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EDITOR'S NOTES: The Columns That Support the Structure

By David Hoffman - Posted Mar 1, 2008
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We hate to be pushy. It’s kind of rude. But in fact, that’s one of the missions of a technology publication … to push—appropriately and convincingly—technology-based tactics, services, and resources that can help readers accomplish their own missions. That’s why, at their best, articles in educational technology publications like Multimedia & Internet @ Schools not only describe innovative products, services, technologies, and phenomena but also tout them, push them, and persuade and even cajole readers to use them. Pushy, yes. But we like to think that’s why you read the articles, that you don’t mind being made to feel a little uncomfortable for not trying out the new.

I tend to focus on the feature articles here in Editor’s Notes, but that can give short shrift to our regular columnists. “No fair!” as my young daughter would say. After all, they are as pushy as any of our feature writers, laying out their ideas, opinions, and knowledge for you issue after issue and thereby supporting the mission of this publication. So this time, let’s see what they’re up to.

This Month in the Columns

Linda Joseph, a looooongtime MMIS columnist whose Cyberbee character scours the internet for web-based, subject-specific resources, discusses sites where kids can study the current state of farming and agriculture in our country and across the globe. If it sounds tame, it’s not! The impact of agribusiness on all of us is an issue of vital importance. See Seeds of Change on page 17.

Stephen Abram … arguably our pushiest columnist … persuasively urges understanding and embracing relevant new phenomena in his forward-looking Pipeline column. See what he has to say this time about the New Social Literacies on page 21. Warning—he prefaces his column with these words: “So, despite the likelihood I’ll encourage some slings and arrows … I want to highlight an emerging, important new literacy—online social literacy.”

Mary Alice Anderson, another longtimer at MMIS with her Media Center column, wants you to get your students out and about using GPS technology and geocaching. And yes, she argues, there are good reasons for media specialists to push this idea. Find out how and why by reading Geocaching for Fun and Learning on page 32.

Mary Ann Bell has been examining the myriad technology-based modes of communication, with an appreciative but somewhat iconoclastic eye, in recent Belltones columns. This month, she reduces blogging to its essence in Celebrating Communicating: Blogging Redux on page 36.

That’s my push for you to read this month’s columns. Now, one last push, if you don’t mind: Be sure to look at the program for our Internet at Schools conference coming up next month. It’s on pages 29–31.

 

David Hoffman , editor

hoffmand@infotoday.com


 
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