Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010 10:27 PM CST
Growing up in the 1990s, we heard a lot about the promise of technology. When our elementary school classrooms were retrofitted with Macintosh LC II computers, school districts bragged that they were on the cutting edge of technological advancement. Back then, that meant Math Blaster, Reading Rabbit and Number Maze.
Technology in the classroom can facilitate learning for college students too. It can be as simple as typing notes instead of writing them out, or as complex as using social networking and instant messaging technology to interact with other students. What’s clear is that technology has the power to change the way we learn.
Unfortunately, many professors aren’t hopping on board the tech-train. We’ve really seen the issue come to a head in the past few semesters. It used to be that only a few students had laptops or smart phones, so policies on their use were non-existent. But now that iPhones, MacBooks and WiFi-capable iPods abound, professors are being forced to address their use in class.
It’s been polarizing, and professors seem to be split into two camps. We’ve all had both kinds: In one corner are the professors who’ve banned cell phones and laptops from their classrooms altogether. Penalties range from light to insane — 10 percent off a student’s final grade for each infraction, or confiscation of the laptop or cell phone until the next class period.
We understand professors’ concerns; really, we do. Technology can be distracting for both the student using it and for his or her neighbors. The impression of seeing a student fiddling with a smart phone or laptop must be that he or she isn’t paying attention. But we’d like to tell these professors why they should reconsider.
First, we pay you to teach us, not to babysit us. We’d go on, but that would digress into an entirely separate editorial.
Second, the minds of our generation work differently from the minds of yours. Conditioned by Mario and YouTube, we’re used to doing more than one thing at once. Multitasking is an art, and we are Picasso.
Third, prohibition, for the most part, doesn’t work. We don’t stop using technology; we just get sneakier about it.
And, fourth — probably the most important reason of all — you’re missing opportunities to engage your students if you don’t consider technology as a method for communication and collaboration.
Take Google Wave, a web application that was built from the ground up for collaboration and interaction. What if, instead of hand-written, easy-to-lose, messy paper notes, students were allowed to work in the cloud of data, taking notes together, making suggestions to each other and chatting in real time about examples from class?
For some, it’s not hypothetical. Take Jacob Groshek’s Jl MC 342 class. Sick of policing his classroom, Professor Groshek decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. He began allowing the use of smart phones and laptops, and even created a Twitter hashtag for his class. The students took it from there.
Groshek said he hasn’t noticed a decrease in learning outcomes or grades, and students with laptops and cell phones are, for the most part, aware of what’s being discussed and able to answer if called upon. So students tweet and wave away. They learn, they collaborate and they’re happier for it to boot, since they don’t feel like the classroom is a prison.
Our advice: Be a professor, not a cop. Students will get along just fine. And we might even learn in ways you’d never expect.
Although advocates of digital textbooks have been touting their advantages for years, it wasn’t until California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a free, digital textbook initiative that the movement began to gain real traction in mainstream schools. But some experts say digital textbooks’ lack of purchase price can be offset by the cost of technical support and professional development needed to integrate them effectively into classrooms. Join two experts for an in-depth discussion of the challenges and promise of using free, digital textbooks in K-12 classrooms.
Brian Bridges, Director, California Resource Learning Network
Neeru Kholsa, Executive Director, CK-12 Foundation
Katie Ash, Staff Writer, Education Week Digital Directions, will moderate this chat.
Note: No special equipment other than Internet access is needed to participate in any of our text-based chats. Participants may begin submitting questions 30 minutes before a chat starts.
By mid-2010, there will be 6.8 billion humans on this planet. According to United Nations estimates, there also will be five billion cellphone subscriptions. These are astonishing numbers. What is still more astonishing, and hopeful, is the breadth of change this number reflects.
The United Nations says that right now 80 percent of the world’s population has available cell coverage. The fastest adoption of cellphone use is occurring in some of the world’s poorest places.
Cellphones are cheap, their batteries can be easily recharged with solar power and they are creating nothing short of a revolution: knitting rural communities together, sowing information, and altering the most basic assumptions about health care and finance. Anyone who has traveled to Africa recently can vouch for these changes.
In nearly every sizable town or city, there are dozens of tiny kiosks where phones can be rented or repaired and subscriptions can be purchased. In regions where communications used to be nearly impossible, cellphones are essential to social innovation. This means everything from microfinance and electronic credit, via SMS, to better networking among health care workers and their patients.
Another revolution is following close on the heels of the cellphone revolution. This year, the number of mobile broadband subscribers — people who access the Internet via laptops or mobile phones — is forecast to pass one billion, up from 600 million at the end of 2009. That number will almost surely skyrocket, too — and the developed world should be doing everything it can to encourage it.
