Digital Divide and Novel Technologies

I’m in hardware Mecca. Their are massive monitors, coffee table touch displays that my coffee cup won’t destroy, universal wireless, and outlets in abundance. I’m at MS Faculty Summit – a program put on by MS Research’s Academic program. I am surrounded by other faculty from around the world and the top creative minds from MS, and we are attempting to engage in a dialogue about changing the environment, the global condition, and education through technology. In the opening session, Craig Mundie demonstrated an office of the future that brought together a pair of digital white boards, a MS Surface (so totally want), webcams for video meetings, and more. It was a fully realized holo-office for immersive design. Imagine if you will, a...

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Astronomy Education in the Era of Web 2.0

Astronomy Education in the Era of Web 2.0

Currently, I’m at SSU learning how teachers teach astronomy and physics concepts related to the types of high energy astrophysics that will be studied in by the recently launch GLAST telescope. I flew out so that I could teach these master teachers about teaching astronomy new media, but I have to admit that I’m picking up a bunch of content I can take back and use next time I teach science foundations for elementary education majors. Looking around the Internet for new resources for my talk, I have to admit that it is getting harder and harder to keep my new media talks into tiny pockets of time. Once upon a time, I’d give a 20-minute presentation on audio-based podcasts. Then in turned into 20 minutes on a pod/vodcasting and 20 on social...

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‘Cause Knowledge is Power

It is a slow science news week, and sitting here at home I’m realizing I haven’t the foggiest idea how to get my e-journal fix via SIUE without being at an SIUE IP address. I’d like to riffle through Science or Nature from my sofa. I’d like to think there is a way to do it. I’m not certain however, and after reading through the SIUE website, I’m mostly just confused. Luckily, I know that I do have access to information somehow, it just may not involve being on my sofa while I read. No matter what, I am lucky. Not everyone has access to Science.

Limited access to information (and the decision to actually access that information) acts in many ways to divide our society. It takes money to get the cable and satellite news feeds. Prolonged access to online content – the type of access needed to hunt down links and read background material – takes money or the right job. Knowing how to access information takes education, which is another way of separating the haves from the have-nots. And sorting through digital, video, and audio content takes that most precious resource of all: time. It takes effort to be informed, and one must choose to know what is going on.

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