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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Videoconferencing for Schools in the Digital Age

Videoconferencing for Schools in the Digital Age
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Author(s): Marie Martin (Carlow University, Pittsburgh, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch633


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Wallis and Steptoe (2006) tell of a “dark little joke” that is bandied about among certain educators. It recounts the tale of Rip Van Winkle, who on reawakening in 2006 after his hundred years’ sleep, experiences utter bewilderment until at last he finds solace in the familiar environment of a classroom, where teaching is going on as it did back in 1906. The story is amusing. The message is blunt. In the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, despite ongoing technology-driven societal transformation, schools are still functioning largely in the easily recognizable traditional model of the industrial era (Steinkuehler, 2006; Veletsianos, 2007). The rush to computerize the classroom has generally not brought about a corresponding change of mindset on the part of educators (Cuban, 2006; Spector, 2000; Shaffer, Squire, Halverson, & Gee, 2005; Thornburg, 2003). Schools are failing to address the needs of the Net generation of learners (Barnes, Marateo, & Ferris, 2007; van ‘t Hooft, 2007). These digital learners who have grown up in a technology-saturated world that has defined and shaped their way of learning find school irrelevant and boring (Mc- Combs, 2000). By drawing on the literature and on case studies from within the experience of the author and other educators in Northern Ireland (NI), this article seeks to demonstrate that videoconferencing, alone as well as alongside other technologies, and used with appropriate pedagogy, can help transform the traditional classroom and make it a place hospitable to the learning needs of the Net generation.

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