That means increasing the reach and lowering the cost of broadband and pressing for political and commercial openness across the Internet. Mobile communication and access to digital information are powerful development tools and aids to self-sufficiency. And we, in turn, have a lot to learn from the innovative way those tools are being used around the world.
OverDrive Media Console is a free, easy-to-use application that handles all aspects of your download media experience.
> OverDrive Media Console Mobile for Android™ is a free application designed to use the OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks available for download at many public library and retail websites. Built with the user in mind, OverDrive Media Console Mobile makes downloading easy. It offers title navigation, bookmarking, and the ability to ‘resume from most recently played point’. OverDrive Media Console Mobile is an all-in-one solution for enjoying OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks on your Android mobile device.
> Download OverDrive Titles.OverDrive titles are often divided into 'Parts' to make downloading quick and easy. Each Part is no larger than 40MB; you can enjoy a title after one Part has finished downloading instead of waiting for an entire book to download. If only a given Part is of interest, you can simply download that desired Part.
> Play & Navigate.Parts are divided into logical sections (i.e., chapters for audiobooks). The beginning points of these sections are MediaMarkers™. When you click on a Part, the MediaMarkers associated with that Part are displayed. Simply click on a MediaMarker to jump directly to, and begin play at, the MediaMarker. OverDrive Media Console also includes the conveniences of skipping back 15 seconds, advancing to the point furthest played, and bookmarking.
> Manage.OverDrive Media Console creates and maintains a comprehensive library of downloaded media. Titles can be sorted by title, creator, and date last played. If a title expires, OverDrive Media Console prompts you to delete the files, helping you keep downloaded titles organized. OverDrive Media Console Mobile keeps a history of your most recently deleted titles, allowing you to access the website from which you downloaded the title, and if you choose to download it again, will restore your custom bookmarks for that title.
> Find OverDrive Media.Wondering if your library offers OverDrive Media? Use the OverDrive Digital Media Locator at http://search.overdrive.com to find out. If you would like to buy OverDrive titles, visit http://eBookLocator.com/retail to search for titles available for sale.
Meebo lets users gather their friends on a single buddy list where they can talk and share content in real-time across different IM platforms, communities, and traditional social networks.
At meebo.com and with the Meebo Bar, users can keep in touch with friends across dozens of IM platforms, including AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, Google Talk, MySpace IM, Facebook Chat, and more. With over 100 million people sharing over 6 billion messages and 75 million links every month, Meebo is one of the Web's fastest growing social media companies.
Founded in 2005, Meebo enables real-time social interactions with instant messaging and group chat at meebo.com, on mobile, and on partner sites across the Web.
Get Meebo for the T-Mobile G1. Our first mobile app is now available for download in the Android Market.
Log into all your IM accounts and send messages for free with Meebo's first downloadable application for a mobile device. With Meebo for Android on your T-Mobile G1, you'll never miss a message. Available now from the Android Market.
A few key points:
> No SMS charges! >> Can run in the background >>>Displays notifications in your system tray
Use Meebo on the go by simply pointing your wireless device to www.meebo.com and signing in!
meebo designed especially for the iPhone
Access Meebo on your iPhone by simply pointing your browser to www.meebo.com. You'll find an interface customized for the mobile browser where you can effortlessly flick through your buddies—the smart buddylist makes it easy to keep up with all your conversations.
Meebo for iPhone is the web version of Meebo that we designed especially for the iPhone. Just point to www.meebo.com on the iPhone or iPod touch to chat on the go. You can effortlessly flick through a smart buddylist that makes it easy to keep up with all your conversations. No downloads are required and it’s free.
Meebo for iPhone also works on these wireless devices:
John Dew / The Futurist / Washington / Mar/Apr 2010 / Vol. 44 / Iss. 2 / pg. 46 / 5 pgs [snip]
An educator and strategic planner outlines the trends leading to a long-forecast future for colleges and universities: Global standardization of education content and accreditation, greater diversity in the student body, and more options for where, when, and how learning takes place.
In 1972, visionary futurists Robert Theobald and J. M. Scott wrote one of the most interesting works related to education in the field of future studies, Teg's 1994: An Anticipation of the Near Future. Like many significant studies of the future, Teg's 1994 was written as a work of fiction, in this case about a college student named Teg and her experiences as an "Orwell Scholar" in the year 1994.
What makes Teg's 1994 significant is the nature of the future of higher education that Theobald and Scott envisioned and how much of it has come to pass. In many ways, Teg's 1994 can also provide valuable insights into the future of higher education that this fictional student's own children and grandchildren might encounter over the next 25 years.
Theobald and Scott were able to fairly accurately describe many of the trends in higher education that have actually occurred over the intervening 37 years. This includes a description of a worldwide computer system that provides Teg with opportunities to conduct her own research, as well as communicate with her peers; campus locations around the world that enable her to conduct her studies in different geographical settings; a faculty member who serves as a mentor, with whom she corresponds by e-mail; and ... .
