Types & Advantages of Technology Mediated Communication

5.1.2

Digital presentation aids are are images, objects, sounds, musical, or vocal additions that reinforce and create better comprehension of a concept or idea.

Audience response systems are real-time polling of the audience that allow the speaker to gather information from the audience

Connected screens allow for greater collaboration to seamlessly share content and ideas from various devices

Online learning platforms are digital applications used to enhance learning and make learning more collaborative

Learning management systems are used to manage and maintain learning records and data

Video conferencing services are tools for multiple people to collaborate simultaneously without using live audio/video of the participants

Webinars are a type of video conference that allows one person to present while other participants can only listen

Pre-recorded videos are videos that are not live and can be watched at any time.

Emails are electronic letters used to exchange information, usually formal in nature

Social media are platforms that permit us to connect with our friends and family to share ideas, thoughts, and photos with one another

Instant messaging (IM) are platforms that allow for instantaneous text communication, usually informal in nature

Curate your Visual Aids before your presentation in Pops Classroom

          The type of technology you use in communication depends on the channel a speaker is using to send their message. In an in-person conversation or speaking engagement, technology may include microphones, slideshows with projection screen, or amplification speakers. Digital presentation aids can be extremely effective for public speaking situations in a modern society. These visual (seeing) and aural (listening) aids enhance the audience’s connection with the speaker by providing a context, background, or frame of reference to a topic. Recently, audience response systems have become popular. These include real time polling of the audience enabling the speaker to make “on the fly” decisions about a presentation. These systems are also used to engage the audience and keep them interested in the content being discussed and presented. 


          Screens connected through mobile technology such as Bluetooth, AirPlay, or wireless projection allow for greater collaboration by empowering all participants to share ideas and content seamlessly. In the classroom, Pops Presenter allows your visual aids to appear on the classroom screen without the worry of flash drives, cloud drives, and passwords. 

          Online based platforms and methods are the bulk of technology based communication. As our educational systems move more and more toward global and online offerings, the technologies we use affect our ability to communicate. Students are able to receive information and potential course credit without ever having to step onto a college campus. Today, many institutions offer public speaking courses 100% online with recorded presentations or in a hybrid format with limited class sessions for presentations. Regardless of subject, classes online will utilize an array of technology to bring instruction to the course. Online learning platforms, like Pops Classroom, are digital applications used to enhance learning and make learning more collaborative. Online learning management systems, like Blackboard and Canvas, are systems used to manage and maintain learning records and data. As a student, it is important to have a basic understanding of how to use technology platforms in order to succeed.

          Tools such as Skype, and Facetime permit people to communicate instantly via audio and video conferencing no matter where they are. Often times these digital communication tools are at a lower cost and higher value than traditional methods of communication such as phone calls and letter-writing. 


          Video conferencing services, such as Zoom, AnyMeeting, and GoToMeeting, offer tools for multiple people to collaborate simultaneously without being in the same geographic area. Video conferencing systems allow for a recording of the conversation. Recorded video conferences can provide accuracy and help avoid plagiarism and misquoting later. You can go back and clarify what someone said and evaluate their nonverbal presentation styles. 
It is important to consider your audience’s abilities when choosing a video conferencing system. Transcription services of video conferences can automatically transcribe audio and video recordings instantly at a low cost. Transcriptions allow all users to participate regardless of hearing ability. Transcription also allows participants to have a written account of what transpired. The written account lets audience members concentrate on participating rather than keeping their own notes. 


          If you record or transcribe a video meeting, there are some etiquette rules you should follow. Always inform participants the session is being recorded/transcribed. Most video conferencing systems will show a recording symbol (red circle) on screen when a session is being recorded. However, don’t rely on these cues to alert participants, as a host it is your responsibility to inform participants. Allow participants who don’t want to be recorded the option to leave the session before recording. 


