Storytelling as a Communications & Learning tool in Diverse Settings
Title: The Girl Who Married A Ghost
Summary: A folktale of a very beautiful girl becomes arrogant and selfish and vain, refusing to marry anyone in her village because she believes they are not perfect when she is tricked into marrying someone not human that borrows body parts to attract her. The girl realizes her mistake and escapes.
Audience: Children and young adults
Setting: In a village where everyone knows of the girl's beauty.
Cultural Origins: Nigeria, West Africa
How I would use it or Adapt it: I would use a city I’ve lived in and change it to everyone at school thought she was beautiful and then the city. I would make it so that maybe she became a model and that made her very vain and arrogant. I would turn her search for a husband to looking for a boyfriend on dating apps and a professional matchmaker. I could change the villain into a Catfish (a man pretending to be someone else). It could be a friend that has experienced this before that tells the young woman after they find out the woman and man want to take a trip together, but the woman has never met him.
Onyefulu, Ifeoma. (2010). The Girl Who Married A Ghost and other tales from Nigeria. Frances Lincoln.
Dayrell, Elphinstone. (n.d.). The Disobedient Daughter who Married a Skull. Fairytalez.com https://fairytalez.com/the-disobedient-daughter-who-married-a-skull/
Ashliman, D. L. (n.d.) The Disobedient Daughter Who Married a Skull. https://sites.pitt.edu/~dash/skull.html
This blog post will examine an article from ReachOut that looks at the benefits social media presents to young people.
Social networking sites have gained popularity over the years and have become an integral part of young people’s lives. This is especially true now during a world pandemic where social media has played a key role in keeping families and friends connected. I chose this article because of its relevance to what we are experiencing now and how the internet and social media are playing unique roles in young people’s lives.
When the world was on lockdown people turned to social media to stay connected to family and friends. School became virtual and young people turned to the internet to keep in touch with news, information, social engagement, and relationships. “Social networking services can be used for organising activities, events, or groups to showcase issues and opinions and make a wider audience aware of them.” (ReachOut) This could be seen with the Black Lives Matter Movement and how people organized timeline blackouts on Instagram and Facebook to highlight police violence. Suddenly the world realized that the issues in America with racism, police violence, and death had reached an all time high. Before the internet these deaths happened silently now they are broadcast worldwide.
With school becoming virtual, young people had to experience learning differently. “People can learn through using social media such as Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr, and in multiplayer gaming environments. Social media, including gaming environments, provide platforms for intellectual exploration, the exchange of ideas, and the communal construction of projects. Students can get significant feedback from their peers using social media, and they can learn skills by building things together.” (Greenhow, 2016.) In the book by Greenhow, he talks about how the world is going towards a digital future and how it won’t happen overnight. Like the article by ReachOut it highlights the benefits of having young people being able to develop ideas and discover others who have similar interests or thoughts.
Though social media has its benefits, it also has a dark side. “Teens who use social media and similar platforms excessively may also develop addictive behaviors, especially when they have fewer offline social ties and suffer from social anxiety. These addictive behaviors often lead to poorer mental health and an increased risk of identity theft via malicious profiles.” (McHugh, B., Wisniewski, P., Rosson, M., & Carroll, J. 2018.) There is also a digital divide where some young people may not have access to social media.
Overall, there are more people now more than ever using social media and the internet to stay connected. “Young people’s social experiences and relationships play a crucial role in their decision to use certain social media platforms and their modes of engagement in these spaces. Stevens et al. (2016) describe young people’s online communities as their digital neighborhood; within these carefully curated digital neighborhoods, social media can also be seen as a “super peer” that has the ability to influence behavior, shift attitudes, and shape cultural norms.” It’ll be interesting to see as time goes on if young people can achieve equitable online spaces. Especially with what is happening in the world today.
Brough, M., Literat, I., & Ikin, A. (2020). “Good Social Media?”: Underrepresented Youth Perspectives on the Ethical and Equitable Design of Social Media Platforms. Social Media + Society, 6(2), 205630512092848–. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305120928488
Greenhow, C., Sonnevend, J., & Agur, C. (2016). Education and social media : toward a digital future . The MIT Press.
McHugh, B., Wisniewski, P., Rosson, M., & Carroll, J. (2018). When social media traumatizes teens: The roles of online risk exposure, coping, and post-traumatic stress. Internet Research, 28(5), 1169–1188. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-02-2017-0077
ReachOut. (n.d.). Benefits of internet and social media. Retrieved March, 12, 2021, from Canvas.
Stevens, R., Dunaev, J., Malven, E., Bleakley, A., Hull, S. (2016). Social media in the sexual lives of African American and Latino youth: Challenges and opportunities in the digital neighborhood. Media and Communication, 4(3), 60–70
This blog post will examine Yachot’s article on internet privacy and iPhone’s legal case with the government.
