Posts by js

Summer of Distractions

By js, 29 July, 2008, No Comment

As the second full month of my summer ends, I am distressed about the amount of work that I have NOT completed.

I shouldn’t be surprised; summers never go as intended, but I am disappointed. I know that I will be unable to complete my goals. It’s time to look at my timeline again.

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century

By js, 4 July, 2008, No Comment

Occasional Papers enJLKQNlFiG&b=2108773&content_id={CD911571-0240-4714-A93B-1D0C07C7B6C1}&notoc=1

Digital Divide and Digital Literacy as White Property–my ideas

By js, 4 July, 2008, No Comment

Pendergast argues that literacy has been constructed as white property

That means that

  • access to literacy for non-whites is limited
  • x
  • y
  • z

Does this also occur with the concept of digital literacy?

there is alot of discussion about the access to digital technologies which affects the learning of that type of literacy

  • but even access to the technology itself does not guarantee access to the literacy skills needed to be smart consumers and producers

Alot of the research done about minorities and access to technology is driven by their marketshare; that means by how much money they can spend; if alot of advertisements are moving onto the digital realm then that target consumer population needs to be reached; this is so that the companies selling can reach their buyers; this means that the type of research which is being done is geared for the businesses and for the type of strategies they should be using to get their market share; of course, they may not have alot of control; for example, ATT may not be willing to spend to get fiberoptic cable to communities which cannot pay for the services; but businesses want to lobby ATT to provide the cable to they can push their advertisement to those so that population can access the ads; so the companies will make deals with ATT to get that population (unless of course the population doens’t have alot of money and wouldn’t be able to buy the services in the first place); these people are interested int he consumer and not necessarily making the population become the producer

which may be one of the reasons why digital TV is being pushed so hard; everyone gets TV, even the poorest households

Other research has to do with technology and education; how does the technology access affect the access to education; in a sense this is digital literacy

if the people do not have access to the technology and to the web, then they will be at a disadvantage to many of the services which are provided online; so many of the support services; the additional instruction; the just in time help for the learning tohappen is not happening; they cannot get online for that

many teachers are beginning to design the course with the expectation that the students do have access; that is not necessarily the case; so that makes the student be at a disadvantage

so the digital technology; access to the web becomes property which is linked with literacy; just as having books is property which is linked to literacy; having the books makes kids become better readers; having access to the web makes kids better consumers/producers of text; in essence, makes them more literate

so even though the research and the political climate has pushed to get technology in schools, who is getting the technology and the type of technology they are getting, the way in which the technology is being put to use is all part of the literacy as white property; who gets to be a consumer, who gets to be a producer; what type of consumer one becomes, etc.

one is more empowered and can ultimately take control and the other is always at a disadvantage


this can affect policy decisions

this can affect pedagogical decisions

this can affect funding decisions

this can affect research agendas


studies and their designs

studies and their findings

policy decisions

how technology is implemented in schools

discourse of distance education

WE MUST GO BEYOND THE ISSUE OF ACCESS to what our concern for access tells us; and what that focus may be blinding us to

Study says many dial-up users don’t want broadband

By js, 4 July, 2008, No Comment tec_broadband_study;_ylt=Aoo0WCIqw7gTyTX_5jgRr.QjtBAF

Study says many dial-up users don’t want broadband

By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer Thu Jul 3, 1:34 AM ET

NEW YORK – A new study suggests that attitude rather than availability may be the key reason why more Americans don’t have high-speed Internet access.

The findings from the Pew Internet and American Life Project challenge the argument that broadband providers need to more aggressively roll out supply to meet demand.

Only 14 percent of dial-up users say they’re stuck with the older, slower connection technology because they can’t get broadband in their neighborhoods, Pew reported Wednesday.

Thirty-five percent say they’re still on dial-up because broadband prices are too high, while another 19 percent say nothing would persuade them to upgrade. The remainder have other reasons or do not know.

“That suggests that solving the supply problem where there are availability gaps is only going to go so far,” said John Horrigan, the study’s author. “It’s going to have to be a process of getting people more engaged with information technology and demonstrating to people it’s worth it for them to make the investment of time and money.”

Nonetheless, the Pew study does support concerns that rural Americans have more trouble getting faster Internet connections, which bring greater opportunities to work from home or log into classes at distant universities. Twenty-four percent of rural dial-up users say they would get broadband if it becomes available, compared with 11 percent for suburbanites and 3 percent for city dwellers.

