

Expected Findings

       We expect the vast majority in the demographic age groups of college-aged students of

18 to 24 year olds to have at least used one or more of these types of new media technologies in

the last 10 years. Even though some people may not use these technologies, our surveyors have

come across the different technologies that are ever changing in the world today. With passing

out 115 surveys to Mass Communication majors, The researchers expect to get some good

numbers from our peers. All of the technologies have been in transition in the New Media

Technology industry for several years or more.

       The researchers also expect half or more of the participants to have at least used the

following New Media Technologies: Smart Phones, HD, Internet Radio, and Touch Screen

Technology. Also, the findings are expected to be less than half for the rest of the New Media

Technologies such as Blu-Ray, GPS, Blogging, Plasma Television, Podcasting, and Twitter.

                                             Results

       60% of males surveyed have owned or used a smart phone. 26.3% of females have

owned or used a smart phone. 34.3% of males surveyed have owned or used BLU-Ray
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technology. 26.3% of females surveyed have owned or used BLU-Ray technology. 82.9% of

males surveyed have owned or used HD technology. 57.9% of females surveyed have owned or

used HD technology. 68.6% of males have owned or used GPS technology. 57.9% of females

surveyed have owned or used GPS technology. 71.4% of males surveyed have used blogging.

63.2% of females surveyed have used blogging. 74.3% of males surveyed reported that they

have owned or used touch screen technology. 84.2% of females surveyed reported that they

have owned or used touch screen technology. 62.9% of males surveyed claimed that they have

owned or used plasma TV‟s. 36.8% of females surveyed claimed that they have owned or used

plasma TV‟s. 65.7% of males surveyed have used podcasting. 36.8% of females surveyed have

used podcasting. 74.3% of males surveyed reported that they have used Internet radio. 63.2% of

females surveyed reported that they have used Internet radio. 37.1% of males surveyed claim

that they have used Twitter. 21.1% of females surveyed claim that they have used Twitter.




       Out of the number of males that answered the question, 89.5% said that it took one week

to get comfortable using Smart Phones. 28.6% of females that answered the question reported

that it took them one week to get comfortable using Smart Phones. 10.5% of males that

answered the question said that it took them one month to get comfortable using Smart Phones.
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71.4% of females that answered the question reported that it took them one month to get

comfortable using Smart Phones.

                                      How long did it take to get comfortable using Smart Phones?
            18
                    17


            16



            14



            12



            10

                                                                                                    Male
             8                                                                                      Female



             6
                                  5


             4


                                             2             2
             2



             0
                         1 week                  1 month         1 month             Longer




       Out of the number of males that answered the question, 60% said that the operation of

Smart Phone technology was easy. 42.9% of females that answered the question said that the

operation of Smart Phone technology was easy. 40% of males that answered the question said

that the operation of Smart Phone technology was moderate. 57.1% of females that answered the

question said that the operation of Smart Phone technology was moderate.
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       82.8% of males reported that it took them less than one week to become comfortable with

Touch Screen Technology. 94.7% of females reported that it took them less than one week to

become comfortable with Touch Screen Technology. 2.9% of males reported that it took them

less than a month to become comfortable with Touch Screen Technology, while 2.9% also

reported that it took them one month before becoming comfortable with Touch Screen

Technology. There was no data for females that reported whether or not it took less than a

month or one month to become comfortable with the touch screen technology.
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       88.8% of males reported that they found the operation of the Touch Screen Technology

to be easy. 78.9% of females reported that they found the operation of the Touch Screen

Technology to be easy. 11.4% of the males reported that they found the operation of Touch

Screen Technology to be moderate. 15.8% of the females reported that they found the operation

of the Touch Screen Technology to be moderate. Over all 80% of the respondents reported that

they found the operation of Touch Screen Technology as easy, and 11.9% of respondents

reported that they found the operation of Touch Screen Technology as moderate. However, there

was no data that report whether males or females found the operation of the Touch Screen

