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The Digital Scholar

Found this book in the front of the library - it caught my eye.

Looking at the books in the exhibit area in the front of the library, The Digital Scholar, by Martin Weller immediately caught my attention.  I’ve made no secret on this blog of my fascination with technology, so it’s fitting that I would see a book like this in the front of the library.  While technology is rapidly evolving, and our lives are dominated by these technological advances, there very interesting ways in which scholars can be positively and negatively affected by these extraordinary changes in our society on the part of technology.  

A particularly interesting, and applicable chapter I came across was “Researchers and New Technology.”  This chapter focused on scholarly researchers and the way they view new technologies that theoretically will help to streamline the researching process.  Interestingly, Weller found that many researchers are hesitant to use new researching methods that are being revolutionized by technology.  In other words, peer – reviewed journals are the most preferred way of researching as this method has been integral in the researching process for decades.  When these new research methods complement the current practices, researchers are more apt to use the newer innovations.  However, social networking and other “informal” types of researching has been slow to catch on in scholarly circles.

What’s even better about this book for this blog post is its clear connection to what we have been doing in class all semester.  We’ve read cases and articles that have been taken and found from the Internet, from databases, and some likely from unorthodox researching methods that have been facilitated by technological advances.  Especially now, as we delve deeper into our research for our white papers, technology is empowering us to search from a vast database of knowledge that is the Internet.  Using Bucknell’s databases, Brody’s expertise, and Jordi’s guidance, we’re able to attempt to navigate this vast knowledge bank.  With technological advances that we’ve seen in social networking and database searching, there are an infinite about of directions we can take these white papers.

From the first page, Weller continually mentions blogs as an important way to communicate and research.    He explains the importance of using blog posts, using social media – yes, like Twitter – to gain feedback and ideas on one’s own writing.  I really think that Jordi would get along with him…  But in seriousness, Weller is solidifying many of the things that our generation has been able to take advantage of; new technologies that are connecting us as a community serve to make us more knowledgable, and perhaps even help to make us want more.  We can search for an answer we want instantly on the Internet, and we can ask a question we might have instantly on Facebook or Twitter.  Our social networks are becoming social media networks, and our knowledge is increasingly coming from sources our parents weren’t fortunate to have as students.


About Ben K.

I'm a senior management major at Bucknell University, hailing from Westchester, NY. Upon graduation, I will begin work as a management consultant.


3 thoughts on “The Digital Scholar

  1. I am technologically challenged, so I basically ignore anything I see that has to do with technology. That being said, I find it very interesting that there is such a shy away from using more technologically advanced methods for research. I feel like everyone is always looking for the “new thing.” But it does definitely show that we need to be cautious when looking for sources and should delve further into where they came from, such as the news paper articles shown in class today!

    Posted by Catherine Gibbons | April 12, 2012, 6:49 pm
  2. I agree with you that technology is changing our lives. As we talked about in class a few weeks ago, technology has allowed our generation – Generation We – to be more globall connected than ever before. We have more access to information and a greater capacity to spread that information over large networks. I had never thought about it before reading the articles for that class disscussion, but I can now see how these advances in technology have the potential to spur social change on a massive scale. Technology is pretty remarkable when you stop to think about it.

    Posted by Lauren McGuiggan | April 12, 2012, 8:13 pm
  3. It’s so crazy to think about how much technology has changed our lives, particularly for our generation. Like you mentioned, this change undoubtedly has both positive and negative effects. Information is so much more accessible, and we are able to search for things in a way that impossible for other generations. Nevertheless, I think living in a “digital age” can definitely have its cons. The majority of us are constantly checking our phones, texting, or browsing the web. So often we forget to “live in the now.” As technology continues to improve, it is imperative that we all find a balance between the digital age we live in and the importance of living in the present.

    Posted by Jenna | April 13, 2012, 2:34 pm

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Blog 5 before session 6 What (interest) or Who (person) Inspires You? For this week’s prompt, the Blog Council wants you to examine how this class relates to your own interests. So, please write about how this class relates to some of your own intellectual or other learning interests. We are NOT interested in how it relates to a specific career goal. Plan B: same idea, but based on a person. See whole post for details.

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