Archive for December, 2004

Paul Dourish, a colleage at UCI, teaches at course  that explores "aspects of emerging and contemporary cultural practices based around ‘cyberspace’ broadly construed — the Internet, digital culture, digital wireless technologies, etc."

His syllabus includes links to lots of interesting writings on social and cultural aspects of new technology use (genre analysis of blogs, new media practicies, identities, rhetoric of cyberspace, etc.)

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New Journal

(From Stewart Marshall)

Dear all

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new refereed e-journal: "International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT)" located at http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/. Articles in the first issue will be published early in 2005.

The journal is published on the WWW as an open resource journal, i.e., with free and open access to all, but it has the status of commercially published journals by having an International Editorial Board and academic peer-reviewed articles.

The journal concentrates on ICT in education and development in hitherto less developed parts of the world, e.g., developing countries (especially small states), and rural and remote regions of developed countries. It has a research section for academic, peer-reviewed articles, and a "studies from the field" section for edited (but not peer reviewed) case studies/reports.

Call for Papers
We are now calling for research papers, case studies, reports from the field, book reviews and other submissions you may wish to offer to this community. There is no set deadline – articles are published as soon as they have been reviewed and copyedited.

For further details on how to submit your article, please visit the IJEDICT website located at http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/.


Stewart & Wal

Professor Stewart Marshall
Director, Distance Education Centre
The University of the West Indies, BARBADOS
phone:    +1 246 417 4497       fax:    +1 246 421 6753
email:    stewart.marshall@uwichill.edu.bb
url:      http://www.dec.uwi.edu/smarshall

Professor Wal Taylor
Capetown University of Technology, SOUTH AFRICA
phone:    +27 21 460 3232        fax:   +27 21 460 3985
email:    TaylorW@ctech.ac.za
url:      http://www.cqnet.com.au/~user/waltaylor

Please view the recently published books edited by Marshall, Taylor & Yu:
"Closing the Digital Divide"
"Using Community Informatics to Transform Regions"
"Encyclopedia of Developing Regional Communities with Information
  and Communication Technology"

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Anybody out there using Firefox browser?  For Mac users, here’s a free program to export your safari bookmarks.

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Recommended Books

It’s time (why not?) for our annual column of recommended books.  What book have you read in the last two years that you’d like to recommend to Papyrus News readers?

I’ll re-recommend James Paul Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, which I previously reviewed on Papyrus News.

What book would you like to recommend?

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When our second son, Danny, was born — with Down syndrome and a host of other medical challenges — I created Ocean and Stars blog to share information about his development with family and friends.  I also hoped that the blog would have a broader educational effect on issues related to Down syndrome.  It was partly due to my enjoyment with Ocean and Stars that I decided to get back directly involved with Papyrus News and move it to a blog format.

Now that Danny is almost six months old, we are increasingly paying attention to issues related to his physical and cognitive development, including the development of communication skills, language development, and (pre-)literacy development.  That puts me in a quandry — what do I post on Ocean and Stars and what do I post on Papyrus News?

The quandry is not only because the content issues that I may be addressing on Ocean and Stars with professional issues of interest to Papyrus News readers (such as language development, literacy development, social inclusion, use of media, etc.)  But also because, for me, part of the success and joy of Papyrus News over the years has been the way it has allowed my own personal voice to be expressed.  I would hate for Papyrus News to become a dry technical outlet for narrowly defined professional issues, with all the things I really care about personally discussed on Ocean and Stars.

A couple of days ago I was at a fascinating presentation on teaching sight reading (reading by recognition of words rather than by sounding out) to babies with Down syndrome (age 0-3).  I’m still digesting and thinking about the presentation, and as I do so, I’m not sure where to write about it.  This is exactly the type of information I want to have on Ocean and Stars–to be accessible to the community of people that are interested in Down syndrome–but it also overlaps so much with what I would ordinarily want to talk about on Papyrus News, as it makes me think about issues related to early literacy development (and, to a certain extent, even the role of media within it.)

I haven’t yet written about this, but I did write, on Ocean and Stars, about a more general issue of evaluating early intervention services for children with Down syndrome, using an analogy of evaluating the impact of computer use in schools.

This of course is only the beginning.  There are so many other issues related to Danny’s development, and the broader development of children with Down syndrome, that intersect with my research issues prior to Danny’s birth.  What about bilingualism and multilingualism?  What about sign language?  What about assistive technology–or broader uses of technology for social inclusion?  What about the social context of education and how it mediates diverse people’s access to language and literacy development, or technology access?  How will I manage, and distribute, discussion of these issues between Ocean and Stars and Papyrus News?  Something for me to think about.

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