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On the Horizon, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Boria Sax

This article seeks to examine the various functions served by storytelling, from its origins in prehistoric times to the post‐industrial age.

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Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to examine the various functions served by storytelling, from its origins in prehistoric times to the post‐industrial age.

Design/methodology/approach

Historical records are rich in stories, yet they seldom provide the full social context in which these were told. This article attempts to reconstruct part of that context on the basis of anthropological and biological theories.

Findings

Storytelling appears to have developed in archaic times as a means to organize vast and confusing amounts of information. It retains that function and becomes particularly important in transitional times such as the present.

Practical implications

Today, however, neither empirical nor theoretical analysis is able to cope with the information overload caused by new electronic media. As traditional markers of identity such as ethnicity and class become elusive, individuals, and companies as well, need to articulate their stories in order to define themselves.

Originality/value

This article places storytelling, arguably the most traditional of arts, in the context of a culture dominated by electronic media, thus helping people and institutions to use the power of narrative.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2008

Boria Sax

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue of On the Horizon, which is devoted to the next wave of innovation in online education; analyzes the traditional

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue of On the Horizon, which is devoted to the next wave of innovation in online education; analyzes the traditional tension between the realm of books and reality, and to examine ways it which this may be influenced by digital technologies; and reviews possible alternatives to the structure of the traditional classroom for online education.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the work of Hans Blumenberg, this article begins with analysis of the malaise that pervaded literary culture on the threshold of the digital age. It evaluates various educational structures and technologies as attempts to respond to this challenge.

Findings

Books not only contain but also structure learning, in fact they condition our expectations of what “knowledge” would be. The world of books has traditionally been opposed to that of “experience,” but digital technologies now provide new means of storing knowledge that transcend this dichotomy. This is a major change in the structure of knowledge, which will eventually transform our institutions of higher education.

Originality/value

This article shows how the development of digital media was not simply driven by technology but was a response to the exhaustion of literary traditions, as thinkers began to doubt whether there was anything more worth putting in print. This perspective enables the article to go beyond the technological determinism that pervades much futuristic writing, and suggest how we may innovate, particularly in education, while retaining continuity with the past.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Boria Sax

This paper aims to provide an introduction to the special issue of On the Horizon on “Storytelling in a liminal time”.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an introduction to the special issue of On the Horizon on “Storytelling in a liminal time”.

Design/methodology/approach

It discusses the increased emphasis on storytelling in the late twentieth and the twenty‐first centuries, and then introduces the various contributions to the essay and their significance.

Findings

In the post‐industrial world, storytelling is again assuming the central cultural role it had in pre‐industrial times.

Practical implications

The importance of storytelling, both for pragmatic and cultural purposes, has increased and will continue to do so in the decades and centuries to come.

Originality/value

This article introduces readers not only to some valuable articles but to uses of storytelling that are both traditional and contemporary. For institutions, for example, it argues that they will need to articulate their stories in order to have a distinct identity.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Kate McDowell

This review seeks to evaluate the book Storytelling in Daily Life by Langellier and Peterson.

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Abstract

Purpose

This review seeks to evaluate the book Storytelling in Daily Life by Langellier and Peterson.

Design/methodology/approach

This book presents an analysis of storytelling as a communication practice. The authors analyze stories collected from the field to show how they conform to and resist common understandings of what storytelling is, does, and means.

Findings

This review finds that the book will be engaging for communications scholars and others interested in critical theoretical approaches to storytelling.

Originality/value

Provides a synopsis of the theoretical approach, topics, and audience for this book, pointing out its value for those interested in academic approaches to storytelling.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2008

Tom P. Abeles

The purpose of this editorial is to ask the question as to whether the current “cohort” model of education, particularly in the USA, can survive in an internet connected world. It

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this editorial is to ask the question as to whether the current “cohort” model of education, particularly in the USA, can survive in an internet connected world. It also questions, with the development of increasingly porous political borders, particularly with respect to knowledge, whether the current education system can play the heroic role of maintaining US economic hegemony in the world.

