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Dearest LM Netters,

            I'm currently knee-deep in my Doctorate of C&I and I'm at
a fork in the road.  I've talked with my professors and my peers in
the program about my choices and now I turn to you.  This is the
moment where I have to decide what my dissertation topic will be.
I've narrowed it down to 1. Preparing Students for the 21st Century
(Information Literacy) or 2. Student Achievement with Emergent
Technology (iPods in Education).
            I've lived and breathed these ideas for a year and a half,
but now I really need to focus.  My GUT tells me iPods, so I've
investigated that route heavily yielding no credible studies...yet.
Common sense tells me Information Literacy (a major component of my
job, and thus kind of...uninteresting in the sense that I already do
that daily), would be the safe bet.  Unfortunately I'm not interested
in going the safe route on this one.
            I'm throwing myself out there for several reasons, but
mostly to gage interest and participation.  IF I chose to go the route
of the iPod's impact on education, I will need help/participants
because it is so "new".  At the same time, I know this study will be
eventually categorized as "old tech".  (i.e. I'm sure there's a
dissertation out there on The Use of Typewriters in the Educational
            All I ask is you be frank.  I feel video iPods,
specifically, are incredibly powerful educational tools which align
with the cultural movement of Web 2.0 and self-publishing of
materials.  This year I wrote a grant, like many other school
librarians have, to get video iPods into our library.  My initial
thought was audiobooks, but along the way I discovered a plethora of
outlets for the students, and I'm sure many others I didn't think of!
Much of my inquiry to you stems from my professors' insistence that
I'd HAVE to find other schools using iPods in education in order to
make anything of this study.   I know Information Literacy is huge and
there would be a fair amount of research already on it, but that just
makes me feel the iPod study would be much more valuable.  I welcome
your thoughts, support, or cautions in my endeavors.

Thank you in advance for any feedback you may offer,

Josh Mika
LRC Director
Beebe Elementary, District 203
Naperville, IL

P.S.  I KNOW it's risky!  Steve Jobs is a fickle guy.  I know I wasn't
the only one who bought an Apple IIgs only to hear him announce that
Apple was going "Mac-format" a year later...  I still have my Apple
IIgs, by the way, and it works as well as the day I bought it. ;-)

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