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White Papers

Download the white paper in Portuguese "Centros Multimédia Comunitários em Moçambique: um mapa" from this page!

Download the white paper "Photo-elicited perceptions of Community Multimedia Centres in Mozambique" from this page"

Download the white paper in Italian "La Comunicazione Online delle Organizzazioni Non Governative della Svizzera italiana: uno studio sulle ONG della FOSIT" from this page!

Welcome to the NewMinE Lab!

The New Media in Education Laboratory, NewMinE Lab for short, is a research and development laboratory of the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland.

The role of e-Learning applications within the tourism sector
July 28th, 2014

Special issue of the eLearn Center Research Paper Series – 8 (2014) on the role of e-Learning applications within the tourism sector has been just issued.

This special issue is a result of the workshop “Role of e-Learning applications  within the tourism and hospitality sector” which was held in October 2013 in Barcelona (Spain). The workshop has been supported by IFITT (International Federation for IT and Travel and Tourism).

Special issue was coordinated by Oriol Miralbell (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain), Lorenzo Cantoni (Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland) and Nadzeya Kalbaska (Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland).

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The articles are fully available for download online

Table of Contents

O. Miralbell, L. Cantoni, and N. Kalbaska. The role of e-learning applications within the tourism sector, pp. 04-05.

L. Villarejo, F. González-Reverté, O. Miralbell, and J. M. Gomis. Introducing Augmented Reality in Cultural Heritage Studies, pp. 06-14.

M. Iglesias-Xamaní. Digital technologies and foreign language learning in tourism studies, pp. 15-26.

A. Adukaite, N. Kalbaska, and L. Cantoni. E-learning on tourism destinations. The case of Ticino Switzerland Travel Specialist course, pp. 27-34.

N. Kalbaska. National Tourism Organizations’ online training offer. Switzerland Travel Academy Case Study, pp. 35-44.

M. De Rose, E. Marchiori, N. Kalbaska, and L. Cantoni. Independent e-learning offers in Tourism and Hospitality. In search of a map and possible quality indicators. pp.45-55.

O. Miralbell. Social networking sites and collaborative learning in tourism, pp. 56-67.

DIETA2014: Two working (and amazing!) days in Armeno!
July 10th, 2014

This year the DIETA – the traditional annual event involving the NewMinE Lab, eLab, Webatelier, and Unesco Chair USI – took place in Armeno (Italy), a few steps away from the beautiful Orta Lake, from 8 to 9 july .

As usual the Dieta has been an occasion for intra-labs and inter-lab intellectual collaboration, brainstorming of ideas and presentation of future projects and research strategies.

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Magali Grossenbacher MA thesis defense!
July 10th, 2014

Magali Grossenbacher successfully defended her Master Thesis in Public Management and Policy at USI. Magali did her thesis within the Lab activities, and was supervised by Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni.
Her topic was: La relation entre les radio communautaires et les TIC au Pérou. Tutored by: Sara Vannini. Second Reader: Prof. Bertil Cottier.

Congratulations, Magali!

Magali Defense

Abstract:
The present work shows the use of information and communication technologies for development, particularly in the mix between old and new technologies. In this thesis, we tried to understand how and why Peruvian community radios use new technologies and what is the impact on the development of the communities. To do that, we conducted what is called a mixed research, which was at the same time qualitative and quantitative. We proceeded to gather data through surveys, and this included observations and interviews in the field. We went to two different Peruvian community radios, one on the North of the Andes, Radio Coremarca, and one in the middle of the Amazonia, Radio Ucamara. First we tried to gain an idea of the context, in order to better understand the different points of view about the use of new technologies in the community radios. Then, we brought to light the opinions of the radio employees as well as the opinions of the community members. We noticed that the radios use new technologies in many different ways. But regardless of the mode of use, the impact is rather positive on the development of the communities.

Congratulation to Sara Vannini and Francesca Fanni…Doctors in communication!
June 10th, 2014

We are glad to announce that on June 6th our colleagues Francesca Fanni and Sara Vannini successfully defended their doctoral thesis!!

cantoni e dottorate!

Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni has been the supervisor of both dissertations, entitled:

  • Social Representations of Community Multimedia Centres in Mozambique (Sara Vannini). You can see the presentation here.
  • Confidence in Technology Use: The Development and Validation of a Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Self-Efficacy Scale for Teachers (Francesca Fanni).

You can read the abstracts below.

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Sara Vannini external commission was composed of:

  • Prof. Ismael Peña López, lecturer at the School of Law and Political Science of the the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
  • Prof. Erkki Sutinen, from the department of Computer Science, at the University of Eastern Finland.

fra thesi

Francesca Fanni external commission was composed of:

  • Prof. Usher Ellen, expert in educational psychology at the University of Kentucky.
  • Prof. Klassen Robert, expert in psychology in education at the University of York, U.K

Social Representations of Community Multimedia Centres in Mozambique (Sara Vannini)

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Abstract:

UNESCO Community Multimedia Centres are a specific model of public access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). These venues are conceived to address the information needs of underserved and marginalised communities in emerging and developing countries. They are composed of a community radio station, which broadcasts in local languages and is managed by local people, along with a telecentre, a place where people can access computers, the Internet, and other services such as offline content collections, photocopier and fax. The model was designed as an ICT for development (ICT4D) initiative, aimed to bridge the digital and knowledge divides experienced within remote communities.

Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) can be defined as a top-down, off-the-shelf solution, designed on communities’ behalf and replicated in a variety of countries. This one-size- fits-all kind of intervention has characterised most of the first wave of ICT4D projects, and was, in later time, criticised in favour of more participatory approaches. Top-down approaches are believed to originate mismatches between design assumptions and observed realities. Yet, CMCs and analogous public access to ICT projects, still receive considerable attention within the field, and huge investments are still made by governments and international organizations to support and create them.

