The impact of emerging and current interactive media on specific aspects of our lives

Some of the students who sign up for my Introduction to Interactive Digital Media course don’t have a clue what interactive media is, which is pretty astounding to me because these technologies are so pervasive in their everyday lives. One of my goals in teaching this course is to help students understand the power of interactive media and appreciate the value of what they are learning. With this objective in mind, I give in my students an assignment to write a research paper that investigates how a specific interactive media technology has impacted or will impact a traditional process.

Some students pick obscure emerging technologies that could radically impact our everyday lives. For example, one recently wrote about the Microsoft Halo Lens and how it will “change how users interact with media forever.” Others pick a more commonplace interactive media technologies and investigate their unexpected impact in some niche area.  For example, another student researched how Spotify has the power to generate great exposure to new artists.

The beauty of this assignment is that it gets students thinking about how their lives have changed due to the pervasiveness of interactive digital media technologies and it makes them more aware of the changes that will surely come from new innovations.