Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Going Wireless: A Critical Exploration of Wireless and Mobile Technologies for Composition Teachers

Amy C. Kimme Hea (Editor) / Hampton Press / Cresskil NJ /  376 pp. / ISBN  1-57273-780-8 (hard) > $85.00 ; 1-57273-781-6 (paper) > $ 35 / February 2009 / New Dimensions in Computers and Composition series

Going Wireless is the first edited collection on wireless and mobile technologies in the field of rhetoric and composition. The contributors offer rhetoric and composition teachers, scholars, and administrators a range of practical and theoretical insights on wireless and mobile technologies. This collection serves as a resource for theoretical explorations on wireless and mobile technology use as it relates to computer and composition teaching and research and acts as a reference for those in the rhetoric and composition community charged with the responsibilities of integrating, supervising, and evaluating wireless and mobile technologies.

Going Wireless is organized into five major sections and an appendix of key mobile and wireless technology terms. In each section, authors represent a range of perspectives as they articulate the roles of students, teachers, administrators, and researchers working with and through mobile and wireless devices. The book provides readers with ways to understand the influence of wireless and mobile technologies by critiquing the corporate and IT perspectives that inform mobile and wireless development and integration and seeking out new tropes for learning, teaching, and researching.

Drawing on interviews and surveys, rhetorical analyses, and theoretical explorations of wireless and mobile devices, the authors enact a range of methodologies to make claims for reflective approaches to research and teaching with wireless and mobile devices. The contributors share their perspectives on the impact of these technological shifts and situate their experiences in relationship to rhetoric and composition as a field. Authors in this collection argue for complex articulations of histories, deployments, integrations, and social factors affected by and affecting mobile and wireless technologies.

>>>Contents <<<



  • The Changing Shapes of Writing: Rhetoric, New Media, and Composition / Johndan Johnson-Eilola and Stuart A. Selber

  • Learning Unplugged / Teddi Fishman and Kathleen Blake Yancey
  • “A Whole New Breed of Student Out There”: Wireless Technology Ads & Teacher Identity / Karla Saari Kitalong
  • ReWriting Wi-Fi: The Surveillance of Mobility and Student Agency / Ryan M. Moeller
  • Reterritorialized Flows: Critically Considering Student Agency in Wireless Pedagogies / Melinda Turnley
  • From Desktop to Laptop: Making Transitions to Wireless Learning in Writing Classrooms / Will Hochman and Mike Palmquist
  • Changing the Ground of Graduate Education: Wireless Laptops Bring Stability, Not Mobility, to Graduate Teaching Assistant / Kevin Brooks
  • A Profile of Students Using Wireless Technologies in a First-Year Learning Community / Loel Kim, Susan L. Popham, Emily A. Thrush, Joseph G. Jones, and Donna J. Daulton
  • Security & Privacy in the Wireless Classroom / Mya Poe and Simson Garfinkel
  • Perpetual Contact: Articulating the Anywhere, Anytime Pedagogical Model of Mobile Composing / Amy C. Kimme Hea
  • Writing in the Wild: A Paradigm for Mobile Composition / Olin Bjork and John Pedro Schwartz
  • Metaphors of Mobility: Emerging Spaces for Rhetorical Reflection and Communication / Nicole R. Brown
  • The Genie’s Out of the Bottle: Leveraging Mobile and Wireless Technologies in Qualitative Research / Clay Spinuzzi
  • Winged Words: On the Theory & Use of Internet Radio / Dene Grigar and John F. Barber.
  • Dancing with the iPod: Navigating the New Wireless Landscape of Composition Studies / Beth Martin and Lisa Meloncon Posner
Appendix: Terms for Going Wireless: An Account of Wireless and Mobile Technology for Teachers / David Menchaca

About the Authors / Author Index / Subject Index

Source and Publisher Site

[http://tinyurl.com/yf7hs7p] / [http://tinyurl.com/yzxcocy]

Saturday, October 24, 2009

ECAR 2009 Study > Chapter Six > Undergraduates And The Mobile Revolution

Select Findings >
  • Among students, desktop computer ownership is down, laptop ownership is way up.
  • Most students have new computers (79% of freshmen own a laptop one year old or less, two-thirds own a laptop or desktop 2 years old. 18% say their computer is four years old or older).
  • 51% own an internet-capable handheld device, with 12% more planning to purchase one within a year. Among those who own one, 35% say they never access the internet on it. Cost and other ways to access Net were the most cited reasons.
  • Cell phone ownership is nearly ubiquitous. One-third say that they use their cell phones in class for non-class activities.
  • SNS’s (Social Networking Sites) and texting are up (nearing saturation), while Instant Messenging is declining.
  • SNS’s were used by 90% of students outside class, and wikis by 42%, but only around a quarter of students used SNS’s or wikis in a course. One-third of students used podcasts personally but only 6% in courses.
  • Students generally like Course Management Systems!
  • Students don’t think instructors use IT well. The percent that say their instructors effectively use IT or have adequate IT skills– 45%. Only one-third say instructors adequately train them for the IT used in their courses.
  • Students who say the greatest benefit of IT in education is convenience – 70%. Only 49% agree or strongly agree that IT improves learning. One possible reason for this low number is that only 53% of students agree or strongly agree with the statement “My institution’s IT services are always available when I need them for my coursework.”
  • 60% of students prefer only a moderate amount of IT in courses.

Since 2004, the annual ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology has sought to shed light on how information technology affects the college experience. We ask students about the technology they own and how they use it in and out of their academic world. We gather information about how skilled students believe they are with technologies; how they perceive technology is affecting their learning experience; and their preferences for IT in courses.

