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diigo learning PhD research

Posted to Diigo 06/15/2012

    • we have only begun to understand the ways that the “social life of information” and the social construction of knowledge can reshape the ways we create learning experiences in the formal college curriculum
    • we define social pedagogies as design approaches for teaching and learning that engage students with what we might call an “authentic audience” (other than the teacher), where the representation of knowledge for an audience is absolutely central to the construction of knowledge in a course
    • social pedagogies strive to build a sense of intellectual community within the classroom and frequently connect students to communities outside the classroom
    • social pedagogies are particularly effective at developing traits of  “adaptive expertise,” which include the ability of the learner to use knowledge flexibly and fluently, to evaluate, filter and distill knowledge for effect, to translate knowledge to new situations, and to understand the limits and assumptions of one’s knowledge.
    • Equally as important is the cultivation of certain attitudes or dispositions characteristic of adaptive experts, including the ability to work with uncertainty, adapt to ambiguity or even failure, and to feel increasingly comfortable working at the edges of one’s competence
    • These kinds of adaptive traits—however valued they may be in the academy in the abstract—are often invisible and elusive in the course design and assessment process.  Designing a course that promotes, supports, and perhaps even evaluates these kinds of traits students implies that they have to be ways to make these effects visible—through some form of communication
    • Acts of representation are not merely vehicles to convey knowledge; they shape the very act of knowing
    • One of the salient research areas for higher education (and indeed other settings, such as organizational learning) is how to harness the effectiveness of informal learning in the formal curriculum.
    • Our understanding of learning has expanded at a rate that has far outpaced our conceptions of teaching. A growing appreciation for the porous boundaries between the classroom and life experience, along with the power of social learning, authentic audiences, and integrative contexts, has created not only promising changes in learning but also disruptive moments in teaching.
    • Our understanding of learning has expanded at a rate that has far outpaced our conceptions of teaching.
    • Christensen coined the phrase disruptive innovation to refer to a process “by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves ‘up market,’ eventually displacing established competitors.”
    • We might say that the formal curriculum is being pressured from two sides. On the one side is a growing body of data about the power of experiential learning in the co‑curriculum; and on the other side is the world of informal learning and the participatory culture of the Internet. Both of those pressures are reframing what we think of as the formal curriculum.
    • These pressures are disruptive because to this point we have funded and structured our institutions as if the formal curriculum were the center of learning
    • All of us in higher education need to ask ourselves: Can we continue to operate on the assumption that the formal curriculum is the center of the undergraduate experience?
    • higher education was in a powerful transition, moving from an instructional paradigm to a learning paradigm—from offering information to designing learning experiences, from thinking about inputs to focusing on outputs, from being an aggregation of separate activities to becoming an integrated design
    • our understanding of learning is expanding in ways that are at least partially incompatible with the structures of higher education institutions
    • these pressures for accountability are making us simultaneously more thoughtful and more limited in what we count as learning
    • The question that campus leaders need to address is how to reinvent a curriculum that lives in this new space
    • Technologies can play a key role here as new digital, learning, and analytics tools now make it possible to replicate some features of high‑impact activity inside classrooms, whether through the design of inquiry-based learning or through the ability to access and manipulate data, mount simulations, leverage “the crowd” for collaboration and social learning, or redesign when and how students can engage course content. Indeed, one of the most powerful aspects of today’s technologies is that many of the high‑impact features that used to be possible only in small classes can now be experienced not only at a larger scale but, in some cases, to better effect at larger scale.
    • A second response to the location problem of high-impact practices is to design for greater fluidity and connection between the formal curriculum and the experiential co-curriculum. An example is the use of e-portfolios, which allow students to organize learning around the learner rather than around courses or the curriculum.
    • “Drawing on the power of multimedia and personal narrative, recursive use of ePortfolio prompts students to expand their focus from individual courses to a broader educational process.”
    • The continued growth of e-portfolios across higher education reveals a restless search for ways to find coherence that transcends courses and the formal curriculum
    • A second pressure on the formal curriculum is the participatory culture of the web and the informal learning that it cultivates.
    • They looked at a range of web cultures, or participatory cultures, including Wikipedia, gaming environments, and grassroots organizations. They compiled a list of what they considered to be the shared and salient features of these powerful web-based communities:

