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Hot Topics in Technology

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1 Hot Topics in Technology
Kent State University Committee Members: Jackie Kus Kristen Chorba Jenny Craig

2 Introduction This committee was formed to provide instruction on current hot topics, or trends, in technology; each of these topics is incredibly popular among teenagers and young adults Our primary goal was to communicate basic information and useable knowledge about some of the newer technology that will be useful to us and which we will encounter more and more as technology becomes more prevalent in society After extensive research, the committee has chosen these five topics to be classified as “hot topics” in technology: Blogs Institutional Spam Distance Learning Podcasting Online Social Networks

3 Blogs What is a blog? Short for Weblog Why are blogs important?
An online journal, of sorts, that is updated frequently and allows comments and/or reviews from other users Can be viewed by unlimited users (i.e.: the general public), or can be limited to viewing by a certain group (i.e.: students in your class, staff in your office, etc.) Can include text, images, photographs, and other data Arranged in reverse chronological order: the last (most recent) entry appears first Usually includes a title, link, and description Why are blogs important? They can be useful in classroom settings to increase the quality and quantity of knowledge attainment by students The can be used to communicate with others in one, easy to access, online environment Can be used to generate discussion between a group of people, whether that group consists of 3 people or 300 people Can be used to disseminate information to a large group in one designated location Easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to create, with basic knowledge and tools

4 What does a blog look like?
Our blog website: Hot Topics in Technology Blog mood: working This is what a blog post looks like. This section can be used to generate discussion questions where other users respond. These discussions, or threads, can continue indefinitely, as long as users continue to post. Users can change colors, SIZES, and fonts, to make posts completely personalized. Posted on Feb. 18th, 2007 at 02:27 pm | Link | Leave a comment | Edit Entry | Edit Tags | Add to Memories | Track This Comments techcommittee This is a wonderful feature for departments such as Admissions. Prospective students can post blogs with questions or comments, which a current student or staff moderator (or a group thereof) can post responses to. This can serve two purposes: First, it will serve as a way to answer common (or uncommon!) questions posed by students in an easy-to-access format where other prospective students can also benefit. Second, it can create a sense of community among prospective students and current students and/or staff, making students more comfortable with the thought of attending Your State University. Posted on Feb. 18th, :36 pm (UTC) | Link | Thread | Reply | Delete | Screen | Freeze | Track This Don't forget other departments! Other departments, such as residence services can use this as a way for hall staff and residents to communicate! Posted on Feb. 18th, :37 pm (UTC) | Link | Parent | Thread | Reply | Delete | Screen | Freeze | Track This Re: Don't forget other departments! Classes can use blogging, too! Professors can utilize blogs to spark classroom discussion and increase the breadth and depth of knowledge that students gain. Posted on Feb. 18th, :38 pm (UTC) | Link | Parent | Reply | Delete | Screen | Freeze | Track This Recent Entries Archive Friends User Info  Topic subject (or “thread”)  Original discussion post  First response post  Another response  Reply to the above comment Subject posts, comments, and responses can continue in this way until no other users wish to post

5 Blogs Benefits of utilizing blogs Learning
Increase the breadth and depth of learning by allowing students to think through the logic of the situation/question/issue Increase student participation in a non-threatening environment; entries have the capability to be public, private, or posted under an alias Increase student accountability; many times, when a blog is posted, it will be read by many other users. This provides students the opportunity to push themselves beyond the level of work they normally produce and expand and raise the bar on the level of output they consider acceptable Increases student ownership of the topic; students can think about, research, and revise opinions on the topic before they post it to the discussion board. This allows students who may not normally speak their mind in class to participate after having some time to think about what they would like to post and how to say it, in order to maximize effectiveness Social and informational purposes Can be used to keep in touch with friends, relatives, and co-workers by allowing them to view your online journal and responding Can be used to keep abreast of current topics, trends, and ideas; useful information can be posted on the company or department weblog and updates can be posted as available Can be used to announce events, meetings, conferences, and other functions and to give a description (brief or detailed) of the itinerary for that event Can be used to ask questions and solve problems about any topics users would like to discuss