Vint Cerf, one of the Internet’s key inventors and an advocate for the idea that the government should be more active in expanding broadband, suspects that many more dial-up users would be interested in going high-speed if they had a better idea of what they’re missing. He pointed out that broadband access is available from only one provider in many areas, keeping prices high and speeds low.

“Some residential users may not see a need for higher speeds because they don’t know about or don’t have ability to use high speeds,” Cerf said. “My enthusiasm for video conferencing improved dramatically when all family members had MacBook Pros with built-in video cameras, for example.”

Overall, Pew found that 55 percent of American adults now have broadband access at home, up from 47 percent a year earlier and 42 percent in March 2007. By contrast, only 10 percent of Americans now have dial-up access.

Despite the increase in overall broadband adoption, though, growth has been flat among blacks and poorer Americans.

Of the Americans with no Internet access at all, about a third say they have no interest in logging on, even at dial-up speeds. Nearly 20 percent of nonusers had access in the past but dropped it. Older and lower-income Americans are most likely to be offline.

Pew’s telephone study of 2,251 U.S. adults, including 1,553 Internet users, was conducted April 8 to May 11 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. The error margins for subgroups are higher — plus or minus 7 percentage points for the dial-up sample.

Home Broadband Adoption 2008

By js, 4 July, 2008, No Comment

Home Broadband Adoption 2008

Adoption Stalls For Low-Income Americans Even As Many Broadband Users Opt For Premium Services



Some 55% of adult Americans now have broadband internet connections at home, up from 47% who had high-speed access at home last year at this time. From the March 2006 to March 2007 timeframe, home broadband adoption grew from 42% of Americans to 47%.

full reportTechnology & Media Use

Home Broadband 2008: Adoption Stalls for low-income Americans even as many broadband users opt for premium services that give them more speed

7/2/2008 | MemoReport | John Horrigan

Some 55% of all adult Americans now have a high-speed internet connection at home. The percentage of Americans with broadband at home has grown from 47% in early 2007. Poorer Americans saw no growth in broadband adoption in the past year while at the same time nearly one-third of broadband users pay more to get faster connections.

View PDF of Report
View PDF of Questionnaire


By js, 4 July, 2008, No Comment

How does the discourse about the digital divide affect policy?

How is computer literacy/ digital literacy another form of literacy for which minorities are at a disadvantage? Does Pendergast argument about literacy as white property supported by the documents surrounding the digital divide?

Who publishes the studies, who funds them, and how do those elements affect the studies and the reporting of their findings?

How are those studies used to make policy decisions? Can that be tracked?

Teacher as Co-Learner

By js, 4 July, 2008, No Comment

The Future of Instruction: Teacher as ‘Co-Learner’


The expectations of students and the demands of the education community are changing radically in the 21st century. Necessarily, the role of the teacher is changing along with those. But what will that role be? The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is attempting to answer that question with the release this week of the long-anticipated update to its National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T) framework. Read complete article

What Digital Divide?

By js, 4 July, 2008, No Comment

Here is an article which discusses the lesseinging of the digital divide in the Midwest.

Is the divide different for different areas of the country?

How does the funding agency affect the results of the study?

How does the political climate (and endemic racism of the area) affect the way the study is conducted and the way the results are reported?

The article itself is hinting at the possible bias in the reporting of the results.

“For some interesting (and somewhat disturbing) results measuring outcomes among underprivileged students with access to technology, see our report on a separate study from University of Chicago and Columbia University: Are Underprivileged Students Better Off Without Computers?”

more information here…

Digital Divide? What Digital Divide?

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Students in low-income families may have more access to technology than previously thought. What’s more, according to preliminary research coming out of the University of Minnesota, these students are using technology consistently to boost their 21st century skills–even if many of them aren’t aware that they’re of the educational value of their activities online.

Internet Access and Usage
The new study, led by U Minnesota’s Christine Greenhow, learning technologies researcher in the College of Education and Human Development, focused on 600 lower-income students, their access to the Internet, the frequency of their Internet usage, and their online social networking activities. What it found was that a full 94 percent of them used the Internet, with 82 percent of them using the Internet from home. Seventy-six percent reported having a desktop computer, and 30 percent reported having a laptop computer at home.”

Study Latino Online Use June 2008 California

By js, 4 July, 2008, No Comment

Just found this one particular study which contradicts many other studies which are saying that Latino use is increasing and the digital divide is lessening.

