Classroom success!!!

May 21, 2014 at 1:43 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Hi all. This past semester was the first time I taught Mobile Technologies in the Developing World class I developed as a tenure track faculty member at Eastern Michigan University. It was a great experience and I am honored to have the opportunity to teach it again this upcoming Winter 2015 semester. It will also be vetted as part of the regular curriculum here at EMU. I’ll continue to post information about mobile technologies and the developing world.

I also hope to defend my dissertation this August. It’s going to be a busy and exciting summer.





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Wireless living: Limited Internet access in North Korea affects country’s development

February 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Wireless living: Limited Internet access in North Korea affects country’s development

Fascinating article by Imana Gunawan about how the lack of Internet and social media can hinder the growth of a nation. North Korea is a closed, secretive society and its lack of Internet access has isolated its citizens from the rest of the world.

Notable comments from the article:

“In 2012, the World Policy Journal rated the DPRK as the most isolated country in the world. The publication used the percentage of individuals connected to the Internet as one of the factors in determining whether a country is isolated.”

“Even though North Korea and South Korea have a similar amount of compulsory school years (10 for North Korea, 12 for South Korea), Sorensen said that North Korean refugees with high school-level education who go to South Korea may not be able to compete academically with South Korean students.”

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North Korea: first Instagram images emerge as social media final reaches country

February 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

North Korea: first Instagram images emerge as social media final reaches country

“The first pictures to be posted to Instagram from North Korea have emerged, in new evidence that the social media revolution has finally reached the hermit kingdom.”—By. Julian Ryall

This is an interesting piece about the use of Instagram in North Korea. Many of us are familiar with North Korea’s closed society. Although the article is a bit dated (last year), I think it’s still very relevant. After the uprisings in the Middle East, many researchers and political analysts are suggesting that North Koreans will follow their lead.

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China to lead mobil payment technology

January 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Smart phones are simplifying the art/chore of making payments. Check out the guy that buys a vending machine water bottle with his phone. China is gearing up to the next global economic superpower so it’s not surprising that mobile tech is part of this.

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TT track, new class and more mobile tech

January 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Hi all!!!!! It’s the start of the Winter 2014 semester here at Eastern Michigan University. This is my second year on the TT (WOOT!). Hence the reason I’ve been MIA. Well I’m back and happy to report things are wonderful at EMU (Go Eagles!). I’ve developed a new course on mobile technology called: Mobile Technology in Developing Worlds. So far so good! Below is a course description:

Course Description and Objectives

          As more countries are caught up in the globalization wave, mobile technologies have emerged as a powerful tool in closing the information gap and as a source of poverty reduction in developing nations, as well as tool used by citizen journalists to bring down authoritarian regimes. This course will look at how mobile technologies are being used internationally. Specifically focused on the Middle East and developing Asia, this course will help student understand the “benefits” to certain types of technology such as its ability to help alleviate poverty and how it is moving traditional societies into modernity. In addition, the course will examine how the introduction of these new technologies is changing the Asian family, especially examining the role of gender.  In the book Factory Girls, young Chinese girls and women are using the cell phone to start and end relationships, as well as, show their upgraded status as main sources of family income.  The course will examine how these types of technologies are making “waves” in the structures of these families.
          In the broadest sense, development communication is the proliferation of media related technologies that can aid in improving socio-economic development.  It is also important to understand how cellular technology is diffused throughout developing nations because it is considered to be a gateway to newer technologies like the Internet (Kalba 2008).  However, part of making mobile technologies work (theoretically and practically) is the ability of practitioners to incorporate local models with new media and focus on improving the lives of people in developing countries.  This is a multi-disciplinary course; which examines theories from Communication, Anthropology, and Women and Gender Studies.  Students from these disciplines can appreciate how mobile technologies are impact these societies at several levels, including economically, politically, and socially.
          This course will begin with a brief historical overview of development communication, particularly in regards to how media and modernity are broadly juxtaposed with traditional societies. Readings presented are current up to date materials (2009 to present) in order to provide a more focused look at how mobile technologies can impact developing societies.  In addition, literature will be reviewed based on specific countries in South and East Asia and the Middle East, recognizing that each country has unique political, cultural, and religious stances when it comes to their specific uses of mobile technologies. 
          The goal of this course is to provide a comprehensive understanding of mobile technologies and its role in development and to showcase how new media technology is an ever changing and fast growing area with major impact on the rest of the world politically, economically, and even at the societal levels. 



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