      • Low barriers to entry
      • Strong support for sharing one’s contributions
      • Informal mentorship, from experienced to novice
      • A sense of connection to each other
      • A sense of ownership in what is being created
      • A strong collective sense that something is at stake
  • How many college classrooms or course experiences include this set of features? In how many courses do students feel a sense of community, a sense of mentorship, a sense of collective investment, a sense that what is being created matters?
  • Maybe that’s the intended role of the formal curriculum: to prepare students to have integrative experiences elsewhere
  • the typical school curriculum is built from content (“learning about”) leading to practice (“learning to be”), where the vast majority of useful knowledge is to be found. In a typical formal curriculum, students are first packed with knowledge, and if they stick with something long enough (i.e., major in a discipline), they eventually get to the point of engaging in practice. Brown argues that people instead learn best by “practicing the content.” That is, we start in practice, and practice drives us to content. Or, more likely, the optimal way to learn is reciprocally or spirally between practice and content.
  • Brown’s formulation echoes the growing body of inductive and inquiry-based learning research that has convincingly demonstrated increased learning gains, in certain well-designed conditions, when students are first “presented with a challenge and then learn what they need to know to address the challenge.”
  • how do we reverse the flow, or flip the curriculum, to ensure that practice is emphasized at least as early in the curriculum as content? How can students “learn to be,” through both the formal and the experiential curriculum?
  • In the learning paradigm, we are focusing not on the expert’s products but, rather, on the expert’s practice.
  • we help faculty analyze their teaching by slowing down and thinking about what it is that a student needs to do well in order to be successful with complex tasks
  • Which department is responsible for teaching students how to speak from a position of authority? Where do we find evidence of someone learning to speak from a position of authority? Which assessment rubric do we use for that? Critical thinking? Oral and written communication? Integrative learning? Lifelong learning? Of course, when faculty speak of “authority,” they mean not just volume, but the confidence that comes from critical thought and depth. Learning to “speak from a position of authority” is an idea rooted in expert practice. It is no more a “soft skill” than are the other dimensions of learning that we are coming to value explicitly and systematically as outcomes of higher education—dimensions such as making discerning judgments based on practical reasoning, acting reflectively, taking risks, engaging in civil if difficult discourse, and proceeding with confidence in the face of uncertainty.
  • Designing backward from those kinds of outcomes, we are compelled to imagine ways to ask students, early and often, to engage in the practice of thinking in a given domain, often in the context of messy problems.
  • What is the relationship between the intermediate activity and the stages of intellectual development or the constituent skills and dispositions of a discipline? What if the activities enabled by social media tools are key to helping students learn how to speak with authority?
  • If our concept of learning has outstripped our notion of teaching, how can we expand our notion of teaching—particularly from the perspective of instructional support and innovation?
  • In the traditional model of course design, a well-meaning instructor seeking to make a change in a course talks separately with the teaching center staff, with the technology staff, with the librarians, and with the writing center folks. Then, when the course is implemented, the instructor alone deals with the students in the course—except that the students are often going back for help with assignments to the technology staff, to the librarians, and to the writing center folks (although usually different people who know nothing of the instructor’s original intent). So they are completing the cycle, but in a completely disconnected way. Iannuzzi’s team‑based design thinks about all of these players from the beginning. One of the first changes in this model is that the instructor is no longer at the center. Instead, the course and student learning are at the center, surrounded by all of these other players at the table.
