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Archive for November, 2004

A personal appeal

A personal appeal from Mrs. Suha Arafat.

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Getting the blog by email

Well, a couple of people have said that you can get this blog, and other blogs, via email through services such as Bloglines and Bloglet.  I did set up a link on the right side of the page to subscribe to this list via Bloglines.  I’m not quite sure how you get from there to receiving the blog via email, but perhaps some of you are smarter than I am.

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Online research access

Though the public funds much U.S. research–through federal grants and public universities–access to this research is, for the most part, controlled by for-profit journals that charge exhorbitant fees.  Now, the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. is considering whether it should require all its grantees to provide copies of their to-be-published manusripts so that, six months after publication, they will be made available free to all via publicly accessible archives.

The NIH has solicited feedback on this proposed policy by Nov. 16.  I consider this an important initiative and encourage people to reply.

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Who’s here?

I’m curious who managed to make it over here from the Papyrus News email list (or from anywhere else!).  Take a moment to introduce yourself in the comments section, mentioning at least where you are, how long you have subscribed to Papyrus News, and what you’re interested in.

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What I’m working on

I’m interested in lots of things, but my main current research is on "laptops and literacy".  Specifically, a team of us at UCI have been doing case study research in a number of schools in Maine and California where all the students in one or more classes (usually in one or more grade levels) have been provided laptop computers for one-to-one computing throughout the school day, with wireless Internet access, and to take home as well.

It’s a fascinating context because a lot of things that were predicted about technology in schools, but could never take place, do seem to take place in the laptop classroom.  It doesn’t mean that they are a magic bullet, but they facilitate uses of technology in ways that are just not feasible in situations when 4-5 kids are sharing each computer.

Some of the issues we’re looking at include the changing nature of reading in one-to-one computing environments, the types of writing tasks kids carry out and the types of feedback they get, the nature of "information literacy" and research in the laptop classroom, approaches to developing media literacy, the effect of social context on how laptops are used, etc.

I like it when I find unexpected things.  One thing that fascinates me right now is Automated Writing Evaluation software (usually via online Web services), which is being used in one of the school districts we’re working on.  More about that later….

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New PhD program

Here’s information on a new PhD program in Applied Linguistics and Technology, at Iowa State University.

(There’s also a PhD program in Second Language Acquisition and Insructional Technology at University of South Florida.)

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