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Cell phone photography.


YOU WOULD BE HARD PRESSED TO FIND A CELL PHONE THESE DAYS THAT DIDN'T HAVE A CAMERA. Social media sites and news organizations encourage photo sharing, but don't ask contributors to think through the consequences of sharing. A new class at Immaculata University (Pa.) looks at the art and ethics of taking pictures with a cell phone. "Professor [Sean] Flannery has emphasized that our contemporary digitally enhanced social society must include critical thinking in regard to intent," says student Bambi Girafalco. "I am amazed at how quickly we, as a society, have adapted to and implemented these photographical changes and uses."

The course is for students interested in design or digital media. Photographer Hunter Martin teaches students principles of composition, maximizing the capabilities of their phone cameras, and the use of photo editing tools available. Students selected their three best pictures for an April art show. Flannery also addresses the ethical use of these cameras in today's culture.

The course covers the responsibility of students as "citizen journalists," the social and legal consequences of "sexting," public/private space issues, and national security. "The protection of private space is gone," says Flannery. "The ability of people to take pictures of you at any moment exists. [We examine] the idea of people as commoditized objects." The discussion about images on Facebook resonates the most with the college students, he adds. Student Stephen D. Vujevich says, "The fact that online personal and professional Eves are now one and the same goes overlooked by untold masses of young adults and young professionals unfamiliar with the complexity of the technology and the repercussions their actions can have on themselves or others."

There were no restrictions placed on devices used for this class, but Flannery says future classes may require iPhones or Androids. He has already received four requests for the syllabus and a request from a nonprofit to speak to adult employees. "Late adapters might be caught up in the trend and be as unaware of the implications as the young people," he says.
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Title Annotation:COURSE CATALOG
Author:McClure, Ann
Publication:University Business
Date:May 1, 2011
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