The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2009 is a longitudinal extension of the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 studies. It is based on quantitative data from a spring 2009 survey of 30,616 freshmen and seniors at 103 four-year institutions and students at 12 two-year institutions; student focus groups that included input from 62 students at 4 institutions; and review of qualitative data from written responses to open-ended questions.

In addition to studying student ownership, experience, behaviors, preferences, and skills with respect to information technologies, the 2009 study also includes a special focus on student ownership and use of Internet-capable handheld devices.

Table of Contents / Foreword  / Chapter 1 Executive Summary / Chapter 2 Introduction: Higher Education—A Moveable Feast? / Chapter 3 Methodology and Respondent Characteristics / Chapter 4 Ownership of, Use of, and Skill with IT / Chapter 5 IT and the Academic Experience

Chapter Six > Undergraduates and the Mobile Revolution


Appendix A Acknowledgments  / Appendix B Students and Information Technology in Higher Education: 2009 Survey Questionnaire  / Appendix C Qualitative Interview Questions  / Appendix D Participating Institutions and Survey Response Rates / Appendix E Bibliography

CITE: Smith, Shannon, Gail Salaway, and Judith Borreson Caruso, with an Introduction by Richard N. Katz. The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2009 (Research Study, Vol. 6). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2009.

Source And Links To Full Document And/Or Chapters/Appendices/Etc.


!!! Thanks To Gary Price / ResourceShelf / For The HeadsUp!!!


EQ >The Revolution No One Noticed: Mobile Phones and Multimobile Services in Higher Education


CfP > Mobile Learning: Using Portable Technologies To Create New Learning

Open Learning is a leading international, peer-reviewed journal in the field of open, flexible and distance learning, published by Taylor & Francis. It is widely subscribed to and read throughout the world by those in specialist distance education institutions as well as by those using distance, flexible and technology based forms of learning in conventional education and training contexts. Tertiary, secondary, primary and vocational education, training, and informal learning are all within scope.

For many educators mobile learning is still something of a novelty. Yet there is a rapidly growing body of evidence, from both research and practice, showing that mobile technologies can be used very effectively as learning and communication tools by a surprisingly broad range of learners in a variety of settings. With its strong emphasis on learning rather than teaching, mobile learning challenges educators to try to understand learners’ needs, circumstances and abilities even better than before.

The creation of new learning -- in the form of new content, interactivity, means of support and knowledge sharing -- becomes an interesting and valuable collaborative venture for teachers, learners and all associated institutions.

SPECIAL ISSUE of Open Learning on Mobile Learning: Using Portable TechnologiesTo Create New Learning

This special issue will showcase and critically examine current innovative approaches to learning and teaching with mobile technologies, in particular those related to open, flexible and distance learning.

Other forms of learning that may be described as distributed, resource-based, informal, personalized or adaptive are also highly relevant to this special issue. The following topics are indicative of the scope of the special issue (all papers must have a strong connection with mobile learning):

  • classifications or analyses of mobility, learner experiences, requirements
  • innovative models of learner support and participation
  • creating and using open educational resources
  • large-scale or global learning initiatives to transform education
  • integration of learning, work, social life and everyday living
  • learners with special gifts, special needs or disabilities
  • formation of new learning communities
  • learner autonomy, leadership, motivation, drive or creativity
  • barriers and enablers in the creation of new learning
Articles for this special issue should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words. Articles may report on research findings, carefully evaluated practice, or the validated achievements of particular projects. They may offer a conceptual or theoretical analysis of relationships between the affordances of mobile technologies and creation of new learning.

Good quality case studies (2,000-3,000 words), focusing on practice, will also be considered for publication. Case studies should set the practice in the context of literature, recognise important conceptual issues being raised, and show awareness of other related practice elsewhere.

Guest Editor

Professor Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, UK. Professor Agnes Kukulska-Hulme has published widely in the field of mobile learning and is co-editor of two key books for researchers and practitioners: Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers (Routledge, 2005) and Researching Mobile Learning: Frameworks, Methods and Research Designs (Peter Lang, 2009). She has also co-edited special issues on mobile learning for the Journal of Interactive Media in Education (2005), ReCALL (2008), and ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology (2009).

Reviewing process

Articles and case studies should be original (not published elsewhere) and will be refereed anonymously by at least two reviewers.


‘Expressions of interest’ in the form of abstracts of proposed papers are encouraged.

Please send your abstract (no more than one page) to Prof Agnes Kukulska-Hulme by email
(a.m.kukulskahulme@), by open.ac.uk7 December 2009.

Papers must be submitted by 4 January 2010. Decisions about acceptance will be made by 1 March 2010. Publication will take place in 2010.

Submitting a paper

‘Instructions for Authors’ are available by following this link:




Friday, October 23, 2009

Twitter Lessons in 140 Characters or Less

Kathleen Kennedy Manzo / Education Week  / October 16, 2009 [Online]

The Twitter feed for Lucas Ames’ class in American history has shown some lively exchanges of ideas and opinions among students at the Flint Hill School. One day this month, 11th graders at the private school in Oakton, Va., shared articles on the separation of church and state, pondered the persistence of racism, and commented on tobacco regulation in Virginia now and during the Colonial period—all in the required Twitter format of 140 or fewer characters.

Those are exactly the kinds of interactions Mr. Ames had hoped for when he decided to experiment with the microblogging tool in his classroom this school year.

He and other teachers first found Twitter valuable for reaching out to colleagues and locating instructional resources. Now, they’re trying it out in the classroom as an efficient way to distribute assignments and to foster collaboration among students.


“It’s not a research-based tool,” said Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. “The most important thing to remember is that we have no idea what impact these tools have on learning, and it will take a decade to answer that question.”