Many people choose iPhones for their unparalleled privacy. From users to techies Apple has become a brand to depend on. I can remember when the legal showdown began with the government, but Apple’s stand made me pay attention to the brand itself and eventually informed my choice to switch to Apple. I chose this article because it discusses how this case is about the implications of global cybersecurity and basic freedoms.
If you want to start a healthy debate, mention that your phone is the best. Android and iPhone users will chime in. What are the real differences between the two when it comes to security and privacy? "One of the primary differences between iOS and Android is the application distribution and vetting models. IOS has a single application store, iTunes, that customers can download applications from. While Apple is not perfect, they have executed better than Google in the application vetting process while attempting to limit malware distribution." (Messmer, 2012) Apple has proven that its security keeps out hackers that seek to find information about people. As the article stated, “But once the government secures a precedent to force a company to vouch for an update that it knows is actually insecure malware, users will stop trusting automatic updates. After all, how would anyone be able to trust an update from Apple when the public knows that the government might be directing the insertion of vulnerabilities into new software, even when it’s signed by Apple?” (Yochot, 2016).
Apple isn’t only thinking about unfixed software they are also thinking of the global implications of brokered trust. Apple is uniquely positioned to keep out foreign governments and cybercriminals that protect data and information they collect on all of their users. “Apple rejects the main underlying ethical assumptions detailed here so far. It argues that if it weakened the encryption software so that the government could surveil phones (put in a ‘backdoor’), many millions of people all across the world would lose not just their privacy but also have their security endangered.” (Etzioni, 2018)
While Apple has its strengths many people question what Apple does with the data it collects on its users. A trade for cybersecurity. There are some that even criticize the legitimacy of Apple’s claims. “Apple's sandboxing technology restricts iPhone applications to operating system resources with a list of deny/allow rules at the kernel level, but these and other permissions are "way too loose," and "Apple should not claim that an application cannot access data from another application," said Seriot, who works as an iPhone programming trainer at a company called Sen:te.” (Messmer, 2010) However, these criticisms of Apple are outdated as they have proven time and again to be the leaders in an unparalleled system creation.
Apple may not be the best tech with the most advancements as competitors are keeping up and somewhat surpassing the company with innovative and new ideas. But Apple still stands out when it comes to the protection of its data and user information. It isn’t Apple people have to be skeptical of, it is in applications where security is compromised.
Etzioni, A., & Etzioni, A. (2018). Apple: Good Business, Poor Citizen? Journal of Business Ethics, 151(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3233-4
Messmer, E. (2010). Apple iPhone security, privacy claims exaggerated, researcher says; Black Hat presentation discusses iPhone privacy and security mechanisms. Network World.
Messmer, E. (2012, December 3). Apple iOS vs. Google Android: It comes down to security; Android seen as more vulnerable but some say its flexibility can mean more security options. Network World, 22. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A310686934/AONE?u=tel_a_utl&sid=AONE&xid=c413561b
Yochot, N. (2016). 7 Reasons a Government Backdoor to the iPhone Would Be Catastrophic. ACLU. https://www.aclu.org/blog/privacy-technology/internet-privacy/7-reasons-government-backdoor-iphone-would-be-catastrophic
This blog post will examine Dobush’s argument for free wi-fi networks for refugees in German shelters.
In a world where the internet seems to be king, there are still spaces where individuals are “internet starved”. The public library I work for has issued over 500 Chromebooks and hundreds of hotspots for city residents that go without. This article jumped out to me because of the title. How many of us have been out in public and searched for that beacon of free wi-fi only to be disappointed? What does that mean for Germany?