          In today’s society, job interviews are increasingly conducted over a video conferencing software first. This provides employers ways to conduct multiple interviews faster while limiting time in waiting rooms. This new method of business also reduces cost to both prospective employees and employers by not having to travel to an interview location for either themselves or an applicant. When applying for jobs, be prepared to do an initial interview utilizing technology mediated communication. 

          An additional style of instantaneous videos are webinars. Webinars are different from other video conferencing tools because they allow one person to speak while other participants remain in listen only mode. Webinar hosts can choose to include participants as speakers if they think it’s needed. Webinars are like a virtual classroom where one presenter can speak uninterrupted. Webinars are great for sharing new information, ideas, and programs. When we say webinars here, we are referring to live webinars not pre-recorded ones. 


          Pre-recorded videos are a separate form of technology mediated communication, as they are not live. Sites like YouTube have users record and post videos of just about anything. The pre-recorded videos let users share an experience with a multitude of viewers or audience members. These audience members aren’t necessarily receiving the message at the same time. This style of communication allows for the audience to have a unique reaction as they are not directly influenced (positively or negatively) by other viewers (unless of course they are watching together). 


          These pre-recorded videos are a powerful tool in communication as they allow the filmmaker a way to craft a narrative without the environmental barriers affecting a person who is present for the event. Live streamed videos don’t fall into this category as they more closely resemble webinars where only one camera feed is playing to multiple recipients simultaneously. 

          Emails are a tried and true form of technology mediated communication, they are electronic letters used to exchanged information. Emails are used by everyone from students, professionals, and retirees. Emails are a formal letter that is sent electronically to recipients. 


          Social Media is a technology-based communication method. Many of us probably use social media in some form on a daily basis, whether it be for fun or work. These platforms permit us to connect with our friends and family, sharing our ideas, thoughts, and photos easily with one another. Facebook is the largest social media provider in the world with an estimated 2.7 billion users distributed between its apps Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. Twitter is another large provider in the United States with its 280 character or less messages. China’s Weibo, WeChat, and Youku dominate the most populous country in the world. Back stateside, LinkedIn has become the leader in connecting professionals with other professionals and sites like Pinterest and Tumblr connect people who share common ideas, interests and hobbies. 

          Instant messaging (IM) such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp allow users to communicate with each other through instantaneous text communication. Generally, instant messaging in a workplace is reserved for informal conversations. Email is used for formal conversations as they can be easily tracked and preserved. 

          Many social media, instant messaging sites, and other platforms rely on various channels to convey meaning. Some of them include:

  • Short deleting videos are a creative way to communicate. Services like Snapchat, Facebook Stories, and Instagram Direct have exploded onto the scene in the late 2010’s. This type of technology mediated communication allow for users to send short videos to another (or multiple) people with the promise the video will be deleted after being viewed. It is important to note that the receiver could still record or screenshot what they are being sent. 

  • Memes are images that often contain text used to convey an emotion or feeling in a humorous fashion. Memes are shared frequently on social media platforms and in instant messages.

  • GIFs are another technology mediated communication method that are similar to memes. GIFs are short looping video images (without audio). GIFs are shared on social media platforms, instant messages, and elsewhere.

  • Short looping videos are a combination of short deleting videos and GIFs. Beginning with Vine in the early 2010’s, short looping videos have changed the way we communicate. Today, TikTok leads the way in short videos (set to music). This type of communication is often used to convey humor. 

  • Emojis are images used in-sentence to provide additional context and emotion to the message. Emojis are used in place of words. Emojis may not always be appropriate--in formal reports, letters, and legal documents they should not be used. 

          As technology progresses, these digital communication tools are blurring the lines of the overlapping services to consumers and professionals and are becoming as natural as a face-to-face conversation. 

Review Questions

1) How can various types of technology mediated communication utilize various channels (short deleting videos, memes, GIFs, short looping videos, and emojis) to convey meaning?

2) How are video conferencing services, webinars, and pre-recorded videos similar? How are they different?

3) What type of text communication is considered more formal in nature?

4) What are digital presentation aids?

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