So for the first week of the course, we’ve outlined we’ll approach the unit from a Media Studies 2.0 perspective.

Media theorist, David Gauntlett writes in his e-book, Media Studies 2.0, and Other Battles around the Future of Media Research (2011, location 475), that Media Studies 2.0 points toward:

a world where students are making and sharing learning resources, individually and collaboratively, and responding to each other, in the way that YouTube contributors do when a community of enthusiasts create, share, and respond to each other’s contributions in a virtuous spiral of learning and development.

Learning about digital media is all about exploration. We do this through “making”, “sharing” and “learning”.

Much of learning about media is hands on and DIY. Which, to me, makes perfect sense. When I first started my LinkedIn site, sure I Googled plenty of tips and watched a few tutorials, but at the end of the day it was up to me to find out for myself. There’s no uni course that’s going to teach you the ins and outs of using LinkedIn. It’s about sitting yourself down and playing around with it until you get it.

So already, this course is really resonating with me.

When I was studying my undergraduate journalism degree, I feel that most of my tutors adopted many of the approaches derived from Media Studies 2.0.  It was very independent learning and I feel that I greatly benefited from it, too.

What I love most about Media Studies 2.0 is its emphasis on audience participation, there is no longer one expert from whom the audience receives the information and is expected to digest it. In fact, “audience” is a problematic concept in Media Studies 2.0. My year 12 interactive digital media teacher always said that he felt most accomplished when one of his students taught him something new. When the student goes beyond the confines of the syllabus to expand their knowledge, I think this encapsulates the principals of Media Studies 2.0 really well.

Perhaps I’m not thinking critically enough, but I struggle to find any limitations this approach may present us with. It encourages us to push the limits and explore beyond everything we’ve been taught. Of course this is all well and good for us students and teachers of digital media– but what about everyone else who uses technology?

Well, I suppose my view is a little optimistic, because I think for the most part technology does wonders for the world. Making is connecting, creators from across the globe are able to connect with each other thanks to platforms such as YouTube and Medium, HOWEVER, this also opens up a new space for trolls and, well… stupid people.

All too often I see people using social media as a tool to spread hatred and misinformation, which is something that deeply concerns me. I find myself all too often trying to be the social justice warrior trying to rebut the arguments of these Internet tormentors, and sometimes the fight almost seems lost. I guess I just have to keep reminding myself that the good outweighs the bad in this technologically advanced society in which we live.

I hope this unit allows me to see the digital world in a new light (I’ve already discovered a new platform, About.Me), encourages me to engage more with the Twitter-sphere and keep this blog updated with all the wonderful new insights I’ll be gaining from the course material.

Until next time, adios.

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