internet and higher education journal cover

internet and higher education journal coverI just wanted to let you know that a former student of mine, Dr. Joanne Gikas, and I have a new article in press right now.  This is part of her dissertation research that focused on how teaching and learning occurred with mobile devices in higher education classrooms.  “Mobile Computing Devices in Higher Education: Student Perspectives on Learning with Cellphones, Smartphones & Social Media” is concerned with the student learning portion of the research, and the data were collected through focus groups with students at three different universities across the country.

We’re really pleased that this research is being published so quickly through The Internet and Higher Education journal.  It was submitted just a couple of months ago and is now in press and available through the journal’s Science Direct “in press” articles section.  That’s pretty amazing!  Here’s the abstract below and let me know if you are unable to access the article through your databases:

The purpose of this research was to explore teaching and learning when mobile computing devices, such as cellphones and smartphones, were implemented in higher education. This paper presents a portion of the findings on students’ perceptions of learning with mobile computing devices and the roles social media played. This qualitative research study focused on students from three universities across the US. The students’ teachers had been integrating mobile computing devices, such as cellphones and smartphones, into their courses for at least two semesters. Data were collected through student focus group interviews. Two specific themes emerged from the interview data: (a) advantages of mobile computing devices for student learning and (b) frustrations from learning with mobile computing devices. Mobile computing devices and the use of social media created opportunities for interaction, provided opportunities for collaboration, as well as allowed students to engage in content creation and communication using social media and Web 2.0 tools with the assistance of constant connectivity.

And if you have comments about the article or the questions about the data, please leave a comment. We’d love to hear what you have to say.

Facebook logo

This is interesting: Facebook is planning to add hashtags as an option for updates.  While this is heavily used by twitter as a keyword and categorization method around a topic or event, I’m interested to see what this might mean for Facebook.  Social Media today reported that:

The WSJ reported this last week Facebook is moving to allow users to engage around topics by using a hashtag field in status updates, that would presumably be viewable openly by Facebook’s 1 billion users.

I think possibly the strongest benefit may be from social media users who post across social networks.  For example, I use Tweetdeck to post to Twitter and Facebook pages at the same time. Other folks use  If This Then That (ITTT) or Hootsuite to do something similar.

This will certainly allow me to use hashtags as an organization, or grouping, tool within my posts.  For teaching and learning, I could see that this would really help with postings across social networks, such as a twitter post that works well with one of my courses or teacher professional development programs and so I will be able to post it in both places using the common hashtags.

What other thoughts do you have about Facebook using hashtags?

via Facebook Hashtags: What Will They Mean for Brands and Users? | Social Media Today.


Today is “My Twitter Story” Day! I’m so excited, because we can physically see the power of networks. This small project started with one of my students. People are influenced by other people. My colleagues and professional learning network responded. In the true nature of a constructivist perspective, knowledge is constructed through the social negotiation with others. Twitter and social network are one of the mediators. In fact, Twitter has begun a campaign to capture the impact of “Twitter Stories.”

Researchers Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler discuss the potential and promise of networks in their book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do. You can see Christakis present the phenomenon of social networks in a TED video here. Closer to home with teacher education and technology integration, Shelly Terrell’s “Teacher Reboot Camp” expressed the power of networking through social media, like Twitter, as:

Sometimes, the connections I make on social networks are to parents, learners, politicians, authors, other teachers, or administrators. We more than connect. We have conversations of what education transformation should be.

Today, moreover, we’re sharing how the varied natures of our professions affect others and ourselves. Interestingly, there is a paradox of the 21st century skill of cooperation. Increasing cooperation requires increasing personal responsibility (Tella, 2003). The more we need to work together, the more our personal contributions matter. That is, the reciprocal nature of social networks and professional learning communities is founded on an individual’s willingness to share in others’ social construction of knowledge.

Blog Posts

With “My Twitter Story” Day, we are sharing this reciprocity and how we’ve been affected by it. I encourage you to read these stories and then share your own. I have a feeling this list is going to grow. Won’t you document your impact? Won’t you comment on these reflections?

  1. “My Twitter story or ‘Why teachers & faculty members should give it a try’” by Michael M. Grant
  2. “How Twitter Saved My Career and My Family” by Jason Bedell
  3. “Why Teachers Should Join Twitter…What I have Learned as a Twitter Newbie” by Beth Crumpler
  4. MyTwitterStory Blog Carnival” by George Veletsianos
  5. “Happy My Twitter Story Day!” by TechKNOWTools’ Laura Pasquini
  6. My Twitter Story #mytwitterstory « A Retrospective Saunter by Philip Cummings


Tella, S. (2003). M-learning—Cybertextual traveling or a herald of post-modern education? In Kynaslahti, H. & Seppala, P. (eds.) Mobile learning (pp. 7–21). Helsinki: IT Press.

I’ve had a couple of folks ask me about the presentations I gave at the Midsouth Technology Conference (#mstc2010) last week. So, I wanted to go ahead and provide those links and slides.  This first one is for beginners and is about Web 2.0. I’m also providing the links to my resources that go with this presentations, so you can see all of the videos and links I use.  Enjoy!

[slideshare id=4468194&doc=web2-from-beginning-100610153458-phpapp02]

This Saturday is BarCamp Memphis. It’s a great group of people and a great opportunity to learn more about social media, technologies to support learning, and information technologies.  I’m planning to be there, and I hope you’ll find a way to make it, too.  They’ve got “pay what you can” and “student” categories for pricing.

Here’s the “unconference” description:

BarCamp isn’t just a Web 2.0 conference. It’s an unconference. What does that mean, exactly? Well… that’s up to you.

The entire event will be crafted by attendees (you), so you can learn about the specific technologies, trends, gadgets you really want to learn about – and hear from the people you find interesting. We’ll be voting first thing in the morning to determine the day’s sessions. Totally crowd-sourced!

Register Now.

On Saturday, I’m going to TribeCamp.  What’s TribeCamp?  Here’s what the organizers have to say about it:

TribeCamp is a daylong conference with sessions about Web Content Creation, Social Media, Online Marketing, and “Tribes”, which are really professional groups of people with some commonality (think Designers, Entrepreneurs, Marketers, etc…). However, the sessions are just half of the day.

The other major benefit of the day is the numerous connections you’ll make with a sphere of professionals. TribeCamp is a unique experience by LaunchMemphis and LunaWeb designed to foster the community of entrepreneurship in Memphis.

It’s going to be a blast.  Coming off the high of Project Showcase and then going to TribeCamp, it’s like “learning-crack.”  I’m going to be floating all the way to AERA next week.  Wanna go to TribeCamp, too?  I hear you!  There’s still time to get registered.  It’s not expensive, and there’s lots of discounts.  Here’s the link to find out more:

These are my Jumptags for December 9th through December 10th:

These are my Jumptags for November 24th through December 7th:

These are my Jumptags for November 18th

These are my Jumptags for October 9th through October 13th: