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Fall 2019 Newsletter


Headshot: Cindy VincentDear CTEC Members,

I am excited to be leading the division this year as Head of CTEC. I have been a dedicated member of the division for the past eight years and look forward to shaping the direction of the division this upcoming year.

The officers and I have been very busy planning next year’s conference in San Francisco and hope to see all of you there. We are excited for the collaborative opportunities that will be available for our division in one of the best communication technology capitals of the world. We will keep you updated as deadlines for papers, the Best of Digital competition, and the Midwinter conference approach.
We have also been busy working on refining the specific mission for our division and what makes CTEC uniquely different from other divisions and interest groups at AEJMC. We are focusing on how our division brings together researchers, teachers and professionals across divisions who are interested in how emerging communication technologies are changing media, organizations, and society.
Our division goals for this year include increasing membership, continuing to refine the CTEC identity and brand, increasing communication with our membership, increasing AEJMC interdivision collaborations, and continuing to promote and maintain the Gene Burd Communication Technology Division Research Award. On top of that, this year we will also be undertaking a CTEC program review and appreciate your feedback and perspectives on how our division can continue to grow and thrive.
CTEC strives to create a sense of community for our members through our website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. Be sure to sign up for our listserv to receive up-to-date information like panel calls, paper calls, job opportunities and more.
We look forward to engaging with you this year!

Cindy S. Vincent
AEJMC CTEC Division Head
Table of Contents
1. Call for Abstracts: AEJMC 2020 Midwinter Conference!
2. Introducing the 2019-2020 CTEC Officers
3. The Demand for Digital

4. Rethinking Freedom & Responsibility on Social Media
5. A Conversation About our Past, Current, & Future Journeys to Teach Communication Technologies
6. AEJMC 2020 CTEC Panel Preview
7. BoW/BoD
2020 Competition

1. Call for Abstracts: AEJMC 2020 Midwinter Conference
The AEJMC Midwinter Conference is an annual forum for the presentation of research and debate in areas relevant to the AEJMC groups (divisions, interest groups and commissions) sponsoring the event. The conference provides a platform for presentations and extended discussions in a relaxed setting. 
Next year's AEJMC Midwinter Conference will take place on
March 6-7th, 2020 at the University of Oklahoma. The deadline
for submitting abstracts is December 1, 2019. We invite you to consider submitting a 600-800 word abstract (word count excludes author information and references. Abstracts should give a clear sense of relevant literature, research objectives, methodological approach, stage of research project (conceptual, data gathering, data interpreting), findings and conclusions.
2. Introducing the 2019-2020 CTEC Officers

CTEC is excited to introduce the officers for 2019-2020, including an expanded communications team!
Division Head: Cindy Vincent
Associate professor, Department of Media and Communication, Salem State University.
Teaching Focus: Media studies and public relations.
Research Focus: The power of civic media to facilitate self-empowerment, agency and civic engagement within historically marginalized populations; the use of dissent in democratic participation for negotiation of political power and social change.
Headshot: Mike Horning Vice Head: Mike Horning
Department of Communication, Virginia Tech; faculty affiliate, Center for Human Computer Interaction and ICAT Institute.
Research Focus: How technology innovations impact the news industry and support citizen engagement with news content; how people interact with news and information technologies.
Headshot: Hyosun Kim Research Chair: Hyosun Kim
Assistant Professor, Indiana State University
Research Focus: influencer marketing, user-generated content, parasocial interactions, direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs, corporate social responsibility
Headshot: Hyunjin Seo Midwinter Chair: Hyunjin Seo
Associate Professor, Docking Faculty Scholar, University of Kansas
Research Focus: The intersection of digital media, civic engagement and international communication. She has conducted research on how social collaborative networks, facilitated by digital communication technologies, help mobilize movements or address social problems at local, national or international levels.
Headshot: Hyun Yang Best of Digital (BoD) Competition Co-Chair: Hyun Yang
Penn State College of Communications
Research Focus: human-computer interaction and computer-mediated communication
Headshot: Peg Achterman Best of Digital (BoD) Competition Co-Chair: Peg Achterman
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Journalism, & Film, Seattle Pacific University
Creative Focus: Photographic essays, video, and interactive websites. Research Focus: Examining changes within print and broadcast newsrooms as they incorporate web and multimedia into daily news work.
Headshot: Devin Knighton Communications Committee Chair: Devin Knighton
Assistant Professor. School of Communications, Brigham Young University
Research Focus: How big data from social networks influences the communication strategy of the organization and its relationships with stakeholders.
Headshot: Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch Website Manager: Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Connecticut
Teaching Focus: Social media, new communication technology, and media effects
Research Focus: The use of social media for information sharing as a form of communication, specifically in the areas of news, self-disclosure, and health-tracking.
Headshot: Gina Baleria Newsletter Manager: Gina Baleria
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication & Media Studies
Sonoma State University

