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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Technology Trends

I found The Horizon Report inspiring in the sense that it prompted me to dig further and find new information and relevant newer technologies that may have been developed from the work that is being done on current trends. I believe the new trends are untested in the educational field as a whole but warrant integration into the desired areas of study to be tested and used by the intended end users for feedback on its applicability.  The Simple Augmented Reality component of the report struck me as the most applicable for my area of teaching in educational technology.

Simple Augmented Reality image

I currently use AV software in my classroom as part of my lessons in instruction, tutorials, demonstrations and as examples.  The AV files are a great resource for students to find the relevance of what is accomplished not only in my classrooms but the relationship between curriculums.  I have started to use YouTube and Camtasia as a main part of the lesson plan introduction.  This has inspired students to use these resources outside of the classroom to assist in the completion of their projects and created more independent study by the students.  I also incorporate the software Google Sketch-Up into my construction class, the 3D modeling is a major part of our design process when creating the One Room Design and Model Home Design.  As I read through The Horizon Report on Simple Augmented Reality it occurred to me that this new technology would be a great addition for all areas of educational technology.  A few methods that come to mind in which simple augmented reality could be used are modeling projects, demonstrations, and creating short stories.  The use of an augmented reality software enables the student to create a virtual reality and test it’s function for solving the stated problem without having to actual create a working model.  This saves the student time and the use of class resources.  The student can then develop the final solution to be created as a working model knowing that it will meet it’s intended goal of solving the stated problem.

Augmented Reality image

The more we read of reports like The Horizon Report and incorporate new trends into the classroom either as an educator or student, the more we create new avenues for learning and inspiration.  As the current generation continues to become more connected and technologies advance to allow greater capabilities, it is in our best interests to find use of the applicable trends to enhance the experience and learning.

YouTube Video of Milo interactive computer program

References

A Collaboration Between The New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative An EDUCAUSE Program. The Horizon Report, Retrieved Feb. 10, 2011 http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2010-Horizon-Report.pdf

Andrew Sellick.  Software resource Blog, Retrieved Feb. 12, 2011 from http://www.andrewsellick.com/190/15-awesome-augmented-reality-apps

teichgraf, SLARToolkit – Silverlight Augmented Reality Toolkit, Retrieved Feb. 12, 2011 http://slartoolkit.codeplex.com/

Engadget, British Airports now Beaming Holographic Security Agents, Retrieved Feb. 14, 2011 http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/01/british-airports-now-beaming-holographic-security-agents-video/

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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in My YouTube Channel

 

Digital Divide versus Digital Inequality

Dictionary.com defines divide as; to separate into parts, groups, sections, etc. It defines inequality as; the condition of being unequal; lack of equality; disparity: inequality of size.

Digital Divide: The gap between those who have access to digital technologies and those who do not; or the gap between those who use digital technologies and those who do not understood in binary terms distinguishing the “haves” from the “havenots” (Hargittai 2003)

Digital Inequality: A refined understanding of the “digital divide” that emphasizes a spectrum of inequality across segments of the population depending on differences along several dimensions of technology access and use.(Hargittai 2003)

The research I have done along with the information that Professor Stacey DeLoose provided has brought me to the conclusion that most of the general public is unaware of the significant problem that not only our great country faces but all developed and developing counties face.  We are staring at a revolution that is leaving many behind, even with the greatest intentions of our government, nationally and locally.

The inception of the World Wide Web saw a large gap between the haves and have-nots, this was also the case with the telephone, radio and TV in each of their inceptions.

Figure 1. The percentage of the adult US population online, 1994-2001

The encouraging aspect of this is that as the market grows so does the availability of internet access as long as pricing is kept in check.  The graphs above show the gaps getting smaller as we move forward in the internet generation.  Research also shows that that cell phone service prices have dropped almost 25% in the last decade and internet service has only come down 4%.  The electronic devises that are available for connectivity has increased steadily over the last decade and show no signs of slowing down and prices have come down with the influx of new technology, but connection prices have not come down to match.  As wonderful as this new technology is, it does no good for connectivity if the internet service provider has priced most of America out of the market.  Along those lines, with the purchase of new technology, the user will need to understand how to operate the new technology to its fullest potential.  Without the understanding of how to use the internet other then to be the end user, the user does not gain the full potential of being connected.

