Blogging, clicking, downloading - and other adventures in educational technology
The advent of the Kindle and iPad has changed not what we read but how we read it. Before these devices, we obtained books in stores, libraries, or through friends and mail-order clubs; we tucked one into a bag or briefcase, and when we read it, turning the pages, we savored the movement of the bulk from the right side to the left as it neared the end. Although books on tape (now on Cd) changed where and when we could enjoy a book by turning it into a listening experience, new media devices maintain the need for active and involved reading. While online publishing allows otherwise unknown authors a place to sell their work, e-books allow us to carry a multitude of books in one compact device. In response to these massive changes taking place, book publishers are rethinking their approach to the business.
Barnard Sociology Professor Guobin Yang has spent the past decade studying how Chinese citizens have harnessed social networking and the Internet as tools for civic activism. His latest book, The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online, published in 2009 by Columbia University Press, documents the rise of this phenomenon, drawing on Yang's 10 years of experience monitoring online bulletin boards, conducting case studies and surveys, and collecting personal narratives of those whose lives have been transformed by the Web.
Carol Katzman takes information technology and runs with it.