  • A key aspect of the team-based design is the move beyond individualistic approaches to course innovation. In higher education, we have long invested in the notion that the way to innovate is by converting faculty. This move represents a shift in strategy: instead of trying to change faculty so that they might change their courses, this model focuses on changing course structures so that faculty will be empowered and supported in an expanded approach to teaching as a result of teaching these courses.
  • we need to move beyond our old assumptions that it is primarily the students’ responsibility to integrate all the disparate parts of an undergraduate education. We must fully grasp that students will learn to integrate deeply and meaningfully only insofar as we design a curriculum that cultivates that; and designing such a curriculum requires that we similarly plan, strategize and execute integratively across the boundaries within our institutions.
  • we need to think more about how to move beyond the individualistic faculty change model. We need to get involved in team-design and implementation models on our campuses, and we need to consider that doing so could fundamentally change the ways that the burdens of innovation are often placed solely on the shoulders of faculty (whose lives are largely already overdetermined) as well as how certain academic support staff (e.g., IT organizations, student affairs, librarians) think of their professional identities and their engagement with the “curriculum.”
    • Thomson Reuters assigns most journals a yearly Impact Factor (IF), which is defined as the mean citation rate during that year of the papers published in that journal during the previous 2 years.
    • Jobs, grants, prestige, and career advancement are all partially based on an admittedly flawed concept
    • Impact factors were developed in the early 20th century to help American university libraries with their journal purchasing decisions. As intended, IFs deeply affected the journal circulation and availability
    • Until about 20 years ago, printed, physical journals were the main way in which scientific communication was disseminated
    • Now we conduct electronic literature searchers on specific subjects, using keywords, author names, and citation trees. As long as the papers are available digitally, they can be downloaded and read individually, regardless of the journal whence they came, or the journal’s IF.
    • This change in our reading patterns whereby papers are no longer bound to their respective journals led us to predict that in the past 20 years the relationship between IF and papers’ citation rates had to be weakening.
    • we found that until 1990, of all papers, the proportion of top (i.e., most cited) papers published in the top (i.e., highest IF) journals had been increasing. So, the top journals were becoming the exclusive depositories of the most cited research. However, since 1991 the pattern has been the exact opposite. Among top papers, the proportion NOT published in top journals was decreasing, but now it is increasing. Hence, the best (i.e., most cited) work now comes from increasingly diverse sources, irrespective of the journals’ IFs.
    • in their effort to attract high-quality papers, journals might have to shift their attention away from their IFs and instead focus on other issues, such as increasing online availability, decreasing publication costs while improving post-acceptance production assistance, and ensuring a fast, fair and professional review process.
    • As the relation between IF and paper quality continues to weaken, such simplistic cash-per-paper practices bases on journal IFs will likely be abandoned.
    • knowing that their papers will stand on their own might also encourage researchers to abandon their fixation on high IF journals. Journals with established reputations might remain preferable for a while, but in general, the incentive to publish exclusively in high IF journals will diminish. Science will become more democratic; a larger number of editors and reviewers will decide what gets published, and the scientific community at large will decide which papers get cited, independently of journal IFs.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-02-28

