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Digital Ethnography using the Smartpen

Professor Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University,  posted  “SmartPen as Digital Ethnography Tool” to his Digital Ethnography Blog.

10 million views on YouTube?! Before you quit reading this post consider that Michael’s video, “Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us” (released on YouTube in 2007) quickly became the most popular video in the blogosphere and has been viewed over 10 million times.

So when Michael began his post with “This little smartpen from Livescribe just might revolutionize my note-taking in seminars, …” I had to keep reading until I read ‘I feel like this is one of those “Rear View Mirror” moments in which a new technology comes into our lives with enormous potential and we just don’t know what to do with it yet.’  Michael’s quote also reminds me of when I hacked the Logitech io Anoto pen years ago to get it to replay ink and emailed Logitech multiple times desperately trying to get it to add voice recording to no avail and why I rejoiced that Jim Marggraff and Andy Van Schaack figured out why this was so critical and labored hard and long to make it so.

Professor Wesch shares more about his experiences with the Smartpen including his first pencast created with one in “SmartPen as Digital Ethnography Tool“.

Ethnography (from Wikipedia: Ethnography)

is a qualitative research method often used in the social sciences, particularly in anthropology and in sociology. It is often employed for gathering empirical data on human societies/cultures.  Data collection is often done through participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, etc. Ethnography aims to describe the nature of those who are studied (i.e. to describe a people, an ethnos) through writing.




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