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The Final Chapter: How Independent Booksellers Can Adapt to a Changing Industry

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing market. This examination is highly relevant given recent concerns that, with the rise of e-retailers like Amazon and the closure of bookstore chain Borders, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be superseded by new digital vendors. Independent bookstores are thought to be at a particular disadvantage to these retailers, given their limited size and resources, as well as the lack of capital or consumer base that a larger chain like Barnes and Noble can draw upon to invest in emerging technology. With these more limited financial opportunities, independent bookstores must find different ways to not only keep abreast of the technology that consumers are coming to expect from modern businesses, but attract customers.
To gain insight into the state of the industry and current position of independent bookstores, I will first examine the past fifty years of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, followed by a Porter’s Five Forces analysis of the industry threats and a SWOT analysis to compare the strengths and weaknesses of independent bookstores. Next, the patrons of independent bookstores will be discussed with a focus on the two largest consumer groups of Millennials and Baby Boomers, their characteristics, and the opportunities they provide to bookstores. After this there will be an exploration of the competitors to brick-and-mortar bookstores, focusing on Amazon and then touching on some of the other rivals to bookstores’ consumer base. The next section will be an in-depth analysis of a variety of bookstores across the United States, with attention to their successful practices, goals, concerns, and failures. First, there will be a comparison of industry success and failure through case studies of Borders and Powell’s bookstores. Next, there will be a comparison of five beloved independent bookstores across the country to share their varied competitive advantages that are the secret to their success. Finally, there are primary source interviews with the employees of three major Phoenix bookstores, which provide insight into the goals, current projects, attitudes, and inner strengths of these businesses. Finally, the thesis will conclude with a section offering solutions and suggestions for independent bookstores to pursue based on the primary and secondary research discussed above. These recommendations are focused on five key areas:
• Community
• Consumers
• Store Design
• Technology
• Diversification
Ultimately, the information provided by this research and these interviews indicates that while vital business changes are being pursued by independent and chain bookstores across the United States, the independent bookstore shows no signs of disappearing in favor of online vendors or e-readers.

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2017-05

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Promoting meaningful uses of technology in a middle school

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Federal education policies call for school district leaders to promote classroom technology integration to prepare students with 21st century skills. However, schools are struggling to integrate technology effectively, with students often reporting that they feel like they need to power

Federal education policies call for school district leaders to promote classroom technology integration to prepare students with 21st century skills. However, schools are struggling to integrate technology effectively, with students often reporting that they feel like they need to power down and step back in time technologically when they enter classrooms. The lack of meaningful technology use in classrooms indicates a need for increased teacher preparation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact a coaching model of professional development had on school administrators` abilities to increase middle school teachers` technology integration in their classrooms. This study attempted to coach administrators to develop and articulate a vision, cultivate a culture, and model instruction relative to the meaningful use of instructional technology. The study occurred in a middle school. Data for this case study were collected via administrator interviews, the Principal`s Computer Technology Survey, structured observations using the Higher Order Thinking, Engaged Learning, Authentic Learning, Technology Use protocol, field notes, the Technology Integration Matrix, teacher interviews, and a research log. Findings concluded that cultivating change in an organization is a complex process that requires commitment over an extended period of time. The meaningful use of instructional technology remained minimal at the school during fall 2010. My actions as a change agent informed the school`s administrators about the role meaningful use of technology can play in instruction. Limited professional development, administrative vision, and expectations minimized the teachers` meaningful use of instructional technology; competing priorities and limited time minimized the administrators` efforts to improve the meaningful use of instructional technology. Realizing that technology proficient teachers contribute to student success with technology, it may be wise for administrators to incorporate technology-enriched professional development and exercise their leadership abilities to promote meaningful technology use in classrooms.

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Date Created
2011

Hearing in color

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ABSTRACT The participatory and interactive nature of the "Hearing in Color" project unites people from different walks of life. My interest lies in creating a space for people to explore their creativity, think critically, and hone their own voice in

ABSTRACT The participatory and interactive nature of the "Hearing in Color" project unites people from different walks of life. My interest lies in creating a space for people to explore their creativity, think critically, and hone their own voice in a safe and collaborative environment. I have discovered that all art forms: movement, voice, visual or digital, stimulate possibilities for expression and enable people to move forward in new directions. To this end, my project fused multiple avenues of engagement, innovative dance technology, and alternative or site-specific locations to create a community-based project aimed at promoting dialogue and enhancing ties between several groups in the Phoenix area. In this paper, I argue that a multi-layered approach to community-arts and the use of advanced technology builds bridges for diverse populations to come together to participate and learn from one another. I also maintain that community exists among all communities involved in a process of community arts, not just the participants and facilitator. When community engagement and awareness are prioritized, a multi-layered approach creates the possibilities of growth, honesty, and understanding for all people involved.