  • @hotdogcop Tweeted this earlier, pretty funny, but also pretty accurate http://onion.com/h3coIN #
  • The Changing Landscape of Higher Education (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE http://bit.ly/dFXmaz #
  • Richard Feynman on the pleasure of finding things out http://bit.ly/gij2ve #
  • Massive Health Uses Big Data, Mobile Phones to Fight Chronic Disease http://ow.ly/1s4Epd #
  • The Daily Is Interesting, But Is It the Future of Newspapers? http://ow.ly/1s4En9 #
  • Gladwell Still Missing the Point About Social Media and Activism http://ow.ly/1s4ElH #
  • “This Game Sucks”: How to Improve the Gamification of Education (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE http://bit.ly/fMWN4f #
  • eLearn: Feature Article – The Effects of Twitter in an Online Learning Environment http://bit.ly/gqrqfQ. Students resist adoption of Twitter #
  • eLearn: Feature Article – Administering a Gross Anatomy Exam Using Mobile Technology http://bit.ly/f74yAj #
  • Onion Report: Increasing Number Of Educators Found To Be Suffering From Teaching Disabilities http://onion.com/h3coIN. Humour #
  • Skateboarding Physics Professor At Large — Blog Archive » Building A New Culture Of Teaching And Learning http://bit.ly/hco11U #
  • Presentation Zen: Nurturing curiosity & inspiring the pursuit of discovery http://bit.ly/h4SJtd. Why don’t we value curiosity in schools? #
  • @hotdogcop Seems to be this idea that “if you build it, they will come”, but the reality is that no-one knows what to do when they get there #
  • The Need for Student Social Media Policies (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE http://bit.ly/fhj7F9 #
  • Evidence of Learning Online: Assessment Beyond The Paper — Campus Technology http://bit.ly/e8iuuQ #
  • E10 Podcast: Gardner Campbell and Jim Groom Discuss Faculty Attitudes and the Joy of Learning | EDUCAUSE http://bit.ly/fmLBnk #
  • The Daily Papert. Words and wisdom of Dr. Seymour Papert http://bit.ly/fs947e #
  • Mendeley Update: OpenURL support, improved article pages, & easier citation entry for OpenOffice http://bit.ly/fyOwcc #
  • Thought Leader » John Vlismas » Hofmeyr, Bloody Hofmeyr http://bit.ly/eNQumA. Intelligent response to Steve’s rant #
  • Managing your research the modern way: Research together with colleagues using an activity feed | Mendeley Blog http://bit.ly/e1eQAS #
  • The Enormous Technological Challenges Facing Education http://bit.ly/eVBik5. Nice summary of the emerging tech in the latest Horizon report #
  • A WikiLeaks Clone Takes On Higher Education – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education http://bit.ly/g5WL4W #
  • @subcide Great, thanks for the update. #Mendeley is one of the tools I use most often and it’s brilliant to see it continually improving #
  • Thought leader: nothing to correct http://ht.ly/40Xq0. The problem of “corrective rape” in SA, aimed at the LGBTI community. I wasn’t aware #
  • The ‘myth’ of e-learning http://bit.ly/gXQmUx #
  • @dgachago17 #Hootsuite (web app) is also pretty good at updating multiple services simultaneously #justsaying #
  • Not sure which version of #Mendeley added this, but I just found the “Send by email” feature, and it is SOOO welcome 🙂 #
  • Acceptable Use Policies in a Web 2.0 & Mobile Era: A Guide for School District ~ Stephen’s Web http://bit.ly/i1MBPZ #
  • Critical Thinking: More than Words? http://bit.ly/i5rLtO. We talk about critical thinking with our students, but don’t discuss what it means #
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diigo