Classroom Connections @Twitter


Twitter has not caught on among school-age children as quickly or universally as other Web 2.0 tools, such as Facebook or MySpace: Only about 1 percent of the estimated 12 million users in the United States are between the ages of 3 and 17, although young adults are the fastest-growing group of users, according to recent reports. Still, some teachers are hoping that, given the appeal of social networking, Twitter can be used to get students engaged in the content and processes of school.

“For a lot of teachers who started off using Twitter as a professional-development tool, they’ve been building a professional learning community and using information that’s been shared,” said Steve Dembo, the online-community manager for the Discovery Educator Network, or DEN, which encourages collaboration among its more than 100,000 members across the country. [snip]

In discussions on the DEN, which is hosted by the Silver Spring, Md.-based Discovery Education, Mr. Dembo has noticed a significant uptick in questions and recommendations among teachers about using Twitter, mostly addressing how to simplify administrative tasks or encourage students to conduct research or collaborate with classmates and their peers across the country.

Mr. Ames, the history teacher, has already seen some results in classroom participation by students, who are given the choice of participating in the Twitter feed or writing an extra research paper.


Dorie Glynn, who teaches a bilingual 2nd grade class at Kirk Elementary School in Houston, has been preparing students for conversations of their own on Twitter. The students have started following other classes at the school, and across the country, as they get ready to share data on regional cultures, weather, and to play a virtual I Spy game, in which they will hunt for geometric shapes in maps and photos sent from Twitter followers in other places.


Pros and Cons Debated

With scant research on the efficacy of social-networking tools such as Twitter, and few clear insights into the best (and worst) uses for them, there is little agreement among researchers and educators about how or whether Twitter-like technologies could or should be used in schools.


Today’s students, she added, are going to need to have highly developed critical-thinking skills, be able to digest large amounts of information, and determine what’s important and what’s not. Those are the very kinds of skills they tend to use with Web 2.0 tools, she argued.


A few studies have found some positive correlations between text-messaging aptitude and literacy. Research on gaming and educational multimedia programs have also shown some positive impact on learning. But few scientific experiments can show a direct link between the use of such technology and student achievement.


Few teachers, though, need definitive studies to tell them that social media can be a problem in the classroom if not carefully planned for and controlled.


Even so, Mr. Willingham said, tools such as Twitter may have utility in helping students communicate, stay organized, and learn research and analytical skills.

The anecdotal evidence among Twitter fans, however, has been positive, Mr. Dembo of the Discovery Educator Network said.

“Most of the people expressing concerns are not the people who’ve found value in Twitter in their professional or personal lives,” he said. “That’s not to say their points about the potential downsides are not valid.”


Beyond Technology

At the Flint Hill School in Virginia, Mr. Ames has been carefully considering how he might control usage before expanding Twitter use in his class. Right now, students contribute to Twitter outside the classroom, although tweets are mostly related to conversations and content from class.

“As we prepare students for college, we tell them it’s not always just about how hard you work, but how smart you work,” he said. “These collaborative tools can help them become smarter students, and to use collaborative knowledge versus going through these classes on your own and never talking to anyone about them.”

As with any tool, Mr. Willingham said, the medium should not be the primary concern for teachers. The way students receive information—through Twitter, via e-mail, or in a printed handout—may not have a dramatic effect on how they use it.


“The medium is not enough,” he added. “People talk about the vital importance of Web 2.0 and 3.0, and that kids have got to acquire those skills. But we can’t all just be contributing to wikis and tweeting each other. Somebody’s got to create something worth tweeting.”


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Politics Of The Kindle > Ted Striphas > October 22 2009 > University Of Iowa

Thursday / October 22 2009 / 4:00-5:15 PM / Adler / E105

Since its release in November 2007, the Amazon Kindle has emerged as a—and perhaps the—leading portable electronic reading device. Widely touted for its unique screen, capacious storage, and wireless content delivery, Kindle has prompted both enthusiasts and critics to wonder if it will eventually “outbook the book” (to quote Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos).

This presentation will not settle the matter, nor will it attempt to. Instead, it will focus on Kindle’s two-way communications capabilities on the one hand, and on Amazon’s recent foray into data services on the other. Striphas’s argument is that however convenient a means Kindle may be for acquiring e-books and other types of digital content, the device nevertheless disposes reading to serve a host of inconvenient—indeed, illiberal—ends. Consequently, it underscores the growing importance of a new and fundamental right to counterbalance the illiberal tendencies that it embodies—what Richard Stallman and others have called a “right to read,” which would complement the existing right of free expression.

Brought to campus by the Communication Studies department, Ted Striphas is Assistant Professor and Director of Film & Media Studies in the Department of Communication & Culture, Indiana University. His book, The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control, was published in 2009 by Columbia University Press. He is the coeditor of the book Communication as…: Perspectives on Theory and of a special issue on intellectual property published by the journal Cultural Studies. His website is http://www.thelateageofprint.org/.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Cover Story > Are We On The Verge Of An E-book Explosion?

Thorin McGee / Book Business / October 2009 

"The market for digital books … has been roughly doubling every 18 months,” says Andrew Savikas, O’Reilly Media’s vice president of digital initiatives. “Follow that line out, and in less than a decade it’s 64 times the size it is now.”

Savikas has reason to be optimistic. Consumers are adopting reading on screen like never before:

• 15 percent of U.S. adults have read at least one e-book, according to Simba Information’s recent “Trade E-Book Publishing: 2009 Market Report.”

• Trade wholesale electronic-book revenue was more than $37 million in the second quarter of 2009, compared to just $11.6 million in Q2 2008, according to the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF).

More than 12 million e-books have been downloaded by the Stanza e-reader iPhone app, which turned one-year old in July.

The number of e-readers on the market has surged. [See Book Business’ list of 30 current e-readers]

Digital Surpassing Print Sales?

