Saturday, September 8, 2007


Well just when I thought I had begun to wrap my mind around this new world of blogging, I find information on one of the latest blogging developments -- microblogging!

So what makes this type of blogging different? Well basically the difference is the postings are very short entries and there are several tools that have developed to aid the micro-blogger. Refer to for more information. Still the digital immigrant...Lois

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Social Networking Survey Results

The National School Board Association has released findings from an online survey involving 9-17 year old students and their social networking habits. The survey concludes with NSBA recommending to school board members to find ways to harness the learning power of social networking with this generation of students. Read the entire survey findings at Lois

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Search engines & Facebook

An interesting news item from the UK's Telegraph newspaper on major search engines being able to search Facebook. So what will the impact of this be now that major search engines like Google and Yahoo can search for names of people on Facebook?

This summer several of the human resource specialists that spoke to one of the teacher workshops that I faclitate indicated that they do check out Facebook or MySpace sites to see what a prospective employee might have posted while in school (college or high school) and some indicated that judgement calls would have to be made if issues arose from the stuff that had been posted to these sites. Will the ability to search Facebook like any other phone book search change the way in which members of the social networking sites post information?



Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Emerging Technology Thoughts

There are several thoughts that I have about emerging technologies and our readings from the last couple of weeks. I find I’m in agreement with many of the things that are in the two Prensky articles (Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants and Emerging Technologies for Learning, Vol 2) and Vicki's podcast from NECC on using a wiki space in a high school classroom (wow that was a great presentation and I'm jealous of what her high school students were doing -- I'd like to be able to replicate that in the college classroom.

This weekend I spent some time exploring the use of the wiki space for collaborative work, the use of social bookmarking via Delicious, and the igoogle space. One common theme that ties these three emerging technologies together is their simplicity of use, especially by a digital immigrant and the increased efficiency that each of these interfaces (? Not sure if this is the correct term) offers a learning community.

We used the social bookmarking tool Delicious last fall in Dr. Z’s database class and I found myself using the site to bookmark materials from the web for my principles of macroeconomics class for use this fall. It will be interesting to see how my students respond to the use of delicious for their economics news journal assignment that will be introduced later this month. I’ve moved away from a “news clipping” journal that was submitted on paper to using the classroom management tools in WebCT for reading and discussing news articles. I’m hoping that switching formats to an online environment will make the assignment more interesting and engaging. That is moving from a legacy approach to future approach using Penksy's language. Making that leap is something I'm going to struggle with, but feel that it is essential to add more of these emerging technologies into the university classroom as more and more of our students have no memory of a world without the internet and digital tech tools in their lives.

I was very enthused after listening to Vicki's podcast from NECC on how she uses wikis in the classroom as a collaborative learning tool. I went to the education wiki space that Adam referred to toward the end of the podcast, but did not find the links with examples of how teachers around the world are using wikis in their classrooms. This is something that I want to explore more as I think wikis offer a simple tool for collaboration that should be incorporated into instructional best practices. This is not a topic that has been addressed in my econ ed network and the wikis offer a better tool for collaboration than what we've been doing with pdfs posted to a website or email attachments or the use of meeting software like go to meeting that has a subscription fee for users.

Wow -- what choices for customizing your igoogle homepage -- I spent too many hours looking at all the gadget tools that I could put on the page. In particular I was struck by how many news services are available to put on the page eliminating the need to click through my bookmarks on my computer when I want to get news information. So now I have a news table on my igoogle page and some fun things with features that offer daily photos, quotes, words, etc. This is clearly much more efficient with a one-stop shop fixed on a computer at home or in my office. so for now the immigrant with an acent...lois

Monday, September 3, 2007

emerging technology conference at MIT

MIT is hosting its 7th annual conference on emerging technologies later this month. The conference will feature a special section devoted to women and emerging technologies --addressing the issue of why women are under-represented in ets. I found links to broadcasts from the 2006 conference (audio and video) if you're interested in seeing what was identified for topics in last year's conference at -- many examples of emerging technology applications -- Lois

Municipal WiFI

One of the ventures that I've been watching with great interest is the municipal wi-fi initiatives to bring wireless internet access to communities around the globe. I see this as important step in bridging the digital access gap that exists between haves and have nots.

Late last week there was a brief story on the AP wire service regarding the problems at Earthlink, one of the companies that has taken on the municipal wi-fi ventures in larger metropolitan areas in the US. That article has generated a wide range of comments asking whether the municipal wi-fi initiatives are feasible. See for example the short article from Wireless Week at This will be an interesting topic to watch in the coming months. Lois