If Theobald and Scott were writing today, they might craft a sequel to Teg's 1994 around the following trends that are shaping the future of higher education, also commonly referred to as tertiary education in other countries.
1. Globalization of education that leads students to study outside their home country and to respect various cultural settings. This globalized education embraces English as the world language of convenience, while still supporting and honoring other languages and cultures.
2. A growing, but frustrated, need to harmonize the framework, definitions, and subject matter content of higher education programs around the world.
3. Continuous changes in technology that impact learning, including the use of the Internet, the digitizing of all the world's books, the complete transition of all technical journals to electronic format, the ascendency of online teaching and instructional designers over classroom teaching, and the use of ever changing technology, such as iPods and iPhones to deliver educational content.
4. The changing role of faculty that diminishes their engagement in classroom teaching.
5. The changing nature of students, most of whom are already working adults who want to further enhance their knowledge and skills.
6. A continued need but a changing role for residential campuses, as they become the headquarters for global educational enterprises and the gathering places for academic rituals and tribal events.
Education is shrinking the world, and the world is shrinking the educational enterprise. [snip]
Harmonizing International Educational Standards
In the increasingly global economy, multinational entities such as corporations and nongovernmental organizations demand more standardization in higher education's structure and content. [snip]
Technology's Impacts on Teaching and Learning
Technology that supports higher education continues to evolve at a rapid rate. The once-valued library stacks and reading rooms full of printed periodicals are being replaced by semantic search engines, online book collections, and electronic journals.
Technology will continue to transform teaching. Freshman math classes are already being replaced by computer-based math teaching labs on many campuses. Large lecture courses are being replaced by courses taught online. Small discussion-oriented courses are being replaced by online courses with live chat rooms or asynchronous discussion boards, taking advantage of social networking to turn learning into a cooperative activity.
All of these changes support the ability of students to pursue their higher education from anywhere and at any time. [snip]
"Going to college" no longer means going to a particular place for a particular number of years. It increasingly means engaging in a structured approach to higher education in whatever physical environment is most suitable for the learner.
The Changing Demography Of College Populations
While most people envision the traditional 18- to 22-year-old when they hear the term "college student," that image no longer reflects the actual demographics of college students. In the United States, the college student body increasingly comprises working adults.
New Roles for Educators
The faculty have always been the core of the college or university, but their role is rapidly changing. The full-time faculty of the future will reflect current trends in three ways.
First, full-time faculty will increasingly serve as the guardians of a body of knowledge in their discipline. They will engage in the international discussion about the content and equivalence of academic courses and programs, working with other practitioners in their field through the auspices of specialized accrediting bodies.
Second, full-time faculty will continue to devote more of their time to conducting research and publishing or performing in their field. They will thus contribute to the body of knowledge in their field and reinforce their role as the critical evaluators of what constitutes that body of knowledge.
Third, full-time faculty will spend more time as mentors, either in the face-to-face setting or online, as envisioned by Theobald and Scott. [snip]
College Campuses and "Homecoming"
Despite these trends, the residential college or university will continue to exist, even though the enrollment on campus may become a shrinking percentage of an institution's total enrolled population. [snip]
By now, Theobald and Scott's character Teg would have had children of her own, and those children would most likely be headed for college by 2020. Unlike their fictional mother, this next generation of college students really will be living wherever they want and taking many (if not all) of their courses online. They will interact with other students from all around the planet and may even complete degrees that are accredited by international accrediting agencies, giving them even more maneuverability in the global workplace.
Teg's children-and their twentyfirst- century peers-truly will be the global, mobile learners that education futurists have envisioned.
About the Author
John Dew is the associate vice chancellor for institutional research, planning, and effectiveness at Troy University. As a strategic planning facilitator, he worked with what eventually became Lockheed Martin Corporation for 23 years. He also facilitated strategic planning at the University of Alabama, Louisiana State University Law School, the University of California-Bakersfield, and other highereducation institutions.
His address is 231 Adams Administration Building, Troy University, Troy, Alabama 36082. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
For faculty, instructional technologists, and others interested in using smartphones for student projects including digital storytelling, mapping, polling, and in-field data collection.
Delivered Online In Our Virtual Auditorium
Mobile phones present a familiar challenge as an instructional technology: Since everyone has them, there must be a way to use them for teaching and learning. Seton Hall University has been exploring possible uses through its mobile initiative.
In this session Michael Taylor, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Mobile Research and Social Change at Seton Hall University, will discuss the uses of smartphones in the classroom across multiple disciplines. Taylor will present the use of mobile devices in student projects including digital storytelling, mapping, polling, and in-field data collection. These projects highlight the functionality of smartphones to improve classroom communication, collaboration, and connectivity. Discussion will also cover the diverse pedagogical goals that were addressed in these mobile projects, as well as some of the challenges encountered in piloting these mobile projects.