O’Reilly Media released the e-book of “iPhone: The Missing Manual” as a standalone iPhone app in December 2008. The app outsold its best-selling print counterpart.

The company followed that success with a multiplatform digital publishing strategy. Consumers who buy an O’Reilly e-book get three digital rights management (DRM)-free formats of it: ePub, PDF and the Kindle-compatible Mobipocket. Or, customers can purchase the books as standalone mobile apps for the iPhone and Android smartphone.


HarperCollins also is capitalizing on e-book momentum. Ninety-five percent of the publisher’s titles are released in digital format, and same-month e-book sales have increased as much as 400 percent (June 2009 vs. June 2008).

“We see [e-books] as a very effective vehicle to attract additional readers to our authors, and that’s our primary goal,” says HarperMedia Vice President and Publisher Ana Maria Allessi [snip]

Still, e-books comprise just a few percentage points of total sales (1 percent to 2 percent seems to be the norm) for many publishers. [snip]


An E-ducation

The expansion of digital learning tools in higher education is opening another significant market. Princeton, Pace, Arizona State and other institutions recently joined an Amazon pilot program to give students Kindle DX e-readers for select courses. As part of the program, Amazon added more than 100 McGraw-Hill Education textbooks to the Kindle store. However, McGraw-Hill’s digital learning materials go far beyond e-readers.

“What’s really terrific about e-books,” says Rik Kranenburg, president of McGraw-Hill’s Higher Education, Professional and International Group, “is that the technology lends itself to all kinds of new applications and learning formats—new ways that students learn, and instructors can use and integrate the technology to instruct.”

McGraw-Hill offers many of its e-textbooks in the context of a wider, digital learning suite called Connect that includes multimedia and interactive learning experiences, such as searchable lecture capture and personal learning diagnostics.


E-books could drastically change the business model for college textbooks, which have long been a rising cost of higher education. According to Kranenburg, most McGraw-Hill e-textbooks sell for about 60 percent of the cost of their print versions, ... .


The E-reader Upsurge

The growth of e-books is mirrored by the proliferation of e-reading devices. The two most well-known are Sony’s Reader and Amazon’s Kindle (which was the first to find truly mainstream legitimacy when Oprah Winfrey embraced it as a “life-changing” gadget). The two devices have battled for market share since. [snip]

While the Kindle is tied to Amazon’s store, new devices from Sony and other manufacturers can access everything from Barnes & Nobles’s catalog to hundreds of thousands of free e-books through Google, Project Gutenberg and other digital archives. Plus, smartphone apps, such as iPhone’s Stanza, allow millions of smartphone users to access e-books. Plus, an e-book can be released as a stand-alone app, as O’Reilly Media has done.

Smartphones: Smarter E-readers?

This raises an obvious question: How important are e-readers to the overall success of e-books[snip]

“Smartphones and 3G data networks are the main driver [behind digital sales] …,” says O’Reilly’s Savikas.

Neelan Choksi, CEO of Lexcycle, agrees. “My impression is that the ease of use being introduced with wireless and over-the-air access has had a huge effect on adoption. It’s probably the primary reason for the growth in content sales.”

The Chicken or the Egg?

It’s also clear that e-reader adoption is lagging far behind overall e-book adoption. According to Norris, most e-books are read on personal computers. He points out that, although Amazon will likely sell 500,000 Kindles by the end of the year, an estimated 110 million U.S. adults buy at least one book a year.


What’s Important?

Ultimately, many publishers agree that it’s about giving readers the chance to buy what they want where and when they want it.

McGraw-Hill is already designing text for digital distribution first, and other publishers have begun doing the same. It’s less important to publish on one specific device than it is to produce books that can be accessed through whatever channel readers use to buy books.



!!! Thanks To / Garrett Eastman / Librarian / Rowland Institute at Harvard / For The HeadsUp !!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brains, Books and the Future of Print

The Atlantic / Correspondents / Lane Wallace /  Oct 16 2009 / 2:45AM  > Are print books really about to disappear, overtaken like horse-drawn carriages in the age of Detroit and the Ford Model T? Truth is, nobody knows. Nobody ever really knows what the future is going to hold, no matter how sure they sound in their predictions. [Photo: Flickr/oskay] Certainly, for all the fuss made about the Kindle, more than 95% of book buyers are still opting for the print version ...  [snip]

Nevertheless, the point remains that a greater number of readers are switching over to ebooks in one format or another. So beyond the basic question of "will print books go away" ...  the questions I find more intriguing relate to if or how digital reading changes the reading experience and, perhaps, even the brains that do the reading.

Electronic readers like Kindle are too recent a development to have generated much specific, targeted research yet. But a montage of essays titled "Does the Brain Like Ebooks?" that appeared on the New York Times website ... offered some fascinating information and viewpoints on the subject. The collection had contributions from experts in English, neuroscience, child development, computer technology and informatics. And while the viewpoints differed, there was some general consensus about a few points:

1. Clearly, there are differences in the two reading experiences. There are things electronic books do better (access to new books in remote areas of the world, less lugging around, and easier searching for quotes or information after the fact). There are also things print books do better (footnote reading, the ability to focus solely on the text at hand, ... )


Second ... one of the writers of the Times essays, Prof. Alan Liu at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said that he didn't think anyone really made serendipitous discoveries while browsing the shelves of a physical library  ... . Perhaps not, because most people go to libraries with specific search goals in mind. But bookstores, on the other hand ... there I'd disagree. I often browse the aisles of my local bookstores, just to see what's new and what might catch my eye.[snip]


Electronic media and browsers have many good qualities, but they're lousy for ...  unspecific window shopping. Browsers don't browse. They help you do specific searches. [snip]. So to lose physical collections of books, either in stores or on individual bookshelves, would make it harder to make those delightful side discoveries that take us out of our narrow fields of focus and interest and, potentially, broaden our minds.

