Robust Note Taking Assignment: Emphasis

Don’t forget to emphasize!

Key Terms

Emphasis: the most important element on the page should be most prominent, the second most important element should be secondary in prominence, and so on.

Visual hierarchy: the arrangement of visual elements such as type and images on the page according to their order of importance and, consequently, emphasis.

Focal point: the visual element or part of a page that is most emphasized and therefore where the reader’s eye goes first.

Accents: obviously accent the other important points in the page

Content: the words, phrases, and graphics

Body copy: the small type

All-caps: designer speak for all capital letters


Brief Summary

What you choose to emphasize depends on the content of the message and which parts of the message are most important. You have to decide what information is most important and make it bigger, bold it, or add color. Emphasis proceeds in a logical manner and makes the page more visually interesting to look at. It is important to become more sensitive to the use of visual hierarchy and emphasis to be able to direct the attention of the reader when there is more than one piece of important information. You can train yourself by becoming more aware of what you notice first, second, etc and also being aware of what techniques caught your attention. A well thought out emphasis plan can help you influence what people think of first when they see your design. A clear visual hierarchy of information has a dramatic effect on the reader’s perception of your design. Beware of using all-caps. It gives the appearance of shouting and is difficult to read. Using images can also improve the appeal of the design. Be careful not to overuse emphasis.

Connections to Course Outcomes

Emphasis can play an important role in our class wiki so that we are able to point out the most important information that we want our readers to see. We need to be very careful to make sure that everything is cohesive and we aren’t overusing emphasis  because that can draw attention away from what’s most important to our audience.  We want our wiki to be visually appealing and I believe that the discussion we had in class allowed us to figure out what would be too much emphasis and what’s the right amount that we want to use for our project purposes.


Works Cited

Graham, L. (2005). basics of design: layout and typography for beginners. (2nd ed. ed.). Canada: Thomson Delmar Learning.

C.R.A.P. Robust Reading Assignment

Key Terms

Contrast: use separation for unlike elements (bold, whiting, line thickness, sizes)

Repetition: repeating aspects of design (Titles, 36 pts, underlining, hyperlink, shapes)

Alignment: justifying to emphasize key points (left, right, center, top, bottom, flush – text to picture)

Proximity: limit and separate unlike elements (separate elements with white space, lines, colors). put everything that is alike together


Brief Summary

Contrasting elements will help the reader figure out which page elements are related and which are separate. Good contrast separates main elements on a page and allows readers not to be distracted by similar elements on other sections. Don’t be afraid to make things dramatically different. The repeating nature of weblog entries down a page let’s you control how the user’s eye is guided down the layout of your site, and the correct spacing and design is crucial or else entries will cram into each other, users won’t be able to find key elements, or readers won’t be able to read  and comprehend your writing as well as they should. Repetition reinforces meaning to users and organizes information in a cohesive manner. This allows for visual consistency. Quality alignment and spacing is important in a layout design. Use left or right alignments, center the headings of pages but not the body, and use hard edges to line up all other elements. Proximity allows similar information to be grouped together to form a cohesive whole. Shows which page elements are group together and which are separate.

Connections to Course Outcomes

 C.R.A.P. relates to the course outcomes because the visual appeal of a webpage/blog/etc. plays a large role in the effectiveness of digital writing. We wouldn’t be so drawn to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr if it weren’t for the way they use contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity to draw us in. These sites are very effective in gaining their audience’s attention and keeping it.

Works Cited

Barryrunner. (2007, November 29). C.R.A.P. – Basic Layout and Design Principles for Webpages. Retrieved September 24, 2012, from

Replies To Classmates

Comment 1

Comment 2

Comment 3

Comment 4

Comment 5


From my classmates, I gained an understanding of how much digital writing is part of our everyday lives, how artists can get around illegal downloads by using variability, that creators of copyrighted materials don’t mind when their work is used for parody purposes, questioned if the manipulation of technology will impact what is known as reality, and realized that the gap between old and new media is slowly closing so that what’s considered old media will soon no longer exist.

Wiki Contribution

For the wiki, I contributed to the Collective Intelligence and the Distributed Cognition pages.


