Archive of ‘digital divide’ category

Minecraft empathy skills

Report: Minecraft Builds Problem-Solving and Empathy Skills in Students

By Sri Ravipati  08/14/17

K–12 teachers who use Minecraft: Education Edition during class say their students are experiencing a number of social-emotional learning (SEL) benefits.

How Minecraft Supports Social and Emotional Learning in K–12 Education

Getting Smart site.

more on empathy in this IMS blog

millennials employees

Want to Keep Your Millennial Employees? You Have To Be Willing to Offer Them This 1 Thing

Pretty soon, this will be the standard.

library user

The Library in the Life of the User. Engaging with People Where They Live and Learn
p. 18
Library staff
The roles of librarians change with changes in user needs and demands and the technology employed. A survey conducted for Research Libraries UK found skill gaps in nine key areas in which subject librarians could be supporting researchers’ needs. Even though many librarians may want to hire new staff with these skills, a survey found that the reality for most will be training existing staff.
Definitions of library services will change. We need to grow the ways users can engage with whatever they value from libraries, whether papyrus rolls, maker spaces or data management instruction.
p. 19
What is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of libraries vis-à-vis other information service providers?
p. 21
Librarians should measure the effectiveness of services based on the users’ perceptions of success. Librarians also should move beyond surveys of how library space is being used and should conduct structured observations and interviews with the people using the space. It is not enough to know that the various spaces, whether physical or virtual, are busy. Librarians need to understand when and how the spaces are being used.

p. 33 What is Enough? Satisficing Information Needs

Role theory explains that: “When people occupy social positions their behavior is determined mainly by what is expected of that position rather than by their own individual characteristics” (Abercrombie et al., 1994, p. 360).
Rational choice theory is based on the premise that complex social behavior can be understood in terms of elementary individual actions because individual action is the elementary unit of social life. Rational choice theory posits that individuals choose or prefer what is best to achieve their objectives or pursue their interests, acting in their self-interest (Green, 2002). Stated another way, “When faced with several courses of action, people usually do what they believe is likely to have the best overall outcome” (Scott, 2000).
When individuals satisfice, they compare the benefits of obtaining “more information” against the additional cost and effort of continuing to search (Schmid, 2004)
p. 38
This paper examines the theoretical concepts—role theory, rational choice, and satisficing—by attempting to explain the parameters within which users navigate the complex information-rich environment and determine what and how much information will meet their needs.
p. 39
The information-seeking and -searching research that explicitly addresses the topic of “what is good enough” is scant, though several studies make oblique references to the stopping stage, or to the shifting of directions for want of adequate information. Kraft and Lee (1979, p. 50) propose three stopping rules:
1. The satiation rule, “where the scan is terminated only when the user becomes satiated by finding all the desired number of relevant documents”;
2. The disgust rule, which “allows the scan to be terminated only when the user becomes disgusted by having to examine too many irrelevant documents”; and
3. The combination rule, “which allows the user to be seen as stopping the scan if he/she is satiated by finding the desired number of relevant documents or disgusted by having to examine too many irrelevant documents, whichever comes first.”
p. 42
Ellis characterizes six different types of information activities: starting, chaining, browsing, differentiating, monitoring and extracting. He emphasizes the information- seeking activities, rather than the nature of the problems or criteria used for determining when to stop the information search process. In a subsequent article, Ellis (1997) observes that even in the final stages of writing, individuals may continue the search for information in an attempt to answer unresolved questions or to look for new literature.
p. 43
Undergraduate and graduate students
Situations creating the need to look for information (meeting assignment requirements):
• Writing research reports; and
• Preparing presentations.
Criteria used for stopping the information search (fulfilling assignment requirements):
1. Quantitative criteria:
— Required number of citations was gathered;
— Required number of pages was reached;
— All the research questions were answered; and
— Time available for preparing.
2. Qualitative criteria:
— Accuracy of information;
— Same information repeated in several sources;
— Sufficient information was gathered; and
— Concept understood.
Criteria used for stopping the information search (fulfilling assignment requirements):
1. Quantitative criteria:
— Required number of citations was gathered;
— Required number of pages was reached;
— All the research questions were answered; and
— Time available for preparing.
2. Qualitative criteria:
— Accuracy of information;
— Same information repeated in several sources;
— Sufficient information was gathered; and
— Concept understood.
p. 44
Situations creating the need to look for information (meeting teaching needs):
• Preparing lectures and presentations;
• Delivering lectures and presentations;
• Designing and conducting workshops;
• Meeting scholarly and research needs; and
• Writing journal articles, books and grant proposals.
Criteria used for stopping the information search (fulfilling teaching needs):
1. Quantitative criteria:
— Time available for: preparing lectures and presentations; delivering lectures
— And presentations; and designing and conducting workshops; and
— Fulfilling scholarly and research needs.
2. Qualitative criteria:
— Every possible synonym and every combination were searched;
— Representative sample of research was identified;
— Current or cutting-edge research was found;
— Same information was repeated;
— Exhaustive collection of information sources was discovered;
— Colleagues’ feedback was addressed;
— Journal reviewers’ comments were addressed; and
— Publisher’s requirements were met.
1. Quantitative criteria for stopping:
— Requirements are met;
— Time constraints are limited; and
— Coverage of material for publication is verified by colleagues or reviewers.
2. Qualitative criteria for stopping:
— Trustworthy information was located;
— A representative sample of sources was gathered;
— Current information was located;
— Cutting-edge material was located;
— Exhaustive search was performed; and
— Exhaustive collection of information sources was discovered.
p. 53

