Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Journal 6

Access to Educational Resources

Internet has greatly changed the way we view information and information access, and changed access to ‘literature’, research, and quality ‘test’ as well as censorship or edited. E-textbooks, online lectures, and digital libraries are great useful experiences to students and instructors. Besides, free online educational resources help bridge the digital divide. Digital Divide is a term that describes the division of the world into two camps, those who have access to the Internet and other advanced information technologies and those who don’t. The term highlights the issue that those who do not have access technology are potentially destined to futures where they will be at an economic disadvantage.

According to the Taborn(2007), to connect with students of color, we must look to past achievements of minority innovators obscured by history, and use modern-day technology leaders to help students of color shape their relationships to science and technology and move beyond the Digital Divide. For example, no matter how much equipment is placed in underserved schools, the poorest students will still be at a material disadvantage compare to those with historical and entrenched material wealth. Higher levels of technology use are grooming whites for better-paying jobs in the workforce, while minorities are destined for menial jobs in the digital world. Thus, poor children can receive a good education in high-poverty schools where more of the nation’s blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans attend. In other words, in often-misguided efforts to bridge the digital divide, we often overlook the reality that providing schools with digital technology does not address or change, in meaningful ways, the systems that limit minority youth, ultimately, the well-being of our society.

Critically thinking, I agree with that Internet has greatly changed educational environments. Particularly, while we use educational technologies and resources in teaching and learning, I observe more justice and equality in diverse educational environments such as race, class, language, physical obstacle, and so on. All human beings should learn equally through efficient technological resources anywhere and anytime they want in all over the world. I think that the world has been changing dramatically by educational technologies.

Taborn, Tyrone D. (2008). “Separating Race from Technology: Finding Tomorrow’s IT Progress in the Past." Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media. Edited by Anna Everett. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 39–60.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Journal 5

Mobile Computing and Information Access

Mobile computing devices are portable computers, tablet PCs, PDAs, smart phones, personal digital assistants, and carputers. A carputer is a computing device installed in an automobile. It operates as a wireless computer, sound system, GPA, and DVD player. Also it contains word processing software and it’s bluetooth compatible. In fact, I have a carputer in my car, and it is indispensible for me to use it in my daily life. Without GPA, I cannot go anywhere these days. I simply listen and drive following its directions. Even though many other 40s and 50s still look for traditional and slow ways to find a destination when they travel, I do not have to print directions from ‘Mapquest’ or buy a map anymore. Carputer is amazing. Furthermore, without the sound system or DVD player, I cannot imagine my driving at all, particularly when I drive for long hours. It entertains me and becomes my close friend all the time especially when I drive alone.

In addition, it is time to think about how we can use technology to bridge the gap between rich and poor nations in the world. The hallmark of a civilized society is to offer opportunities for people from all parts of the world to have a better quality of life. The underdeveloped countries in Africa and the poverty in those countries should be a concern for every single citizen in any society. Mobile computing can help people in Africa by offering technological solutions for their everyday needs. Students have no access to email or to e-learning but all have mobile phones which are used successfully by university in their education. One such application of modern technology is the example of how teachers in Ethiopia are tapping into Microsoft Azure Cloud to plan and download curriculum, keep track of academic records and securely transfer the student data to make it available throughout the education system. They are highly efficient in poor Africa because of the benefits; low cost and faster time to market. I expect all people take advantages from mobile computing devices, but undeveloped and disadvantaged countries take more in considering of their geographical difficulties and costs.,,contentMDK:22267518~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:282386,00.html

Friday, March 26, 2010

Journal 4

Gaming and Virtual World

Good video games engage in good learning and a game’s design is naturally connected to designing good learning for players. People primarily think and learn through experiences they have had, not through abstract calculations and generalizations. People store these experience in memory and use them to run simulations in their minds to prepare for problem solving in new situations. These simulations help them to form hypotheses about how to proceed in the new situation based on past experiences.

In other words, individual’s participation in social groups that supply meaning and purpose to goals, interpretations, practice, explanations, debriefing, and feedback, conditions necessary for deep learning from experience. Learning moves from identity to goals and norms, to tools and technologies, and only then to content. In addition, model and modeling are inherently tied to learning and exploration, since they simplify complex phenomena in order to make those phenomena easier to deal with for the accomplishment of goals, problem solving, and action.

Furthermore, games enhance learning, namely, recruiting distributed intelligence, collaboration, and cross-functional teams for problem solving; offering players ‘empathy for a system’; marrying emotion to cognition; being challenging while still keeping frustration below the level of the affective filter; giving players a sense of production and ownership; and situating the meanings of words and symbols in terms of actions, images, experiences, and dialogue, not just ‘definitions’ and texts read outside of contexts of use.

As I reflect myself as a mom, I regret that I had not let my son to play games much when he was in K-12, because I thought games were totally against for learning in many ways. However, I have learned that games possess a great deal of positive benefits in learning, and computer games or video games make people to get all above abilities in their own learning situation. I have had no interests in playing games, but as a contemporary teacher, I conclude that I need to travel to a game world to teach my future students more effectively and to understand all age level students.

In conclusion, ‘all’ students get benefits from games and MUVEs, and I am sure that minority students such as special education or ESOL(English Speakers of Other Language) students and boys get more benefits in learning.