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2010

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Preservice teachers' ability to identify technology standards: does curriculum matter?

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With the unveiling of the National Educational Technology Plan 2010, both preservice and inservice K12 teachers in the United States are expected to create a classroom environment that fosters the creation of digital citizens. However, it is unclear whether or

With the unveiling of the National Educational Technology Plan 2010, both preservice and inservice K12 teachers in the United States are expected to create a classroom environment that fosters the creation of digital citizens. However, it is unclear whether or not teacher education programs build this direct instruction, or any other method of introducing students to the National Education Technology Standards (NETS), "a standard of excellence and best practices in learning, teaching and leading with technology in education," into their curriculum (International Society for Technology in Education, 2012). As with most teaching skills, the NETS and standards-based technology integration must be learned through exposure during the teacher preparation curriculum, either through modeling, direct instruction or assignments constructed to encourage standards-based technology integration. This study attempted to determine the extent to which preservice teachers at Arizona State University (ASU) enrolled in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) can recognize the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and to what extent preservice teachers are exposed to technology integration in accordance with the NETS-T standards in their preparation curriculum in order to answer the questions of whether or not teacher education curriculum provides students an opportunity to learn and apply the NETS-T and if preservice teachers in core teacher preparation program courses that include objectives that integrate technology are more likely to be able to identify NETS-T standards than those in courses that do not include these elements In order to answer these questions, a mixed-method design study was utilized to gather data from an electronic survey, one-on-one interviews with students, faculty, and administrators, and document analysis of core course objectives and curriculum goals in the teacher certification program at ASU. The data was analyzed in order to determine the relationship between the preservice teachers, the NETS-T standards, and the role technology plays in the curriculum of the teacher preparation program. Results of the analysis indicate that preservice teachers have a minimum NETS-T awareness at the Literacy level, indicating that they can use technology skills when prompted and explore technology independently.

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Date Created
2013

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Social media, marketing, and the opera singer

Description

ABSTRACT

This research is focused on technology in the arts, social media, and the opera singer. Topics include recent performance trends, social media, marketing techniques, and creating a successful brand. This paper also focuses on how to leverage social media platforms

ABSTRACT

This research is focused on technology in the arts, social media, and the opera singer. Topics include recent performance trends, social media, marketing techniques, and creating a successful brand. This paper also focuses on how to leverage social media platforms build a digital persona, and create an engaged audience. The same techniques used by corporations and opera companies for their social media and marketing strategy can be leveraged to increase brand awareness, build a strong network, and may aid in generating new opportunities for the opera singer.

Key Words: Social Media, Opera Singer, Branding, Marketing, Technology

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Date Created
2016

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The Human Genome Project and ELSI: the imperative of technology and the reduction of the public ethics debate

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In the past century, a number of technological projects have been undertaken as grand solutions to social problems. In the so called century of biology, this technological world view focuses on biomedical advances. The President of the United States, who

In the past century, a number of technological projects have been undertaken as grand solutions to social problems. In the so called century of biology, this technological world view focuses on biomedical advances. The President of the United States, who once called for nuclear weapons and space exploration, now calls for new biotechnologies, such as genomics, individualized medicine, and nanotechnology, which will improve the world by improving our biological lives. Portrayed as the Manhattan Project of the late 20th Century, the Human Genome Project (HGP) not only undertook the science of sequencing the human genome but also the ethics of it. For this thesis I ask how the HGP did this; what was the range of possibilities of goods and evils imagined by the HGP; and what, if anything, was left out. I show that the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) research program of the HGP was inscribed with the competencies of the professional field of bioethics, which had lent itself useful for governing biomedical science and technology earlier in the 20th century. Drawing on a sociological framework for understanding the development of professional bioethics, I describe the development of ELSI, and I note how the given-in-advance boundaries between authorized/unauthorized questions shaped its formation and biased technologically based conceptualizations of social problems and potential solutions. In this sense, the HGP and ELSI served both as the ends of policy and as instruments of self-legitimation, thus re-inscribing and enacting the structures for these powerful sociotechnical imaginaries. I engage the HGP and ELSI through historical, sociological, and political philosophical analysis, by examining their immediate context of the NIH, the meso level of professional/disciplinary bioethics, and the larger context of American democracy and modernity. My argument is simultaneously a claim about how questions are asked and how knowledge and expertise are made, exposing the relationship between the HGP and ELSI as a mutually constitutive and reciprocally related form of coproduction of knowledge and social structures. I finish by arguing that ELSI is in a better position than bioethics to carry out the original project of that field, i.e., to provide a space to elucidate certain institutionally authorized questions about science and technology. Finally, I venture into making a prophecy about the future of ELSI and bioethics: that the former will replace the latter as a locus for only formally rational and thin ethical debates.