Posted to Diigo 02/18/2010

  • The impact of digital tools on conducting research in new ways

    tags: education, research, technology, digital

    • we need to toss out the old industrial model of pedagogy (how learning is accomplished) and replace it with a new model called collaborative learning. Second we need an entirely new modus operandi for how the subject matter, course materials, texts, written and spoken word, and other media (the content of higher education) are created.
    • “Teachers who use collaborative learning approaches tend to think of themselves less as expert transmitters of knowledge to students, and more as expert designers of intellectual experiences for students — as coaches or mid-wives of a more emergent learning process.”
    • The bottom line was simple: professors should spend more time in discussion with students.
    • “Collaborative learning has as its main feature a structure that allows for student talk: students are supposed to talk with each other . . . and it is in this talking that much of the learning occurs.”
    • With technology, it is now possible to embrace new collaboration models that change the paradigm in more fundamental ways. But this pedagogical change is not about technology
    • this represents a change in the relationship between students and teachers in the learning process.
    • Today, universities embrace the Cartesian view of learning. “The Cartesian perspective assumes that knowledge is a kind of substance and that pedagogy concerns the best way to transfer this substance from teachers to students. By contrast, instead of starting from the Cartesian premise of ‘I think, therefore I am,‘ . . . the social view of learning says, ‘We participate, therefore we are.‘”
    • one of the strongest determinants of students’ success in higher education . . . was their ability to form or participate in small study groups. Students who studied in groups, even only once a week, were more engaged in their studies, were better prepared for class, and learned significantly more than students who worked on their own.” It appears that when students get engaged, they take a greater interest in and responsibility for their own learning.
    • “The scandal of education is that every time you teach something, you deprive a [student] of the pleasure and benefit of discovery.”
    • Like Guttenberg’s printing press, the web democratizes learning
    • Rather than seeing the web as a threat to the old order, universities should embrace its potential and take discovery learning to the next step.
    • One project strategy, called “just-in-time teaching,” combines the benefits of web-based assignments with an active-learner classroom where courses are customized to the particular needs of the class. Warm-up questions, written by the students, are typically due a few hours before class, giving the teacher an opportunity to adjust the lesson “just in time,” so that classroom time can be focused on the parts of the assignments that students struggled with. This technique produces real results. An evaluation study of 350 Cornell students found that those who were asked “deep questions” (questions that elicit higher-order thinking) with frequent peer discussion scored noticeably higher on their math exams than students who were not asked deep questions or who had little to no chance for peer discussion.
    • The university needs to open up, embrace collaborative knowledge production, and break down the walls that exist among institutions of higher education and between those institutions and the rest of the world.
    • “My view is that in the open-access movement, we are seeing the early emergence of a meta-university — a transcendent, accessible, empowering, dynamic, communally constructed framework of open materials and platforms on which much of higher education worldwide can be constructed or enhanced. The Internet and the Web will provide the communication infrastructure, and the open-access movement and its derivatives will provide much of the knowledge and information infrastructure.”
    • The digital world, which has trained young minds to inquire and collaborate, is challenging not only the lecture-driven teaching traditions of the university but the very notion of a walled-in institution that excludes large numbers of people.
    • If all that the large research universities have to offer to students are lectures that students can get online for free, from other professors, why should those students pay the tuition fees, especially if third-party testers will provide certificates, diplomas, and even degrees? If institutions want to survive the arrival of free, university-level education online, they need to change the way professors and students interact on campus.
    • The value of a credential and even the prestige of a university are rooted in its effectiveness as a learning institution. If these institutions are shown to be inferior to alternative learning environments, their capacity to credential will surely diminish.
    • Professors who want to remain relevant will have to abandon the traditional lecture and start listening to and conversing with students — shifting from a broadcast style to an interactive one. In doing so, they can free themselves to be curators of learning — encouraging students to collaborate among themselves and with others outside the university. Professors should encourage students to discover for themselves and to engage in critical thinking instead of simply memorizing the professor’s store of information.
    • The Industrial Age model of education is hard to change. New paradigms cause dislocation, disruption, confusion, uncertainty. They are nearly always received with coolness or hostility. Vested interests fight change. And leaders of old paradigms are often the last to embrace the new.
    • whilst the educational technology community has tended to espouse constructivist approaches to learning, the reality is that most Virtual Learning Environments have tended to be a barrier to such an approach to learning
    • In such an age of supercomplexity, the university has new knowledge functions: to add to supercomplexity by offering completely new frames of understanding (so compounding supercomplexity); to help us comprehend and make sense of the resulting knowledge mayhem; and to enable us to live purposefully amid supercomplexity.
    • A teacher/instructor/professor obviously plays numerous roles in a traditional classroom: role model, encourager, supporter, guide, synthesizer. Most importantly, the teacher offers a narrative of coherence of a particular discipline. Selecting a textbook, determining and sequencing lecture topics, and planning learning activities, are all undertaken to offer coherence of a subject area. Instructional (or learning) design is a structured method of coherence provision.
    • When learners have control of the tools of conversation, they also control the conversations in which they choose to engage.
    • Course content is similarly fragmented. The textbook is now augmented with YouTube videos, online articles, simulations, Second Life builds, virtual museums, Diigo content trails, StumpleUpon reflections
    • Traditional courses provide a coherent view of a subject. This view is shaped by “learning outcomes” (or objectives). These outcomes drive the selection of content and the design of learning activities. Ideally, outcomes and content/curriculum/instruction are then aligned with the assessment. It’s all very logical: we teach what we say we are going to teach, and then we assess what we said we would teach.
    • Fragmentation of content and conversation is about to disrupt this well-ordered view of learning.
    • How can we achieve clear outcomes through distributed means? How can we achieve learning targets when the educator is no longer able to control the actions of learners?
    • I’ve come to view teaching as a critical and needed activity in the chaotic and ambiguous information climate created by networks. In the future, however, the role of the teacher, the educator, will be dramatically different from the current norm. Views of teaching, of learner roles, of literacies, of expertise, of control, and of pedagogy are knotted together. Untying one requires untying the entire model.
    • For educators, control is being replaced with influence. Instead of controlling a classroom, a teacher now influences or shapes a network.
    • The following are roles teacher play in networked learning environments:

