Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Our world is witnessing a revolution in modern communications and information technology, affected in various areas of life: political, social, industrial, economic, and educational, this technology has evolved rapidly and dramatically, and took many forms and a variety of facilitated communication between individuals and groups in various countries around the world, and removed the border Spatial between nations and continents, and created new ways for the transfer of knowledge in several ways, including: E-book, electronic journals, and Web sites. The communications revolution has opened new horizons for the development of education, and contribute to the solution of many problems such as: the large number of students, and the lack of buildings and classrooms, and lack of teacher training, also helped to create educational environments Jdidplm we encountered before, such as: virtual reality, virtual schools, and universities default, and smart classrooms, which led to the development of the field of education. It is in this spirit by trying to answer the following questions: -- 1 - What types of modern communications technology? 2 - What positive and negative effects of modern communication technology in the field of education? 3 - How can the employment of modern communication technology in the field of education? And to answer these questions, the researcher provided a conceptual framework to ensure the following points: -- - The concept of modern communication technology, and types. - The positive and negative consequences of modern communication technology in the field of education. - The results of some previous studies and research on the impact of the use of modern communication technology in education. - The employment of methods of modern communication technology in the field of education. At the conclusion made by a set of recommendations and proposals for the employment of modern communication technology in education.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Some politicians use Twitter — or, in many cases, have their staff members use it — as a vehicle for their daily message or as a kind of running travelogue. (“Back from Belgium,” Representative Darrell Issa of California tweeted last month. “They make quite a waffle.”) Other politicians have decided that Twitter is a way for us to become immersed in the mundane details of their private lives. The clear leader in this field is Claire McCaskill, Missouri’s junior senator, who took up Twitter just before the inauguration. “I get old style crunchy taco, and a chicken burrito supreme & Diet Coke at Taco Bell,” McCaskill recently tweeted. “Miss those tostados.” Then: “Ok, ok, brain freeze. I know you can only get Diet Pepsi at Taco Bell.” Give McCaskill credit: she clearly does the tweeting herself, and she shares both her policy positions and the details of her daily life in a way that can be informative and oddly endearing. And yet at times McCaskill, like just about all devoted tweeters, can sound like Tom Hanks in that movie on the island, jabbering to his battered volleyball so as not to lose touch with his own existence.
However current it may be technologically, Twitter seems somehow out of step in its political sensibility — that is, in the promise of false intimacy between politicians and voters. For much of the last two decades, going back at least to George H. W. Bush’s pathetic pork rinds and Bill Clinton’s wailing saxophone, American politics was obsessed with the universality of our experience, typified by the enduring cliché of the president with whom you could quaff a beer. It isn’t hard to see how this happened: the all-powerful medium of television created a stagnating sameness in the presentation of politics that verged on parody, and voters and the news media sought to pierce the artifice, with savvy politicians doing what they could to oblige. But in this new age of reckoning for all that we’ve failed to accomplish, voters seem to have tired of what pollsters call the “understands people like me” question. Now, it seems, they want politicians to stop sharing and just govern like adults.
And whatever else Americans may be craving in our politics these days, brevity and immediacy aren’t among them. Politics today is already too simplistic and binary, its news cycle more comically truncated and ephemeral than at any time in our history; in the age of e-mail, blogs and smartphones, we seem to react to everything with a kind of frantic, predictable impulse (Tax all the bonuses! Kill all the pirates!) rather than with a longer-term consideration of benefits and consequences. The last thing Washington needs right now is politicians who seek to convey the moment in even shorter slogans and commentators who feel the need to offer their wisdom with even more frequency and glib abandon than they already do on blogs and cable TV.
If Twitter doesn’t turn out to be just the latest political fad (like, say, psychographic polling, or Ron Paul), then it just may be the worst thing to happen to politics and its attending media since a couple of geniuses at CNN dreamed up “Crossfire” back in the 1980s. It’s not that Twitter doesn’t have a value to society. Its ability to spread news (as in the emergency landing of a plane in the Hudson River) or to circumvent repression (as in Moldovan youths organizing protests) has already proved transformative. But not every new mode of communication lends itself to politics, where speed and complexity rarely coexist. The capital might be a better place if it became a Twitter-free zone, a city where people spent more time talking to the guy serving the coffee and less time informing the world that the coffee had, in fact, been served.
Matt Bai, who covers politics for the magazine, is the author of “The Argument: Inside the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics.”