2. In the case of adults, we probably process information similarly in both electronic and print formats ... with two important distinctions. The first distinction is that electronic books, with hyperlinks and connections to a world web of side-roads, offer far more distractions to the reader. [snip]. But it also offers temptations to divert our attention from a deeper immersion in a story or text ... . [snip]

"Frequent task-switching costs time and interferes with the concentration needed to think deeply about what you read," cautioned Sandra Aamodt, the former editor of Nature Neuroscience and another of the Times essayists.

The second feature of electronic reading, ... , is that there is evidently something about an electronic medium, with its "percentage done" scale and electronic noises or gizmos, that makes us crave and focus on those rewards. Which is probably why electronic games are more addictive than board games. [snip]

Is our comprehension and, more importantly, what Proust apparently called "the heart of reading"--"when we go beyond the author's wisdom and enter the beginning of our own," as one of the essayists, put it, impacted by a heightened drive to make progress through a text? [snip]

3. Most adults, however, at least have the ability to process longer and deeper contemplative thoughts from what we read, even if we don't always exercise that ability. [snip] Children apparently have to develop neural pathways and circuits for reading, and those circuits are affected by the demands of the reading material. [snip]

So electronic reading ... especially with hyperlinks and video embeds and other potential distractions, could potentially keep young readers from developing some important circuits. As Wolf put it in her essay:

"My greatest concern is that the young brain will never have the time (in milliseconds or in hours or in years) to learn to go deeper into the text after the first decoding, but rather will be pulled by the medium to ever more distracting information, sidebars, and now, perhaps videos (in the new vooks). The child's imagination and children's nascent sense of probity and introspection are no match for a medium that creates a sense of urgency to get to the next piece of stimulating information. the attention span of children may be one of the main reasons why an immersion in on-screen reading is so engaging, and it may also be why digital reading may ultimately prove antithetical to the long-in-development, reflective nature of the expert reading brain as we know it."

Interesting enough, the one computer scientist in the group was of the opinion that the best use of electronic books and capabilities was to enhance print books, not to replace them. [snip]



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why E-Books are Hot and Getting Hotter

Mark Coker  / Huffington Post / October 14 2009 / 07:00 PM

2009 will go down in history as the year e-books went mainstream.

According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), between 2002 and 2008, e-books grew at a compound annual rate of 58%, compared to 1.6% for the overall book industry.

In the last two years, e-book growth has accelerated. In July 2009, the most recent reported by the AAP, sales increased 214%. Yet despite this growth, e-books accounted for only 1% of book sales. One percent? Do e-books even matter?

The answer is yes, because AAP statistics dramatically understate the overall market share for e-books. AAP collects its data from about a dozen large publishers. Thousands of smaller independent publishers, as well as self-published authors, don't report data to AAP.

Consumer purchase surveys provide more perspective. Bowker's PubTrack consumer survey reported e-books accounted for 2.4 % of book sales in the first quarter of 2009, up from .6% for all of 2008. On July 21, 2009, Motoko Rich, a reporter from the New York Times, referenced a Codex Group survey that stated e-books reached 4.9% of book sales for the month of May 2009.

Amazon's e-book results point to an even larger market opportunity than indicated by the consumer surveys, especially for retailers with a strong e-book strategy. [snip]

What's driving the rise of e-books? A confluence of multiple, self-reinforcing factors, including:

1. Screen reading now rivals paper - ... . Screens on cell phones, personal computers and dedicated e-reading devices are much-improved over just a few years ago. It's not just the screens -- the underlying software allows consumers to customize their reading experience by increasing the font size. [snip]

2. Proliferation of multiple high-quality e-reading devices - Multiple e-reading devices satisfy different consumer preferences. The iPhone has introduced millions of readers to the joy of e-books, ... and Barnes & Noble's eReader. E-books are also coming to Android smart phones ... In the next two years, entry-level mobile phones will feature e-book-ready screensand apps, ... . Last but not least, dedicated e-reading devices based on E-Ink technology such as Amazon's Kindle and Sony Electronics' Sony Reader have introduced millions of additional readers to e-books. Barnes & Noble is rumored to announce their own LCD-based device next week.

3. Oprah Winfrey - Few consumer taste makers can match the influence of Oprah Winfrey, especially when it comes to books. In October 2008, Oprah dedicated an entire show to celebrating her favorite gadget, the Amazon Kindle. [snip]

4. Early adopters become new evangelists - Books have always been a word of mouth business, and ebooks are no different. Most people today have a "wow" experience when they try ebooks for the first time. These early adopters then evangelize ebooks to their friends.

5. Greater content selection - Hundreds of thousands of ebooks are now available for instant sampling, download and purchase. Within the next few years, the vast majority of books ever printed ... will probably be available in ebook form, and many of these books will be free.

6. Free books are gateway drug - Many consumers discover ebooks for the first time by downloading free books. Most free e-books are classics derived from the digitization effort of Project Gutenberg, the brainchild of Michael Hart. [snip]4. Early adopters become new evangelists - Books have always been a word of mouth business, and ebooks are no different. Most people today have a "wow" experience when they try ebooks for the first time. These early adopters then evangelize ebooks to their friends. [snip]

7. Portable library in the cloud - Imagine holding a portable, limitless catalog of books in the palm of your hand, accessible any time, anywhere. [snip]  Books are moving from physical repositories  ...  to virtual repositories (personal online libraries, online public libraries, free online repositories, and online bookstores).

