On 9/11, laptops and our next class

Thanks for sharing your 9/11 memories, reflections on media coverage then and now and your thought on laptop use.

We’ll discuss the print and digital revolutions in class next Tuesday, Sept. 16. I hope everyone will read these pieces before class (if you haven’t already): Legacy media: The lost decade in six charts and Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable (note the date) by Clay Shirky (who made his students stop using laptops).

On laptops

If you haven’t already, read my blog post on laptops, including the comments, please read that, Clay’s post, the comments on my Facebook post and the research showing that students who take notes on paper retain information from class better. I am very glad that I haven’t seen the problems from this class that other professors have described. Maybe it’s a reflection on you as students, on my teaching or the topic of our class, but I am very pleased so far at your engagement level and at your use of laptops to engage in class discussions. But the commenters and the research all make valid points. Please read them and commit to using electronics responsibly and effectively in class and we’ll continue as we have. And feel welcome to let me know if either your own laptop or others’ become distractions.

Links relating to today’s class

Everything else here is optional reading/viewing:

As I said in class, Kevin Carter, the photojournalist who shot the picture of the starving child and the vulture, committed suicide at age 33.  (An interesting sidelight in New York Times story on his death is that the byline is Bill Keller, who later became New York Times editor. Keller kindly agreed to speak by Skype to one of my Georgetown classes. We should have a few interesting speakers in this class, though I have no plans to invite him to speak to this class.)

A new Esquire story on the “falling man,” which I haven’t read yet. Just found it.

A Matt Young story for News.com.au on the falling man photo.

And thanks to Tyler for sharing this piece about social media and 9/11 (thankful we didn’t have it then).

And, if you care, here’s a story I wrote for the first anniversary, about Sept. 10, 2001.

Taylor mentioned after class that he had visited the excellent 9/11 exhibit at the Newseum in Washington. If you’re ever in Washington, I highly recommend visiting the Newseum. That exhibit will certainly stay with you.

On an unrelated topic, we will probably make only brief mention (unless someone addresses it in a project or presentation) during the semester of games, certainly an important part of media. News organizations are exploring ways to incorporate games in news coverage, so I recommend this piece as optional reading.

Videos I showed in class

I didn’t show this one in class. It’s a documentary on the falling man:

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