Staff Picks 2016 – April Edition


Glide is an app for instant, asynchronous video messaging. Instant, because the app will notify your friends as soon as you start recording, so they have the option of watching you live. Asynchronous, because your friends must wait until you are finished recording before they can record back to you. Besides this medium’s richness in terms of face-to-face communication and conversation threading, it also doesn’t take up storage on your phone. Funny enough, this unique combination of features has landed Glide in the lap of the Deaf community. The Deaf community is now a huge support base for Glide, and has even come up with a sign for Glide. The app’s creator, Sarah Snow, has recognized her following in the Deaf community and embraces the app’s role in facilitating sign language communication. All of her shared videos now include captions and she announced that she is starting to learn sign language. A closer look at this phenomenon reveals one of the primary reasons this community prefers Glide to other communication technologies: it helps to overcome the English barrier that many Deaf users face. Glide’s structure also aligns with Deaf values like transparency and access to information. The app not only requires you to connect with friends before sharing videos, but it operates in a visual spatial modality, which matches the natural language of the Deaf community. The unintentional adoption of Glide into the Deaf community is shaping accessibility and culture—it will be interesting to watch where it goes from here. – Julia Wardle pantene





Jumping into its 4th season, Orphan Black remains my primary reason for subscribing to premium cable (besides GoT of course). The show follows the lives of a group of female clones (all played by the incomparable Tatiana Maslany) as they try to uncover the origins of their birth and where they come from. What they come across is a huge governmental conspiracy that went terribly wrong…and thats only season 1.  The show is a wonderful blend of the sci-fi, suspense, and thriller genres that breaks all of the rules you know about the genres. However, the series truly shines through the wonderful acting of Maslany, who gives each clone (their numbers are growing) a distinct personality, mannerisms, and attitude. The show returns on April 14 on BBC. I highly suggest you all check it out. If for no other reason: government sanctioned clones who are hellbent on taking down a global conspiracy. It’s just too good. Plus we have boy clones now as well!! – Tyler GoodridgeTyler gnovis pic_edited-1




When Snapchat first began, it was clearly used primarily for pornographic reasons. You had 10 seconds to view a picture and then it disappears, forever (though nothing actually disappears forever online, so do not believe that). But in the last three years, they have been able to build onto it and it has become one of the prime social media profiles, popular especially amongst Millennials and even younger generations. You can now have a “story” where you can document via pictures or video, plus some special effects of what is going on and your followers have 24 hours to view it. I recently used it to document an all day Chocolate Festival. My friends got to see all 20 of my samplings of the chocolate vendors, hear about the workshops and feel envious that I bought my ticket before it was sold out! I applaud the team behind Snapchat for updating and continuously working on how to make this not just popular but a useful phone app for all ages. – Tara Jabbari Tara Jabbari


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