Collective Intelligence:

Another example of collective intelligence in this wiki assignment. As a class, we are all pooling our knowledge and our abilities to use research and the materials provided to us in this class to make this assignment successful. The key to this project is us working together. As individuals, we don’t know everything, so by collectively coming together, we are all adding more information that another classmate might have missed. We are also adding perspectives that other classmates might not have thought about.


Distributed Cognition:

Augmented Reality Video Games allow users to create a new reality every time they interact with the program. Software has been improved in such a way that a gamer can be looking through the screen of a gaming device (PSP, PS3, etc), see their own reality, but have extras added into it. AR games create fictional realities within the games themselves. People who create games like these are challenging the world around them and using the tools that they have to create new forms of intelligence.


Robust Note Taking Assignment: Manovich


To most people in today’s society, new media is considered to be technologically based. We see it as the Internet, web sites, computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMs and DVDs, virtual reality, etc. Manovich describes the history that new media took to get where it is now. Media now does have more of a technology base because it is more digitized. It is not more focused on distribution and exhibition as opposed to production. Old media was more focused on the production of the media itself; media now is more digitally focused and computerized. What began as a cultural based expression is now moving into a computerized revolution.


Key Terms:

Numerical Representation: all media is compromised from a digital code; they are numeric representations

Modularity: the “fractal structure of new media.” Media elements (images, sounds, shapes, or behaviors) are represented as discrete samples (pixels, polygons, voxels, characters, script). They combine into larger-scale objects while maintaining their independence at the same time.

Automation: The numerical coding of media and the modular structure of a media object allow for automation of many operations involved in media creation, manipulation, and access.

Variability: A new media is not something that is fixed once and for all, but something that can exist in different, potentially infinite versions.

Transcoding: there are two layers – the “cultural layer” (encyclopedia and the short story, short story and plot,  composition and point of view, mimesis and catharsis, comedy and tragedy) and “computerized layer” (process and packet, sorting and matching, function and variable, and computer language and date structure)

Old/New Media

Manovich makes a lot of connections between old and media throughout this article. Simply put, there would be no new media if it wasn’t for old media being established before. It went from simple texts, photographs, and illustrations to computer-automated programs, video games, virtual reality, and 3-D animation. Old media is more production based. New media is more independent.


Works Cited

Manovich, Lev: The Language of New Media. MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts / London, England 2001.

Thoughts of Fair Use, Copyright, & Creative Commons

Copyrighting has been something that’s been ingrained into my mind since high school. My teachers always stressed the importance of giving credit when credit is due. If someone works hard at something, they deserve to not have other people try to write it off as their own. I was surprised at the length that copyright laws last, but I do feel like it’s fair. I’ve known about the websites Flickr and Soundcloud, but I didn’t know they were called Creative Commons. I use sites like these on a regular basis to view the work of others or to find new musical artists that I may like. I love photography so on Flickr especially, I like to view the works of other artists. Although copyright laws, fair use policies, and creative commons can be annoying and frustrating at times because it limits access to certain media, they’re important to have so that the work of others is respected.


Key Words:

Poverty and Inequality: Poverty can absolute or relative. How thresholds of poverty are defined is contentious – what are basic minimum living standards? Relative poverty is defined in terms of inequalities: the poor in a wealthy country are likely to be better off than poor in a developing country.

Information society: a society where access to and manipulation of information becomes the key determinant of one’s place in society

Industrial society: a society where position depends on social relations under capitalism

Agrarian Society: a society where position depends on feudal relations such as land ownership

Meritocracy: a social order in which each individual acquires social status on the basis on merit: skill, ability and effort, rather than gender or class. Superficially a fairer society, the notion is in reality hypothetical due to complexities of defining merit and tends to cement social position, cosigning ‘non-elite’ members of society to unfulfilling manual labor.

Technological determinism: a belief that technology develops independently of society and in so doing is the central cause of consequent social ‘impacts’. Widely challenged, nevertheless the idea is found in many historical account of social change and lies behind countless predictions of future social trends.