There was once a time without Wi-fi. I remember as a child and early teen not being consumed with the internet. In fact, I was a skeptic. Dial-up tones did not aid the internet’s emergence making it impossible to really get work done and keep the phone line free for a parent to talk to their neighbor. Wi-fi seemed too good to be true. Now like a coffee fiend I make my public eating choices based on who has free wi-fi I can use while in their establishment. “Amy Cooper, a 20-year-old SPRT employee who moved to Germany from Britain last June, complains that Berlin's Internet speed is so slow, it feels like the old dial-up days she has heard her parents reminisce about.” (Nicholson, E. 2019)
It is surprising to find that Germany, a country with many advancements are behind with free and open wi-fi networks. “As Bloomberg reported last year, the law means that Germans and travelers hoping to get work done in cafes, public spaces or hotel lobbies often find themselves out of luck.” (Dobush, G. 2016) I frequently travel outside of the country and one of the things I do take for granted is my access to the internet, especially 5G, my phone has an excellent connection in the states most of the time. Once I leave the country and have to conduct business or have an artistic project with a deadline I take into consideration a countries connectivity. “Germany is Europe's largest economy, but business leaders warn it is in danger of losing its edge because of sluggish Internet connections.” (Nicholson, E. 2019)
What we learned this past year is that we can stay connected while locked in our homes, but the truth is that there are still people without access to what many assume is basic comfort. “The issue of Internet access is especially important for refugees in Germany, according to Heise. The country took in 1.1 million refugees in 2015, and expects a total of 3.6 million by 2020. When refugees arrive in German shelters, they often have trouble finding an open connection. Heise reports that Freifunkers have set up more than 340 networks in refugee homes in the past month.” (Dobush, G. 2016)
This is the narrative of students, workers, refugees, the homeless and many more that just don’t have the access to a free network. “Trapped between the financial hardships of the pandemic and the technological hurdles of online learning, the millions of low-income college students across America face mounting obstacles in their quests for higher education.” (Levin, D. 2020) The same is similar for high school students. “Some 4.4 million US households with school-aged children did not have consistent access to a computer as of September 28, and 3.7 million did not have regular internet access, according to an analysis of US Census Bureau figures by USAFacts, a nonpartisan data site.” (Forde, K. 2020)
Having been homeless relying on the public libraries’ internet access I can understand why having free and available networks for people is extremely important. It is fortunate that some library systems can provide hotspots, however, I know there is always a fear of liability with these things. Germany is cautious because they don’t want to be liable. “The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Störerhaftung, a German law that makes the owner of a wi-fi network responsible for any illegal activities conducted on the connection.” (Dobush, G. 2016)
At the end of the day, laws must change to meet the people. China is leading the industry with hotspots per person, Germany falling shortly behind that, and the USA just behind Germany. In what are supposed to be the top countries they fall short in access. Only time will tell if they will ever catch up.
Dobush, G. (2016). Why is it impossible to find free wi-fi in Germany?. Quartz. https://qz.com/694618/why-is-it-impossible-to-find-free-wi-fi-in-germany/#:~:text=The%20blame%20rests%20squarely%20on,with%20your%20open%20wi%2Dfi.
Forde, K. (2020). No access: Remote learning widens US digital divide for students. Aljazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/23/covid-exacerbates-us-digital-divide-for-students-without-inter
Levin, D. (2020). No Home, No Wi-Fi: Pandemic Adds to Strain on Poor College Students. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/12/us/covid-poor-college-students.html
Nicholson, E. (2019). Berlin Is A Tech Hub, So Why Are Germany's Internet Speeds So Slow?. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2019/01/03/678803790/berlin-is-a-tech-hub-so-why-are-germanys-internet-speeds-so-slow
This blog post will examine innovation in the video game industry based on Everett Roger’s argument of the five attributes of innovations.
Since quarantine, I have found a reignited passion for video games. Automatically, "Nitendomania" caught my attention. This brief section discusses the five attributes of innovation that garnered success for Nintendo where Atari failed.
In the Teen Lounge of my library, it is part of my job to keep up with video games. We have a Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and an Xbox One. It is the fun part of my job knowing the ends and outs of these game systems and being able to play them with the teens that come into our space. Additionally, I have to make sure that my staff is trained to use these systems as well. I found it fascinating that video games are such an integral part of teen’s lives, but in the beginning, there was a search for diffusion. We see this now with games that use servers and the cloud as opposed to a system itself.
How fast can a new wave be adopted? “This chapter suggested five attributes of innovations by which an innovation can be described, and showed that individual receiver's perceptions of these attributes predict an innovation's rate of adoption.” (Rogers, E. M. 2010) The book mentions the rate of adoption, relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability as the five attributes of innovation. I think these same things can be seen with the emergence of things like Roblox or EA Games.
The cloud is the future of videogaming, and it could arrive sooner than many players expect, with important implications for investors. (Hough, J. 2018) Phones and computers now come with hardware and software that only game systems used to monopolize on. Even the chapter mentions that Nintendo had the capability to use a keyboard they just didn’t advertise it. “As in Japan, the little gray box did not come with a keyboard or a disk drive (although a panel m the bottom can be removed to reveal a port for a cable connector to a keyboard, modem, or other computer equipment)” (Rogers, E. M. 2010)
These attributes are extremely relevant today. However, there is always something better around the corner. “New competitors entered the market with better graphics, less expensive games, and standard hardware that could be used for more than gaming. Early attempts to challenge Nintendo had failed, and as a result, Nintendo grew complacent. However, before long companies like Sega, Sony and Microsoft were coming out with better consoles that offered more features for about the same cost.” (Wesley, D., & Barczak, G. 2010)
Technology is always changing and advancing, as we see the market transition the truth is video games aren’t going anywhere. They are becoming more and more a part of everyday life. With things like serious games also coming into classrooms. It may leave some games behind. “Lego used to compete head-tohead with Mattel and Hasbro in brick sets and action figures; now it has to come to grips with the latest digital device or online offering from Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts.” One thing is for sure innovation will transform as well.