6 Blogs Benefits of using blogs (continued)
Can be used by offices to assist students with frequently asked questions relating to topics such as bill payment, financial aid, food service, bookstore, and library issues Can be used by students, faculty, staff, and administrators to assist prospective students in deciding on an institution (i.e.: an Admissions Office use), by giving them an open forum to discuss any issues, questions, or concerns they may have in an anonymous environment An easy and convenient way for numerous people to meet, get to know, and chat with each other about unlimited topics Allows sub-groups (department, office team, student group) to communicate with each other about specified topics Problems and potential issues with blogging Information is public and can be read by anyone with access to the blog site; in many cases, this could be the entire Internet population or the entire institution or department thereof Sometimes, posts are not retractable. Depending on the environment and/or site a blog is posted on, it may or may not be able to be deleted by the person who posts the entry There may be ramifications if a student or employee posts an opinion in his or her blog that is contrary to office or the institutional mission, or goes against mainstream thinking Potential employers (of either students or university employees looking for a new position) can view blogs; hiring decisions may be made based on the content of those blogs

7 Institutional Spam Institutional spam can include:
What is institutional spam? Defined as the policy under which mass communication from the institution to the student or groups of students is permitted or not permitted, and the proposed approval process for submitting requests Primarily, spam refers to unsolicited and generally unwanted sent to many users at once These s may or may not be relevant to their department or needs Institutional spam can include: Mass mailings through A medium to promote sales and solicitation of personal goods Announcements How to ensure your mass is not spam: Follow the guidelines on the next slide Ensure that your mass is appropriate and pertinent to your intended audience; this will increase your chances of approval

8 Institutional Spam Policy and procedure for approval of mass emails:
Administrative offices or officials of the University may only send electronic mail to all members of a campus or the University community when an emergency or urgent need exists (as defined by the appropriate campus or University officer) Mass s must be approved by the appropriate campus or university officer, following a formal chain of command dictated by department rank Listservs (groupings of addresses designed to facilitate the dissemination of information to specific departments, organizations, or users) must be monitored to ensure the s sent out are appropriate and to limit the number of s received by users The president has exceptions to these policies when ing the university community If a mailing is to be sent to a list of specific addresses instead of a formal distribution list (such as a listserv), those addresses must not be included on visible address lines (To and Cc), but must be sent by listing them in the Bcc, or Blind Carbon-Copy, line; this allows recipients’ addresses to remain anonymous to the other users who receive the This policy prohibits commercial ing (Adapted from the University of Indiana at Bloomington’s Mass Procedures and Restrictions )

9 Policy for approval of mass emails:
To be approved, mass must clearly identify the following information: From: {sender} To: {recipient} Subject description Office (if applicable) Clearly identified reply address (should be organizational, such as a listserv address, rather than personal) Plain text message without graphics or other formatting Policy violations will be reported to the administrator for the appropriate response Requests for approval of mass mailings should be directed as follows: Request approval from the President for mailings to the entire University or campus community Request approval from the VP of Academic Affairs for mailings to the entire University faculty Request approval from the Dean of Students for mailings to the entire University student body Request approval from the Director of University Human Resources for mailings to the entire University staff

10 Institutional Spam Benefits: Challenges:
A policy that permits institutional spam or mass mailing allows for information to be spread over a vast array of constituents in a short time and with comparatively little effort on the part of the sender Mass s are a means to reach the most faculty, staff, administrators and students as possible at one time Easy to update everyone regarding current events, announcements, meetings, and critical information that must be transmitted quickly Challenges: Potential overloading of the server Overloads student inboxes, which have limited storage; if their boxes are overloaded, students may not receive important s It is possible to send viruses over the network Staff, faculty, and administrator inboxes my become overloaded with unimportant s or junk s Replying to listservs or mass mailings that get sent back to the entire group causes large numbers of s to everyone on the listserv