Brief Summary

In this article, the author focuses on the inequality that exists among nations when it comes to access to new media. Equality of outcome tries to break the divide between the rich and the poor so that both have a greater chance of having access to digital technologies. Equality of opportunity is concerned with helping the poorest people and using policy to help them rise on the social ladder. This approach would have no effect on those that already have that access. One big problem with policy is that the more they venture into the digital world, the more they are widening the gap between those who have access to the technology and those who do not.

Ex: Accessing tax returns via internet, commercial transactions, etc.

Access to technology isn’t the only thing that will help break the divide. People have to have the willingness to want to be in the digital world and have the knowledge to use the technology. If you have access, but do not know how to use it, then there is no point in having it all.

Questions w/ Discussion:

Is this use and access of digital media that important to the society that we live in?

In my opinion, yes. We do live in a meritocratic society because we do perceive value as being able to access digital media and the way that we use it throughout our everyday lives. Those who use it more are seen as being higher up in society’s standards and those who don’t use it as over are seen as being out of the loop. In this generation, I’m not sure if poverty is a main factor in why the divide is so large. Many people just have no desire to engage in digital technology for various reasons.

Can access to new media technology create a more equal society?

I think that it would only create a more equal society if people were more open to using it. Those who grew up before the technology have very little interest in entering the digital world and see no reason to step outside of their comfort zone.


Works Cited

Lax, Stephen. Access Denied in the Information Age. New York: Palgrave Macmillan,, 2011.

Robust Note-Taking Assignment: Bolter


Key Terms

Immediacy: Sharing information with others very quickly

Hypermediacy: using visual representation to erase the medium in the viewer’s mind

Remediation: multiplying media by using old media. The Internet, computer graphics, and virtual reality rely on using old media such as tv, films, and art in order to create new media.




Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

Bolter points out that mediation is everywhere and has been around for a very long time. It has simply been refashioned over the years in order to create new forms of media. Over the years, remediation has become more advanced in order to make the view believe that they are part of the media. Things like virtural reality focus on that because by making the viewer feel as if they are within the media, it inspires creativity for future media. By continuously “revamping” old media, we are allowing ourselves to target different senses among the audience to make the media more effective.

Old/new Media


Bye Bye Old Media



Bolter references the connection between old and new media often throughout his article. He states that old and new media undergo a continuous cycle in which old media is always being used to create new media. Turning classic novels into movies, turning those movies into 3D simulations, and using those simulations to create video games is just one example of how media has been tranformed over the years. Print media for example is being left in the dust as we settle into a more technological world. We would not be able to create the new media we have today without the media that has already been produced.


Works Cited

Bolter, Jay David, and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000.

Robust Note Taking Assignment #1

Media literacy is a big part of today’s youth culture. Teen now belong to a participatory culture in which they value artistic expression and sharing their ideas with those around them. This culture makes teens feel like their opinions matter, their contributions and their voice matter. The involvement in this culture allows for today’s youth to learn, create, and acquire skills that will help shape their future.

Key Terms:

Participatory culture: a culture that is open to artistic expression and has a strong support for creating and sharing ideas. This culture makes its members feel as if their voice matters and creates a connection within the community.

Affiliations: members are apart of an online community such as Facebook, Myspace, Friendster

Expressions: members who participate produce new creative forms, such as digital sampling and skinning.

Collaborative Problem-solving: members work together in teams to complete tasks and develop new knowledge. Ex: reality gaming

Circulations: shapes the flow of media, ex: blogging

Media creator: someone who creates a blog or webpage, posted original artwork, photography, stories, or videos online or remixed online content into their own new creations

Connection to Course: 

In the generation that we live in, being apart of a participatory is important. This course, and others like it, educates students about different forms of digital writing and allows them to create the skills needs that will enable them to become part of this culture and help them in the future.

Other Related Material:

After reading this article, I did a search on how blogging is educational for students. I found an article in which an experiment was conducted on fourth/fifth grades students who were in a household in which English was their second language. By writing daily blogs, the creativity level and productivity level of the students increased. They also learned skills such as how to use the Internet to conduct research. This shows that it is very important for youth to engage in this participatory culture because they are gaining more that just social interaction. They are setting themselves up for success.

Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Cambridge, MA: The      MIT Press, 2009. Print.