Hough, J. (2018). Gaming the cloud. Barron's, 98(35), 16-20. Retrieved from https://login.proxy.lib.utk.edu:443/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.proxy.lib.utk.edu/trade-journals/gaming-cloud/docview/2093182186/se-2?accountid=14766
Julian Birkinshaw, John Bessant, & Rick Delbridge. (2007). Finding, Forming, and Performing: Creating Networks for Discontinuous Innovation. California Management Review, 49(3), 67–84. https://doi.org/10.2307/41166395
Rogers, E. M. (2010). Diffusion of innovations. Simon and Schuster.
Wesley, D., & Barczak, G. (2010). Innovation and marketing in the video game industry : Avoiding the performance trap. ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.proxy.lib.utk.edu
This blog post will examine Mia Lovheim’s argument to understand blogs that have become ethical spaces for young women in Sweden. I’ve included some Swedish women’s blogs alongside some African American blogs I follow.
As a woman that blogs, this topic stuck out to me. Lovheim’s article takes a look at how new media technologies have provided new avenues for women to have ethical spaces that engage readers and create new social norms. Through a study of some of the most popular Swedish blogs written by women she analyzes the representation, content, and engagement they facilitate.
Through blogs women are taking over the discourse on social norms and cultural ideas. This interactive platform is making women the producers of culture and by using new technology. They are able to shift boundaries and power dynamics in a creative platform once led predominantly by men.
The phenomenon of personal blogging is something that a lot of women pick up. I know that amongst my creative circle most women have their own blog space and they are for the most part women of color. The article hit the nail on the head when it comes to what issues most blogs raise. Why blog? Women who have been voiceless and only seen as domestic partners or workers. Blogs allow women to be empowered and gives them a voice. (Chen, 2012)
I know that before I started blogging I felt that most only saw my stage persona, but missed the person. Blogging allowed me to approach topics that I wouldn’t/couldn’t express in a bigger profound way. But let’s be honest. Men were thought to be the leaders in blogging when it came to topics of ethics, politics, and finance. (Lövheim, 2011) Then women started to explore personal blogging and found the heartbeat of readers. Readers started to engage in this interactive platform by not only reading, but by commenting. Bloggers were giving invitations for confessionals, asking readers to make a statement, and offering space to share in personal experiences. (Lövheim, 2011) Women bloggers were also able to create a space of entrepreneurship. Stay at home moms, women of color, and college women now had an outlet that could also generate income and they could do so from home. Though this article primarily focuses on Swedish blogs it did make me want to examine digital entrepreneurship amongst African American bloggers. There was a study where personal blogs, women digital entrepreneurs, and black female identity were all examined to gain a deeper understanding of how African American bloggers created a one person digital enterprise. (McDowell, 2020)
Similarly, young Singaporean women have used lifestyle blogs to create rich media content that has changed women’s consumerism in Singapore and their expression of citizenship. (Sinanan , Graham, & Zhong 2014) By appealing to popular culture and being brand ambassadors women are shifting cultural trends and norms. It is true that with the many things that blogging brings, some discourse gets lost with product placement. Paid content removes the sense of voice that personal blogs seem to give. For example mommy bloggers that were originally thought to give a voice and camaraderie to hard working moms that want to share and lament could also charge to post product reviews. Canadian mommy bloggers were called out for charging upwards of $2000 for product reviews. (Lindell, 2021)
Overall, personal blogs are here to stay. We are entering into a new era where women’s voices are heard and supported by followings on social media unlike ever before. These bloggers are setting the tone for new ethical spaces and I am excited to see where this could lead us all.
Chen, G. (2012). Why do women write personal blogs? Satisfying needs for self-disclosure and affiliation tell part of the story. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(1),171–180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2011.08.024
Lindell, D. J. (2021). Brands vs. babies: Paid content and authenticity in Canadian mommy blogs. Journal of Professional Communication, 6(2), 63-85.
Lövheim, M. (2011). YOUNG WOMEN’S BLOGS AS ETHICAL SPACES. Information, Communication & Society, 14(3), 338–354. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2010.542822
McDowell, M. (2020). African American Women Bloggers’ Lived Experiences with Digital Entrepreneurship: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
Sinanan, J., Graham, C., & Zhong Jie, K. (2014). Crafted assemblage: young women’s “lifestyle” blogs, consumerism and citizenship in Singapore. Visual Studies (Abingdon, England), 29(2), 201–213. https://doi.org/10.1080/1472586X.2014.887273
Other Blogs of Interest