11 Distance Education How do students learn?
“If you like your students to collaborate with each other and learn from each other and share what they discover-these are the tools that facilitate that.” (Distance Education Report, 2006) Instructors may set up blogs, wikis, feeds, and various other technological opportunities for students to learn with their peers Ideally, distance education (or DE) instructors facilitate peer learning from peer activities Many times, it is require that a student reflect upon the work of their peers and visit their feeds, so as to share a thoughtful learning experience The history of distance education: Contrary to what many individuals may believe, distance learning is nothing new to the world of education. In our ever-changing world, the forms that distance learning may take on are new; however the concept of distance learning actually originated in the 1800’s in the form of collaborative print, by the University of Wisconsin. With the turn of the century came educational radio stations as well as audio-graphic conferencing for those serving in the Armed Forces. Videotape and satellite made distance learning possible in the 1970’s and 1980’s. With the overwhelming availability of the internet today, distance education has taken on a new form, as many of us consider the Internet our only source for distance learning (Pferdehert, 2006).

12 Distance Education The benefits of online research:
Within the past 10 years, online research has grown so much that there is a continuous demand for it Students are able to locate information with ease There is an immense number of links to sites that claim to have the information that one is looking for Research databases, hosted by libraries, can be accessed online to locate both scholarly articles and those which have appeared in magazines and newspapers What are students finding? Typically, they will find two kinds of resources Public documents that have been placed online, such as newspapers and journals, and can be used for historical and theoretical works and support Internet worked cyber-spaces, which are not always accurate, such as Wikipedia (an online encyclopedia, in which individuals can define, edit, and re-edit unlimited topics) What are students using for their research? Google ( is the number one most widely used search engine that students take advantage of 100% of college students and faculty, when surveyed, stated that they utilized this web resource; Yahoo! and Wikipedia are close behind Educational Journals, which perhaps may provide the most valid and valuable information, are utilized by only 11% of those conducting research

13 Distance Education Ethics of online research:
Are students researching and completing assignments ethically? It is difficult to obtain consent to use many pieces of information online…which may cause a student to infringe upon a copyright, or commit plagiarism, without realizing it. Higher risk of infringing on privacy and confidentiality Difficult to attain identity of owner due to the possibility of multiple online personalities What is ethical research? When conducting online research, in an ethical manner, there are several steps that must be taken in order to succeed, which makes it difficult for some… “Obtaining consent, declaring oneself a researcher, and spending time in the online community… (Knobel, 2003)” The above are just a few of the responsibilities of those conducting research

14 Distance Education Challenges: Benefits:
More inclusive (i.e.: non-traditional students can use DE to take classes while juggling a busy schedule of work and home-life responsibilities) Cost-effective for higher education; more students can enroll in courses without traditional requirements, such as classroom space. Additionally, instructors do not always have to be present during the times of each DE class, enabling them to be productive in other ways while simultaneously teaching a DE course Offers vast amounts of flexibility for active individuals May be customized to any institution Potentially boosts retention and problem-solving skills Greater availability; course can be taken from almost unlimited locations and at any time Challenges: Gaining faculty buy-in; some faculty believe that face-to-face learning is a more desirable situation Providing proper training for facilitators and students; online courses can come in a variety of formats Ensuring that the type of DE chosen is effective and user-friendly; some setups are easier to use than others Providing individuals who are trained in this special area for support Maintaining reliable technology Could interfere with the learning process if students are not self-motivated Refusal to incorporate DE could result in a loss of student retention

15 Podcasting What is a Podcast? Growth of Podcasting
Podcasting (or Podcasts) is a technological medium for students to download multimedia files to their Apple iPods, MP3 players and cell phones for playback at their leisure Podcasts can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection Podcasting can also be used for coursecasting: a way for course instructors to teach courses or offer lectures via a podcast Growth of Podcasting According to NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, 9.2 million Web users (6.6% of the population) have downloaded a podcast as of July, 2006. By 2010, Bridge Ratings research company projects a podcast audience of 45 million, while other companies are projecting as high as 80 million.