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Date Created
2012

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Empowering apprentice teachers: tracking instructional practices with MyiLOGS

Description

Growing popularity of alternatively certifying teachers has created challenges for teacher preparation programs. Many non-traditional routes into classroom include no full-time mentor teacher. Absence of a mentor teacher in the classroom leaves teachers with a deficit. This study follows ten

Growing popularity of alternatively certifying teachers has created challenges for teacher preparation programs. Many non-traditional routes into classroom include no full-time mentor teacher. Absence of a mentor teacher in the classroom leaves teachers with a deficit. This study follows ten teachers on the intern certificate enrolled in both an alternative certification teacher preparation program and the Teach for America organization as they pursue a master's degree in education and state teaching certification from a large southwestern university. The five randomly chosen for the treatment group and the control group contained 1 male and 4 female teachers, some of whom teach at public schools and others at charter schools. All were secondary education language arts teachers ranging in age from 22- 29. The treatment used in this study is a job-embedded, professional development, software tool designed to help teachers track their classroom practices called MyiLOGS. The purpose of this action research project was to study the effect using MyiLOGS had on six of the nine areas evaluated by a modified version of the Teacher Advancement Program evaluation rubric, alignment with Opportunity To Learn constructs, and the tool's influence on the efficacy of these first year teachers. The data generated from this study indicate that the MyiLOGS tool did have a positive effect on the teachers' TAP evaluation performances. Also, the MyiLOGS tool had a large impact on the teachers' instruction as measured by the constructs of Opportunity to Learn and their teaching self-efficacy. Implications suggested the tool was an asset to these teachers because they tracked their data, became more reflective, and self-sufficient.

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Date Created
2013

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A tree with roots: public administration ethics from case studies to assemblages

Description

This dissertation provides a critical analysis of public administration's understanding of the relationship between rational thought and action in its discourse on ethics. It argues that rationalist ethics assume a particular relationship between thought and action: that good knowledge leads

This dissertation provides a critical analysis of public administration's understanding of the relationship between rational thought and action in its discourse on ethics. It argues that rationalist ethics assume a particular relationship between thought and action: that good knowledge leads to good, proper action. While there have been many critiques of rationalist administrative ethics, scholars have not examined the way in which rationalism persists in the way in which the teaching of ethics is conducted. The use of the case study figures prominently in this. Thus, the dissertation explores the historical and theoretical intersection of rationalism, ethics, and teaching through the lens of the case study. It begins with a history of the pedagogical use of the case study and the institutional transformations of the university. While conventional accounts of the field locate its founding in the United States in the municipal reform movement, here the founding of the field of public administration is recast through connections to reforms in the university including changes in epistemic assumptions, pedagogical methods, and curricular changes in ethics in which the case study is central and remains so as the field develops. The dissertation then considers scholarship in public administration that raises questions about rationalist ethics. Three critical approaches are explored: recognition of the uncertainty and complexity of administrative practice, critique as unmasking of power relationships, and the shift of ethics from an epistemological to an ontological inquiry. The dissertation builds on the work in this third approach and shows how it attempts to articulate a non-rationalist, or immanent, ethics. This ethics is concerned with exploring the conditions that make possible mutually beneficial relationships and meaningful lives from which categorical norms of the good life could emerge. Drawing on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, it is argued that the distinction Deleuze and Guattari make between "arborescent" and "rhizomatic" knowledge gets to the root of the tension between thought and action and offers an innovative and useful way to advance an immanent, non-rational ethics. The challenge digital technologies and the information society present to the field is considered to illustrate the need to rethink administrative ethics and also the particular usefulness of Deleuze and Guattari in doing so. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of pedagogical practices and classroom examples that encourage a rhizomatic understanding of the theory and practice of public administration.