Design/methodology/approach

This essay looks at the increasing alternatives individuals have for obtaining both knowledge, and academic certification and the ease with which that knowledge can move across borders virtually or through population movements. It suggests that this growing international movement of knowledge may render political boundaries as vulnerable as medieval armor with the rise of gunpowder.

Findings

The increasing access to knowledge starts to make international borders look more like boundaries between states or other political divisions within current nations. The current attempt to maintain or incrementally improving existing models of education can neither meet the increasing demands of individuals for knowledge or maintain the current economic hegemony of the USA.

Originality/value

The essay questions current efforts of the educational community in general and the science/technology sector, in particular, to argue for increasing funds as the front‐line of defense in a world where political power is maintained by economics rather than military superiority. It argues for a paradigmatic change in response to the idea that knowledge wishes to be free.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Karen M. White

This paper aims to outline the beginnings of online education.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline the beginnings of online education.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is a narrative account by an “early adapter” of her initiation into online learning, at a time when few people could even conceive the potentialities of the mode and nobody could clearly envision them.

Findings

This article reveals a side to the endeavor that is usually edited out of more formal histories, which focus primarily on major discoveries – the untidy process of coming to terms with new possibilities in the course of daily life, while struggling with both incomprehension of one's peers and personal uncertainties of one's own.

Originality/value

The article illustrates how innovation is driven not simply by pragmatic needs as much as by the lure of the unknown.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Betsy Hearne

This is a review of The Truth of Stories by Thomas King.

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Abstract

Purpose

This is a review of The Truth of Stories by Thomas King.

Design/methodology/approach

This review examines the ways in which the Native American stories collected by Thomas King have been used to shape lives, value systems and public policies. It pays special attention to the controversial way stories have been used both to reflect and to manipulate images of oppressed ethnic groups.

Findings

In six essays, a Canadian professor of literature gives a Native North American perspective on the relationship between stories, culture, and social history. Thomas King's blend of storytelling and analysis models a creative approach to critical methodology.

Originality/value

This review not only introduces an important interpreter of Native American stories, but also suggests ways in which Euro/American scholarship can learn from Native American traditions.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Boria Sax

To ascertain how scholarship will be impacted by digital media.

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Abstract

Purpose

To ascertain how scholarship will be impacted by digital media.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper breaks down the vocation of scholarship into subsidiary tasks. It examines how their relative importance has changed in the modern era. Finally, it looks at which tasks will be facilitated or complicated by digital media, particularly by the internet.

Findings

The tasks of collecting and storing information have been made far faster and easier by digital media. Other tasks such as sorting, evaluating and assessing the implications of information have, however, become more difficult. In consequence, theory has become far more important.

Research limitations/implications

The extrapolations in this paper are about broad trends, which may manifest themselves in a variety of ways.

Practical implications

In the future, one can expect scholarship to deal less with uncovering new information. Instead, scholars will have to devote more time and effort to ascertaining why information is important. Scholars will be expected to articulate not only their methods but also their purposes.

Originality/value

This paper provides useful information on how scholarship will be impacted by digital media.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Boria Sax

The idea of students as “customers” at institutions of higher learning evokes intense controvery, but it is usually understood simplistically. The word “customer” is derived from…

1969

Abstract

The idea of students as “customers” at institutions of higher learning evokes intense controvery, but it is usually understood simplistically. The word “customer” is derived from the Latin “consuescere” meaning “to become acquainted with”. In marketplaces of the Renaissance it suggested a bond founded on familiarity and trust. Early universities were located near marketplaces, and shared some of their vibrant atmosphere. Today, as well, there is no reason why the relationship between a customer and provider need be either temporary or superficial. New technologies may help to render the relationship of an institution to its students more lasting and more personal.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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