Social Networking for Learning (and Bullying).

Educators are in urgent to prepare students to be ready for workplace of the 21st century. Computer-mediated communication is considered as an effective tool, educators need to prepare students for their future workplace. It began with naïve assumption that it would be able to promote collaborative learning and working with their peers. Many learning management systems have been introduced in order to support this thought.

As we may know that Facebook claims that they have more than 800 million active users and it becomes one of kids’ lifestyles., one of well-recognized learning management systems tries to replicate the success of Facebook by using the similar interface design of this famous social networking website. This would help both parties: teachers and students feel easier to embrace digital learning platforms.

Nevertheless, those computer-mediated communication or virtual world also has a dark side. Some researchers pointed out that Facebook users reported having lower GPAs and spend fewer hours per week studying than nonuser (Kirscher, P.A.; Karpinski, A.C., 2010). While this topic is in heated discussion between researchers, we could not deny about another pitfall of this virtual world, online bullying.

More than 160,000 students kids a day miss schools because they are too afraid to go. ABC News reported a scoop about bullying among kids, including face-to-face bullying inside the schools, outside the schools and also kids’ virtual worlds.

As same as other contexts, bullying from offline life is rapidly imported into digital platform. The area that parents and educators know too little. Computer-mediated communication (CMC) does require deep understanding in order to conduct rules and regulations for students’ interpersonal interactions.

A question has been raised “Who shall be responsible for online bullying: principles, teachers, educational technologists, or parents?” As Baym mentioned the computer medium is far more complex and diverse than first imagined (2006). I am not convinced that educators and parents are knowledgeable enough to work on this issue. We might need to call those influencers in Silicon Valley to work together.


While South Korea plans to replace all textbooks with tablets by 2015, the U.S. has banned the use of mobile phones in schools

Webster strongly pointed out that there would be occupational and economic change in information society. In order to educate new generation to be able to survive in information society, educators shall incorporate information technology to connect/engage students into wired society and encourage students to embrace new culture and space in information superhighway.

The Use of Tablets, a mobile technology in Schools.

The Use of Tablets, as Mobile Technology in Schools.

This makes me think about two case studies about how educators react to mobile technology:

A) South Korea: How students use tablets instead of textbooks?
B) U.S.: Why mobile phones are banned in schools? 

While South Korea plans to replace all textbooks with tablets by 2015, the U.S. has banned the use of mobile phones in schools. I wonder we are overlook pitfall of technology, or they do not know about the third wave, information economic?

Mobile Phones Banned in Schools

Mobile Phones Banned in Schools in the U.S.


Crawford, S. (1993). The origin and development of a concept: The information society. The Bulletin of the Medical Librarian Association, 71(4), 380-385

Quotes from Article

  • What is the concept of the information society?
  • Students and professors charged Machlup with having called the large university a “knowledge factory”
  • Machlup, Porat, and Bell argue that we shifted from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy during the nineteenth century. After World War II, they continue, we evolved into a service economy. Now, we have become an information economy.
  • Machlup’s concept of education is broad and bears little relationship to how the federal government measures educational expenditures; for example the cost of education in the home includes wages that parents would be earning if they worked instead of staying at home.
  • Machlup and Porat have regrouped the outputs of exiting industries and were able to form a new “information” category. Some of the outputs or activities are new, in the sense that they did not exist in previous years. But many of the outputs, such as education, entertainment, and the arts, have existed for a long time, and are regrouped into the new information sector. As Cooper summed it up.


  1. Is there any potential subsets/categories that potentially have high growth rate in GNP in the new future, for example, lifestyle products like entertainment, health and beauty, fashion? If the answer is “Yes”, then we might be able to see another economy form following information technology. Isn’t it new? Or it still comes from 4 existing categories: agriculture, services, industry and government.

Webster, F. (2006). The information society revisited. In L. Lievrouw & S. Livingstone (Eds.), The Handbook of New Media, Updated Student Edition (443-457). London: Sage.

Quotes from Article

  • Most of the conceptions of an “information society” are of limited use to social scientists, and still less to the winder public’s understanding of transformation in the world today.
  • Definitions of an information society – 6 ways to distinguishing:
  1. Technological innovation and diffusion – the future is being born in the so-called Information Superhighways and anyone bypassed by these highways. This new ‘technoeconomic paradigm’ constitutes the ‘information age’ which is set to mature early in the new century.
  2. Occupational change – the decline of manufacturing employment and the rise of service sector employment is interpreted as the loss of manual jobs and its replacement with white-collar work. Since eth raw material of non-manual labor is information. A focus on occupational change is one, which stresses the transformative power of information itself rather than the influence of information technologies. 20% of the US workforce is constituted by this group, which manages, designs, creates, and refines information.
  3. Economy – half of US’s GNP accounted for by these combined informational sectors: information goods and services producers, and the public and private (secondary information sector) bureaucracies.
  4. Space – a ‘wired society’ operating at the national, international ring main to each home, shop, university and office – and even to the mobile individual who has his laptop and modem in his briefcase.
  5. Culture – this explosion of signification that many writers conceive of our having entered and information society, one where everything what we see and do is simulated.
  6. From quantity to quality – we could feel impelled to so designate is because of the decisive role of information/knowledge in the power structure and direction of social change. What we have here is the assumption that quantitative increases transform – in unspecified ways into qualitative change in the social system.
  • What does it mean technology? The lack of precision, and the habit of aggregating highly diverse conceptions into the single category, ought to encourage closer scrutiny of a blanket term that has been used rather promiscuously in recent years.
  • Theoretical knowledge. It is undeniably and arresting idea, one which prima facie defines a new type of society which hinges on the generation and use of information/knowledge. The rise of theoretical knowledge is to be chartered by the spread of educational certification – a common strategy – then this is to introduce still another significantly different definition. Such imprecision may lead one to e wary of theoretical knowledge as a sound means of distinguishing and information society, albeit that a decisive shift towards the primacy of theory does appear to be a marked feature of recent history.
  • It is ironic that the most persuasive conception of tan information society, that which centers on the role of theoretical knowledge, is the least commonly suggested by information society adherents.


