Monday, June 4, 2007

Free Conference Opportunity

by Beth Ritter-Guth

If you are not yet a member of Innovate, please join. They are an excellent free resource. Read below about their newest issue and upcoming web conference! - BRG

Innovate is an open-access, refereed, bimonthly, electronic journal focusing on creative ways to use information technology to enhance education in all sectors. This announcement is a one-time only mailing that you will receive unless you subscribe to the journal. Subscriptions are free, but we do need for you to complete the demographic information on the subscription form that will pop up when you click on an article's URL.

We open the June/July issue of with two articles that resume the discussion of the Net Generation from our previous issue—but with very different assessments of the educational playing field. In addressing the needs of this population, Donald Philip proposes a model of education that acknowledges the sociocultural changes wrought by new technological tools, taps into the virtualization of knowledge arising from such tools, and fashions learning environments based on small, flexible groups that resemble the small teams currently used by institutions in the business world. (See )

However, Sarah Lohnes and Charles Kinzer caution that our assumptions about the Net Generation may often be based on generalizations that do not sufficiently address contextual differences from one population to the next. Their ethnographic study found that while liberal arts students relied extensively on technology in their everyday lives, they remained resistant to in-class technology use and instead endorsed a traditional model of education based on interpersonal contact with the instructor. (See )

While debates about the Net Generation will continue, instructors are also addressing these questions through innovative forms of pedagogical practice. Helen Sword and Michelle Leggott discuss how their students used online tools to preserve literary texts from university archives while also exploring the potential of such tools to support new, collaborative forms of creative expression in cyberspace. (See

Edward Gehringer, Luke Ehresman, Susan G. Conger, and Prasad Wagle offer an account of how a custom-designed software product was used in computer science courses to support the construction of peer-reviewed learning objects by the students themselves, which can in turn be assessed, modified, or supplemented by future students in the same course, thereby allowing students to take ownership of their learning to an entirely new level. (See )

Bill Gibbs and Erik Larson illustrate the use of a videoconferencing system to deliver highly detailed forms of instruction in courses focusing on multimedia design and software design for online and hybrid courses. (See )

Meanwhile, future innovations in pedagogy and instructional design will continue to rely upon effective, well-planned faculty development and teacher training programs. In his account of faculty development efforts at Bronx Community College, Howard Wach outlines how these efforts evolved through three major formats—two-hour technology workshops, semester-long workshops, and a one-week summer program—and he describes the respective challenges and advantages afforded by each format. (See )

We close this issue with an article by Kathleen Roney and MaryAnn Davies, who describe how they employed a Web-based communications tool to promote standards-based instruction, foster reflective practice and focused mentoring, and facilitate the development of electronic portfolios to help teacher education interns bridge the gap between their training and their
classroom practice. (See )

Finally, please do not forget the Innovate-Live Seminar Series beginning Tuesday, June 5 through Friday, June 8, 2007. The seminar program and registration (free) is available at our Innovate-Live portal at

Please forward this announcement to appropriate mailing lists and to colleagues who want to use IT tools to advance their work. Ask your organizational librarian to link to Innovate in their resource section for open-access e-journals.

James L. Morrison
Editor-in-Chief, Innovate
Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership
UNC-Chapel Hill

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