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ROLE Reviews 2018

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Review of Coding Literacy: How Computer Programming is Changing Writing by Annette Vee

by ​Drew Virtue

"Coding Literacy: How Computer Programming is Changing Writing signifies a bold project in which the author, Annette Vee, works toward two ambitious goals. First, Vee uses the act of programming to illustrate how literacies are initiated, grown, and sustained as well as accepted by society. Second, she examines the history of literacy related to reading and writing as an investigative framework to question how programming has already affected and how it will continue to affect modern culture. In all honesty, I had expected something very different from what I read upon picking up this book; however, the book has provided me with new ideas and expectations when I think about what it means to code. . . ."

Review of Digital Literacy: A Primer on Media, Identity, and the Evolution of Technology by Wiesinger

by ​Diane Martinez

"Readers and educators should not be fooled by the word “primer” in the title of Digital Literacy: A Primer on Media, Identity, and the Evolution of Technology by Susan Wiesinger, as this book is rich with potential for exciting, deep, and meaningful learning and discussion for both undergraduate and graduate students. . . ."

Review of Distributed Learning: Pedagogy and Technology in Online Information Literacy Instruction (2017), edited by Maddison and Kumaran

by ​Joni Boone

"Information literacy (IL) skills are essential for all students in higher education. . . .  Traditionally, academic libraries provided students with tours and one-time face-to-face introductions to resources within physical facilities, but student needs and the resources available to librarians have changed dramatically in recent years. . . . Most higher education institutions have adopted distributed learning (DL) tools and practices to reach more students in various ways, and these tools and strategies are extending to IL. Distributed Learning: Pedagogy and Technology in Online Information Literacy provides a thorough investigation of how higher education institutions are incorporating web-based tools and distributed learning strategies to promote and support IL. . . . ."

Review of e-Learning Ecologies: Principles for New Learning and Assessment (2017), edited by Cope and Kalantzis

by Joshua Welsh

"The classic definition of a disruptive technology is a technology that brings “a very different value proposition” to a marketplace. Disruptive technologies may underperform traditional technologies at first, but eventually they push industry leaders out of the marketplace (Christensen, 1997, p. xv). Although recent scholars have worked to improve upon and refine Christensen’s definition, the key concept remains the same: disruptive technologies displace existing technologies. The potential for digital technologies to challenge current learning technologies is at the heart of e-Learning Ecologies: Principles for New Learning and Assessment. . . ."

Review of Essentials of Online Teaching: A Standards-Based Guide (2017), by McCabe and Gonzáles-Flores

by Remington Jones

"Essentials of Online Teaching: A Standards-Based Guide offers a clean, organized approach to pedagogy in an increasingly online world. The authors provide a comprehensive strategy for anyone involved in a distance-learning process by integrating their own personal experiences, the perspectives of 15 online educators across three countries, and information from dozens of academic books, articles, and websites cited at the end of each chapter.. . . ."

Review of Facet Publishing Series on Digital Literacies

by Drew Virtue

"The continual evolution of technology has presented difficulties in how teachers, librarians, and practitioners analyze and understand communication in the digital age. The following reviews examine work that attempts to investigate technology through a range of literacies—literacies that can help us better understand technology and use it more critically. . . ."

Review of From Information Literacy to Social Epistemology: Insights from Psychology (2016), by Anderson and Johnston

by Michelle A. Payton

"The Digital Age has resulted in a body of information that can accurately and inaccurately serve those in education and the workplace; therefore, consistent, effective instruction must be put in place to help students maneuver through murky information waters. From Information Literacy to Social Epistemology: Insights from Psychology is thick with studies and theories in psychology, pedagogy, and information literacy in higher education that provides a widened perspective on learning tools to aid information literacy scholars and practitioners.. . . ."

Review of Making Hybrids Work: An Institutional Framework for Blending Online and Face-to-Face Instruction in Higher Education by Paull and Snart

by ​Michelle A. Payton

"​​​​Face-to-face discourse and interactions have been considered essential in certain academic circles, but with 21st century technology, college and university student needs are redefining higher education and effective teaching. Making Hybrids Work: An Institutional Framework for Blending Online and Face-to-Face Instruction in Higher Education fills an important gap in the up-and-coming hybrid teaching mode by providing a comprehensive look at how to create a meaningful, sustainable curriculum that serves students and instructors, and becomes synonymous with educational excellence. . . ."