Technology as difficult nor very difficult.
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       42.9% of males reported that it took less than a week for them to become comfortable

with their Plasma TV. 21.1% females reported that it took less than a week for them to become

comfortable with their Plasma TV. 2.9% of males reported that it took less than a month for them

to become comfortable with their Plasma TV. 5.3% of females reported that it took less than a

month for them to become comfortable with their Plasma TV.
                                                                             Media Literacy 24


       42.9% of males reported that their families owned a Plasma TV. 31.6% of females

reported that their families owned a Plasma TV. 51.4% of males reported that their families did

not own a Plasma TV. 57.9% of females reported that their families did not own a Plasma TV.

40% of the total respondents reported that their families do own Plasma TVs, while 49.2% of

the respondents reported that their families do not own Plasma TVs.




       40% of males found the operation of the Plasma TV technology as easy. 31.58% of

females found the operation of the Plasma TV technology as easy. 2.9% of males found the

operation of the Plasma TV technology as moderate. There was no data given if whether or not

females found the operation of the Plasma TV as moderate.
                                                                            Media Literacy 25




       17% of males reported yes to owning Blu-Ray technology. 5% of females reported yes to

owning Blu-Ray technology. 20% of participants reported that it took less than one week to

become comfortable with Blu-Ray Technology. No male participants reported taking less than a

month or one month to become comfortable with the technology. No female participants reported

taking a month or less to become comfortable with Blu-Ray technology.
                                                                               Media Literacy 26


       17% of males reported that the operation of Blu-Ray technology is easy. 5% of females

reported that the operation of Blu-Ray technology is easy. 20% of participants reported that the

operation of Blu-Ray technology is easy. No male participants rated the operation of the

technology as moderate, difficult, or very difficult. No female participants rated the operation of

the technology as moderate, difficult, or very difficult.




       40 percent of males surveyed said HD TV is different than UD TV because of the picture.

57.1 percent of males said it was because of both the picture and sound quality. 17.1 percent of

females said it was because of the picture and 47.4 percent of females said HD TV is different

because of both sound and picture.
                                                                           Media Literacy 27




       65.7 percent of males surveyed use podcasting. 47.4 percent of females use podcasting.

59.3 percent of the total people surveyed have use podcasting.
                                                                              Media Literacy 28


         60 percent of males surveyed use podcasting 1-5 times per week. 5.7 percent of males

surveyed use podcasting 5-10 times per week. 5.7 percent of males surveyed use podcasting

more than 10 times or more per week. 26.3 percent of females use podcasting 1-5 times per

week. No other females reported using podcasting.




         80% of males that answered this question claimed that it took them less than one week to

get comfortable or to learn how to work their GPS device. 13.3% of males reported that it took

them less than one month. One male, constituting 6.6% of males that answered the question,

claimed it took one month to get comfortable or learn how to work the GPS. 75% of females

that answered the question claimed that it took them less than one week to get comfortable or to

learn how to work their GPS device. The other 20% reported that it took them less than one

month.
                                                                              Media Literacy 29




       80% of males that answered this question reported that they found the operation of GPS

technology easy. In addition, one male thought the operation of GPS was moderate, one thought

it was difficult, and one thought it was very difficult, constituting 6.6% each. 87.5% of females

that answered this question reported that they found the operation of GPS technology easy. One

female reported that the operation of GPS technology was moderate, constituting 12.5%.
                                                                             Media Literacy 30


       74.3 percent of males surveyed have used internet radio. 63.2 percent of females

surveyed have used internet radio. 70.4 percent of people surveyed have used internet radio. 8.6

percent of males surveyed have not used internet radio. 7.7 percent of females surveyed have not

used internet radio.




       51.4 percent of males surveyed use internet radio 1-5 times per week. 8.6 percent of

males use internet radio 5-10 times per week. 8.6 percent of males have used internet radio 10

times per week. 63.2 percent of females surveyed use internet radio 1-4 times per week. 5.3

percent of females surveyed use internet radio 10 times or more per week.
                                                                 Media Literacy 31


45.7% of total males surveyed answered yes. 51.4% answered no.