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2013

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An analysis of biochar's appropriateness and strategic action plan for its adoption and diffusion in a high poverty context: the case of central haiti

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Haiti has witnessed high deforestation rates in recent decades, caused largely by the fuel needs of a growing population. The resulting soil loss is estimated to have contributed towards a decline in agricultural productivity of 0.5% -1.2% per year since

Haiti has witnessed high deforestation rates in recent decades, caused largely by the fuel needs of a growing population. The resulting soil loss is estimated to have contributed towards a decline in agricultural productivity of 0.5% -1.2% per year since 1997. Recent studies show the potential of biochar use through pyrolysis technology to increase crop yields and improve soil health. However, the appropriateness of this technology in the context of Haiti remains unexplored. The three objectives of this research were to identify agricultural- and fuel-use-related needs and gaps in rural Haitian communities; determine the appropriateness of biochar pyrolyzer technology, used to convert agricultural biomass into a carbon-rich charcoal; and develop an action-oriented plan for use by development organizations, communities, and governmental institutions to increase the likelihood of adoption. Data were collected using participatory rural appraisal techniques involving 30 individual interviews and three focus-group discussions in the villages of Cinquantin and La Boule in the La Coupe region of central Haiti. Topics discussed include agricultural practices and assets, fuel use and needs, technology use and adoption, and social management practices. The Sustainable Livelihoods framework was used to examine the assets of households and the livelihood strategies being employed. Individual and focus group interviews were analyzed to identify specific needs and gaps. E.M. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations theory was used to develop potential strategies for the introduction of pyrolysis technology. Preliminary results indicate biochar pyrolysis has potential to address agricultural and fuel needs in rural Haiti. Probable early adopters of biochar technology include households that have adopted new agricultural techniques in the past, and those with livestock. Education about biochar, and a variety of pyrolysis technology options from which villagers may select, are important factors in successful adoption of biochar use. A grain mill as an example in one of the study villages provides a model of ownership and use of pyrolysis technology that may increase its likelihood of successful adoption. Additionally, women represent a group that may be well suited to control a new local biochar enterprise, potentially benefiting the community.

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Date Created
2011

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In their shoes: impact of emotions on marital satisfaction, communication, and technology in spouses of deployed military

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Separation from a loved one is a highly stressful event. The range and intensity of emotions accompanying such a separation arguably are amplified when one's spouse deploys. This thesis examines at-home spouses (AHSs) of deployed military and how emotion, marital

Separation from a loved one is a highly stressful event. The range and intensity of emotions accompanying such a separation arguably are amplified when one's spouse deploys. This thesis examines at-home spouses (AHSs) of deployed military and how emotion, marital satisfaction, and communication are impacted throughout the deployment cycle. Additionally, I explore technology as a possible coping mechanism to help AHSs adapt and overcome stressfulness of deployment. One hundred sixty-six married females with a partner currently deployed, anticipating deployment, or recently returned from deployment completed an on-line survey. It was predicted AHSs would experience specific emotions during each phase, categorized as "anticipatory," (e.g., anger, worry) "absence" (e.g., lonely, sad) or "post" (e.g., happiness, relief); marital satisfaction also was predicted to be higher among spouses whose partner recently returned from deployment versus was deployed or anticipating deployment. Data showed AHSs whose partner was anticipating or currently deployed reported more "anticipatory" and "absence" emotions than AHSs with a recently returned partner. The former two groups did not differ in these emotions. AHSs with a recently returned partner reported more "post" emotions than the other two groups. Marital satisfaction did not differ based on deployment status. It was also predicted that among AHSs with a currently deployed partner, less negative emotion upon deployment would be associated with more frequent communication during deployment. Data showed AHSs who reported less negative emotion upon deployment engaged in more frequent communication with their deployed partner. Lastly, I predicted AHSs whose partners are currently deployed and who prefer modes of communication allowing direct contact (e.g., Skype) will experience less negative emotions than AHSs who prefer indirect contact (e.g., e-mail). Data showed reports of negative emotion did not differ based on preference for direct versus indirect communication. Therefore, negative emotions may develop and persist before and during deployment, but when the partner returns home, spouses do experience a rebound of positive emotions. Additionally, emotions at the time of deployment may be useful in predicting spouses' communication frequency during deployment. Findings aim to provide knowledge of family life during separation and explore technology as a possible coping mechanism for AHSs.

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Date Created
2011