Blog 3 Social Media

Since I don’t usually watch television while we are all up at school in Humboldt, one of the biggest roles social media has is news from the outside world.  Information that could range from back in my home town to around the world is now easily accessible at the click of a bottom on my phone from any location that is within network reach.  Other than the news, the number one role I use social media for, would be communicating with friends or for entertainment through Twitter or Instagram

In the Digital Nation video, one of the topics that was brought up were students who get distracted and use social media as a break from their homework assignment resulting in an essay without flow.  This was easily relatable to me for I always find taking mini breaks from homework and using my phone to procrastinate on assignments.  So I will have to agree with this segment in the video on how the connection we have with social media can be a negative influence on schooling when to comes to focusing on completing homework.

After reading Malcolm Gladwell’s article “Why the Revolution will not be Tweeeted” I was actually a bit confused on how the title linked back to the article, it could be because I didn’t read it thoroughly as I maybe should have.  It is amazing that the people united during the sit-in protests 60s without the tools we have today and it goes to show that it is definitely possible without Twitter.  It was proven again in the very end of the article where Gladwell mentions “Twitter had scant internal significance in Moldova, a country where very few Twitter accounts exist” that we do not need twitter to organize revolutions.  However, I still believe that “the new tools of social media have reinvented social activism” to the point that it can be easier to organize and communicate for protests since social media can make things happen almost as they are happening. 

Going back to the Digital Nation video, I would have to agree that computer use could be addicting but can also be educationally beneficial, as we saw in the Bronx, and can form meaningful friendships or relationships.  As an example of friendships via computer, one of the first things that come to mind are famous Youtubers Jenna Marbles and sWooZie.  Both Youtubers talk about their lives and advice that they have through their videos which are seen by thousands of people.  They are just a couple of Youtubers, who are able to go out to conventions with hundreds of other Youtubers who reach out to their fans inside and outside conventions.  Friendships are bound to form and always seen within the Youtubers and with their followers.  Although I’m not quite sure if I was able to relate the Youtubers to the Digital Nation video or explain my opinion very well, I still hold the belief that friendships can form through the internet. 

Jenna Marbles – Draw My Life

sWooZie – Draw My Life


Blog 2 Popular Culture

Out of the ideologies that Storey mentioned in his article, the third definition that involves the ‘ideological forms’ interests me the most.  This form “always presents a particular image of the world” which help form the views on cultural morals.  Although popular culture is “simply culture which is widely favored or well liked by many people” people within that culture still think differently and have conflicting views.  Therefore, I think it is interesting how art within popular culture can show differing viewpoints of the same world.  I agree with German playwright Bertolt Brecht that every theatrical performance has to have affect the audience in some way and the only way to achieve this is by introducing sides and create conflict.

Storey went on to describe his definitions of popular culture and his second definition of popular culture being the “left over after we have decided what is high culture” stood out to me the most.  It was easier to picture this definition of popular culture because it makes sense to me that this is the way popular culture appears.  If high culture and low culture does exist, there would have to be a middle culture to also exist.  If the average person is a someone who fits the “middle culture” category creates the majority of our society then popular culture is more likely to emerge since it comes from the majority of our society.

Some of us may already know of the new Batman vs Superman movie that is in the making and I believe that this is a perfect example of how a theatrical performance has to bring conflict within the audience.  For some, the Dark Knight is the greatest superhero in his universe and for others it may be the Man of Steel; but ultimately, they are both popular are well liked in our society.

Week 1’s Blog

“1861 to 1865…..wasn’t that around Columbus?” -1980s new story on E.D. Hirsch’s Cultural Literacy
When I first heard the reporter mention this time period, it sounded familiar to me but, I could not place what world event in the United States was occurring.  As soon as I heard the reporter mention President Lincoln, something in my mind clicked automatically and i had linked the time period immediately to the Civil War.  Now that I actually do think of it, it makes sense in relation to the 1900s.  Knowing World War I happened in the early decades of the 1900s I can create a timeline in my mind and see that the Civil War era was during 1861-1865 although the time period sounds like it is much more ancient that it sounds.  Maybe that was why the young lady stated that that was during the time of Columbus because 1861 sounds so far away from 2014, its actually one hundred and fifty three years ago which is easily lifetimes and generations ago!  However, from when the news report filming in the 1980s, 1861 was a little over a century before allowing the lady should have been able to orientation herself before she could have answered the question.  So it was a bit ridiculous to guess Columbus to have “discover” North America and for the United States to build itself up to that point within a hundred and twenty years.  I feel that it would be unfair to have someone tells a one term, period or phrase and have us regurgitate information which would be defined as being “culturally illiterate” without any points of reference that we can use to link information and give a knowledgeable answer.

The list of terms and phrases that were shown to us as a short test of our cultural literacy in the article “Are You Culturally Literate?” was a bit challenging for me to place.  Just how the author struggled, “I could place most but not all of them appropriately.” I only knew seven for sure and a rough understanding of about five others out of twenty one.  I do not think I have ever heard of some of the terms that were listed at all and the others that I vaguely knew about was only because I believe I have a pretty decent memory so I was able to bring up past school lessons.  I believe it would be extremely difficult for E.D. Hirsch to teach the meaning of these terms if they were to be given to school children in the same format as in the article.  I have not read Hirsch’s book but I imagine it having phrases upon phrases that are matched with an explanation, much like a dictionary.  Without having any way of relating terms and linking them to the big picture it would be very difficult to learn these terms and achieve “cultural literacy”.


In the Hirsch vs. Hirsch article, the author claimed that “he (Hirsch) has been developing lesson plans that have been adopted by schools all over the country, and the results are impressively substantive.”.  It would be really interesting to see what kind of lesson plans Hirsch had created with his students and how impressive the results were compared to the modern method of teaching.  It could be used as a way to back up Hirsch’s teaching of cultural literacy and may allow other schools to test out his methods.
The link above was a video on the visual representation on the terms that can be seen in Hirsch’s book.  For those who are visual learners, it is much easier to be able to understand the terms in comparison to reading the terms and trying to relate those terms to a historic event.  The terms that were shown in the video appear to be more diverse and easier phrases than those that were shown in the article which were harder to understand in my opinion.


This small comic strip illustrates the difference in two generations.  It is related to E.D. Hirsch’s cultural literacy because even between two generations that are back-to-back, the terms that are said and used are very different and has to be updated for society to remain “culturally literate” although this strip can be seen to be not very serious.


In the end, I believe that Hirsch has a good intentions for Americans to be “culturally literate” but, it will be very difficult to actually teach the terms that define literacy for many reasons.  For example, some people have trouble learning by reading terms and matching them to an explanation, some of the terms are not seen or taught in modern day schooling, and the generation gaps can have a huge impact on what terms are used in modern society.  However, it would be interesting to seen how Hirsch’s schooling can effect cultural literacy in society because I believe that it is important to have a general knowledge on our culture such as the Civil War era.