(we thought Tuesday was a better day for a podcast lecture instead haha)



You will complete three two more projects during the term. At least one  must be was an essay as described below; the other two can be “new technology essays” using media other than text. Each student is urged to select projects that appeal to their own interests and career goals, but each project must be approved by the instructor prior to beginning work.

Projects: Round 2 projects due: 4/16

Written Essay

Traditional 5-6 page research-based paper. MLA style.


Create a blog ( or any free blogging service) and make at least three entries of 400-500 words. Post a link to MyCourses so others can find it. Respond to comments, and separately turn in a one-page summary reflecting on the experience.


Set up a Facebook group relating to a technology and collect relevant photos, links, wall posts. Invite lots of friends to comment. This project will require you to do some active promotion to get people to interact with your page!


Find a Wikipedia article on a topic with which you are familiar or would like to research, and modify the article by adding or revising content. Your modifications should be substantial (at least 1,000 words) and you will be required to follow up to observe the way your contributions are accepted (or rejected) by the Wikipedia community. You should (to the best of your ability) contribute to Wikipedia thoughtfully, and not attempt to post incorrect information. The idea is to contribute – not try to get rejected.


Script, create, and publish on YouTube a short (4-6 minutes) video clip, either illustrating technical proficiency in YouTube (creative use of annotations, for example) and/or on the topic of a new media technology/issue.


Become a Podcaster

Create three podcasts of 1-2 minutes each, addressing a different facet of another project topic (i.e. Facebook, Flickr, Wikipedia). Publish the feed to iTunes. REQUIRES HAVING YOUR OWN SERVER SPACE ON THE WEB. will serve some space for free…

Photostream your Ideas

Create a Flickr photostream (using your own photos or illustrations) illustrating new technologies, specifically showing people interacting with them. The collection should include at least 50 tagged and described photos.



Interact with other users of a Multi-User Virtual Environment to accomplish a task that demonstrates one or more course concepts and share the experience in a written narrative. You may use a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) such as World of Warcraft or a non-gaming MUVE such as Second Life.

Machine Assisted Public Presentation

Research and create a 15-20 minute presentation utilizing Powerpoint, digital video, animations, sound, Smart Board technology, and/or Skype. The presentation must relate to new technology and its uses, and must be given in class.


In this project you will “live tweet” an event as it’s happening. The event should be one that would typically be covered by traditional media (newspapers,radio) and should be an event greater than 2 hours in length (though, you may chronicle an event much longer — even over a few days — if you wish).

A successful Twitter project should incorporate many descriptive tweets, generating a feeling of “being there” for their followers.

Accompanying this project should be a 2-3 page (typed) critical thought expression on how tweeting is similar to and differs from traditional print journalism, and reflect on the experience.

Welcome to COM 120!

Welcome to COM 120: New Communications Technologies at Genesee Community College. There are a few unfamiliar names on my roster, so allow me to introduce myself briefly. For everyone else who knows me, skip directly to the syllabus.

Val Townsend, WEDG-FM, 2005

Val Townsend, WEDG-FM, 2005

My name is Val Bello. I am the Assistant Professor of Communications and Media Arts at GCC, and also the faculty advisor for WGCC Radio (n.b. if you participate in any media club on campus, you can earn up to 10 points extra credit on your final grade!!). This is my fifth year teaching at GCC. In addition to this course, I also teach COM 101 Intro to Mass Media, COM 110 Intro to Broadcasting, COM 102 Radio Station and SPE 108 Public Speaking. Prior to teaching at GCC, I have taught animation, digital photography/imaging and radio production at the University at Buffalo, Medaille College and Villa Maria College (all in Buffalo, NY). I graduated with an M.A. in English and Media Study from UB in 2006 and earned a B.S. in Media/Communications from Medaille in 2001.

Most of my media-oriented experience lies in the broadcasting field. I have been an on-air personality since 1999, having worked at 103.3 The Edge WEDG-FM from ’99-’06, and then working at Classic Hits 104.1 WHTT-FM from ’06-’08, on a full time basis. Outside of those experiences, I have also worked in the journalism/graphic design-layout and public relations fields.

Me & Jared Leto, in-store appearance for 30 Seconds to Mars new album, 2006.

Me & Jared Leto, in-store appearance for 30 Seconds to Mars new album, 2006. One of the many perks of working in radio!

Currently, I work part time weekends at WHTT and am also a voiceover artist. In addition to that, I am the digital media marketing consultant, and social media manager/trainer for Body & Soul Fitness in East Aurora, NY, and a freelance corporate trainer in social media tactics and presentation skills.

My three kids.

My three kids.

Phew. If you aren’t impressed by now, I don’t know what else to say. There are only so many hours in the day and I’m also the mom to a crazy-cute 3 year old, and two golden retrievers.

OK, so this class is about communications technologies; and while the title of the course is vague — this is what we will be primarily studying — social media and its effects.

There is no book for this course, because even though books exist (and I always fancy writing one…) on the topics of social media and new media, for the most part, they are hopelessly out of date by the time they make it to print! I read one last semester that had just come out that was still referencing MySpace.

Really? Really.

Social media is here to stay

Social media is here to stay

So, consider this blog your textbook/home base. I am truly not sure how much we’ll utilize Blackboard for this class yet — since in the past I have basically used this blog as the course website. So, let’s stay flexible on how/when we’ll be using Blackboard. For now, I will include some basics like the syllabus, my contact info, etc., there. For any assignment related things, if you need to access Blackboard, I will tell you in advance.


Overwhelmed yet?

This class incorporates both traditional lecture/discussion based on readings (which will all be online and posted here, so plan accordingly), and hands-on lab work with various social media platforms throughout the semester. Since this class is all about technology, and technology is always changing; I am very comfortable with this course evolving as we go. If there is a project that is not listed that you would like to do, for example, just talk to me about it and we can work something out that fits your specific academic/professional goals.

How about now?

How about now?

Well, the main point of this class is to get you up to speed in current trends in communication technology. And where everyone is usually varies from not-super-techy to “I have a Facebook-Twitter-LinkedIn-Wordpress-Tumblr-Flickr-Picassa-already-spend-my-time-on-Reddit-and-4Chan” types of students. If you find the work we are doing in lab is too simple for you — please speak up and we’ll have you work on something else. Conversely, if I am EVER going too fast (WHICH HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAPPEN!!), please speak up and slow me down. Unless you give me some direction, I won’t know if you are not getting something, or totally over it. So, feedback is welcome.

In a few minutes, I’ll be posting the syllabus. Stay tuned! Welcome to Spring 2013.