The “Special Topics in Digital Teaching” series offers a sequence of interactive discussions showcasing how faculty are using digital technology for teaching and learning. The series is delivered online via NITLE’s multipoint interactive videoconferencing environment and is designed to help faculty make the transition from learning a new technology to using it effectively for teaching and learning. Participants are invited to join these lively discussions from the convenient location of their campus offices.
February 4, 2010, 04:00 PM ET / By Mary Helen Miller
Software developer ScrollMotion announced this week that it will make textbooks compatible with the new Apple iPad for four major publishers: McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pearson, and Kaplan Publishing. The e-books, in addition to providing the original content of textbooks, will allow users to highlight text in multiple colors, take audio and printed notes, search content in different ways, take quizzes, and watch videos.
ScrollMotion has worked with other publishers to adapt more than 7,000 titles for the iPod and iTouch, but the new deal with the textbook publishers "represent tens of thousands of textbooks," said Josh Koppel, chief creative officer and a co-founder of ScrollMotion. [snip]
Rik Kranenburg, McGraw-Hill's president for higher education, professional, and international publishing, said that 95 percent of McGraw-Hill's higher education textbooks are already available electronically and that all textbooks will be available for the new device "very rapidly." [snip]
Albert N. Greco, a professor at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business who studies academic publishing, said that given the complexity of transforming textbooks to iPad format, it made sense for the publishers to seek help from outside companies rather than do it themselves. [snip]
ScrollMotion has previously converted children's books, novels, and magazines to electronic format, but, Mr. Koppel said, "textbooks are probably the most complex challenge we've taken on to date."
With the fall semester the biggest term of the year for textbook sales, the iPad's debut last week seems to have come at a good time.
 Mobile Learning Fundamentals: Innovation Showcase and Real-World Examples / Presented by A.J. Ripin / With Special Guest > Dr. David Metcalf
The way that we live, work, play, and learn is being impacted by the increasing mobility of our global society. As leaders, it is our responsibility to design for the needs of our changing audience. Learn the key trends and technologies that are fast emerging to meet the challenges and changes of today and tomorrow. Come hear this conversation as we explore advanced concepts like mobile performance support, compliance, games and simulations, location awareness, transcoding, mobile social networking and collaboration. Learn firsthand how world leaders from industry, academia, military and organizations like Google, Microsoft, Tyco International, Tufts University and others are delivering value through Mobile Learning content.
 Mind Over Technology – The Value Of Content Design In Mobile Education / Presented by Supra Manohar / EVP Emantras
The discussion of mobility in education has primarily focused on technology and devices. It is critical to understand that the maturation of the market is driving the need for understanding content design and why it is probably one of the most critical aspects of any mobile learning initiative. Understanding how we learn in specific environments is critical to learning design. Using online content without pedagogical modifications within mobile environments probably does not work. The primary thrust of mobile education must be the design of the content and utilization of technology to deliver this content. This presentation will explore learning design for mobile environments and critical factors that need to be considered for a successful initiative (relative to content).
The World's Best Science And Medicine At Your Fingertips
The nature.com iPhone application allows you to access science news stories and the latest published research from Nature Publishing Group on your iPhone wherever you are. As new articles are published they're pushed straight to your iPhone where you can read the full text immediately or just save them for later.
Tell the app which journals you're interested in or set up saved searches, which will show you the titles and abstracts of new articles from any journals in PubMed that match your key words.
Keeping abreast of the latest research has never been easier!
Great reading experience- the nature.com app has been designed to make reading scientific content on the iPhone a rewarding experience. A fast, attractive interface lets you get straight to the news and research you need and lets you read it comfortably and with minimum fuss.
Save for later- want to skim abstracts on the bus but read the full text back at your desk? Just use the application's "save" button and a link and downloadable citation for that article will appear on this website.
Saved searches- set up saved searches on PubMed or nature.com so that you can be alerted to new, relevant research as soon as it gets published.
Zoom and pan figures- tap on a figure and it'll open a new screen where you can pan and zoom in to see fine detail, making best use of the iPhone's smaller screen.
Easy references- no need to jump to the end of the document and back to assess a reference, just tap it to get details.
I currently have primary responsibilities for Collection Development, Instruction, and Reference and Research Services in Chemical and Biological Engineering; Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering; Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering; and Mechanical Engineering; Alternative Energy; Environment Sciences with the Library of Iowa State University, where I have been employed since April 1987.
Prior to joining ISU, I served as the Museum Librarian at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, and as an Assistant Librarian with the Library of the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, my hometown.
I received my Master of Science degree in Library Science from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign in 1975, and my undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Lehman College of the City University of New York, The Bronx.