New Media Learning Practices among Higher Education Students in Ghana

New media technologies usage is very prevalent among students enrolled in higher education in Ghana. Its use can help in fostering knowledge acquisition if students use them for academic purposes. The study aimed, through the survey method, to establish how university undergraduate students were using new media technologies and whether learning had any share in all of that. The sample was taken from across the undergraduate student population of the University of Professional Studies, Accra making sure there was representation from all four undergraduate levels. Findings pointed to the fact that smartphones, laptops and tablet computers (in that order) were the three top new media devices to which respondents had access and owned. The laptop was the number one new media device used for studies. Also, the internet came out as the main channel through which respondents accessed information for studying, apart from the lecture room. The study recommends that universities could take advantage of the popular use of smartphones, laptops, and tablets to develop academic apps in the form of departmental apps, programs of study apps and course apps which students will download on their phones for study purposes.

From a Western Phenomenon to a Global Phenomenon

This article examines the globalization of reality television by comparing popular reality shows in the United States and China. This research attempts to transcend common debates concerning globalization (i.e., cultural homogenization and glocalization) by emphasizing what exists on the margins of these arguments. The author instead focuses attention on the micro-level consequences of the globalization of popular culture—the potential anxieties and insecurities facing Chinese and American citizens. The author reviews foundational studies of globalization that pinpoint these anxieties to the increasing disconnect between what people want and state power. Using Schudson’s theory of popular culture the author proposes that the reality television content that is popular in these two locales indicate viewer’s primary sources of anxiety but also works to remedy these anxieties in accordance with the values and goals of the nation state. The findings of this article are based on a theoretical explanation of what is culturally resonant in each nation and even politically necessary. The author calls for future research to critically engage with both the production of reality television and audience research on the genre as a means to more clearly understand its presence in the political sphere. Overall, this article adds to the literature by exploring the transaction between reality television, politics, and globalization.

Relationships between Human Beings and Objects: An Extension of Parasocial Interaction

Objects have been playing a crucial role as a medium of people’s interpersonal relationships and communication for a long time. Though the nature and types of objects evolved over time, their natural association shows presence of a strong interaction between them. Human-object interaction is, however, not studied widely despite having much research on relationships between two individuals. Keeping that idea in mind, this study examines human-object interaction, an extension of parasocial interaction, for a robust understanding on how the interaction develops and progresses between a person and an object over time. Findings of the analysis include that frequent use of and visiting an object create a one-way interaction of users or visitors with that object, and the human-object parasocial interaction evolves in phases.