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ROLE Reviews 2020

2020 | 2019 | 2018

Review of Augmented Intelligence: Smart Systems and the Future of Work and Learning (2018), by Daniel Araya

Reviewed by ​​Joni Boone

"The topic of artificial intelligence can become quite frightening, as science fiction writers and shows like Black Mirror posit nightmare scenarios where humans lose control to a world dominated by technology. In reality, however, we often learn to harness technology in an attempt to better our lives and the lives of others. Technology is a powerful force in the workplace and education, and understanding the role of augmented intelligence (AI) – using technology to complement rather than replace human intelligence– may help to alleviate some concerns for the future in the computational age. Augmented Intelligence: Smart Systems and the Future of Work and Learning tackles the issue of how our society may function in the future with further integration of technology into our daily lives. . . ."

Review of Digitalization and Society (2017), by Bünyamin Ayhan

Reviewed by Joshua Welsh

"Digitalization and Society is an edited collection that covers a broad range of topics involving digital technologies and their effects on society. Every chapter is contributed by academics from Turkish institutions of higher education. The stated purpose of the book, found in the Preface, is to constitute part of a “project on digitalization and globalization phenomena with a focus on changes in social institutions and their meanings” ( p. 5). The collection seems to promise an exciting look at how digital technologies are transforming the world. Although the book does offer helpful overviews on many technological topics, it falls short of delivering on its broader promise. . . ."

Review of Fighting Fake News! Teaching Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in a Digital Age (2018), by Brian C. Housand

Reviewed by ​Remington Jones

"Fighting Fake News! Teaching Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in a Digital Age offers pedagogical strategies and techniques for educators who want to ensure their students are well equipped to find and evaluate trustworthy information in the modern world. The author, Dr. Brian Housand, draws on his background in educational psychology and recent developments in information evaluation methodologies to provide a concise, easy-to-read overview of the difficulties at hand and how to approach them. . . ."

Review of Foundations of Multiliteracies: Reading, Writing and Talking in the 21st Century (2018), by Anstey and Bull

Reviewed by ​James Hamby

"In our lifetimes, literacy will not just expand, it will multiply. In their book, Foundations of Multiliteracies: Reading, Writing and Talking in the 21st Century, Michéle Anstey and Geoff Bull explore the ways in which literacy educators need to expand their curriculum to include not just digital mediums, but to consider cultural practices in reading and writing, interpersonal communication skills, and the types of texts that may be utilized in teaching literacy. Anstey and Bull’s work offers valuable insights to literacy educators and challenges them to reevaluate their pedagogical practices to prepare their students for twenty-first century classrooms and workplaces. . . ."

Review of Going Online: Perspectives on Digital Learning (2017), by Robert Ubell

Reviewed by Kurtis Clements

"Well-known online learning scholar Robert Ubell’s Going Online: Perspectives on Digital Learning provides readers with a balanced and researched discussion of the nature of online learning and issues related to making the transition. Ubell does not try to proselytize readers as he fully recognizes the shortcomings of online education and the very real concerns faculty and administrators have of the modality. However, Ubell does encourage readers—and in this regard, the book is perhaps best suited for online holdouts and skeptics—to think about online education objectively to better recognize what it is, what it offers, and thus its educational potential. . . . ."

Review of Hacking Education in a Digital Age: Teacher Education, Curriculum, and Literacies (2018), edited by Smith, Ng-A-Fook, Radford, Pratt

Reviewed by Jarred Worley 

"Education has arrived at a critical juncture. With the rise of neoliberal economic policies, a globalized work force, and an age of information defined by constant technological innovation, students, fed through easily measurable skills-acquisition focused curricula, have become units on a production line, models in a system that prizes obedience and in which jobs are scarce. It is not surprising then that educators are discussing ways of challenging such a system, staking a claim for their students in the territory of their classrooms, in a word, hacking the institution from the inside out. Hacking Education in a Digital Age: Teacher Education, Curriculum, and Literacies provides such a discussion, using hacking as its focus and its technique for revitalizing and reinventing education. . . ."

Review of International Handbook of Media Literacy Education (2017), edited by De Abreu, Mihailidis, Lee, Melki, and McDougall

Reviewed by Drew Virtue 

"The International Handbook of Media Literacy Education offers a broad perspective of media literacy as it relates to media, education, and daily life. The edited collection contains 26 chapters that are organized into five sections: Educational Interventions; Safeguarding/Data and On-line Privacy; Engagement in Civic Life; Media, Creativity, and Production; and Digital Media Literacy. Within the opening pages, the editors describe how the purpose of the collection is to examine “literacy practices needed to engage in meaningful participation in digital culture” (p. xi), which I believe leads to the greatest strength and weakness of the collection. . . ."

Review of Mobile Learning through Digital Media Literacy (2017), by Belinha S. de Abreu

Reviewed by Joni Boone 

"Educators recognize the prevalence of mobile technology in daily life and sometimes struggle to understand where and how to effectively incorporate associated tools in the learning environment. As with any technology, there are risks and benefits to consider in the classroom. However, to dismiss mobile technology in education as a distraction or fad is to miss opportunities for digital media literacy. Mobile Learning through Digital Media Literacy examines the importance of mobile learning in education and how digital media literacy is a critical component of its success. . . ."


Review of Public Policies in Media and Information Literacy in Europe: Cross-Country Comparisons (2017), edited by Frau-Meigs, Velez, and Flores Michel

Reviewed by Drew Virtue

"Public Policies in Media and Information Literacy in Europe: Cross-Country Comparisons pursues an ambitious goal of analyzing media and information literacy (MIL) among 28 countries in Europe. While most edited collections center readings around a thematic topic, this edited collection goes further by offering a related group of readings that conducts a comprehensive, mixed-methods study about media and literacy information. . . ."

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