Review of Online Learning and Its Users: Lessons for Higher Education by McAvania

by ​Joni Boone

"Virtual learning has a varied history in campus-based higher education institutions with many proponents and naysayers. As with any program or initiative in higher education, virtual learning in the form of Learning Management Systems (LMS)/Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) must be examined carefully by administrators, learning technologists, educators, and others to determine the potential impact on student learning and success. . . . ."

Review of Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century by Maryanne Wolf

by Lauren Stepp

"For most adults, processing language is second nature so that we often forget the phonetic fumbling—sounding out one-syllable words and laboring over multi-clause sentences—that brought us to this point. Jaded by our literacy, we ignore one simple assumption: Humans are not designed to read. At least, that is what decorated scholar Maryanne Wolf argues in her text Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century. . . ."


Review of Teaching and Learning in Virtual Environments: Archives, Museums, and Libraries by Franks, Bell, and Trueman

by Remington Jones

"Teaching and Learning in Virtual Environments: Archives, Museums, and Libraries explores the emerging world of virtual reality in the context of education. The book is divided into three sections made up of chapters written by up to three subject-matter experts. A total of 22 librarians, higher-education and museum educators, authors, editors, and a research scientist contributed their experience. Some chapters provide specific, concrete information or instructions on creating an in-world avatar and connecting with virtual conference groups, or specific methodologies for helping students interact with and learn from instructor-created virtual worlds. Other chapters take a more abstract, higher-level approach, discussing the overall implications of two- and three-dimensional augmented and virtual reality programs for educators and students. . . ."

Review of Teaching and Researching Writing, 3rd Edition (2016), by Ken Hyland

by Kurtis Clements

"The third edition of Ken Hyland’s Teaching and Researching Writing provides a wide-ranging review of the literature on the teaching and researching of writing. The book focuses on what is known about writing, what is known about the teaching of writing, and what has changed in the understanding and teaching of writing since the previous edition. While some of the material discusses familiar territory, the book serves as a comprehensive resource for those engaged with the study of writing—graduate students, writing teachers, and researchers. . . ."

Review of Teaching, Learning, Literacy in Our High-Risk High-Tech World: A Framework for Becoming Human (2017) by ​James Paul Gee

by ​Cat Mahaffey

"Amid the normal angst that the next generation will hasten the end of civilization we hear real concern about technology’s impact on brain development and social skills. Educators perform a delicate balance between using technology to engage students and limiting the distractions of personal digital devices. Likewise, parents are cautious about the addictiveness of cell phones and tablets and are encouraged to limit their children’s screen time. The truth is that we are treading new waters and the jury is still out as to whether the perpetual push toward more integrated technology is wise or not. And this is where James Paul Gee’s Teaching, Learning, Literacy in Our High-Risk High-Tech World: A Framework for Becoming Human emerges as an informative text. . . ."

Review of The Sage Handbook of E-learning Research by Haythornthwaite, Andrews, Fransman, and Meyers

by ​Kurtis Clements

"The Sage Handbook of E-learning Research, Second Edition, is a comprehensive collection of chapters that explores the essential areas in the field of e-learning. The handbook, which is comprised of twenty-six articles from a cadre of about fifty different international writers, is well worth the time it will take to read cover to cover; indeed, the editors have done a thorough job gathering content from noted experts in the field and organizing the material into six themed sections: theory; literacy and learning; methods and perspectives; pedagogy and practice; beyond the classroom; and futures. . . . ."

Review of Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing (2016), by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum

by Diane Martinez

"When I first picked up Track Changes, I expected a chronological history of word processing; I expected to read about programs, computers, and the ways computer technology has changed over the years; I expected that Kirschenbaum might even have some insight into the future of word processing that mainstream media has not yet picked up on. I was, however, pleasantly surprised in the way Kirschenbaum narrated and described “in material and historical terms how computers, specifically word processing, became integral to literary authorship and literary writing” (p. xiii).. ."


Review of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World by Naomi S. Baron

by Joshua Welsh

"Does reading onscreen (whether on a desktop, a tablet, or an E-ink display) encourage fundamentally different practices than reading in print? This is the question at the heart of Naomi Baron’s Words Onscreen. Ultimately, the answer Baron offers for this question seems to be “yes,” and much of the difference boils down to distraction. . . ."

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