Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Second Screen Culture

Take a look at this photo.
Image flickr by ScottKMacklin
What you see is the photographer's son and his friends watching the Super Bowl. "Not only were they communicating with their friends, but they were snapping photos and even recording video of their own play-by-play announcing of the game, consuming and creating content at the same time" reads the explanation on Cory Bergamn's blog the 

Cory calls them the second screen generation. I would argue with the attempt to assign the phenomena to just one generation. It is more of the Second Screen culture or perhaps, in risking exaggeration, the Second Screen epoch. 

What is a second screen? According to my BFF Wikipedia it is term that refers to an additional electronic device (e.g. tablet, smartphone) that allows a television audience to interact with the content they are consuming.

To give you an example, watching the last two  State of the Union Addresses did not have to be just a passive one dimensional act of staring at the TV screen or listening to the radio. The White House website offered the second screen broadcasts enhanced with charts, graphs, reinforcing statistics and reinforcing quotes.  Public could and did participate in live conversation with the White House officials via social media. 

My personal indulgence is to "participate" in the Hollywood red carpet events by commenting on super stars via Twitter and Facebook, exploring the Oscars App on my iPad  and comparing my notes with my beloved Joan Rivers and the Fashion Police crew. 

Using second screen is not a fad. It is here to stay. According to Nielsen statistics form 2011, 70 percent of tablet owners and 68 percent of smartphone owners said they use their devices mostly while watching television. The question is, how we the teachers,  parents, community members could use the Second Screen phenomena to our advantage?  How to turn second screens in to your teaching and students' learning enhancement  in your classroom?

Friday, April 20, 2012

On how we use our mobile connected devices

I stumbled upon this interesting statistic from the Nielsen Company  Q1 2011 report on mobile connected devices. It shows their research findings on how and where people in the US use the following mobile devices: tablets, eReaders and smartphones. (Based on almost 12,000 owners of the devices)

Looks like fairly similar number of tablet owners (70%)  and smartphone owners (68%) use their devices most often while watching television. 61% of eReader owners use their device in bed.  Understandably, smartphones are the most popular in "on the go" situations as shopping, running errands, and commuting.

I could not get free access to the full research. Buy it would be interesting to analyze the demographics of the survey responders and also to compare it to the laptop users.  Interestingly, contrary to the popular fear of many educators, using  smartphones in class/meetings is the least popular option.  Again, the age of the responders could shed more light on that numbers.

My use of the devices looks similar but I spent most of my time being wirelessly connected via my MacBook Pro
  • I dropped my Kindle for an iPad and for my htc Android OS smartphone. 
  • An iPad has backlight for night reading and also gives me more chances to instantly expand upon readings by searching the web. 
  • Smartphone is just always with me so I could potentially read even during boring social situations (not that I am doing it ;-) ) or  during many unexpected moments in which your larger devices are left behind. 
  • I like iPad apps but I love my MacBook so I am usually watching TV with my laptop on my laps (as the name suggests).  
  • Laptop is too cumbersome for bed time - that is when I switch to an iPad which completes the cycle :-) 
  • Except the alarm clock... it is set up on my it is a first device I will touch in the morning. 
Soon I will travel to Poland . The problem is that I cannot make a decision which device to left behind! My husband has a similar dilemma. We both will be teaching an online course while there. On top of everything my daughter like her iPod touch. So, we may end up in rather ridicules situation where family of five (with two infants) will travel with two laptops, two iPads at least one smartphone, and an iPod! Oh an a Kindle!  I am planning to reunite with my old Kindle to use it while traveling because of  the long battery life and low monetary value in case if lost or stolen.

Here are the findings related to how much time people in US spend with their device in different situational use:

Post inspired by this blog post on Nielsen Wire

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest

Hi, My name is Magda and I am addicted to Pinterest. So are my students!!! Why not combine pleasure with business?

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest
From: Online Universities Blog