Creative Commons
Creative Commons

New Media and Development Communication II:

Issues in International Politics, Culture and Education

This website represents the work of twenty-five students at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. In the course "New Media and Development Communications," a course created and led by Professor Anne Nelson, these students spent the fall of 2008 exploring the use of new media in developing countries. Their research built on the work of last year's class, whose work can be viewed at: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/sipa/nelson/newmediadev/home.html. The Fall 2008 class took a broader approach to the question of new media's impact on society. Their work examined some of the questionable effects of new media, such as its contribution to political violence and addictive behavior, as well as its manifold benefits to education and economic development.

These were the five areas of class research:
1. Human Rights looks at how new media are affecting human rights documentation and advocacy. It includes articles that take a closer look at the video documentation on Witness Hub and new media applications in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

2. Online Adaptation examines how U.S. and European-generated web products can overwhelm technology in low bandwidth environments. The section offers models for upgrading ICT infrastructure, an argument for how and why donor organizations should design their websites to fund in low bandwidth areas, practical suggestions for improving interactions between donors and recipients, including a model developed for local governments in Ecuador, and case studies in how to run e-literacy and telemedicine programs.

3. Web 2.0: Transcending Boundaries surveys unexpected applications of Web 2.0, especially in Asia. Differing cultural norms can lead to dramatically different practices, such as proposed on-line transplant organ exchange in Singapore and the "human flesh search" practice in China.

4. New Media Security & Crime presents a collection of articles on the ways new media has been adapted for criminal purposes, and the responses of government agencies concerned with security and law enforcement.

5. Cognitive Issues looks at the ways new media applications may be affecting our brains. Although scientific findings are far from complete,there is early evidence that computers and Web 2.0 activity are changing the ways that we read, learn and think.

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