Purpose: This research explores the phenomenon of CMCs in Mozambique by investigating Social Representations (Moscovici, 1961) that different stakeholders’ have of them. Social Representations can provide an integrated view of CMCs that give voice to local perspectives without neglecting to take into account the initiating agencies’ expectations. Social Representation theory is, thus, proposed as a suitable theoretical framework to operationalize the gaps between designs and realities that too often affect ICT4D project sustainability.

Methods: This research was conducted by using a mixed methods approach. CMCs of 10 Mozambican provinces were investigated by conducting 232 interviews with representatives of initiating agencies, local staff members, CMC users (both the radio and telecenter components), users of the community radio only, and community members who did not use the CMCs. Photo- elicitation was also used, which is an underexplored technique in ICT4D, and was employed for data generation with members of the staff and CMC users. Following the analysis of transcribed interviews, different data analysis methods were employed on both the visual and the discursive data generated, including co-occurrences of the lemmas used by interviewees and inductive and deductive content analyses. The combination of these different techniques allowed to gain in- depth insights and to triangulate research outcomes. Outcomes of the analyses are presented in three journal articles included in this work.Furthermore, a systematic literature review on the use of Social Representations Theory in ICT4D and adjacent domains was performed, which sheds light on the potential that the theory has for the field.

Outcomes and Implications: This work makes a case for approaches that include contextual realities and local actors in the design of ICT4D interventions, and validates Social Representations as a suitable theory in the field. Also, it proposes a viable methodological strategy able to grab the complexity of the local context. Overall, the theoretical and methodological frameworks employed generated valuable outcomes, which confirm and increase the literature about public access to ICT venues. Outcomes from this work will inform academics, as well as practitioners and policy makers about the way CMCs are accommodated into different social actors’ universes of meanings and practices, and about meaningful improvements to be enacted into the local context.

Confidence in Technology Use: The Development and Validation of a Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Self-Efficacy Scale for Teachers (Francesca Fanni)

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Abstract:

This thesis is positioned at the intersection of education, technology, and motivation research fields, specifically in the context of K-12 teaching.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between teachers’ self- efficacy and their technology use, and design and validate a self-efficacy measure to assess teachers’ beliefs about technology use in their profession. This measure is based on the Technological, Pedagogical and Content knowledge (TPACK) framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) and on the standards put forth by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21).

In today’s so-called “Information Society,” technology is pervading every aspect of our life, and the education sector is no exception. On the one hand, the increased presence of technology demands teachers to be proficient in its use. On the other, a high level of technological knowledge and skills does not necessarily mean that a teacher is effective at implementing those skills in his or her classroom (or life). As Pajares pointed out, “what we know, the skills we possess, or what we have previously accomplished are not always good predictors of subsequent attainments because the beliefs we hold about our capabilities powerfully influence the ways we behave” (Madewell & Shaughnessy, 2003, p. 381). Consequently, behavior can be often better predicted by the beliefs people have about their capabilities to accomplish a particular task than by their actual capabilities (Bandura, 1977).

This thesis consists of two main parts. Part I outlines the theoretical framework that guides the research: from technology to education, describing the main features of the Knowledge Society. The self-efficacy construct from the Social Cognitive Theory perspective is also presented, and with particular relation to the use of technology (computer self-efficacy) and teaching activity (teacher self-efficacy).

Part I also presents two exploratory field case studies, the first in Brazil and the second in South Africa, which explored the hypothesis of a correlation between computer self- efficacy and teacher self-efficacy. Results from the two exploratory field case studies were contentious. In the Brazilian study teacher self-efficacy seemed to be positively influenced by computer self-efficacy. Results from the South African study conducted in analogous conditions, indicated no correlation between the two variables examined.

The ambiguous results and the accompanying literature review from these field studies led the author to extend the research with the specific aim of providing a tool that can measure teachers’ beliefs about their use of technology.

In part II of the thesis, the author designs and validates the new teacher self-efficacy scale. This is achieved through feedback from external experts, a pilot study with a small group of teachers, and a large-scale survey conducted with a sample (n = 218) of K-12 teachers in the United States. The survey questionnaire consisted of two main sections: the first asked teachers to provide demographical information and report their use of technology; the second included the new self-efficacy for TPACK scale and two additional measures, often used in studies of teacher self-efficacy (i.e., the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale, Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001; and the Computer Self- Efficacy scale, Compeau & Higgins, 1995), which will be used to determine concurrent validity.

This thesis contributes to the literature on teacher development and motivation in using technology. Firstly, it presents a psychometrically sound instrument to assess teachers’ efficacy perceptions about working with and using technology in their profession. The scale is composed of 20 items, organized in three subscales: Technological Pedagogical Self-Efficacy (11 items), Technological Content Self-Efficacy (6 items), and Technological Pedagogical Content Self-Efficacy (3 items). Secondly, this study illuminates the role played by years of teaching experience, professional development with technology, age, gender, ethnicity, and school level in the development of teacher self-efficacy for TPACK. On one hand, experienced teachers reported to have less confidence in technology use. On the other hand, teachers who received extensive/moderate professional development with technology reported higher levels of self-efficacy for TPACK. The role of teacher training in technology use emerged to be essential in increasing their self-efficacy for TPACK. No significant differences were detected in self-efficacy for TPACK as function of gender, ethnicity, and school level. Finally, this research confirms the role of self-efficacy in predicting teachers’ use of technology. Results indicate that self-efficacy for TPACK positively predicts teachers’ technology use. These findings shed more light on the role played by teachers’ self- efficacy in the technology integration process, as one of the significant indicators of teachers’ technology use.