A shabby form of exploitation? Not to Justin McMurry of Keller, Tex., who spends about that amount of time helping customers of Verizon’s high-speed fiber optic Internet, television and telephone service, which the company is gradually rolling out across the country.
Mr. McMurry is part of an emerging corps of Web-savvy helpers that large corporations, start-up companies and venture capitalists are betting will transform the field of customer service.
Such enthusiasts are known as lead users, or super-users, and their role in contributing innovations to product development and improvement — often selflessly — has been closely researched in recent years. There have been case studies of early skateboarders and mountain bikers and their pioneering tweaks to their gear, for example, and of the programmers who were behind open-source software like the Linux operating system. These unpaid contributors, it seems, are motivated mainly by a payoff in enjoyment and respect among their peers.
But can this same kind of economy of social rewards develop in the realm of customer service? It is, after all, a field that companies typically regard as a costly nuisance and that consumers often view as a source of frustration.
A look at the evolving experiment that Verizon Communications began in July suggests that company-sponsored online communities for customer service, if handled adeptly, hold considerable promise.
Mark Studness, director of e-commerce at Verizon, is a software engineer by training and an avid consumer electronics tinkerer whose home projects have included installing high-end audiovisual systems. In those projects, he has often visited Web sites where users offer one another tips and answer questions. Verizon, Mr. Studness determined, needed to find a smart way to try to tap into that potential resource for customer service.
In talking to people and surveying the research on voluntary online communities, Verizon concluded that super-users would be crucial to success.
“You have to make an environment that attracts the Justin McMurrys of the world, because that’s where the magic happens,” Mr. Studness said.
Natalie L. Petouhoff, an analyst at Forrester Research, said that online user groups conform to what she calls the 1-9-90 rule. About 1 percent of those in the community, she explained, are super-users who supply most of the best answers and commentary. An additional 9 percent are “responders” who mainly reply and rate Web posts, she said, and the other 90 percent are “readers” who primarily peruse and search the Web site for useful information.
“The 90 percent will come,” Ms. Petouhoff said, “if you have the 1 percent.”
Verizon explored the alternative of building the Web site and managing the forums itself, but it decided to call on outside expertise. Several suppliers, including HelpStream, Jive Software and Telligent, offer corporate social networking software with customer service features. Verizon chose Lithium Technologies, a fast-growing start-up based in Emeryville, Calif.
Lithium comes to online customer service from a heritage in gaming. Its chief executive and co-founder, Lyle Fong, was a founder of GX Media, which developed a leading Web site, Gamers.com, and created technologies for professional rankings and tournaments.
Lithium’s current roster of 125 clients includes AT&T, BT, iRobot, Linksys, Best Buy and Nintendo.
The mentality of super-users in online customer-service communities is similar to that of devout gamers, according to Mr. Fong. Lithium’s customer service sites for companies, for example, offer elaborate rating systems for contributors, with ranks, badges and “kudos counts.”
“That alone is addictive,” Mr. Fong said. “They are revered by their peers.”
Benchmark Capital, a venture capital firm that invested $9 million in Lithium last year, was impressed with the company’s gaming background and its focus on catering to super-users to build communities. Peter Fenton, a Benchmark general partner, said that many of the most popular consumer Web sites and services, from Wikipedia to Twitter, are animated by a relatively small percentage of avid users.
“In customer service, it’s still very early, but I think it’s likely the same pattern will play out,” said Mr. Fenton, who serves on the boards of both Twitter and Yelp, a site where users post reviews of restaurants and other local businesses.
At Verizon, Mr. Studness says he is pleased with the experiment so far. He calls the company-sponsored customer-service site “a very productive tool,” partly because it absorbs many thousands of questions that would otherwise be expensive calls to a Verizon call center.
But the online forums, he added, also provide customer ideas for improvements in hardware and software for the company’s fiber optic service, as well as a large, growing and searchable knowledge base online.
“One answer can help thousands,” he said.
Mr. McMurry, who is 68 and a retired software engineer, is supplying answers by the bushel. He joined the Verizon-sponsored forums in August after reading about them on another technical Web site. A scan through his lengthy list of posts shows a range from the straightforward (programming a DVR remotely by computer) to the arcane (the fine points of HDMI technology, for High-Definition Multimedia Interface).
As a software expert, Mr. McMurry has taught training classes. “Seeing the light turn on in their eyes when they understood was exciting,” he said.
