Tuesday, February 17, 2004

By Seunghyun Lee

Week 5: Digital differences: Discussion questions
1. In the book ‘Communities in cyberspace,’ it is said that “O’Brien points that “hyper-gendering” is prevalent among those who attempt to “cross-dress”(i.e. males presenting themselves as females)” (p.12). How do you think about “gender-switching” online if someone who contacts with you online is not “really” the gender he or she presents himself / herself?
Why is gender a central feature in interaction throughout the Internet?
What is the crucial importance of gender identity in cyberspace?
2. According to O’Brein point, “there is a strain between those who view online interaction as an opportunity to “perform” a variety of fabricated roles versus those who see cyberspace as a new communication medium between real people” (p.12). How do you view online interaction and what is the frame of interaction in cyberspace?
3. How do you think about whether cyberspace enhances or erodes social order and control that already exist in human societies? How does social control work in cyberspace? Do you think that some form of monitoring and sanctioning would be necessary in online groups? Do you agree or disagree with ‘the system of real name use on the Internet’ that users should use their real name when they write and post their opinions online? Do you think that the system of real name use online infringes the public constitutional rights of the freedom of expression and information human rights?

Proposal for the final paper: New Technology and its impact on education

As new technology is developed rapidly, the environment of education also demands changes through new technologies in modern society. Innovations in education that incorporate new technologies affect not only teaching strategies, but also learning environment. This trend in the information age is transforming the environment of education. In other words, technological innovation requires changes for success in education. For the final paper, I will focus on how the use of new technologies in class can affect learning and teaching of a second language.
In a second language education, new technology and visual tools such as the Internet and video are useful in practicing language skills, conveying the meaning of words, and showing different cultures which are related to language learning. These new technologies are becoming important tools for the education. For the use of visual and cultural materials through new multimedia technologies in foreign language education, a wireless network technology can create a new mobile language learning environment. That is, it is useful to use a visual and auditory technology based on a computer and the Internet. It is assumed that this mobile and interactive language-learning environment can increase an opportunity of an interaction between an instructor and students. Also, it can improve students’ learning skills more effectively in which it can make students more active in class. Namely, it is assumed that innovative visual and auditory technology is effective in learning a foreign language and in making students understand it easily.
In sum, I will explore the relationship between new technology and education, and how it will affect learning and teaching.

Research Questions:
¨Is the use of multimedia technology in class useful and effective for learning and teaching?
¨Does it improve students’ abilities of a foreign language learning?

I will conduct interviews with an instructor and a few students who have been using new technology for learning and teaching in class and/or out of class. I will examine whether new technology fits into improving students’ learning ability, focusing on students’ access to and use of technology in class. The first stage of this paper will involve a questionnaire survey through email about how much it is helpful and effective to the students in learning a foreign language. In other word, within a case-study, I will undertake a questionnaire survey of college students who are taking a foreign language class, and this will be followed by observation work in a case-study class, if it is allowed. In-dept interviews with the students and a teacher will be carried out.

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