Professor Ken Calhoun Speaks to Elon Students About Interactive Media

By Carolyn VanBrocklin

On Wednesday April 8, Professor Ken Calhoun spoke to Janna Anderson’s class about interactive media and the new iMedia major at Elon University.

Professor Ken Calhoun speaks to Reporting students about the increase in use of interactive media.

Professor Ken Calhoun speaks to Reporting students about the increase in use of interactive media.

Calhoun spoke about interactive media and using it to extend one’s reach through the internet.

“Interactive media is allowing us to communicate in other ways,” Calhoun said. We can tell stories and reach wider audiences through such interactive media and Web 2.0.

These days there is a two way system of communication. It allows for participation, choice and control, like choose your own ending books. “The permutations of experiences are endless,” Calhoun said.

Interactive media users can have unique experiences within set limitations. “That’s what people want from their media and technology is now enabling that,” Calhoun said. The choices are endless, convenient and available.

Calhoun said that there are three “flavors” to interactive media: storytelling, responsive visuals and conversation.

“I like the word flavors because first of all it reminds me of ice cream,” Calhoun said. “But secondly flavors kind of suggests that there’s some blending and mixing of opportunities.”

These pieces of interactive media give users options for online use.

“I consider multimedia to be things that aren’t necessarily interactive,” Calhoun said. There are opportunities to have a media experience you can navigate yourself.

Calhoun showed the class examples of sites that match the definition of interactive media, such as and These sites are mostly storytelling tools that show the variety of internet applications that can be used to put them up.

To make an attractive site, web designers must make it self-revealing, responsive and rewarding, Calhoun said.  Otherwise people will not spend much time there. The web is a platform for communication, and people want their information to come from there.

“It’s almost a broadcast kind of mentality,” Calhoun said, referring to RSS feeds that keep people constantly updated.  When competing in a technology heavy world, staying on top of the trends and what audiences expect is important.

Watch Professor Ken Calhoun define interactive media:

Watch Professor Ken Calhoun describe aspects of interactive media:


One Response

  1. […] This is a project that I completed for my fall 2008 class, Digital Media Convergence, taught by Ken Calhoun.  My story is based on an autumn family tradition.  I chose to have my younger sister narrate the […]

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