Wireless Technologies and Multimedia Literacies

Wireless Technologies and Multimedia Literacies

Virginia E. Garland (The University of New Hampshire, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-120-9.ch030
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Abstract

Internet as a new medium offers unlimited opportunities to education and knowledge sharing but it can also shape specific improper attitudes and cultivate erroneous and potentially dangerous ideas. As more kids go online worldwide so do the concern increases about the safeness of the websites they visit. In this chapter a list of potential online risks is presented. Then, the safeness of the favorite Web sites of 270 Greek high school students is assessed in connection with these online risks. Inappropriate content was found in more than 30% of the evaluated Web pages, although specific security policies apply to computer labs of Greek schools. Last, a filtering tool for analyzing and restricting the access to improper Web sites is presented and evaluated. In this chapter, the author analyses advances in wireless technologies and the associated pedagogical shift from traditional to multimedia literacies in K-12 education internationally. The premise is that multimedia, made more accessible with mobile devices, gives students and teachers greater access to the Internet and interactive software for research, communication, and presentations. In particular, the planner, voice, color, graphics, video and text messaging features of smart phones and ultramobile computers, which have been used socially by students of the “Net Generation,” are now being used educationally by administrators and teachers to create media rich schools. With multimedia literacies, the focus is on inquiry, collaboration and project based learning. However, effective integration of wireless technologies in the literacy-based curriculum is dependent on adequate resources and appropriate professional development opportunities for teachers in both economically developed and developing nations.
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Advances In Wireless Technologies

In 2006, Garland stated that PCs were vital to the educational market, especially the Compaq Tablet PC TC from Hewlett Packard and the Acer TravelMate c110 convertible Tablet PC. This is no longer the case because of the increase in Apple‘s more user friendly laptops and the surge in smart phones with PC, PDA, and Internet capabilities. Until the 1990s, Apples were the main computers used in United States schools, until they were surpassed by the cheaper Dell computers. By March, 2008, Fisher-Cox reported that Apple exceeded Dell as the biggest supplier of portables to educational institutions in 2007, possibly because of its more “user-friendly,” interactive capabilities and professional training opportunities for teachers. Apple‘s iPod, iPod Touch and iPhones are popular wireless devices in K-12 schools with educational applications central to this discussion.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Smart Phones: Converged cellular telephones with full keyboards and planner, voice, color, graphics, video, text messaging, and Internet access.

Multimedia Literacies: Use of print (books and hardcopy texts) and non-print media (technology-based audio, voice, video, graphics, and text) for writing, reading, communication, research, and presentations.

Digital Literacy: The use of information and telecommunication technologies in learning, particularly in reading and writing.

Digital Portfolio: Electronic evidence of student academic work, including text, multimedia presentations, files, and hyperlinks.

Ultramobile Computers: Small laptops, a cross between smart phones and notebooks, with screens measuring seven to ten inches diagonally and broadband connectivity.

Net Generation: Young people, usually under 25 years of age, who rely on Internet connectivity through wireless technology to communicate quickly and efficiently both socially and educationally.

Wireless Technologies: Mobile devices unattached by electrical conductors or “wires,” such as smart phones and laptops.

Digital Learning Software: Educational applications for handheld wireless devices such as iPods.

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