      1. Amplifying
      2. Curating
      3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking
      4. Aggregating
      5. Filtering
      6. Modelling
      7. Persistent presence

    • A curatorial teacher acknowledges the autonomy of learners, yet understands the frustration of exploring unknown territories without a map.
    • Instead of explicitly stating “you must know this”, the curator includes critical course concepts in her dialogue with learners, her comments on blog posts, her in-class discussions, and in her personal reflections.
    • How do individuals make sense of complex information? How do they find their way through a confusing and contradictory range of ideas?
    • When a new technology appeared, such as blogs, my existing knowledge base enabled me to recognize potential uses.
    • Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
    • Imagine a course where the fragmented conversations and content are analyzed (monitored) through a similar service. Instead of creating a structure of the course in advance of the students starting (the current model), course structure emerges through numerous fragmented interactions. “Intelligence” is applied after the content and interactions start, not before.
    • Aggregation should do the same – reveal the content and conversation structure of the course as it unfolds, rather than defining it in advance.
    • Filtering can be done in explicit ways – such as selecting readings around course topics – or in less obvious ways – such as writing summary blog posts around topics.
    • “To teach is to model and to demonstrate. To learn is to practice and to reflect.”
    • Learning is a multi-faceted process, involving cognitive, social, and emotional dimensions.
    • Apprenticeship is concerned with more than cognition and knowledge (to know about) – it also addresses the process of becoming a carpenter, plumber, or physician.
    • An educator needs a point of existence online – a place to express herself and be discovered: a blog, profile in a social networking service, Twitter, or (likely) a combination of multiple services.
    • Without an online identity, you can’t connect with others – to know and be known. I don’t think I’m overstating the importance of have a presence in order to participate in networks. To teach well in networks – to weave a narrative of coherence with learners – requires a point of presence.
    • the methods of learning in networks are not new, however. People have always learned in social networks
    • Education is concerned with content and conversations. The tools for controlling both content and conversation have shifted from the educator to the learner. We require a system that acknowledges this reality.

Posted from Diigo.

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diigo

Post to Diigo (weekly)

    • The e-textbooks typically cost at least 80 percent of the print price.
    • “They tend to read backward and forward. It’s characteristic of the learning process.”
  • tags: no_tag

    • Higher education’s purpose is to equip students for success in life
  • tags: e-learning, context

    • E-learning context is very important. It is common to find educators who perceive e-learning as internet-only education that encourages a static and content-focused series of text pages on screen. Others envisage the shallow and random online messages that are typical of a social real-time chat session, and wonder how that type of communication could add any value to academic discourse. Some may have experienced e-learning done poorly, and extrapolate their experience into a negative impression of all e-learning.
  • Nice, short summary of why PBL is a Good Thing

    tagspbl

    • PBL promotes learning by emphasizing the formulation of questions raised by the problem rather than definitive solutions to it
    • Linking the problem to individual experience positively impacts motivation. It’s the principle of connecting what is new to what is already known
    • PBL relies heavily on active learning. Students work on the problem. They do research, make decisions, prepare reports, and give presentations
    • Real-world problems do not generally fit within the boundaries of a single discipline
    • the goal is to solve the problem with an application of relevant content
    • Students work on problems in groups or teams, thereby gaining experience and skill in small-group dynamics
    • Reference: Graaff, E. D., and Kolmos, A. (2003) Characteristics of problem-based learning. International Journal of Engineering Education, 19 (5), 657-662

Posted from Diigo.

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The Tower and the Cloud

Just a quick pointer to what I think is going to be a great read.  “The Tower and the Cloud” is a new publication by EDUCAUSE, which looks at the impact of cloud computing on higher education.  The book is divided into broad sections, each containing several chapters, with each chapter written by a different author who is a prominent figure in the field of e-learning.

I’m particularly keen on the section, Open Information, Open Content, Open Source, containing the following chapters (I’ve linked to the downloadable chapters):

The book is available as a free download, as well as a paid-for hardcopy that can be shipped internationally, and is published under a Creative Commons license.  I’m really looking forward to reading this.

Note: EDUCAUSE is a “…nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology”.

Other books available from EDUCAUSE include: