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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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25 New Media Reshapes Economics and Jobs (Cheryl A. Casey)

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CHAPTER 25

New Media Reshapes Economics and Jobs

Cheryl A. Casey

It’s a maker’s world

In October 2014, my institution celebrated the grand opening of a new kind of space. This space was the Champlain MakerLab. In this facility, a new generation of inventors and entrepreneurs have access to equipment and other resources to design, prototype, and make all kinds of stuff.

Makerspaces are still a relatively new phenomenon, but they’re gaining ground at a steady pace (see Figure 25.1). What makes them so significant? Like so many other features of the hyperconnected, digital world, makerspaces democratize access to resources and opportunities—in this case, design, engineering, and creation.

For example, the Champlain MakerLab contains state-of-the-art 3D printers and scanners, a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter, electronics prototyping, and large format printers, among other tools. The goal of such makerspaces is to marry a DIY attitude with an emphasis on creating with technology. As shared spaces, these facilities nurture both individual innovation and community collaboration.

So who uses these spaces? Anyone! Early research shows that makerspaces are not the domain of any one demographic group. Major makerspaces have been popping up all over the world. This trend points to a significant shift in manufacturing and the global economy. The trend toward makerspaces has become known as the 3rd Industrial Revolution.

Revolutionizing manufacturing

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