General Plan Ideas

By js, 2 July, 2008, No Comment

1. General structure is typically followed, but there is flexibility in the details

a. Introduction (Background, Motivations, Literature review)

b. Objective/Purposes/Hypothesis (need not be a separate section, but often is)

c. Methods

d. Preliminary Results

2. Introduction

a. Start broad (e.g. injuries, need for ergonomics, etc.), become increasingly specific

b. End with a review, and broaden out to discuss potential applications (importance) of the proposed work

c. Topics to be addressed: what’s been done; what hasn’t; what is needed and why; indicate your part or contribution (scoping your domain)

d. Intro should contain some statements of objectives, purposes, and hypothesis. Placement is flexible, though, and these could be in a separate sections between

e. Intro and Methods, or even part of the Methods. Depending on the specifics, not all of these (objective, purposes, and hypotheses) will always been relevant. More important that it be clear and readable.

f. How long should it be? Long enough to satisfy the above goals. Typically 10-30 pages for an MS, longer for a PhD proposal.

g. When summarizing existing literature, it is not enough just to describe what authors X, Y, and Z did. Results should be interpreted, in the context of the overall review and study objectives.

h. In particular, discuss contrasting evidence, possible sources for discrepancies (experimental design, lack of controls, sensitivity of measures, etc.), and the importance of resolving the differences.

4. Objectives/Purposes

a. Non-quantitative, but specific and clearly filling some hole/need addressed in the Introduction.

b. The Intro should have motivated and ‘scoped’ the stated objectives and purposes.

5. Hypotheses

a. Non-quantitative, but again specific and clear.

b. There should be obvious connections to the objectives, and clear (though not

c. stated here) indications of how statistical methods would be used to evaluate thehypotheses. In the methods, your statistical tests should make reference to these hypotheses.

d. Not every statistical test should have an associate hypotheses (otherwise it would be unwieldy); instead, the hypotheses can be general (e.g. there will be an association among several variables; factors A and B will have effects on several measures of performance).

e. Don’t use words like ‘significant’, save this for the description of statistical methods.

6. Methods

a. What will be done, how, and why

b. With respect to how and why, there is typically more than one way to do something, and you must explain (and sometimes justify) your choice.

c. The methods should have clear connections to the hypotheses.

d. The Methods tends to be a difficult and sometimes complicated section. In general, proceed from broad to specific, but also ensure that a context is provided before specific details are raised. For example, don’t describe specific experimental treatments before you’ve even explained the overall approach and the different independent and dependent variables.

e. Note that ‘repeated measures’ refers to a study design, while within- and between subjects refers to specific independent measures (or treatments). Crossed and nested factors are synomymous.

f. The reader should be able to understand what you’re talking about, given what was provided before (use of a colleague again helps here).

g. Subsections are often used such as: Overview; Subjects; Procedures; Instrumentation; Experimental Design; Data Reduction; Analysis (stats)

h. The specific ordering of the sections in g., should achieve the goals of d. and f.

i. Somewhere (typically in Experimental Design), there should be an explicit statement of the independent and dependent variables (or factors, or measures)

So how do I get there? Unfortunately, this is as much an art as a science, but here are some things to consider:

1. Some General Tips:

a. Each paragraph proceeds from general to specific.

b. Some have suggested that reading the first sentence of every paragraph in the document should convey the essential meaning of the whole.

c. Vary the structure of your sentences and paragraphs.

d. Use transitions between paragraphs (either the last sentence of the proceeding one or the first sentence of the subsequent one, should tie the two together).

e. Avoid one-sentence paragraphs (generally at least 3 sentences comprise a paragraph)

f. Consider optional presentation methods (always using good HF knowledge and practice). Often the same thing can be conveyed by text, graphs, tables, diagrams, etc. Pick what is the most effective, but avoid duplication.

2. Some common mistakes to avoid:

a. Repetitive sentence structure (The… The… The… or However, … Additionally, … Therefore, …)

b. Avoid complex words and convoluted sentence constructions, where simpler ones will convey the information (like utilize vs. use; cognizant vs. aware; though personal style always has a role). Eschew obfuscation!

c. There is no advantage to be gained by making something obscure. The scientific value is not enhanced by complicated words and prose, and to someone that knows the field, you don’t sound any more knowledgeable. If you look at some of the best journals, they are typically written in a very dry, boring, direct, and terse style. It tends to be the weaker journals where creative writing flourishes!


Dissertation Proposal How To Handout