16 Podcasting Why is this important?
Retention is key to running a successful institution, and in order to remain competitive for students, colleges and universities must keep up with the advances in technology. Offering courses, lectures, program, presentations, and so on through podcasts is a means to attract new students and retain current students because of the number of students who own portable audio devices. What does this mean for education? With the growing popularity of portable audio devices (MP3 players), with year-olds having the most exposure, there is a demand for educational institutions to incorporate this medium into their networks. Podcasting has a place in both academia and student affairs.

17 Podcasting Benefits of podcasts in academics
Lectures can be easily accessed and become portable Students will no longer miss information when they cannot attend a class session Faculty can podcast supplemental materials for students to access to save time in the classroom Using Podcasts in academia: Podcasts can capture lectures, lab demonstrations, instructions and practice exercises (depending on the discipline) Duke University Digital Initiative Incoming students are given iPods already loaded with orientation materials and are able to take courses that are supported with podcasting technology Benefits of podcasts in student affairs Learning styles It is a means of introducing new information and can cater to different learning styles Training Can allow for training over summer months and reinforce instruction/policy Large user population It is a way to communicate with undergraduate students It’s innovative With it being new, it is a way for an office to gain exposure on-campus Easy to learn how to do podcasts Creating podcasts and making them available is relatively easy to learn to do

18 Podcasting Using podcasting in student affairs: Orientation
Students can be given orientation materials through podcasts prior to a formal orientation at the institution Residence Life Students can get an online tour of residence halls through a video podcast Student Activities Involvement opportunities can be shared through podcasting Career Services Can provide tutorials for podcasting and conduct resume writing sessions through podcasts Disability Services Podcasting services to students might be a way to get recognition on-campus as a support service Admissions A great tool to recruit new students. A student can learn all about an institution through a clever podcast.

19 Podcasting Challenges of podcasting in academics: Costly
Software Hardware Support staff Web-hosting fees Privacy and academic freedom concerns Intellectual property concerns Decrease in student-faculty interaction Students may not feel the need to come to class Students who do not own computers or have a portable audio device Challenges of podcasting in student affairs: Institutional and technical support Student affairs have limited resources to utilize within their departments and this is not an inexpensive initiative Proper equipment and training Even though it might be easy to learn to do, it still requires time and resources to do so What to podcast? How does an institution determine what is appropriate to podcast and by what department Copyright Issues

20 Online Social Networking
Why is understanding social networking sites important for college faculty, staff, and administrators? 87% of students between the ages of 12-17 use the Internet More than ½ of these students log on at least once per day Approximately ¾ of these students regularly use chat or instant messaging programs It is estimated that there are 50 million teens with MySpace accounts This is our upcoming population of students! Young adults and teenagers today are relying more and more on technology to learn, communicate, and explore the world around them Online social networking sites are growing In 2006, the number of MySpace users doubled in less than 12 months’ time Facebook has expanded its membership from only those with a .edu address to include high schools, businesses, and geographic regions There are over 100 million AIM users; this does not include those who use other instant messaging programs

21 Online Social Networking
What is Facebook? Created in 2004 by a group of students at Harvard With Facebook, you can: Connect with people around you Search the network for your friends, classmates, hallmates, co-workers, and relatives Meet new people with similar interests Stay connected with people you don’t see often Share photos, stories, and information with your friends

22 What does Facebook look like?
Your name goes here   You choose the “network” you want to belong to, i.e. Your State University Your class year  Your login/account information

23 What does Facebook look like?
You can choose a profile picture, so that others can identify you  Your personal information. You can choose what information you make available.  The fun part! This is where you can see what is going on in the Facebook community and where your friends can leave you messages! These are your friends!

24 Online Social Networking
What is MySpace? Similar to Facebook A social community, open to anyone with an address; not broken down by networks Allows registered members to: Search for friends, classmates, co-workers Keep in touch with friends they do not see often Leave messages for each other Upload pictures, music, and videos Design their own site using different colors, backgrounds, designs, and graphics Create, edit, delete, share, or restrict access to blogs

25 What does MySpace look like?
Your MySpace name and profile picture   Your blog This is where you can tell people more about what your interests are, such as favorite movies, TV shows, music, books, etc. Other users can click here  to contact you Your general information These are your “friends.”  You must each approve the other as a friend to be on this list.  All of the white space you see is “background.” You can add colors, pictures, music, videos, and much more to make it reflect who you are!

