Information Obesity: The web site

Annotated reading list

Complete Bibliography

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This list is reproduced directly from Information obesity. Wherever possible, links to online versions of these key texts are provided in the bibliography. However, you may need institutional subscriber access (e.g. Athens, Shibboleth) to gain access to these. Neither I nor Chandos can help you secure access to texts where these require a subscription: my apologies. (You might, however, consider the option of registering for further study on this subject.)

Introduction: Levine’s chapter in Hess and Ostrom (2007) kick-started my writing this book, and its position as the first work cited is no coincidence. Putnam’s work on social capital (2000) is well known, and important reading. Wenger’s (1998) work on communities of practice is also important for appreciating how communities build knowledge in ways that are neglected by formalised organisational processes.

Chapter 1: Samson and Pitt (1999) is a superb resource for understanding the ideas of biosphere and noösphere, and contain many other references, including Vernadsky. For empirical illustrations - in a literal, and beautiful, sense - of how the spheres of the world interact and create environmental diversity over millions of years, see Redfern (2000).

Chapter 2: Thompson (2008) has been drawn on frequently in this book and is highly recommended reading. Kuhn’s (1970) work on how science creates value is a classic, as is Lyotard (1984), although this is a more difficult work—it has the advantage of brevity, however. Bonnett’s chapter in McFarlane (1997) is useful both here and for chapter 4. Hess and Ostrom (2007) contains many essays which illuminate the nature of, and threats to, the idea of an information commons.

Chapter 3: The classic citation for the social shaping of technology is Mackenzie and Wajcman (1985); Williams and Edge (1996) is, in my opinion, even better. Star (1999) is a good companion piece as it discusses ways in which these insights can be applied. For forms of organisation and the role of metaphor in studying them, Morgan (1999) is invaluable. Robins & Webster (1987) has clearly been an influence on my work and presents clear, albeit depressing, evidence of how organisations restrict creativity and generally technologise social relations. For activity theory, see Engeström et al (1999) and Nardi (1996): Bedny & Harris (2005) is difficult, but also valuable for showing the differences between CHAT and SSTA, which are often ignored by many other writers. Argyris (1999) is valuable throughout.

Chapter 4: Many relevant works exist and I here cite only those which I have particularly drawn on. Hafner and Lyon (1996), Randall (1997) and Berners-Lee (1999) are useful histories of the internet. Bush (1945) should be essential reading for any student of technology, and Nyce & Kahn (1991) is an excellent commentary on it. Shenk (1997) is also very interesting. Stoll (1990), Roszak (1994) and Webster (2002) provide a more critical view. Bell (1976), Webster (2002)—again—and Bauman (2000) are useful reviews of the impact of the information society. Rheingold (1993 and 2003) is more upbeat, but very readable.

Chapter 5: Warschauer (1999) is a useful work and provides many other references to resources on literacy. I found Dorner (2002) to be an interesting review of how traditional ideas of writing and literature (as opposed to literacy, but the connections are clear) are being affected by ICT. McFarlane (1997) has some useful chapters in the middle regarding other forms of literacy, such as number and visual. Freire (1972) is the classic source for how literacy, oppression and power are interconnected. For the latter part of this chapter, revisit Thompson (2008) and, in a more specific way, Knight (2000). I find Sagan (1986) to be an eloquent source for the interconnections between science and other human values, as is Feynman (1998).

Chapter 6: For histories of ICT education see Robins & Webster (1987) and Beynon and Mackay (1992). Reffell & Whitworth (2002) is far from being a definitive statement but it will at least provide you with an idea of what other writers have influenced my personal perspective. For “how to” books I particularly recommend McFarlane (1997) and Laurillard (2002). Nevison’s (1976) paper is definitely worth a read. Many resources exist in Jonassen et al (2003), particularly pages 42-67. Many of these, if they still exist and even though they may seem old, are linked to from the web site. They show that innovative, creative work can be done with the WWW (even in its “Web 1.0”, less interactive incarnation). For information literacy see Andretta (2007), Bruce (1997), and various essays in Andretta’s edited collection including Bruce and Edwards (2007) and Markless and Streatfield (2007).

Chapter 7: Fay (1975) is brilliant—and short. Burrell and Morgan (1979) is also useful for appreciating the differences between positivism, interpretivism & criticality, as is, with more specific reference to education, Carr and Kemmis (1986).

Chapter 8: No work on, or by, Habermas is easy and I modestly suggest that the book you hold is as good a layperson’s introduction as is available. An exception is Forester (1985), a stunningly elegant summary of Habermas, and his collection as a whole is definitely worth a look. For collected extracts from Habermas’s work, as well as useful commentary, see Outhwaite (1996). Goldblatt’s (1996) chapter on Habermas is quite good, and helps connect his work to the environmental model. Blaug (1999b) is not straightforward but is very useful for any attempts to apply Habermas’s theories in the “real world”.

Chapter 9: Blaug is a very readable author and his works (1999a, 1999b, 2007) are all worth consulting. Morgan (1999) discusses forms of organisation generally: for alternative forms see Rothschild & Whitt (1986); Gastil (1993); and, if you can find it (and it is worth trying) Merrick (1996). Freeman (1984) is a classic critique.

Chapter 10: Egan (1990) has not yet appeared on this reading list but clearly that book has been a considerable influence on this one, particularly in this chapter. Cunningham’s and Bonnett’s chapters in McFarlane (1997) are also relevant here.

Chapter 11: For PBL see Jonassen et al (2003). Mezirow (1990) is excellent for transformative learning and has many other references. March & Cohen (1976) is important for establishing the ambiguous nature of decision making, particularly in educational organisations. I remind you again of the value of Carr and Kemmis (1986) for action research, plus Schön (1991) and Reason and Bradbury (2001).

Chapter 12: Beck (1998) is good for describing, then critiquing, citizenship education, and Clarke (1996) for the value of active citizens: these complement other works mentioned already, like Putnam (2000).

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