His online tutoring, he observed, brings a similar satisfaction.
“People seem to like most of what I say online, and I like doing it,” he said.
MR. McMURRY has a lofty ranking as a “Silver II” contributor to the site and as a community leader, denoted by “CL” in a red box next to his name. Community leaders also have their own forum, have direct access to Verizon technical staff members and get early glimpses of new products — all a part of cultivating super-users.
“Who knows how long I’ll keep doing this,” Mr. McMurry said, “but I’m enjoying it now.”
Warming temperatures are melting coastal ice shelves and frozen sub-soils, which act as natural barriers to protect the village against summer deluges from ocean storm surges.
"We are seeing the erosion, flooding and sinking of our village right now," said Stanley Tom, a Yup'ik Eskimo and tribal administrator for the Newtok Traditional Council.
The crisis is unique because its devastating effects creep up on communities, eating away at their infrastructure, unlike with sudden natural disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes or hurricanes.
Newtok is just one example of what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns is part of a growing climate change crisis that will displace 150 million people by 2050. View a map showing Newtok's proximity to Alaska's Western shore »
The group says indigenous peoples in Asia, Central America and Africa are threatened by shifting environmental conditions blamed on climate change.
"We will not be able to survive"
Tom's ancestors have been living in the region for centuries, he said.
"Our land is our resource, our source of food; it's our country. We live off of it. If we go to another village or city, we will not be able to survive," Tom said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that moving Newtok could cost $130 million. Twenty-six other Alaskan villages are in immediate danger, with an additional 60 considered under threat in the next decade, according to the corps.
The village crisis is taking place as more than 400 indigenous people from 80 nations gather 500 miles (800 kilometers) away in Anchorage, Alaska, at the first Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change.
The conference aimed to address global issues effecting indigenous communities like the Yup'ik Eskimos. The five-day summit also hoped to raise global awareness about the crisis facing these indigenous communities and to help them speak with a more unified voice, said Patricia Cochran, chairwoman of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, which hosted the event.
U.N. scientists have long blamed increases in average global temperatures on the emission of excess greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide by industry and the burning of petroleum-based fuel.
Summit delegates will work on a declaration outlining the climate change-related issues facing indigenous people. The declaration will be agreed upon Friday and presented at the Conference of Parties United Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.
"On the international level, the meeting in Copenhagen at the end of the year is incredibly important, it will lay down the road map on how we tackle climate change and who gets to be involved," said Sam Johnston of Tokyo, Japan-based United Nations University, a co-sponsor of the summit.
"Climate change poses threats and dangers to the survival of indigenous communities worldwide, even though they contribute least to greenhouse emissions," United Nations General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto said at the summit.
Climate change, conference delegates say, is threatening the traditional lifestyles of indigenous peoples around the world. Specific environmental threats include droughts, sea level rise, warmer temperatures; lack of rainfall, flooding and loss of biodiversity, climatologists say. The specific combination of threats varies by region.
In Depth: Planet in Peril
For example, in the island nation of Papua New Guinea, an increase in population growth coupled with rising sea levels is decreasing the amount of crop land making farming very difficult for the indigenous people of the region, according to the U.N.
In the African nation of Kenya, the Samburu tribe is on the verge of a food and economic crisis, the U.N. said, as lengthy droughts kill livestock that provides income and sustenance for the community.
In Mexico, highland Mayan farmers are fighting to survive amid decreasing rainfall, unseasonal frost and unprecedented changes in daytime temperatures, the U.N. reported. These conditions are forcing the farmers to plant alternative crops and to search for other sources of irrigation.
"We are the ones that are the most effected" by climate change, said Saul Vicente-Vasquez, a Mexican economist and longtime human rights activist for indigenous peoples.
"Climigration" refers to the forced and permanent migration of communities because of severe climate change effects on essential infrastructure. This differs from migration caused by catastrophic environmental events such as hurricanes and earthquakes. The concept of "climigration" implies that there is no possibility of these communities returning home, said Alaskan human rights lawyer Robin Bronen, who coined the term.
"There needs to be a new institutional framework that is created, that's based in human rights doctrines ... that facilitates relocations," Bronen said.
Back in Newtok, village leaders continue to work with federal and state representatives while they plan to relocate.
"We have a new village, but we don't have all the funding that the village needs to move right now," said Sally Russell Cox planner with the Alaska division of community and regional affairs
Wednesday, April 22, 2009