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Thursday, April 9, 2009

4th Posting: Online Databases

EBSCOHost is one of the database that were used by many of education institution around the world for educational resources such as journals, academic materials and many more. It is very convenient for research purposes and for information regarding various subjects.

Library and Information Science Abstracts or better known as LISA Net is a database full of references in Information Sciences. LISA Net provide a lot of abstracts from articles, journals and many other materials for various academic uses. This database have many collections from countries around the world.

CALL Bridging Digital Divide Women
Article Summary (Tackling the Digital Divide)

The emergence of an information society has created new social exclusions and aggravated old ones by creating digital exclusion. Many countries have explicit policies about turning themselves into the leaders of such transformations or about catching up with the changes made in other countries. Nevertheless, little is known about their efforts to bridge the gap between the digital ‘haves’ and the digital ‘have-nots’. Governments in East Asia are good examples of those who work on improving their society's digital capabilities. They top most of the related international comparison tables. It is, however, not clear what they have done to bridge the new digital exclusion gap or what the effects of such efforts have been. This paper reviews the digital inclusion strategies put in place by several East Asian countries and discusses a framework for tackling the digital divide, and examines pertinent policies, using Hong Kong as an example. This paper argues that while improvement in information communication technology (ICT) accessibility and knowledge is important, the promotion of community-based ICT user networks for certain disadvantaged groups is crucial to enhance their participation in the information society.

Rapid development in computer technology, infrastructure, content and applications has placed ubiquitous access to the internet within reach. However, as great strides are made in the development of the information society, the effects of exclusion and marginalization are becoming more aggravated for those who still do not know how to use the new technology and who cannot, therefore, become effective e-citizens. Some aspects of the digital divide can be bridged by providing free access to the public, particularly to disadvantaged individuals. All four East Asian ‘little dragons’ have developed plans to promote technology usage among children because they consider these efforts to be an important investment in human capital, and they have been very successful. Younger people, even among those in the low-income category, have an above-average level of knowledge and usage as compared to the general population in their regions. However, the barriers preventing older people, persons with disabilities and people with lower levels of education from taking part in the information society are still high. Our suggestions for improvement are as follows: improved designs for content and applications; better support; better organizing at the community level to mobilize volunteers, peers and leaders and match them with those who need IT support to promote digital inclusion among them. A multiple-stakeholder approach that includes the efforts of the government in collaboration with civil society and the private sector is important in promoting a truly digitally inclusive society for everyone.

ICT e-Learning
Article Summary (e-Reference: The Real Just In Time Training)

Just-in-time learning promised a short and focused learning intervention, not a 10- to 40- minute lesson that includes extraneous information typically way beyond the scope of the problem that learners are trying to solve. Enter e-reference. While this creates yet another category, it also helps to weed through some of the clutter. E-learning implies instruction— the classic kind, which should include learning objective, examples, practice, assessment and all the other elements learners have come to expect when attending formal learning. E-reference has a whole different meaning. I never expected to learn creative writing or phonetics from a dictionary, but it sure was helpful when I needed just-in-time support
with spelling or comprehending a word. E-reference has emerged in the same area, and many organizations are starting to look at it in a whole different way. There are a number of emerging technologies and solutions out there that are coming to the forefront to help occupy this space.

The most common tool found in this category is online books that are fully searchable and can be bookmarked and shared. Some even provide the option for learners to create their own chapters. These make sifting through the libraries of books most organizations have bought a breeze, and it takes learners right to the page and topic they need. Electronic performance support systems (EPSS) also are getting better. Many have matured far beyond the days of pressing the F1 key to bring up the generic help menu. EPSSs now allow learners to create their own custom help systems, which involve every form of media from text to streaming video. They can be intelligent enough to follow along with learners as they navigate a system and pop up when they do something wrong, or ask if they need help in the middle of a process. If a quick reference is not enough, the EPSS can escalate the learning, providing access to varying degrees of formal instruction, including tutorials, FAQs and even live conversations with a subject-matter expert or peer. It’s all in the learner’s control and scalable based on the need. The best aspect of these tools is that they start at the problem and work backward, as opposed to assuming the learner knows nothing and needs instruction to get to the point of intervention. It’s not that this type of instruction is invalid or unhelpful. It’s just that when it comes to just-in-time learning, the goal is more about solving a specific problem in the context of doing real-world work, and that involves a different type of support.


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