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The Journal of Technology in Student Affairs

Winter 2007 Edition

Editor's Note:

For those of you each week who add The Chronicle of Higher Education to your growing to-be-read stack, you might want to dig out the January 5 edition and take a look at the special "Information Technology" section, a 32-page insert with several informative stories stuck among the many costly advertisements. Perhaps the most relevant story to student affairs professionals is a write-up of a panel discussion with twelve "experts" on technology use ("How the New Generation of Well-Wired Multitaskers Is Changing Campus Culture"). Richard T. Sweeney, university librarian of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, moderated a discussion with twelve students from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Nevada State College. The forum offers a little insight into the habits of the Millenials, such as rarely reading newspapers or books, hating busy work, and being used to instant feedback. Sweeney said that to get them involved, you need to figure out a way to engage them and "make their learning faster at the end of the day" (p. B10). Needless to say, our work is cut out for us, assuming we want to buy into this philosophy.

Gary D. Malaney

Letter to the Editor:

I would like to thank Tara Lindros of Hampshire College and Cate Zolkos of Amherst College for their well-researched essay on my book, Interpersonal Divide: The Search for Community in a Technological Age (Oxford 2005), which appears in the Summer 2006 issue. Their essay stands as a barometer of where we are now, with respect to technology use and its impact on society and interpersonal communication.

Some observations: Interpersonal Divide, as the preface states, was a response to the Digital Divide argument at the beginning of the 21st Century--specifically one book not mentioned in the authors' impressive bibliography. The argument being debated was whether we had to make access to Internet our top priority across the social spectra or else suffer disenfranchisement from the community of ideas. As a journalist aware of profit-taking and marketing in the communication industry, my fear, largely realized, was that we would not inherit the promised cyberland of a global village. We would inherit a global mall.

Second, end-of-chapter exercises and readings were meant to test the author's polemic. That was not mentioned in the essay-review but has been noted in such publications as diverse as The Washington Post and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. As such, Interpersonal Divide was intended to be a personal barometer for the user. These exercises have specific utility for student affairs personnel in orientation. Students who have completed them, as well as adults, suddenly realize the harbinger to come. There are more than 100 teaching modules at my Web site:

That said, I again applaud Lindros and Zolkos not only for their scholarship but also for their conclusion. Interpersonal Divide may or may not be a harbinger of things to come. They are correct. We need to monitor qualitative and quantitative data to moderate not only our use but the cost of technology in higher education--a cost, by the way, that not only has claimed teaching positions but student affairs employees as well.

-- Michael Bugeja

Featured Articles:

Our editor, Gary Malaney, provides some insights on how our students are using technology to be politically and socially active in The Internet and Student Activism.

In Thoughts on Facebook, Tracy Mitrano gives us five things to think about when using Facebook.

Shaun Jamieson discusses the YouTube rage in YouTube: "Broadcast YourselfT," Your Parties, Your Class, Your Arrest..

In Best Practices Among Student Affairs Professionals Using Online Networking Communities, Jennifer T. Roberts-Edwards gives some good advice to student affairs professionals about putting personal information on their Myspace and Facebook accounts.

Larry Moneta offers a technological tale of a "typical" college student in The Story of Simon: Another Techno-Fable.

And finally, Brian Crimins regales us with the story of his first MP3 player in My Mp3 Player, The Go-Go's, and Me.

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