8. The slush pile, digitally liberated - Independent authors are adopting e-books as a format for rapid publishing. [snip] The tools to publish and distribute e-books are available to any writer at little to no cost. Free ebook self-publishing platforms, such as Amazon Digital Text Platform, Smashwords ... , Scribd, Lulu, and Sony's recently announced Publisher Portal, allow writers to upload their manuscript as a Microsoft Word document, and start selling it online to a worldwide audience within minutes or days. [snip] . The rise of independent publishing has opened the floodgates to thousands of new books that might otherwise have never seen the light of day. [snip]

9. Prices dropping - Amazon made waves by pricing first run e-books at $9.99. As prices drop further ...  it will serve to accelerate e-reading adoption. [snip]

10. Impulse buying - E-books are the ultimate impulse purchase. With a few clicks of a button, you can download dozens of free book samples in seconds.  [snip] . Today, ebooks offer instant sampling, immediate gratification and affordable reading pleasure.


Books: Get Them While They're Hot

The Atlantic  / Correspondents / Peter Osmos  / Oct 13 2009 / 10:50AM

Two announcements lately highlight the growing and increasingly glamorous role of the digital delivery and distribution of books. HarperCollins, publisher of Sarah Palin's memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, said it was rushing the book to sale on November 17, months earlier than originally planned. But the publisher is withholding the e-book version to be offered on the Kindle, Sony Reader, and their emerging competitors until the day after Christmas because the hardcover price, listed at $28.99, will be so much higher than the digital book, which certainly will go for much less ... [snip]


The point is that the concept of withholding the e-book for a while to drive hardcover sales ...  is sensible, traditional in its way,  ... . As the marketplace for digital books develops, this may well be a standard pattern for expected bestsellers: readers will have to wait to get the book in lower-priced versions, as they have for decades.


So, if the staging of books in various formats isn't new, and neither is the notion of instant books, what then is actually happening to justify the buzz about these developments?

It is the emergence of digital books as a significant factor in the future of book sales. Last week, Barnes & Noble announced it would have an e-reading device in stores for the holiday season, and Amazon again dropped the price of its standard Kindle. Forester Research predicts total sales for e-book devices will be three million units in 2009 and double that in 2010. [snip]

[snip] The five-hundred-year-old era of the printed book is definitely not over, in my view, or even especially endangered, aside from the impact of the brutal recession we've been through. But the digital age has now, really, unequivocally, arrived. And that, for the publishing community as well as readers, should be a plus.



!!! Thanks To / Garrett Eastman / Librarian / Rowland Institute at Harvard / For The HeadsUp !!!

Text Message Reference: Is It Effective?

Ellyssa Kroski / Stacking the Tech / Library Journal / 10-15-2009

The biblioblogosphere is replete with posts announcing the launch of new SMS (text message) reference services at a steadily increasing number of academic libraries. The appeal of these services is more or less self-evident given the ubiquity of mobile devices on campus.

Journal articles and conference sessions are filled with discussions of products and platforms, as well as strategies to market the new programs ... . However, so far little has been gathered about how effective this type of service really is and whether or not it’s something that patrons find useful.

Message Fits The Medium

From my own experience providing instant message (IM) reference—an admittedly different beast—I found that the medium was ideal for quick ready reference, circulation, and directional questions. [snip]


Also, the lack of other visual cues—such as a student’s eyes glazing over when she's reached her limit of information intake, or an expression of frustration while demonstrating how to search a database—made IM reference a bit trickier. I wondered how these limitations might translate to text reference, which is further restricted by a message length of 160 characters [the current limit in Twitter].

Working With 160 Characters

I’ve since had a chance to speak with several academic librarians who offer SMS text reference at their libraries and have been assured that this is indeed an effective and viable service. The 160-character limit does not seem to be an impediment; librarians simply send multiple messages or ask patrons to call or come into the library for further help with more complex questions.


Similarly, Alexa Pearce, Reference Associate at NYU’s Bobst Library responded that "we were initially very worried about keeping conversations short and we have learned that users are very receptive to longer initial answers that span two or three texts.”

SMS As A Gateway

Libraries are receiving a wide variety of questions via text messaging such as troubleshooting, directional, circulation, and reference queries, with some libraries receiving between 50-90 questions per month via patrons’ mobile devices. [snip]

And it doesn’t seem to matter that the reference interview may take multiple text exchanges, according to these librarians—the content and quality of the answers is more important than the medium of delivery. Text reference may even serve as a way to bring people into the library not only for further consultation but to discover what else the library has to offer.

“We reach a population who may not have considered the libraries and our services before, but with SMS they see that we are available to help in their preferred mode of communication when they are in need,” Ghouse said.

Everyone I spoke with agreed that libraries can be quite effective using SMS reference. Joe Murphy of Yale University Libraries told me, "I am as able, if not more so than in person, [to provide effective reference via SMS] because of the mobility it grants me, and definitely more able than through non-mobile virtual media. This should not be a surprise since text messaging is a dominant form of communication for me and my peers. Libraries will have to evolve towards incorporating more mobile technology in order to provide for maximum effectiveness for younger librarians. ”

Keith Weimer, Reference and Instructional Technology Librarian at the University of Virginia’s Alderman Library added that “the use of mobile devices as a primary mode of computing is predicted to grow, and we’re glad to have established a means for our users to contact us from their immediate point of need.”

Offering this type of mobile service makes sense for libraries at this stage—it seems the next step in the evolution of library services. [snip]

So, while we may be answering many of the same questions via SMS we would be otherwise, we're also accomplishing something arguably even more important—making our service more effectively known to library users.



Mobile To Be Social Networking 'Hub'

Online Media Daily / Mark Walsh / Oct 16 2009 / 05:01 PM

It doesn't take a visionary to see the convergence of social networking and mobile devices as a natural progression. Cell phones are inherently social tools -- enabling voice, email, and SMS communications, along with activities like photo-sharing -- so extending social media to the mix is a logical step.