36.8% of females surveyed answered yes. 68.4% of females answered no.




51.6% of males who answered this section answered yes. 48.3% answered no.

23.5% of females who answered this section answered yes. 76.4% answered no.
                                                                              Media Literacy 32




       Out of the 59 surveys from 18-24 year olds, 94% of those surveyed thought that Twitter

was a social network. 4% of those surveyed thought that Twitter was a navigation feature for a

cellular device. 2% thought that Twitter was a website to watch movies.




                                           Discussion

Overall Findings

       To find a numerical data set representative of levels of media literacy, a survey was taken

of undergraduate men and women to gauge their usage and adaptation to new media technology.
                                                                               Media Literacy 33


The survey asked students about their understanding of many products and services, such as

smart phones, Blu-Ray technology, High Definition technology (HD), podcasting, Global

Positioning technology (GPS), internet web-logs (blogs), touch screen technology, plasma

television, internet radio, and the social networking site Twitter. The majority of the men

surveyed have used smart phones, whereas the majority of the women in the study have not. A

greater percentage of men than women in the survey have used Blu-Ray technology, but the

majority of both genders have not. The majority of people (male and female) surveyed have used

HD, GPS, touch screen technology, internet radio, and blogs. A majority of the males in the

survey have used plasma television and podcasting, but the women in the sample who have used

these technologies are in the minority. The majority of participants in the survey do not use

Twitter. These findings are further broken down through the collection of data pertaining to

response and adaptation to the technologies.

       The sample shows some interesting results, including gender separation in rates of usage

and adaptation to technology. With the exception of touch screen technology, more male than

female survey participants own and/or use the technologies and services listed. When asked

about adaptation to the aforementioned technologies, more men than women in the sample

reported that they had an easy time adjusting to the usage of the technologies. However, there

were two exceptions: touch screens and GPS. The female participants in the study learned to use

those technologies more quickly. Overall, the majority of the sample finds adaptation to new

media technology to be relatively easy.

Limitations and Research Changes

       Some limitations that were encountered during the research process included difficulties

passing out the surveys. Because these surveys were only distributed to Mass Communication
                                                                                Media Literacy 34


students, the sample was fairly limited. Some of the questions on the survey also contained typos

that made it impossible to collect correct data. Another limitation was the short amount of time

available to put together the survey and pass it out. For more in-depth research, at least a year

would be necessary to put together a proper survey and research the areas and demographics

needed. Also, the researchers were unable to communicate the way they should have been able to

about the research information.

       To be a little more accurate, this survey could have been passed out among many other

types of students. This would help broaden the demographics and make the research project

more accurate. Also having a larger sample would allow researchers to really look at how

everything laid out.

Questions for Future Research

       One question that would be vital for future research is, “How necessary do you believe

technology and media are in today‟s society?” This question could cover the public response to

technology changes, technology setbacks, learning curves, and other essential data needed to

project correct estimates about technology usage and understanding. Future research should also

include several detailed explanations of data gatherings and how these gatherings affect the

research and the thesis.

       Another idea for future research would be to ask people which products of technology

and which aspects of the media influence their lives the most. This question could give insight

into the types of technology being used, how the media is displaying information, and how

technology is advancing to impact people‟s lives. It is important to learn how technology is being

expanded so that there can be a better understanding of available and viable markets for media.