“Screenagers” and Live Chat Reference: Living Up to the Promise

p. 81

Sense-Making and Synchronicity: Information-Seeking Behaviors of Millennials and Baby Boomers

p. 84 Millennials specific generational features pertinent to libraries and information-seeking include the following:

Immediacy. Collaboration. Experiential learning. Visual orientation. Results orientation.  Confidence.
Rushkoff (1996) described the non-linearity of the thinking patterns of those he terms “children of chaos,” coining the term “screenagers” to describe those who grew up surrounded by television and computers (p. 3).
p. 85
Rational choice theory describes a purposive action whereby individuals judge the costs and benefits of achieving a desired goal (Allingham 1999; Cook and Levi 1990; Coleman and Fararo 1992). Humans, as rational actors, are capable of recognizing and desiring a certain outcome, and of taking action to achieve it. This suggests that information seekers rationally evaluate the benefits of information’s usefulness and credibility, versus the costs in time and effort to find and access it.
Role theory offers a person-in-context framework within the information-seeking situation which situates behaviors in the context of a social system (Mead 1934; Marks 1996). Abercrombie, et al. (1994, p. 360) state, “When people occupy social positions their behavior is determined mainly by what is expected of that position rather than by their own individual characteristics.” Thus the roles of information-seekers in the academic environment influence the expectations for performance and outcomes. For example, faculty would be expected to look for information differently than undergraduate students. Faculty members are considered researchers and experts in their disciplines, while undergraduate students are novices and protégés, roles that place them differently within the organizational structure of the academy (Blumer, 2004; Biddle, 1979; Mead, 1934; Marks, 1996; Marks, 1977).

more on research in this IMS blog

Internet Access

Across The Atlantic, Glimpse An Alternate Internet Universe

a moment when the U.S. decided to go one way and the rest of the world went another

more on Internet Access in this IMS blog

unschooling revisited

Scott Jaschik. (2016). Freshman announces he’s dropping out of Kansas State and sets off debate on general education. Retrieved from

Aaron Ernst. (2014). Anti-college activism: The growing movement against the 4-year degree | Al Jazeera America. Retrieved from

more on unschooling in this IMS blog

and on LInkedIn CEO about skills not degree

social media clean up

How to Start Fresh Again on Social Media


fake news


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Report: Digital Natives ‘Easily Duped’ by Information Online

By Sri Ravipati 12/07/16

Researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Education assessed middle, high school and college students on the their civic online reasoning skills, or “the ability to judge the credibility of information that floods young people’s smartphones, tablets and computers.”

The Stanford History Education Group recently released a report that analyzes 7,804 responses collected from students across 12 states and varying economic lines, including well-resourced, under-resourced and inner-city schools.

when it comes to evaluating information that flows on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, students “are easily duped” and have trouble discerning advertisements from news articles.

Many people assume that today’s students – growing up as “digital natives” – are intuitively perceptive online. The Stanford researchers found the opposite to be true and urge teachers to create curricula focused on developing students’ civil reasoning skills. They plan to produce “a series of high-quality web videos to showcase the depth of the problem” that will “demonstrate the link between digital literacy and citizenship,” according to the report.

