The MySpace Gap

3/15/2007 By: Susan McLester

While researching "Technology Literacy and the MySpace Generation", it was difficult not to begin thinking in terms of metaphors. The fact that MySpace has come to embody all that is fearful and frightening to many adults about the freedoms of the participatory Web has much to do with that.

It is interesting to note, though, that for every student I spoke with—and these were all serious and successful learners—MySpace and its ilk represent the polar opposite. To them, these sites are the core of their daily lives, providing essential connections, collaborations, and ongoing communications. They are a one-stop shop for both school and social purposes—to connect about homework, organize study groups, or find out where the party is. MySpace is both the good and the evil, depending on where you stand. Finding a way to bridge this new generation gap will be our next big challenge.

And speaking of challenges, as usual we're here to help out. In "Talk is Cheap", Jeffrey Branzburg takes you through the process of setting up Skype, the cost-efficient VoIP alternative to traditional phone service. Also in this issue, Mark Smith reviews the pioneering Quickoffice application for cell phones, and James Careless gets you up to speed on what to look for in digital projectors. As well, we continue coverage of one-to-one programs, with part four profiling an Alaska district. Stay tuned for next month's big-picture feature on one-to-one trends.

Oh, and if you haven't signed up yet, you'll want to check out the agenda of our upcoming Tech Forums, in Orlando on April 13th and in Chicago on April 27th. For details, visit techlearning.com events.

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