26 Online Social Networking
What is Instant Messenger? One example is AIM, or America Online Instant Messenger You can chat in real time with your “buddies”: other users that you approve to communicate with you via this program Used primarily for online “chatting,” or communicating via a series of typed messages that appear instantly on your screen You can chat with multiple users at once

27 What does AIM look like? This is where you log in to AIM.  After logging in, you can chat with other users via text boxes that pop up onto your screen

28 Online Social Networking
How can you use these sites? In Your Classes Connect classmates with one another by enabling them to use technology to learn about each other and explore their individuality Network with other classes with similar themes Spark discussion about an unlimited range of topics Post announcements about homework, class updates, and additional information as needed Make communication between group members easier for busy students Create a sense of community among your students Residence Life Build community among students and staff members on your floor or within your hall Ease pre-move in anxiety; enable incoming freshmen to “meet” each other online Keep everyone informed: post bulletins, announcements, and events Real-time help with personal issues and concerns with your residents through live chat; sometimes it’s easier to talk about a difficult situation if you are not face-to-face. This may enable an intervention that would not have been otherwise possible or build trust between students and staff members that can help with future problems or issues

29 Online Social Networking
How can you use these sites? Personal Networking Use these sites to keep in touch with other professionals in your field Keep in touch with alumni and co-workers who move out of state or take a job at another institution Post job openings and look at job openings that have been posted Use announcement features to stay up-to-date on conferences, department updates, and important dates and/or events Admissions Allow interested students to view information about your campus Keep prospective students informed of upcoming campus visitation days, special events, and important dates/deadlines Allow prospective students to network with current students, staff, and faculty to develop relationships with these individuals, giving them a sense of connection to your campus Real-time help with questions with live chat programs

30 Online Social Networking
Benefits Sites like MySpace allow teenagers and young adults to explore their likes, dislikes, friendships, and individuality with the ability to change their approved friends, pictures, information, blogs, music, videos, and backgrounds; this helps teens to learn about who they are and gives them the freedom and flexibility to explore themselves in an environment where nothing has to be permanent and can be easily changed at will Sites such as MySpace and Facebook allow users to make contact with each other when they otherwise may not Can be used as an incoming freshman to make initial contact with your roommate or floor mates Can be used to keep in touch with friends you don’t see often from your hometown or who move out of state Sites such as MySpace and Facebook can be used to post bulletins, announcements, and information on upcoming events for different groups of users to see MySpace can be used to keep an online journal, or blog, that can be kept private or made so that all users or certain users can read them MySpace and Facebook can be used to share pictures with your friends MySpace and Facebook can be used to network with others who have similar interests; groups can be formed on this site to keep members up to date on events and important information

31 Online Social Networking
Benefits, continued MySpace and Facebook can be used by different departments, such as Admissions, to allow students to gather information on colleges they may be interested in attending MySpace and Facebook can be used by student organizations or campus clubs to provide support or the feeling of community especially for those members Can be used in classroom settings to encourage out-of-class group discussions and a forum for the class to have the opportunity to learn more about each other With proper education about responsible use and appropriate information display, these sites can be great for social growth, networking, and personal exploration AIM can be used to chat with other users quickly and free from long-distance charges that may apply on standard phone connections There are no “peak” or “off peak” times to worry about, as with some cell phone plans that charge more for usage at certain times AIM users can chat with multiple users at the same time AIM users can see if their “buddies,” or online contacts, are at or away from their computers AIM users can log in from any computer to chat with their buddies