 But a new report from Forrester Research goes further, suggesting that mobile phones have the potential to become the hub for all social computing activities rather than just a complement to the PC-based experience.

"Mobile phones will increasingly become the glue that holds the social graph together, offering creative tools and immediacy, presence, location, and context when interacting with the real world," states the Forrester report  ... , authored by analyst Thomas Husson.

While conceding that mobile social networking is still a niche market, Husson points to Facebook Mobile recently hitting 65 million users -- tripling its audience in eight months -- as a prime example of where things are headed. A flurry of initiatives, including alliances between handset makers and social Web properties -- like the deal between INQ and Facebook -- and Nokia's "Lifecasting with Ovi," offering, also signal growing interest in the space.

Mobile operators, likewise, are striking partnerships with popular social brands and touting easy access to these properties as a way to attract young customers and sell more data packages. AT&T, for example, this summer introduced Social Net, a free mobile social networking app offering access to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and allowing users to customize news feeds.


At the OMMA Global conference last month, Jordan Rohan, founder and managing partner of digital media consulting firm Clearmeadow Partners, warned that marketing via mobile social networking will be especially challenging. [snip]

He suggested the best bet for advertisers was to stick with a big social media player like Facebook as it expands into mobile.



Report > Why Mobile Could Reinvent Social Computing: A Glimpse Into The European Mobile Social Web Landscape / 23pp. / US $499


Mobiles And Social Computing Are Converging

Mobilizing The Social Web


Mobile Operators Should First Offer Trust And Convenience

What It Means

The Convergence Of The Social Web And Mobile Is The Next Big Thing
Supplemental Material

Download and Print PDF Immediately


!!! Thanks To Gary Price /  ResourceShelf  / For The HeadsUp!!!

As I've Noted  >

The Future Of Research / Scholartship Is 1) Open 2) Semantic 3) Social 4) Mobile


The Paradigms They Are A-Changin' > Open / Semantic / Social / Mobile


Friday, October 16, 2009

AppLab > Transforming Lives through Innovation in Information Access

AppLab > About the Application Laboratory
The Application Laboratory (AppLab) is an initiative of the Grameen Foundation. We work to promote innovation in the provision of services and information using mobile phones and other ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) to alleviate poverty in the developing world.


The Issue

Poor and rural populations often lack access to important information and knowledge that would enable them to improve their lives and livelihoods.

The AppLab Solution

By leveraging the power of information and communications technologies, AppLab seeks to overcome the barriers to accessing information that contribute to the poverty cycle.

How AppLab Works

AppLab uses mobile technologies to both disseminate and gather relevant and actionable information. We develop mobile phone applications and services that allow people to access information on important topics like health and agriculture, among others. For example, through a simple text message a farmer can receive tips on treating crop diseases, learn local market prices, or get advice on preventing malaria.

Our applications can also be used for collecting information. For example, surveys conducted by mobile phones can be used to collect information on access to health services or the types of crops being grown in a specific region. This information can provide a detailed understanding of the challenges poor communities face and equip service providers with the knowledge they need to better serve the poor.




The Application Laboratory seeks to:

Deeply understand the needs of poor people in the developing world and guide the development of innovative applications delivered over mobile devices tailored to their needs

Develop opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs to enhance their existing shared phone businesses and build new businesses collecting and disseminating information, serving as “information hubs” for their communities

Design applications and associated business models which improve the lives and livelihoods of the poor and are financially sustainable, scalable, and show potential to be replicated globally

Demonstrate the potential for our partners to meet the needs of people at the base of the pyramid


Mission, Vision and Approach


To guide the development of appropriate mobile applications and test and scale mobile applications and services that contribute to poverty alleviation.


The widespread use of mobile devices used broadly to access knowledge and information to decrease poverty and improve lives and livelihoods.


We begin with innovative and well honed strategies to quickly assess how best to meet needs with different applications and services. Our focus is on creating self-sustaining business models and processes that ensure the long-term viability of applications designed to improve the lives of the poor. To achieve this we collaborate with existing ecosystems, working with application developers, service providers, and content experts to deliver mobile services that have the potential to achieve lasting impact on poverty reduction.

In our two-pronged approach we develop applications and services which can be delivered to anyone with access to a mobile phone and also work with “trusted intermediaries” to improve “discoverability” and address literacy and multiple language issues.

To reach the broadest possible audience we collaborate with private sector companies, such as Google, MTN and Qualcomm, to develop applications and services which can be widely scaled.

We also establish networks that allow us to reach the "last kilometer"-- the population that is traditionally the most difficult to reach, and therefore in greatest need of access to information. In this model, local entrepreneurs serve as "Information Hubs" who have the ability to provide a range of information services to people in their communities.






AppLab Atlas (Newsletter)


AppLab’s Worldwide Team


Resource Center



GF, Google and MTN Uganda Launch New Mobile Services for Uganda's Poor


AppLab Uganda Launch [YouTube]


See Also

Cell Phone Information Services > Grameen Foundation Expands Technology Program for Poor Farmers ...


Using Cellphones To Change The World


Africa > Mobile Phone > Powerful Instrument Of Learning


Question Box > CellPhone Reference / Extension Service For The Developing World


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cell Phone Information Services > Grameen Foundation Expands Technology Program for Poor Farmers ...

October 15, 2009 / Community Knowledge Worker Initiative Provides Vital Information Link to Improve Agriculture

As the international community prepares to celebrate World Food Day, Grameen Foundation today announced that it will expand its Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) initiative in Uganda, supported by a $4.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative is building a self-sustaining, scalable network of rural information providers who use cell phones to help close critical information gaps facing poor, smallholder farmers. They will strengthen the information link to poor farmers by disseminating and collecting relevant information in these underserved communities.

“Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for poor people in much of the world, including more than 75 percent of Ugandans. Through the Community Knowledge Worker initiative, we are helping poor, smallholder farmers, who may meet with an agricultural agent infrequently, access vital agricultural advice, weather forecasts and other information to improve their lives,” said Alex Counts, president of Grameen Foundation. [snip]

Working closely with and complementing existing government agriculture programs, CKWs are trusted local intermediaries serving farmers who frequently lack basic access to up-to-date information on best farming practices, market conditions, pest and disease control, weather forecasts and a range of other issues. The CKW model is designed to improve farmers’ lives by enabling them to get the information they need to improve yields and have broader access to lucrative markets. Upon request from a farmer, a CKW will use his or her cell phone to access actionable information to meet farmer needs.

In addition, CKWs collect agricultural information from farmers, providing a vital link between farmers, government programs, non-governmental organizations and other entities focused on improving agriculture in Uganda and beyond. While farmers sometimes have access to a cell phone, this service will greatly expands its availability and also connect farmers to trained professionals tasked with sharing knowledge and information with them.

During a successful nine-month pilot, which concluded in August 2009, 40 CKWs in Uganda’s Mbale and Bushyeni districts had more than 14,000 interactions with smallholder farmers. They conducted 6,000 surveys to help organizations such as the World Food Program and IITA (www.iita.org) better understand farmer needs. IITA also created Geographic Information System (GIS) maps showing crop disease outbreaks, the impact of farmers adopting recommended disease control methods, and other important information for farmers and scientists.  [snip]

In this next phase of the initiative, Grameen Foundation is building on its experience in the pilot to develop a self-sustaining national network capable of reaching more than 200,000 farmers.

The CKW initiative advances Grameen Foundation’s efforts to develop innovative and sustainable approaches to use technology for the benefit of the world’s poor. It also leverages the extensive knowledge and expertise from its successful Application Laboratory (AppLab) Program in Uganda [snip]. 

The grant is part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Agricultural Development initiative. The foundation will also announce this grant as part of a larger package of agricultural development projects in conjunction with Bill Gates’ keynote address today at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.





Grameen Foundation

Building a Network of Community Knowledge Workers: $4.7 million

To develop a network of 4,000 community knowledge workers in Uganda who use mobile devices to increase the reach and relevance of agricultural information, leading to improved productivity and livelihoods for small-holder farmers. The project aims to reach up to 280,000 small-holder farmers, reduce the cost of adoption of new and improved practices by 25 percent to 50 percent, and ultimately provide a model that can be scaled to reach millions of small-holder farmers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.


Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending

NY Times > Books > October 15, 2009 >  MOTOKO RICH

Kate Lambert recalls using her library card just once or twice throughout her childhood. Now, she uses it several times a month.

The lure? Electronic books she can download to her laptop. Beginning earlier this year, Ms. Lambert, a 19-year-old community college student in New Port Richey, Fla., borrowed volumes ... .

“I can just go online and type my library card number in and look through all the books that they have,” said Ms. Lambert, who usually downloads from the comfort of her bedroom. And, she added, “It’s all for free.”

Eager to attract digitally savvy patrons and capitalize on the growing popularity of electronic readers, public libraries across the country are expanding collections of books that reside on servers rather than shelves.


About 5,400 public libraries now offer e-books, as well as digitally downloadable audio books. The collections are still tiny compared with print troves. The New York Public Library, for example, has about 18,300 e-book titles, compared with 860,500 in circulating print titles, and purchases of digital books represent less than 1 percent of the library’s overall acquisition budget.


But circulation is expanding quickly. The number of checkouts has grown to more than 1 million so far this year from 607,275 in all of 2007, according to OverDrive, a large provider of e-books to public libraries. NetLibrary, another provider of e-books to about 5,000 public libraries and a division of OCLC, a nonprofit library service organization, has seen circulation of e-books and digital audio books rise 21 percent over the past year.

Together with the Google books settlement — which the parties are modifying to satisfy the objections of the Department of Justice and others — the expansion of e-books into libraries heralds a future in which more reading will be done digitally.


For now, the expansion will be slowed partly because, with few exceptions, e-books in libraries cannot be read on Amazon’s Kindle, the best-selling electronic reader, or on Apple’s iPhone, which has rapidly become a popular device for reading e-books. Most library editions are compatible with the Sony Reader, computers and a handful of other mobile devices.


For now, the advent of e-book borrowing has not threatened physical libraries by siphoning away visitors because the recession has driven so many new users seeking free resources through library doors. [snip]


Some librarians suggest that because digital books never wear out, take up no shelf space and could, in theory, be read by multiple people at the same time, the purchasing model for e-books should be different than it is for print.


Some librarians object to the current pricing model because they often pay more for e-books than do consumers who buy them on Amazon or in Sony’s online store. Publishers generally charge the same price for e-books as they do for print editions, but online retailers subsidize the sale price of best sellers by marking them down to $9.99.


Academic publishers have been more willing to experiment with subscription models, inviting libraries to pay an annual fee for unlimited access to certain books. Scholastic Inc., the children’s book publisher, also offers library subscriptions to BookFlix, a collection of picture books that children can read online.

Steve Potash, the chief executive of OverDrive, said publishers should regard library e-books as a form of marketing. Many people who browse a library’s online catalog end up buying the books, he said, although he could provide no evidence of that.

Some publishers agree that library e-books, like print versions, can attract new customers. “We’ve always strongly believed that there is a conversion point where they do start to buy their own,” said Malle Vallik, the director of digital content at Harlequin Enterprises, the romance publisher.