The original version of this post was created for a wiki assignment in November 2013 for IT 546 (Instructional Technology and Education) – bolded text reflects links to other wiki entries in the IT 546 wiki.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest origin of this word is attributed to T. H. Nelson, [1] who defined hypertext in 1965 as “a body of written or pictorial material interconnected in such a complex way that it could not conveniently be presented or represented on paper.” [2]

N. Katherine Hayles credits Vannevar Bush with the invention of “hypertext” in 1945, although Bush imagined a system that “was not electronic but mechanical” [3] and requiresa new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record.” [4]

In 2007, Michael Wesch describes how hypertext can link [5] “virtually anywhere, anywhere virtually, anywhere virtual,” and allow data to be exported free of formatting restrictions, so web content creators do not have to know “complicated code” before uploading content to the internet. [6]

Hypertext is described by Robin Goodfellow as a form of new media that “could be used to disrupt and make subject to analysis the traditional conventions of academic writing, particularly the essay, and the power relations that sustained this as a form of knowledge production in the classroom,” although “optimism about the inherent capacity of digital communication to nourish critical social awareness has faded somewhat in the face of the rapid growth of digital popular-culture media which allied itself to commercial and political interests that were themselves ideologically dominant.” [7] However, the mutable nature of hypertext can facilitate dynamic scholarly collaboration that may “retake ground currently claimed by special interest groups and public relations firms.” [8]


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a credo

This paper was written for CCE 554 (Foundations of Continuing Education) in November 2008.

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a philosophy of technology

The use of digital technology is rapidly increasing across higher education, [1] but knowledge, concerns, and literacy related to digital security and privacy vary greatly among consumers of digital media. [2]

During this era of rapid transition in our society, there is a broad spectrum of concern about digital security and privacy, including potential impacts on personal and professional levels, as well as social justice movements and democratic systems of government. [3]

Literacy related to digital security and privacy is now a threshold competency for participation in higher education today. [4]

* This post reflects collaborative research and discussion with my classmates Brian J. Davidson and Gabe Gossett, and was developed as background research for class projects in November and December 2013.

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Research 2.0

Do you need to analyze statistics?  Want to analyze data for free?  Thinking about how to visualize data? How about generating “word clouds” from text you provide? (I’m looking at you, qualitative researchers…)

Digital Research Tools (DiRT) is a wiki that “collects information about tools and resources that can help scholars (particularly in the humanities and social sciences) conduct research more efficiently or creatively,” including online tools for organizing research, data collection, transcription, note-taking, blogging and a lot more.

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a new meaning for literacy

via Slashdot, the San Francisco Chronicle reports on November 20, 2008:

Rather than wasting their time, children who gab on Facebook or play online games are gaining valuable social skills and learning some technology basics, according to a study to be released today.

The report, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, contradicts the idea held by many educators, parents and policymakers that children should be blocked from online social networks and video games like Halo, which allow users in different locations to play together. Instead, children should be encouraged to use the technologies to gain a certain level of digital literacy, the study said.

… But critics have called social networking a distraction and, in some cases, a danger because of the potential for children to befriend strangers. Hoping to limit children’s use of the services, some schools now block access to such sites.

and why not build online social networks for schools?

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Self-directed learning and brain development

via Kottke, from the New Yorker on November 17, 2008, a critique of the “brain plasticity” research published in the nineteen-nineties,” with emphasis added to highlight the relationship between self-directed learning and brain development:

This research said that, while the infant brain is, in part, the product of genes, that endowment is just the clay; after birth, it is “sculpted” by the child’s experience, the amount of stimulation he receives, above all in the first three years of life. That finding prompted many programs aimed at stimulating babies whose mothers, for whatever reason (often poverty), seemed likely to neglect them. Social workers drove off to homes deemed at risk, to play with the new baby.

But upper-middle-class parents—and marketers interested in them—also read about the brain-plasticity findings, and figured that, if some stimulation is good, more is better. (Hence Baby Einstein.) Later research has provided no support for this. The conclusion, in general, is that the average baby’s environment provides all the stimuli he or she needs.

Marano thinks that the infant-stimulation craze was a scandal. She accepts the idea of brain plasticity, but she believes that the sculpting goes on for many years past infancy and that its primary arena should be self-stimulation, as the child ventures out into the world. While Mother was driving the kid nuts with the eight-hundredth iteration of “This Little Piggy,” she should have been letting him play on his own.

Marano assembles her own arsenal of neurological research, guaranteed to scare the pants off any hovering parent. As children explore their environment by themselves—making decisions, taking chances, coping with any attendant anxiety or frustration—their neurological equipment becomes increasingly sophisticated, Marano says. “Dendrites sprout. Synapses form.” If, on the other hand, children are protected from such trial-and-error learning, their nervous systems “literally shrink.”

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Open Access online research links

This is a collection of free, almost-free and sometimes-free websites that publish peer-reviewed articles and studies that relate to education, learning, web technology and the online world.

Many of these links were found in posts from Online Learning Update, which also exists here.  Some links were found via the Directory of Open Access Journals.  This list will be updated when additional resources are found, and readers are encouraged to add suggestions in the comments.


Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education ( CITE )

“Established with funding from a U.S. Department of Education … grant, CITE Journal makes possible the inclusion of sound, animated images, and simulation, as well as allowing for ongoing, immediate dialog about theoretical issues.”

The European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning ( EURODL )

“an online journal on distance and e-learning, publishes the accounts of research, development and teaching” “free to readers and contributes to the Open Content movement.”

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