32 Online Social Networking
Drawbacks and Potential Issues MySpace and, more recently, Facebook allow any users with a valid address to register on the site; users’ information is not always verified for accuracy, allowing for the possibility of misrepresentation Employers can view these profiles Unintentional misrepresentation is careful, if students are not prudent about refraining from posting pictures of themselves and their friends drinking and/or in provocative attire or poses Premature judgments can be made about others by what is on their profile; these initial impressions may be inaccurate Safety can be an issue, if students are not properly educated about what is appropriate information to disclose about oneself and what is inappropriate Students must take care to ensure that appropriate content is on their web sites; there have been cases where scholarships were taken away from athletes for making negative comments about their coaches and where campus police and/or residence hall staff brought charges/disciplinary action against underage students who had pictures on their profiles depicting them drinking Phishing (stealing someone’s password or personal information) is possible if students are not careful; if passwords are stolen, others may be able to post untrue or damaging information about you

33 Conclusion With all the different mediums to communicate with students that are available, face-to-face interaction loses appeal. Why would a student need to go to class when there are coursecasts, or call a friend when they can look on their facebook page to see how they are doing, or sit in a classroom with other students when there are courses being offered online, or talk about their problems or concerns when they can blog? Technology is a ‘hot topic’ in education because it is becoming a mechanism to support social isolation and stunt student identity development. Chickering (1969) notes that establishing identity comes from experiences in colleges and universities. In order to transition through the vectors of development, students need to have exposure to life experiences associated with collegial life. In order to develop properly, one must have human interaction. It is through human interaction that real life lessons are learned; experiences are had; and life is lived. If we do not learn to embrace and control technology, we will lose so many of the things that life has to offer. Soon, education will no longer be an enriching experience, rather getting a degree will be as easy as having the latest technology. Technology is, and will continue to be, a hot topic in education.

34 References Ashmore, R. (2006). Blocking “MySpace” from your space. School administrator, 63(9), 7. Retrieved February 15, 2007, from the Education Research Complete database. Bausch, S. & Han, L. (2006). Podcasting gains an important foothold among U.S. adult online population, according to Neilson/Netratings. Brown, Stuart. (2006). Student affairs podcasting: The new frontier. Student Affairs Online. 7 (2), retrieved February 15, 2007, from Chickering, A. W., & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Dawson, C. (2006). Learning how to study again: a practical guide to study skills for mature students returning to education or distance learning. The Quarterly review of Distance Education. 7 (4), Evans, B. (2006). Your space or MySpace? Netconnect, 8-12. F. Farrell, E. (2006). Judging roommates by their Facebook cover. Chronicle of higher education, 53(2), 66. Retrieved February 15, 2007, from the Education Research Complete database. Fortino, A., Wolf, P.P. (2007). Going the Distance. BizEd. 6 (1), Knobel, M. (2003). Rants, ratings, and representation: ethical issues in researching online social practices. Education, communication, and information. 3 (2), Krause, S. D. (2005). Blogs as a tool for teaching. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved February 15, 2007, from

35 References Continued MySpace. (2003). Take the MySpace tour, retrieved February 15, 2006, from: New technologies help build learning communities. Distance Education Report. 10 (13), 1-6. Pferdehert, W.P. (2006). Engineering education goes the distance. Machine Design. 78 (15), Planning reaps variety of benefits for distance program. Distance Education Report. 10 (13), 3-7. Read, B. (2006). A week of changes at Facebook, as it expands its membership…Chronicle of higher education, 53(5), A35. Retrieved February 15, 2007, from the Education Research Complete database. Read, B. (2007). How to podcast lectures: Advice on getting your institution’s ‘coursecasting’ program off to a good start. Retrieved February 15, 2007 from Richardson, W. (2007). To block, or not to block: Education, not filtering, my be the best answer. The online edge. Retrieved February 15, 2007, from: What is Podcasting? (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2007, from Zuckerberg, M. (2007). Facebook: Welcome to Facebook, retrieved February 15, 2007, from:

36 References Continued retrieved February 16, 2007 retrieved February 16, 2007. retrieved February 15, 2007. retrieved February 17, 2007. retrieved February 17, 2007.

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