Gee, James Paul. (2008). “Learning and Games." The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning. Edited by Katie Salen. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 21–40. Available at:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Journal 3

Online Identity and Professionalism

Digital media gives incredible opportunities for learning, social connection, and individual entertainment and enhancement in a wide variety of forms. However, the wide-scale access and multiplicity of sources make assessing the credibility of information extremely complex. Assesing credibility inaccurately can have serious xocial, personal, educaiton, relational, health, and finacial consequences. As a result, determining trust, believability, and information bias become critical as individuals process the information in their lives gleaned from digital media.

Then, how people evaluate and make decisions based on informaiton they obtain from digital media? According to Rieh and Hilligoss, individuals make predictive evaluations of the usefulness of information sources and informaiton-seeking strategies based on their own experiences and refine these assessments over time. In this way, people learn to reuse or avoid information sources based on their verification of them. I think that accumulated experience can result in reliable information search results across various media.

In addition to it, in terms of identity or representation, individuals typically begin to question and desconstruct how they think of their selves. This self-inquiry is not conducted in isolation, but rather in the context of, and through feedback from, meaningful others. People use their personal sites to engage with thir culture, and all presentation is perfomative and we constrantly evaluate ourselves from the perspective of the "others," then moments of self-appraisal and self-presentation meld into one another online.

For examples, maintaining personal home pages and blogs serves youth to identify with a youth culture and they feel connected to a larger peer network, which is united by certain youth-specific values and interests. Since identities are not simply imagened, but reconstituted visually and publicly for self and others, personal sites offer a variety of informal learning experiences; first, leaning about themselves and genuine introspection for online authorship. Second, learning about effective self-presentation. They learn how to use cultural symbols for their own purposes, while at the same time they learn the technological skills necessary to create these representations. By trying to appeal to audiences and solicit feedback, they learn how to negotiate an image-drien culture.

Heverly, Robert A. “Growing Up Digital: Control and the Pieces of a Digital Life." Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected. Edited by Tara McPherson. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008. 199–218. Available at

Friday, March 12, 2010

Journal 2

Social Networking

According to Boyd(2007), social network cites develop significant cultural resonance amongst American teens in a short period of time, and they continue to be an important part of teen social life. He have found that race and social class play little role in terms of acess beyond disenfranchised population. Poor urban black teens appear to be just as likely to join the site as white teens from wealthier backgrounds - although what they do on there has much to do with their level of Internet access. In addition, Bryrne(2000)states that for young people, participating in dedicated social networking sites is especially important because they can be useful vehicles for strengthening their cultural identities, for teaching them how to navigate both public and private dimensions of their racial lives, and for providing them access to a more globalized yet unfixed conversation about their community histories. I think it is important because minority youth must have access to dedicated online spaces, not just mainstream or "race neutral" ones.

Boyd also mentions that by interacting with unfamiliar others, teenagers are socialized into society. Publics are where norms are set and reinforced, where common ground is formed. Learning society's rules requires trial and error, validation and admonishment; it is knowledge that tenagers learn through action, not theory. Their social identity is partially defined by themselves, partially defined by others. Learning through impression management is key to developing a social identity.

Therefore, teenagers must determine where they want to be situated within the social world they see. I think that social network sites have positively changed our lives in terms of our identity.


Boyd, Dana. (2007). Why youth love Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life." Youth, Identity, and Digital Media. Edited by David Buckingham. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Available at

Byrne, Dara N. (2008). The future of (the) ’Race’: Identity, Discourse, and the Rise of Computer-mediated Public Spheres." Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media. Edited by Anna Everett. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 15–38.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Journal I

Digital media and online communication have become a great part of the everyday lives of youth in the U.S.A. and other countries. Social network sites, online games, video-sharing sites, and gadgets such as iPods and mobile phones are now very popular in youth cultures.

According to Horst, Herr-Stephenson, & Robinson, young people in the United States today are consuming, sharing, and producing new media in the technological and social context which is called as "Media Ecologies." That is, they are growing up in media ecology where digital and networked media are playing an increasingly central role. From sociocultural perspective on learning and literacy, young people's learning and participation with new media is able to be seen as situationally contingent, located in specific and varied media ecologies. "Hanging out," "messing out," and "geeking out" are three genres of participation which is widespread among the American kids and teenagers. Actually, kids learn from friendship-driven or interest-driven participation, because they are supported by the social networks they have developed in their friendship or interest groups.

As I see my 19-year-old daughter use online network-Facebook, it must be a really cooperative and constructive learning place with her friends. She uses it when she needs some information about any subjects, when she shares her personal activities with pictures, and when she communicate with people in everywhere in America or other countries. This is a great benefit for people who have social networks. In fact, as a 48-year-old conservative woman, I want to keep my privacy but I see a lot of positive benefits shown on line social networks. In the near future, I might hang out and share my ideas with others, just like 21st century contemporary kids.

Ito, M., Sonja B., Matteo B., Boyd, D. Cody, R., Herr, B., Horst, H.A., Lange, P.G., Mahendran, D., Martinez, K., Pascoe, C.J., Perkel, D., Robinson, L., Sims, C., & Tripp, L.(2009). Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press