Two papers to be published

The following two papers are set to be published. The first should appear in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Academic Librarianship, and the second in the Proceedings of the EdMedia 2010 conference.

Cocciolo, A. (in press). Can Web 2.0 Enhance Community Participation in an Institutional Repository? The case of PocketKnowledge at Teachers College, Columbia University. Journal of Academic Librarianship.

Cocciolo, A., Mineo, C. & Meier, E. (in press). Using Online Social Networks to Build Healthy Communities: A Design-based Research Investigation. ED-MEDIA 2010-World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, Toronto, Canada.

My Dissertation

Although it has been done for a few months now, I realized I never posted my dissertation here. So here it is, enjoy!

USING INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES TO ADVANCE A PARTICIPATORY CULTURE:
A STUDY FROM A HIGHER EDUCATION CONTEXT

Advances in information and communications technologies (ICTs) have empowered individuals to share their intellectual, cultural, and creative expressions with wider and more diverse audiences than ever before. This has been made possible by a variety of factors, but most saliently by what has been termed Web 2.0, which is a set of design patterns for structuring websites so that they can be actively shaped and influenced by the interactions and contributions of users (e.g., YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace). These changes have been described as creating the conditions necessary for shifting society from a consumer culture to a participatory culture. This emerging cultural formation has been hypothesized to have a great deal of potential for advancing education and learning by moving the locus of activity from existing power relationships (consumer/producer, expert/novice, and teacher/student) to one that focuses on the individual’s empowerment and willingness to construct and contribute to one’s cultural and physical reality. Despite this potential, there is little research that looks to understand how such ICTs deployed into specific communities do (or do not) make possible these goals.

This study aims to understand the relationship between ICTs and their potential for creating and sustaining a participatory culture, particularly by pointing to a set of factors that highlight the existence of and mediate involvement in a participatory culture. To understand this relationship, this study analyzes an Web 2.0 technology that was used electively by a graduate school community for a two-year period of time (September 6, 2006 to September 6, 2008) by N=2,580 students, faculty and staff. The factors that mediate involvement include: communication across organizational structures, spaces for alternative discourses to develop and integrating interpersonal networks. The study concludes that Web 2.0 technologies promote the formation of participatory cultures by making the cultural, intellectual, and creative work of a community visible, and that visibility in turn encourages individuals to participate.

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Defense done, now the revisions

I realized my blog was getting a bit neglected, so I thought I would share the slides from my dissertation defense, which I passed but now need to make a few revisions here and there. I think I may have went a little long (it is only supposed to be 10-15 minutes, and I think I may have went for 20-25). Oh well, but here they are:

Defense

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Using Social Networking Tools to Promote Healthy Communities

I am pleased to announce that the Building Healthy Communities Social Network is being rolled out to 15 schools in NYC, Philadelphia, and New Jersey starting next week. The Social Network is a collaboration between the EdLab (moi), the Center for Technology and School Change (Ellen Meier and Caron Mineo), and The After School Corporation (TASC). The program runs on a curriculum that was developed by Children for Children, and support for rolling out the program comes from NJ After 3, Education Works and TASC. Funding comes from the Corporation for National and Community Service, which is the branch of the federal government that supports AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America (which this program is a part of).

One of the challenges associated with this project was designing/developing a social network site that can be used with young children (the program is for kids grades 3-8). This is the first time I have tried to develop something for children; everything I have done in the past was designed for adults. We will be doing some research on how social networking tools contribute (or don’t) to creating a learning environment that promotes healthy behaviors by kids. Hopefully we won’t find that the kids get frustrated with the site and start eating more junk!

Speech Recognition in the Classroom

I thought I would share this paper I’ve put together on an experimental project that uses speech recognition in the classroom. Enjoy!

Using Speech Recognition Technology in the Classroom: An Experiment in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

ABSTRACT:
This paper will report on a design and development project that aims to enrich face-to-face classroom contexts using the latest developments in information and communications technology. The Meety project, when used by students in a classroom with laptop computers, captures the verbal utterances of the classroom context and uses it to supply real-time information resources to the students in the classroom. Students have the option of contributing to the information resources and rating the utility of the resources supplied. This project discusses the design and development of the project as well as a simulated trial to test its efficacy.