Conclusion
                                                                             Media Literacy 35


       At the onset of this study, the researchers hoped to measure the media literacy of Mass

Communication students with regard to new technology. Media literacy was defined as

operational proficiency and was measured according to participants‟ comfort in operating

technological tools. New media technology was used in reference to any technological tool

developed since the year 2000. A wide range of devices were included in the survey which was

used to poll Mass Communication students. The study achieved its goal and was able to discern

a fairly high level of technological competence in the Mass Communication students at North

Greenville University.
                                                                             Media Literacy 36


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                                                                          Media Literacy 39


                                        Appendix A

MASS MEDIA SEMINAR 4395
RESEARCH PROJECT

PRATICIPATES UNDER 18 CAN NOT PARTICIPATE

       RACE: White Black Hispanic Other______________
       GENDER: Male / Female
       CLASS: Fr Soph Jr Sr
       Age 18-24 college age _____
       Age 25-29 _____
       Age 30 and above ______

Check below the technology you own or have used:
Smart Phone____             TOUCH SCREEN TECHNOLOGY ____
BLU- RAY ___                PLASMA TELEVISION ____
HD ____                     PODCASTING ____
GPS ____                    INTERNET RADIO ____
BLOGGING ____               TWITTER ____

Smart Phones
       1. Do you own or have you ever used a Smart Phone? YES or NO
       2. How long did it take you to get comfortable or learn how to work your Smart Phone?
               a) Less than 1 Week
               b) Less than a Month
               c) 1 Month
               d) Longer than a Month
       3. How would you find the operation of this technology?
               a) Easy
               b) Moderate
               c) Difficult
               d) Very Difficult

Touch Screen Technology (Check all that apply)
      1. Where do you use Touch Screen Technology?
             a) Banks
             b) Malls
             c) Super Markets
             d) Computers
             e) Cell Phones
             f) Restaurants
             g) Gas Stations
      2. How long did it take you to get comfortable or learn how to work Touch Screen
          Technology?
             a) Less than 1 Week
                                                                          Media Literacy 40


            b) Less than a Month
            c) 1 Month
            d) Less than a Month
       3. How would you find the operation of this technology?
            a) Easy
            b) Moderate
            c) Difficult
            d) Very Difficult

Blu – Ray
       1. Do you own any Blu – Ray discs or any Blu – Ray technology? YES or NO
       2. How long did it take you to get comfortable or learn how to work Blu - Ray?
             a) Less than 1 Week
             b) Less than a Month
             c) 1 Month
             d) Less than a Month
       3. How would you find the operation of this technology?
             a) Easy
             b) Moderate
             c) Difficult
             d) Very Difficult

Plasma Television
      1. Do you or any one in your family own a plasma television? YES or NO
      2. How long did it take you to get comfortable or learn how to work the Plasma TV?
              a) Less than 1 Week
              b) Less than a Month
              c) 1 Month
              d) Less than a Month
      3. How would you find the operation of this technology?
              a) Easy
              b) Moderate
              c) Difficult
              d) Very Difficult

HD
       1. What is different about HD Television?
            a) The Picture
            b) The Sound
            c) Both
      2. Can you tell the difference between HD TV and regular TV? YES or NO

Podcasting
       1. Have you ever used podcasting? YES or NO
       2. How often do you use podcasting?
             a) 1 - 5 times per week
                                                                             Media Literacy 41


                 b) 5 – 10 times per week
                 c) more than 10 times per week
          3. How many podcast do you subscribe to?
             1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

GPS
          1. Do you own a GPS? YES or NO
          2. How long did it take you to get comfortable or learn how to work the GPS?
                a) Less than 1 Week
                b) Less than a Month
                c) 1 Month
                d) Less than a Month
          3. How would you find the operation of this technology?
               a) Easy
               b) Moderate
               c) Difficult
               d) Very Difficult

Internet Radio
       1. Does streaming have anything to do with how internet radio operates? YES or NO
       2. How often do you use internet radio?
               a) 1 – 5 times per week
               b) 5 - 10 times per week
               c) more than 10 times per week

Blogging
       1. Do you subscribe to any blogs? YES or NO
       2. Are you an avid Blogger or subscriber to a blog? YES or NO

Twitter
          1. Is twitter a(n)
                 a) web site to watch movies
                 b) a social network
                 c) online chat room
                 d) navigation feature for cellular device

				
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