An essay on social networking sites and education: overviewing the problem of the divide
At the beginning of 2000th, a prominent scientist Clayton Christensen conducted a case study analysis , in which he argued the difficulties of the comparative analysis of disruptive and sustaining technologies as they are perceived by society. Disrupting technologies require major and far-reaching alterations, whereas sustaining technologies are characterized by a completely different vector and aimed primarily on the improvement of company’s current practices. The scientist noted that these two different ways of information processing caused the split between some generally accepted strategies and a totally new understanding of business model building; as the result of this, many successful companies were forced into bankruptcy as they did not cope with a highly changeable trend of disruptive technologies. In its turn, the risk of bankruptcy was the main reason for the avalanche of essays on social networking and related studies. Up to this very day, administrators of big organizations and university professors claim the necessity to continue research and development of sustaining technologies (here we are talking about clickers and PowerPoint) and refuse to rebuild traditional methods of teaching in accordance with disruptive technologies (or at least, resist adopting innovations).
However, numerous book reviews show that, predominantly, information, which is needful for learners, tends to be disruptive by being constantly changed in the way it is stored, used and organized. We ought to admit the impossibility to ignore ongoing revolutions in higher education, especially those connected with innovations of information technology; obviously, it is our duty to suggest ways, in which local situations of “digitally divided” can turn to be a spreading wraparound conception of “the technologically connected world”. That is why the student writing his or her argumentative essay on social networking should be well-informed and technologically educated. The problem of “digital divide” can be eliminated only and only by suitable training techniques, which means that specialists must constantly share their knowledge and experience over the question of access to online information sources and the usage of evolving computers in more powerful and sophisticated ways.
The review of needful sources for a social networking sites essay
Most colleges and universities successfully manage to provide the students with online access to at least several scientific journals, although students and young learners at a great number of smaller institutions very often cannot afford to be subscribed to quite expensive sources of the scientific literature. What basis for modern information management can possibly be offered and what skills can be taught by those institutions if they really are up to enabling their students to become educated experts? Let us take a look into this matter by overviewing several valuable discursive sources, namely:
- first up, B. S. Williams supplies us with a good philosophical and historical observation on changes that education and science are experiencing. His “Sceptical Chymists Online” essay puts forward a suggestion that however much the Internet and the infosphere has changed for the last decades we still live on the assumptions of the Gutenberg era. Williams argues that the evolutionary growth of “media world and the new-age scientific medium” itself is way, way slower than the revolution of our comprehension of dissemination and adaptation of scientific data. And the point is not that one of us can find requirements for thesis format online, but that the Internet today can support groups interested in highly specialized kinds of communication – and science moves toward the establishment of huge social network of scientists, even though the nature of changes might well be disruptive and vigorous.
- similarly, Pence and Pence suggest that there is no other way than to introduce powerful new tools to the online environment joining education and scientific development. In their article “Creating and Using a PIM System” they contend the necessity to overcome the problem of contemporary information overload and demonstrate how integrative tools, such as a thesis generator , social tagging, RSS and microblogging can facilitate and improve the collective search for new specific information. Moreover, the authors describe their attempts to integrate technological novices and foster students to use them widely. Their experiment showed that most students could be confused encountering unwanted Web technologies because of the lack of appropriate training and the functional understanding.
- finally, Losoff and Pence created an extensive discussion on the importance of the availability of online journals in their critical essay named “Preparing for the New Information Paradigm”. Generally speaking, the authors claim that we need to change the whole paradigm of information accessibility, namely: to improve and make searches more comprehensive; to distribute recent data and scientific articles more rapidly; to make inclusion of multimedia objects, such as animations and video clips allowable; to diversify supporting material and popularize various formats, such as aTurabian paper and Chicago paper. Also, they review even more innovations in the stream of disruptive technologies that are likely to appear in the nearest future. Smartphones and portable devices, according to their speculations, will also add to the expansion of the new interconnected world of scientific information and virtual conveniences.
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