  1. Webster strongly pointed out that there would be occupational and economic change in information society. In order to educate new generation to be able to survive in information society, educators shall incorporate information technology to connect/engage students into wired society and encourage students to embrace new culture and space in information superhighway.  This makes me think about two case studies about how educators react to mobile technology: A) South Korea: How students use tablets instead of textbooks? B) U.S.: Why mobile phones are banned in schools? While South Korea plans to replace all textbooks with tablets by 2015, the U.S. has banned the use of mobile phones in schools. I wonder we are overlook pitfall of technology, or they do not know about the third wave, information economic?

Dyson, E., Gilder, G., Keyworth, G., & Toffler, A. (1996). Cyberspace and the American dream: A Magna Carta for the knowledge age (release 1.2, August 22, 1994). The Information Society, 12(3), 295-308

Quotes from Article

  • The industrial age is not fully over. In fact, classic Second Wave sectors have learned how to benefit from Third Wave technological break-through. Just as the First Wave’s agricultural productivity benefited exponentially from the Second Wave’s far-mechanization.
  • Patent law during the past two decades have broadened these protections to incorporate “electronic property”
  • A more sophisticated approach starts with recognizing how the Third Wave has fundamentally altered the nature of knowledge as a “good,” and that the operative effect is not technology per se.
  • In expensive knowledge destroys economies of scale. Customized knowledge permits “just-in-time” production for an ever-rising number of goods. Technological progress creates new means of serving old markets, turning one-time monopolies into competitive battlegrounds.
  • Static competition is good, because it forces costs and prices to the lowest levels possible for a given product. Dynamic competition is better, because it allows competing technologies and new products to challenges the old ones and, if they really are better, to replace them.
  • Cyberspace will play an important role knitting together in the diverse communities of tomorrow, facilitating the creation of “electronic neighborhoods” bound together not by geography but by shared interests.
  • When it becomes economically desirable to have more than one provider in a market? The continuation of regulation under these circumstances stops progress in its tracks. It prevents new entrants from introducing new technologies and new products, while depriving the regulated monopolist of any incentive to do so on its own. Price-and-entry regulation, in short,  is the antithesis of dynamic competition.
  • Financial Accounting Standards Board starts to reflect the shortened capital life-cycles of the Knowledge Age, and the increasing role of intangible captal as “wealth”


  1. What is just-in-time product? How can developers/creators get retainer fees as mentioned in the article? If the property would transform into electronic form, what will be changed in capital, and investment in the future? There must be big opportunity for new generation to start their businesses by their own. As educators, how can we help students gain benefits from those electronic properties?

Witte, J. (2004) The case for multimethod research: Large sample design and the study of life online. In P. Howard & S. Jones (Eds.), Society online: The Internet in context (xv-xxxiv). London: Sage.

Quotes from Article

  • Programming a Web-based survey can be costly, but this cost is fixed. While the traditional methods might require more sampling sizes or additional budget later.
  • A Web-based survey potentially reduces interviewer effects and permits a degree of anonymity not found in survey.
  • 2000 GSS: coverage restrictions excluded a small but practically wired segment of the population.
  • Survey2011, as a Web-based survey of online life, was better positioned to capture a large sample of individuals who were particularly plugged into life online.
  • Telephone surveys, with their own patterns of nonresponse and selection, may give an inaccurate picture of Web users. The virtues of multimethod studies may extend to covering the blind spots of telephone surveys as well as those of Web surveys.


  1. Many studies indicate that Asians do not feel free to share their ideas in front of other. As a result, Web-based surveys potentially encourage people to share their opinion freely, especially if they are under anonymous conditions. My question here is: How could teachers explore this implication into Asian classrooms in order to encourage Asian students to share their opinions more?

Week 2: Interaction Considered from an Electronic Perspective: Technological Determinism

Marx, L., & Smith, M.R. (1944). Introduction. In M.R. Smith & L. Marx (Eds.), Does technology drive history?: The dilemma of technological determinism (viiii-xv). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Authors pointed out strong evidences how technology drive history, for example, automobile, atomic bomb, mechanical cotton-picker. After an invention is introduced, it can take a life of its own with continuing improvement. It historically effects determinative power that could be identified along a spectrum between “hard” and “soft” extremes. It relocates the origin of the power.


