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Internet, Social Media the Focus of ASU’s 2010 Holland Symposium

October 12, 2010

Two experts on the Internet and social media will address new technologies’ effects on politics and education during the 2010 E. James Holland Symposium on American Values Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 25-26, at Angelo State University.

Dr. James Katz, chair of the Rutgers University Department of Communication, and Howard Rheingold, author and pioneer expert on the Internet, will share their expertise on the burgeoning online experience.

The symposium, titled “The Role of Social Media in Politics and Education,” will explore the virtual explosion of texting, blogging and sites like Twitter and Facebook, and the benefits and problems they generate. Rheingold will deliver the keynote address, “Social Media, Pedagogy, and New Digital Literacies,” at 2 p.m. on Oct. 25. Katz will speak on “American Values and Democratic Participation: The Role of Social Media in the Obama Campaign and Administration” at 2 p.m. on Oct. 26. Both events will be in the ASU Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive.

Informal receptions at the ASU United Campus Ministries, 2453 Dena Drive, will follow both speakers’ discussions at 3:15 p.m. each day and are open to the ASU community and the public.

The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs sponsors the symposium. The speakers will also visit classes and attend symposium-related social events. All sessions are open free to the public.

Among many topics, Katz and Rheingold will discuss educational systems and political figures fully engaging social networking tools and schools offering instruction to anyone with an Internet connection to politicians going directly to the people with their positions on current issues. The two scholars will also address the question, “Is this new technology good or bad?”

Coining the term “virtual community” in his 1987 book by the same name, Rheingold defined social media before it existed. His track record of accurately forecasting technological advancements and coming Internet parameters is recorded in two decades of syndicated columns, best-selling books and pioneering online enterprises.

His current research and next book consider 21st century literacy, and the effective and credible use of digital media. The lecturer at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley is an authority on the marriage of the mobile phone, personal computer and wireless Internet.

Besides his post as Communication Department chair at Rutgers, Katz also directs the university’s Center for Mobile Communication Studies. He has written extensively on the convergence of technology, communication and policy in books and peer-reviewed articles. In 2009, he was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Twentieth Century Communications History at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano (Italy) and was awarded the Medalion per il Lectio Magistralis.

The Holland Symposium was established in 1984 by then-College of Liberal and Fine Arts Dean E. James Holland. When Holland retired in 2003, the board of regents named the symposium in his honor. In its 26 years, the symposium has brought more than 50 nationally prominent scholars, academicians and policymakers to the ASU campus to spur thought and debate on issues relevant to American society.

For more information, contact Dr. Trey Smith at 942-2315, ext. 235.

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