Teaching Focus: Digital media content delivery, media writing, radio & podcasting, media ethics
Creative Focus: Podcasting; Digital Communication & Equity
Research Focus: Digital Media Literacy, News & Information Literacy, Digital Engagement Across Difference
Headshot: David Silva Social Media Manager: David Silva
Assistant Professor, School of Communication Studies & School of Digital Sciences, Kent State University
Research Focus:
Digital discussion, social media, and how online spaces can improve (or get in the way) of conversations that benefit our democracy
Headshot: Lin Li List Serve Manager: Lin Li
Michigan State University, Department of Media & Information
Research Focus: The effects of new media technologies, psychosocial determinants, and health behaviors/outcomes
Headshot: YoungAh Lee Teaching Chair: YoungAh Lee, Ph.D.
Graduate Studies Director, PR MA program; Associate Professor, Public Relations; Department of Journalism, Ball State University
Research Focus: Investigating the impact of strategic communication with an emphasis on reputation management and social media
Headshot: Soo Young Bae PF&R Chair: Soo Young Bae
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Research Focus: The far-reaching social and political impact of new communication technologies, with a particular focus on the dynamics of user interaction and information flow in social media platforms. Her program of research explores how the flow of news and information becomes increasingly ingrained in existing social relationships, and how it shapes our attitudes, behaviors, and relation to one another.
3. The Demand for Digital
By Devin T. Knighton, Ph.D., APR,  CTEC Communications Chair
A close up of a car Description automatically generated

Communication Technology members and friends, as we wrap up this semester and begin looking toward the future, I can’t help but think about the sequel to the classic movie, “Back to the Future.” In the second installment of the film series, the main character, Marty McFly, travels from 1955 to the future (2015), and while in the future, discovers technologies such as facetime video calling, hover boards, and flying cars. 
Although we are now five years beyond the prophesied future state of 2015, we still do not have flying cars or hoverboards. However, we are witnesses to amazing new technologies about which movie producers could not have dreamed. 
As scholars and professors interested in exploring the impact communication technologies have on society, we have the opportunity to go beyond predictions of which type of technology will play a dominant role. We can leave that to the computer scientists. Instead, our responsibility is to understand how technologies are impacting organizations, culture, and society.
Recently I took a group of communications students on a trip to San Francisco to meet with public relations and digital marketing agencies. As we toured their offices, I saw firsthand and heard the strong desire these agencies have to find students who understand digital media. Even strategic communications agencies were interested in students or new professionals who could help them make sense of the changing communication technology landscape.
If you are looking for a community of scholars and professors who want to understand the demand for digital and the role communication technologies play in society, you have found the right home in CTEC. As the communications chair for the division, I have organized a communications committee that is collaboratively working together to build unity and a sense of community among our division members. We believe community matters because it enables us to learn from each other, build upon each other’s work, and discover together some of the affordances, opportunities, and constraints of new communication technologies.
We may not be able to discuss how flying cars are going to change communication in society, although that would be super fun. Still, we can discuss social media, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. We can be on the lookout for other new technologies and be the first to identify their impact on organizations and society. We can go to the future, if in no other way than by researching, writing, and teaching about it. But we can’t do it without you. So come with us, and join us in welcoming the year 2020.
Devin Knighton is an Assistant Professor of Public Relations in the School of Communications at Brigham Young University. He earned his Ph.D. in Public Relations from Purdue University in August 2019 and his Masters in Strategic Public Relations from The George Washington University in May 2010. Knighton also earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Universal Accreditation Board in 2016.

4. Rethinking Freedom & Responsibility on Social Media
By Soo Young Bae, Ph.D. (Professional Freedom and Responsibility Chair) 
With the proliferation of user-created content on various social media platforms and the growing impact that this content has on users, the question of freedom and responsibility associated with using these platforms becomes increasingly relevant.  
Concerns have been raised that social media platforms, which once promised to connect the world, could also be deliberately exploited to spread “fake” news or disinformation, calling for more robust fact-checking mechanisms in online social networks. While these concerns can be addressed from various perspectives, the responsibility of the social media companies themselves, in allowing fake or unverified content to spread through their networks, has recently received much media attention.  
Section 230 of the United States Communication Decency Act states that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider" (47 U.S.C. § 230).  
Some claim that this provision has enabled the exponential growth of online communication platforms and social networks, in part because it protected social media companies from being held legally responsible for the content that their users freely publish through their platforms (Brannon, 2019). While social media companies have established and enforced their own guidelines to date, legislators also question whether it is time to rethink this provision to reflect the changing landscape of the web, balancing the freedom and the responsibility in information dissemination and consumption on these open networks.
Brannon, V. (2019). Liability for Content Hosts: An Overview of the Communication Decency Act’s Section 230. Congressional Research Service
Soo Young Bae is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Bae is interested in the far-reaching social and political impact of new communication technologies, with a particular focus on the dynamics of user interaction and information flow in social media platforms. Her program of research explores how the flow of news and information becomes increasingly ingrained in existing social relationships, and how it shapes our attitudes, behaviors, and relation to one another.