  1. While we use technology as a key factor that drive history, is there any historical phenomenon that foster us to create technology?I believe “Yes” Humans set goal to create innovation/technology, for example, humans would like to go farther for more resources/opportunities. So they develop automobiles. … At this point, I am not sure which one drive another one.

Technology to help people to move farther.

Pinch, T., & Bijker, W. (1987). The Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts: Or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology Might Benefit Each Other. In W. Bijker, T. Hughes, & T. Pinch (Eds.), The social construction of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of technology (17-50). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

3 chapters shall be discussed:

Chapter 1:

Sociology of science – the treatment of scientific knowledge as a social construction implies that there is nothing epistemologically special about the nature of scientific knowledge. It is merely one in a whole series of knowledge cultures.

Chapter 2:

Science-Technology relationship  – some scholars would like to separate them by identifying that science is the discovery of truth, while technology is about application of truth. Nevertheless, most scholars are convinced that science and technology are in fact enmeshed n a symbiotic relationship.

Chapter 3:

Technology studies

  1. Innovation studies – scientific knowledge was treated like a black box.
  2. History of technology
  3. Sociology of technology – Mulkay (1970) argues that the success and efficacy of technology could pose a special problem for the social constructivist view of scientific knowledge.

EPOR, the empirical program of relativism – an approach that has produced several studies demonstrating the social construction of scientific knowledge in the “hard” sciences. It si part of a flourishing tradition in the sociology of scientific knowledge: It is a well-established program supported by much empirical research.

SCOT, the social construction of technology –  it is in its early empirical stages, but clearly gaining momentum. SCOT is developmental process of a technological artifact is described as an alternation of variation and selection.

Related terms shall be noted:

  1. The social construction of facts and artifacts
  2. Interpretative flexibility
  3. Closure and stabilization
  4. Rhetorical closure – Advertising can play an important role in shaping the meaning that a social group gives to an artifact.
  5. Closure by redefinition of the problem

Heibroner, R. (1944). Do Machines Make History? In M.R. Smith & L. Marx (Eds.), Does technology drive history?: The dilemma of technological determinism (53-65). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Author disagrees with the statement that technology drive history, in contrast, he thinks that technology is strong mediating factor.

Technology is sequence, for example, steam-mill follows hand-mill. The development of technology of production is the result of the constraints of knowledge and capability. It is predictable. And it could not drive history. There are 3 evidences to support.

1)   The simultaneity of invention

2)   The absence of technological leaps. For example, people would not find experiments in electricity in the year 1500. Or to extract power from the atom in the year 1700. In fact, the development of technology of production presents as continuing/smooth developmental process.

3)   The predictability of technology. Many scientists make general predictions 25-50 years ahead and suggest that technology would be developed in sequence rather than arriving in a more flashy fashion.

Technology development is not less difficult than the first. The technology of a society illustrates a determinate pattern of social relations on the society. 2 modes shall be discussed as follow:

1)   The composition of labor force. For example, electronic age has required more skill-workers than the past. On the other hand, automobile technology has also changed the mix of skill and the local of work.

2)   The hierarchical organization of work. Machine will reflect as a mold of social relationship of work.

Systemize qualifications and objections to the basic Marxian paradigm.

  • Technological progress is itself a social activity. Technology determinism is an attribute of some society and not of others.
  • The course of technological advance is responsive to social direction, for example, federal government policy.
  • Technological change must be compatible with existing social condition.
  • The meditating role played by technology within modern Western society?
  • The rise of capitalism provided a major stimulus for the development of a technology of production.
  • The expansion of technology within the market system took on a new automatic aspect.
  • The rise of science gave a new impetus to technology.


P.M.Yingluck Shinawatra, August 2011-present “In 2012 academic year, 800,000 first graders in Thailand will get free tablets for educational use”. Optimistically, there will be a paradigm shift in educational system and it could fasten the process of bridging the educational divide in Thailand. It possibly creates new educational technology, new belief and new norm in society. In contrast, does it go with existing social conditions? This clearly supports the statement that “The course of technological advance is responsive to social direction.”

800,000 first graders in Thailand will get free tablets to use at schools in 2012.

Nevertheless, I am not sure this aligns another statement in the article “Technology change must be compatible with existing social conditions.” Giving that penetration of Internet usage in Thailand is only 25.8% (the U.S.=77.3%), many students would not be able to use their tablets as the set educational goals. What should the smooth transformation process?

Bank from Bangkok, Thailand

Hello Everyone,

It’s me, Bank who:

> did not have a chance to enjoy playing video games when I was young.

> was a monk in Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2 years ago.

> was a valuteer, teaching hill tribe students and refugees in boarding areas between Thailand and Burma.

Wish to have fun working with  you guys in this course: MSTU 4020, Social and Communicative Aspects of the Internet and Other ICTs.