Technology in education and society
What do current and emerging technologies mean for us and for our students?




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  Monday, August 18, 2003

The Myth of Generation N. Shifty pointed the way to an interesting one from Technology Review. The Myth of Generation N says that the notion of universal computer competence among young people is a myth. And the techno-laggards among us risk being relegated to second-class citizenship in a world that revolves around, and often assumes, access to information technology.

"As a society, we need to come to terms with the fact that a substantial number of people, young and old alike, will never go online. We need to figure out how we will avoid making life unbearable for them." []
Here's a thought-provoking one. As those of us in the wealthy, privileged sections of society rush ahead with technological innovations, how are we providing for the ones who aren't being carried along? This is the issue of the Digital Divide, but this article puts a spin on it that caught my attention.
7:23:04 AM    comment []

  Sunday, August 17, 2003

Information Literacy in Europe. A comprehensive review article about information literacy in Europe has been published in the current issue of Information Research . Virkus, S. (2003) "Information literacy in Europe: a literature review." Information Research, 8 (4). [Information Literacy Weblog]
The article referred to in this post has some very good quotes that would be useful to anyone needing an overview of the importance of information literacy in today's world. (Does anyone need to prove that importance any more?) I'm interested in this article because of the European perspective, since Europe is where I live right now. I need to deal with my prejudices and stereotypes that have only recently allowed me to acknowledge that good work in my field is coming out of Australia. What chauvintists we Americans tend to be!

6:12:25 PM    comment []

A Young Writers' Round Table, via the Web. Many young students struggle with writing. But online technology is helping students improve skills by offering them an audience for their work. By Lisa Guernsey. [New York Times: Education]
The attraction of having a peer audience is so strong that many students have started writing essays and stories that are posted during after-school hours to teenage e-zines, Weblog diaries (or blogs) and Wikis (blogs with multiple authors), often without their teachers' knowledge. "Young people have not waited for schools, they have not waited for adults," said Mr. Bloome of the National Council of Teachers of English. "They have gone and moved ahead."

So we need to catch up. One way is to make use of blogs and e-zines and wikis, but it's not easy to get teachers interested. I'm considering how I might create some kind of after-school activity that would give students the chance to try out some new online techniques and demonstrate them to teachers.
4:16:52 PM    comment []

With the Apples Arriving by E-Mail, Teachers Adapt. Teachers learn new tricks as the Internet expands their professional horizons. By Barnaby J. Feder. [New York Times: Education] Here we go! I wonder what new ideas and trends will blossom in the coming school year!? This article even mentions weblogs, which makes me hope that someone at my school will begin to see the uses.
4:05:18 PM    comment []

  Friday, August 1, 2003

Between Technology & Teacher Effectiveness. From Tech-Learning Magazine - A great article by Joan Cunningham that really brings home the crucial role that professional development has in integrating technology into teaching. [Education Librarian]
11:49:57 AM    comment []

  Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Amazon Plan Would Allow Searching Texts of Many Books. is negotiating with book publishers to assemble a searchable online archive with the texts of thousands of nonfiction books. By David D. Kirkpatrick. [New York Times: Books]
There are already plenty of people who use Amazon instead of a library catalog to see what books are available on a certain subject. This new feature would at least allow more opportunity to evaluate a source. It seems as though there are a lot of implications to consider here, however.
11:30:43 AM    comment []

  Thursday, July 17, 2003

Wireless at UBC.

Wireless Case Study - UBC (.pdf): Interesting comment on their rationalization for going wireless - because it's becoming a part of part of the everyday lives of students - cell phones, handhelds, notebooks. In other words, students expect it. Neat idea - an educational facility responding to the life habits of learners...:).

[elearnspace blog]Yes, this is what I'm on the lookout for.
8:17:30 PM    comment []

  Tuesday, July 15, 2003

This article about a school in Tennessee was referred to in today's ASCD Smartbrief.
Rucker Stewart Middle school took advantage of a Palm Digital Media and Lightning Source deal to allow schools to download e-books for $750. The e-books allow the school to offer classics not available in its library, and the program has proven to be popular among students.
Of course the books they're talking about downloading are all free on the internet, and they're not exactly current YA literature, but the point seems to be that using technology, i.e. pda's, will get the kids excited about reading.
"I see you hooking students you would not get with a normal book," said former Rucker Stewart teacher Sue Cooper, who persuaded the parent-teacher organization to fork out for the e-books last spring. "The ultimate goal is to hook kids on reading any way you can."
And my favorite quote...
"Some parents questioned whether kids would read a whole book off of a Palm Pilot," she said. "But they sit for hours looking at a game, so kids would probably do it."
I'm not so sure about that. Personally, I like having a book on my Visor, for times when I have to sit in a waiting room, for example, but I buy current literature to read that way. Not that kids shouldn't be be reading Verne and Alcott, but if they don't have lots of choices for reading material, the novelty of using the technology this way will wear off pretty quickly. Maybe if we reformat the classics as comics and then put them on a pda....(just kidding).
9:44:47 AM    comment []

  Friday, July 11, 2003

DC Metro Blog Map. An article in Slate by Brian Montopoli, City Wide Web - City "blog maps" enable point-and-click sightseeing, discusses the premise behind blog maps. His example, D.C. Metro Blog Map, [is] a subway map of Washington, DC, which denotes "blogs" in the vicinity of Metro subway stops.
Might be interesting to do something similar with a school map. By moving the mouse over a school map, student and teacher blogs would pop up... [by way of...Smart Mobs] [Education/Technology - Tim Lauer]
I like this idea, especially since the new design for our library web pages starts from a map of the school. Hmmm.
10:30:09 AM    comment []

Hypertag! You're it..

Saw this article in Wired News today about Hypertag technology: Wired News: Cell Phones, Billboards Play Tag.

The idea is to attach little smart tags to all variety of displays (billboards, posters, musuem exhibits) that would allow users of mobile technology to access digital content about the display. So you could go to a museum, check out the mummy exhibit and call up relevant web materials related to mummies.

There could be endless applications for this. How about we put these Hypertags in every book on our shelves? The user points at a book and immediately the OPAC listing appears, or the NYT book review, or even, dare I say it, Amazon reader opinions. Maybe we can use Novelist and the like to call up a page of related books based on our catalog's descriptors. See where I'm going with this? Seems like we should be keeping our eyes on this technology and our minds open to the possibilities.

[Open Stacks]
10:04:23 AM    comment []

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Last update: 8/18/03; 8:10:22.

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