5. A Conversation About our Past, Current, & Future Journeys to Teach Communication Technologies
By Dr. YoungAh Lee, Ph.D., CTEC Teaching Chair

As I’ve planned our CTEC teaching newsletter, I thought it would be nice to have a conversation among fellow educators about own experiences, struggles, tips and path forward. This conversation happened among well known social media educator Dr. Matthew Kushin, CTEC teaching chair Dr. YoungAh Lee, and Ball State University graduate student Becca Schriner
Courtesy: Felicia Buitenwerf
YoungAh: Traditionally trained educators are not well exposed to new technology. Simply, we were trained to think in terms of theory and designing studies but not about integrating the most current technologies into a classroom. Did you ever struggle in updating your skillsets and turning them into teaching material?
Matt: Yes. It’s an ongoing struggle because everything changes so quickly. It feels to me that things are changing more quickly now than ever before. 
I think earlier on, when I was younger, the tools were more part of a day-to-day life in the sense of interacting with friends and family. You become more native to those platforms because you’re using these as a way to get to know people or as a way to express yourself. Bringing that into teaching felt a lot more seamless. Whereas—as I’ve gotten older—I don’t have the same time for a social life as I did before. 
I am trying to remind myself that it is a marathon, and there are parts of it that sometimes you have to pace yourself and say, “Okay, maybe I can’t jump on this right now. Let me see where that is going, and let me observe what others are doing and then find a way in which I can fit this into my time and my skill set and my interests and my passions. Then maybe I can try to overcome some of these hills.”
YoungAh: I understand it looks like you are mostly self-teaching with some of these new tools. Where did you find the resources to self-teach those tools and then integrate them into your teaching?
Matt: I try to find information everywhere and anywhere that I can. I think educator communities—like the Social Media Professors Facebook Group has been a marvelous resource. Through there, you can survey that space and see what people are talking about, what they’re learning, and what they’re seeing coming up as trends—or what they’re struggling with. 
If I pick up on something that sparks my interest, I will dive into it and see where I can find more information about it. It could be articles. It could be YouTube videos. It could be conversations with people or sharing emails with people and asking them if they have any resources. I’m always keeping OneNote notebooks, repositories—a place to dump ideas and things that I want to be blog posts or things I want to learn about.
Becca: What is your best advice for educators, who are teaching social media and emerging technologies, to give their students? How would you encourage those educators to teach students a new perspective on something they already think they know?
Matt: I think the most important thing is for students to understand that they might be digital natives, they might know this stuff inside and out, […] but it’s a different world to take this and drive measurable results. At the end of the day, whoever is paying you—to put it in the most basic way—they’re interested in driving results. So, how do you show those results? How do you talk about what you’re able to accomplish?
As I’ve grown, I also try to think that I can’t teach a student everything. What I’m trying now more to do is teach them to have critical thinking skills, to be able to understand that they’ve learned how to analyze these three or four things. As they continue to learn and […] realize that they do need some kind of insights, [they will] use that to create some kind of content. If they understand the foundation of how to do that and you’re able to make that connection to them and they have the basic skills of that, then they can extrapolate and develop it. 
We are teaching people who are the start of something. We are not teaching somebody who is 10, 20 years in and so I try to take the perspective that I’m teaching them a foundation of knowledge and skills and expertise that’s going to serve them for a career. I think we also have to be kind to ourselves as educators and understand that we’re there to help them grow.
YoungAh: Do you have any other advice or strategies that you want to share with educators?
Matt: The things that you are doing in the classroom, because this is an evolving space, create opportunities for doing pedagogical research. I know that AEJMC has GIFT (Great Ideas for Teaching), and the Teaching Scholarship panel—so there is definitely a market for that and definitely a need for that. The things people are doing in the classroom create great opportunities to do some scholarship, and then present that scholarship or publish that scholarship, and then go and inform and help other people with their teaching.
I would just add that tinkering with things, playing with things, experimenting in the classroom, and failing in the classroom is not a failure. That is what it’s all about. You are trying different things. You’re learning different things and taking something into the classroom and seeing how it goes or finding it and improving it and saying, “This doesn’t really work—let’s try something different.” I think sometimes people are hesitant to make that step because, as educators, our students look to us and say that this person has to have it all figured out when they get here. As long as you go in there with a game plan and you’re prepared, even if you’re trying something new and taking a risk, I think that’s something that we shouldn’t have a fear of. 
Dr. Matthew Kushin is an award-winning educator and scholar, who has taught collegiate social media courses for over a decade. Matt is currently teaching and supporting students as the Concentration Coordinator of Strategic Communication at Shepherd University. In addition to being a professor, Matt is also the founder of the popular blog Social Media Syllabus—a social media education blog that examines trends, best practices, and teaching tips for social media educators (2019). Find his teaching resources at
Dr. YoungAh Lee is the Director of Public Relations Graduate Studies and an Associate Professor of Journalism at Ball State University. She has served as CTEC teaching chair and is passionate about teaching, researching and sharing tips and thoughts on teaching communication technologies with fellow educators. Contact her at
Becca Schriner is a first-year Public Relations masters student at Ball State University.