The report, “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning,” can be found here.

more on information literacy in this IMS blog:


American Internet slow

Why Is American Internet So Slow?

Antiquated phone networks and corporate monopolies do not produce fast Internet.

By Rick Paulas

AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner have a “natural monopoly” since they’ve simply been at it the longest. While the Telecommunications Act of 1996 attempted to incentivize competition to upset these established businesses, it didn’t take into account the near impossibility of doing so. As Howard Zinn wrote in A People’s History of the United States, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 simply “enabled the handful of corporations dominating the airwaves to expand their power further.”

Chattanooga has somewhat famously installed its own. Santa Monica also has its own fiber network. The reason these communities have been successful is because they don’t look at these networks as a luxury, but as a mode of self sustainability.

The 19th century’s ghost towns exist because the gold ran out. The 21st century’s ghost towns might materialize because the Internet never showed up.


more on Internet access in this IMS blog

Millennials lacking skills across board

Shocking data reveals Millennials lacking skills across board

By Meris Stansbury,March 18th, 2016
In 2013, the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) released the first-ever global data on how the U.S. population aged 16 to 65 compared to other countries in terms of skills in literacy and reading, numeracy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments (PS-TRE).
Overall, revealed the data, despite having the highest levels of educational attainment of any previous American generation, Millennials, on average, demonstrate relatively weak skills in all skill sets researched compared to their international peers.
In literacy, U.S. millennials scored lower than 15 of the 22 participating countries. Only millennials in Spain and Italy had lower scores.
Our best-educated millennials—those with a master’s or research degree—only scored higher than their peers in Ireland, Poland, and Spain.
“If we expect to have a better educated population and a more competitive workforce, policy makers and other stakeholders will need to shift the conversation from one of educational attainment to one that acknowledges the growing importance of skills and examines these more critically,” writes Kirsch. “How are skills distributed in the population and how do they relate to important social and economic outcomes? How can we ensure that students earning a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree acquire the necessary skills to fully participate in our society?

The death of the digital native and overselling the ed tech

The death of the digital native: four provocations from Digifest speaker, Dr Donna Lanclos

educators need to figure out what they need to do. Are you trying to have a conversation? Are you simply trying to transmit information? Or are you, in fact, trying to have students create something?

Answer those pedagogical questions first and then – and only then – will you be able to connect people to the kinds of technologies that can do that thing.

The ‘digital native’ is a generational metaphor. It’s a linguistic metaphor. It’s a ridiculous metaphor. It’s the notion that there is a particular generation of people who are fundamentally unknowable and incomprehensible.

There are policy implications: if your university philosophy is grounded in assumptions around digital natives, education and technology, you’re presupposing you don’t have to teach the students how to use tech for their education. And, furthermore, it will never be possible to teach that faculty how to use that technology, either on their own behalf or for their students.

A very different paradigm is ‘visitor and resident‘. Instead of talking about these essentialised categories of native and immigrant, we should be talking about modes of behaviour because, in fact, some people do an awful lot of stuff with technology in some parts of their lives and then not so much in other parts.

How much of your university practice is behind closed doors?   This is traditional, of course, gatekeeping our institutions of higher education, keeping the gates in the walled campuses closed. So much of the pedagogy as well as the content of the university is locked away. That has implications not just for potential students but also from a policy perspective – if part of the problem in higher education policy is of non-university people not understanding the work of the university, being open would have really great potential to mitigate that lack of understanding.

 I would like to see our universities modelling themselves more closely on what we should be looking for in society generally: networked, open, transparent, providing the opportunity for people to create things that they wouldn’t create all by themselves.

I understand the rationale for gatekeeping, I just don’t think that there’s as much potential with a gatekept system as there is with an open one.

There are two huge problems with the notion of “student expectations”: firstly, the sense that, with the UK’s new fee model, students’ ideas of what higher education should be now weigh much more heavily in the institutions’ educational planning. Secondly, institutions in part think their role is to make their students “employable” because some politician somewhere has said the university is there to get them jobs.

Students coming into higher education don’t know much about what higher education can be. So if we allow student expectations to set the standard for what we should be doing, we create an amazingly low bar.

The point of any educational system is not to provide citizens with jobs. That’s the role of the economy.

Universities are not vocational

Institutions can approach educational technology in two very different ways. They can have a learning technology division that is basically in charge of acquiring and maintaining educational technology. Or they can provide spaces to develop pedagogy and then think about the role of technology within that pedagogy.


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