When we switch gears to digital inequalities we are opening up a much broader range of discussion.  We now look at differences between gender, age, ethnicity, demographics, annual incomes and education.  As we look deeper there is a greater gap of inequality then was thought.  The graph below shows the relationship between these.

There are ways of correcting the digital inequalities we face in the US so as to ensure our competitive edge in the global market.  The first comes with education by enforcing the knowledge of communication and understanding how to use technology as a means to improving our way of life.  Second, keep the cost of equipment and internet service down to an affordable level for all economic levels.  Third, recycling used equipment to be refurbished and sold at a discounted price to those that can not afford new equipment.  The last would come from training individuals on how to use the technology for more then just being the end user, to have a more proactive role in the internet.

The graph below shows the ranking between countries and their connection level and that this is not just a problem here in the US but also abroad.  It also shows that we have slipped in the rankings.

References

Barzilai-Nahon, K. (2006). Gaps and bits: Conceptualizing measurements for digital divide/s. The Information Society, 22(5), 269-278. (PDF file)

Computer and Internet Use by Students in 2003. (2006). Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006065

DiMaggio, P., & Hargittai, E. (2001). From the ‘digital divide’ to ‘digital inequality:’ Studying Internet use as penetration increases. Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Working Paper Series number, 15. Retrieved from http://www.princeton.edu/~arts…gittai.pdf

DiMaggio, P., Hargittai, E., Celeste, C., & Shafer, S. (2004). From unequal access to differentiated use: A literature review and agenda for research on digital inequality. Social Inequality, 355-400. Retrieved from http://www.eszter.com/research…uality.pdf

Hargittai, E. (2003). The digital divide and what to do about it. New Economy Handbook, 821-839. Retrieved from http://www.eszter.com/research…divide.pdf

ITU Country rankings. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.itu.int/net/itunews/issues/2010/03/26.aspx

McConnaughey, J., Nila, C. A., & Sloan, T. (1995). Falling through the net: A survey of the “have nots” in rural and urban America. National Telecommunications And Information Administration. Retrieved from http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/fallingthru.html



 
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Posted by on February 7, 2011 in My YouTube Channel

 

Elements of Educational Technology

The definition of educational technology is stated as:

“Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.” By AECT

In the short time that I have been teaching I have been observed as incorporating a student-centered environment with my instruction. This was mostly by plan but not to the degree that it has been observed. As I read through the article Definition I was excited to know that what I have been doing for the last 9 years is in harmony with the direction of educational technology. I cannot take all the credit for this; it mostly is due to a great education technology program at California University of PA where I received my undergrad degree.
I believe the goal of any educational technology teacher is to facilitate the development of our students’ ability to see outside the box for solutions to an existing problem with the knowledge that was provided by the instructor and knowledge obtained through practice. The students should be able to create a solution from the direction of their own experiences. The instructor should provide background knowledge enforcement, new knowledge based on the new experience and promptings to assist when necessary. As student learn to think at a higher and more critical level they expand on their knowledge, experiences and confidence.
Facilitating the creation of new ideas and unseen new knowledge is the expansion of our field of educational technology. Today is our day and tomorrow is theirs. Like the pictures show: 1. A classroom utilizing past technology to solve problems. 2. A student using current technology to solve a problem. 3. A student using future technology to solve a problem.

Resources
http://www.tentoed.com/gamedesign/2010/10/14/things-to-consider-in-designing-educational-technology-games.html

http://www.blogcatalog.com/blogs/greenbush-labs-technology-education-innovation-exploring-tomorrows-educational-technology-today

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2011 in My YouTube Channel