6. AEJMC 2020 CTEC Panel Preview
By Mike Horning, Ph.D., CTEC Division Vice Head
Logo: AEJMC 2020 SFEach year, members of each of AEJMC’s divisions and interest groups submit panel proposals for our upcoming AEJMC conference. Once those proposals are submitted, the Vice Heads of each division and interest group work together to identify proposals that each of their individual groups can support. AEJMC also seeks to identify panels in the areas of research, teaching and professional freedom and responsibility.

The CTEC Division has a number of proposals submitted this year, and to be honest, it was very difficult to choose. We had nine proposals submitted by this year’s CTEC members and an additional 25 proposals pitched to our Division by other AEJMC divisions and interest groups. Of those 34 proposals, we were able to work out “deals” for three panels in each of the areas of research, teaching and professional freedom and responsibility. Our goal this year was to connect with a variety of division and interest groups and to try to provide panels that reached a diverse set of CTEC members interests.

Our teaching panels cover a wide range of topics that I think will be of interest to our members. Our first panel will discuss the implementation of eSports into a media curriculum. We have a number of academics on the panel who have already established successful courses in their respective colleges and universities. CTEC also partnered with the Law and Policy Division and a number of tech and sci-fi writers in the Bay Area to look at where journalism may go in the future, and how those changes will impact journalism education. A third panel will include both Facebook representatives and educators who will discuss Facebook’s launch of their new Educator’s Portal. 

For our research panels, we’ve taken advantage of the opportunity we have to be in San Francisco, and many of our panels draw upon both academic expertise and professionals in Silicon Valley. Our first panel looks at how various political groups are using social media for their political campaigns with an eye toward understanding how social media may play a role in the 2020 campaign. A second panel will explore the media narratives about women in Silicon Valley and will also contain both industry and academic expertise. A third panel will include experts discussing how communication scholars can play a role in combating the spread of disinformation and misinformation online.

Finally, we have two Professional Freedom and Responsibility Panels. The first panel will look at how the television industry is addressing programming challenges in a world of multiplatform distribution. The second panel will look at some of the recent initiatives in the social media industry to establish partnerships with academics to advance research and share data. 

I would like to thank all of those who put forward proposals for this year. While were not able to select every panel that was put forward, we encourage members to continue to pitch ideas to us in the future. There were many, many great proposals suggested by division members, and I wish we had more time at the conference to explore them all. However, I am looking forward to what our members have proposed for this year’s conference. I hope to see you all in San Francisco!


Mike Horning is professor in the Department of Communication at Virginia Tech and a faculty affiliate with the Center for Human Computer Interaction and ICAT Institute. I am interested in how technology innovations impact the news industry. As an HCI researcher, I’ve worked on designs for civic and information apps that help to support citizen engagement with news content. As a social scientist, I use an experimental approach to study how people interact with news and information technologies.

7. BoW / BoD 2020 Competition
The deadline for the 2020 Best of the Web/Best of Digital competition is April 8, 2020
The Communication Technology (CTEC) and Visual Communication (VisComm) Divisions of the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication (AEJMC) co-sponsor this great Web and app design contest competition every year, and we invite you and your students to enter.  
Work submitted to this competition should advance education or research in journalism and/or mass communication. Past winners have included student online magazines, multimedia presentations, apps and photo essays. Please see CTEC for past winners.
The contest is open to faculty and/or students who work for or attend an institution that is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) or are current (paid) members of the AEJMC. University and college staff are not eligible. There is no entry fee, so please spread the word among your colleagues and students.
The full call for the competition will be posted by the end of this year. Please keep an eye on our newsletters and social media pages.
Hope to see you in San Francisco!
Hyun Yang & Peg Achterman, Ph.D.
Best of the Web/Best of Digital Competition Chairs

Headshot: Hyun YangHeadshot: Peg Achterman
Copyright © 2018 AEJMC CTEC, All rights reserved.

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Communication Technology Division - AEJMC · 360 Brmb · Brigham Young University · Provo, UT 84602-3702 · USA

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