Wednesday, November 23, 2005
All Users Are Not Necessarily Created Equal
By Jude Higdon, Project Manager
The Center for Scholarly Technology
University of Southern California
Complete story at Campus Technology:
A Learning is For Everyone, Inc. article recommendation.
Like many academic technology groups at campuses around the country, the Center for Scholarly Technology (CST) at USC has been wrestling with how to implement various types of social software, such as blogs and wikis, in the classroom. Over the past few years we have found some very good uses for blogs, including peer-reviewed journaling, Just-in-Time Teaching (Novak, et al, 1999), and meta-cognitive reflective practice. While we hit a few stumbling blocks early on, we seemed to be coming to some level of sophistication and adoption with the use of blogs as tools for enhancing teaching and learning as we entered into the 2005-2006 school year.
Use of wikis in the classroom has proved more elusive. While we never like to advocate the use of technology as an end of itself, our group saw great potential in the affordances of the wiki for teaching and learning. Students co-constructing meaning in a democratized digital space has a certain social constructivist (Bandura, 1976) elegance. And yet we struggled to impart this sense of potential to our faculty collaborators. By and large, people didn't seem ready for the freewheeling, uncontrolled wiki environment.
Learning is For Everyone, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 C(3) organization whose goal is to provide information resources on the web and assistance through its activities in all aspects of education from cradle to nursing home!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Expert offers tips to parents to help keep kids safe while on the internet.
On the heels of a 'Dateline NBC' investigative report exposing sexual predators who attempted to lure young teenagers into sexual encounters, MSNBC's Alison Stewart welcomed John Shehan from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to Tuesday's MSNBC Live to discuss how parents can keep their kids safe online.
Shehan, who heads up the center's cyber tip line said that since the program's inception in 1998, they've received over 350,000 reports regarding some sort of child sexual exploitation. Through their work, they've learned that predators have no favorite way to lure children into bad situations.
"There isn't really one specific method. It's really how they can communicate, how they can establish a bond with that child," he said. "It's estimated that 30 million children in the United States are accessing the internet, and it's estimated that one in five children has received an unwanted sexual solicitation while online.""It's an entirely different world where anyone can be anybody. They can pose as a friend, a nemesis, they can be anyone they want, and a lot of times the predator is just looking for a child that needs attention. They are quickly there to initiate that conversation and to be a best friend," he said.
Within that anonymous world, the vulnerable are the easiest targets, he said.
"It's dangerous in the fact that while that child is online for hours and hours at a time, they're seeking something, whether it's assurance, whether it's a friend, that child predator is going to be online, they're going to read those online blogs, they're going to be in chatrooms, and they're going to be looking for children," he said.
Shehan noted that there are several things that can be done by parents to keep their kids safe.
"First and foremost, parents need to educate themselves before they can even talk to their children about the issue," Shehan said, noting that most parents know far less about the internet than their children.
According to Shehan, in addition to learning about the problem, supervising children while they are online is key, as is communicating with children.
"As we get through the holiday season with Halloween, I'm sure parents took the time to talk to their children of the real-life dangers with strangers," he said. "But are they taking the time to talk to their kids about the cyberworld?"
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Blogs and RSS (Real Simple Syndication/Rich Site Summary) feeds and their applications in libraries are increasing exponentially. These applications range from current awareness type of settings in keeping up-to-date with new information, table of contents alerts of journal articles, feeds based on a research query in electronic databases, and news alerts from different subject areas. Other library related use of blogs and RSS feeds may include availability of new books based on selected keywords, feeds based on new subject guides, creating simple blog entries for course related useful
information, and announcing library related events such as the Scholarly Communications Speaker series. This presentation provides information on these applications and recommendations on how they can be implemented in any library setting. A particular emphasis on the Engineering Resources blog created for the College of Engineering and the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems is given to highlight a variety of information published so far. Future directions and vision of how blogs and
RSS can be used in academic library settings are discussed."