Liberal Education Today
There are three areas for proposals:
The Repositories User Community Meeting, the Sakai User Community Meeting, and the Moodle User Community Meeting are open and will close next Friday, February 27th.
Tomorrow is the deadline to register for next week's emerging technologies MIV session update.
From the Web description:
Participants in this MIV program will gain an opportunity to survey the very latest emerging technologies with an eye to their impact on and implications for liberal education. Bryan Alexander will provide an environmental scan of the past month, sketching out developments from across the digital world: platforms and hardware, standards and big players, policies and controversies. He will also present cases of technologies used on campus and applicable examples from outside higher education. Each instance of this series will follow a similar format (survey/environmental scan, showcase of examples, resource-sharing, discussion).
Topics for the March 4 session will include these:
* mobile devices
* semantic web, going forward in 2009
* browser tidbits
* glimpse of NITLE's social media study
* Horizon Report
* some Web 2.0 tidbits: Facebook vs. Twitter, podcasting growth, new Blackboard
* latest from the NITLE prediction markets
* some campus-based projects from participating institutions
On the series:
If you have questions regarding this series, or if you would like to contribute your observations about developments in the environment for inclusion in the program, please contact Nancy Millichap.
An American couple lost a lawsuit against Google about Google Maps' Streetview service. The Borings had alleged that their privacy had been compromised by Streetview's photography, and that their home value had suffered from those depictions. The court found no proveable harm or cause.
Google will remove images upon request, sometimes. The company also argued that privacy itself has changed:
However, Google claims to be legally allowed to photograph on private roads, arguing that privacy no longer exists in this age of satellite and aerial imagery.
"Today's satellite-image technology means that...complete privacy does not exist," Google said in its response to the Borings' complaint.
Some have noted similarities to the 2007 Beacon controversy, where Facebook announced a new service, then retreated under a storm of social media criticism.
How can academic libraries improve their portals? Perhaps the solution is to give them up, argues a Temple librarian, and build something different. If users are already bypassing library portals and getting content from other sources, Stephen Bell thinks that libraries "must promote their human side" instead:
devot[ing] the most eye-catching space to information that promotes the people who work at the library, the services they provide and the community activities that anchor the library’s place as the social, cultural and intellectual center of campus. That shifts the focus from content to service and from information to people.
Bell also recommends inserting library content within course management systems (CMSes).
Bell maintains a blog, The Kept-Up Academic Librarian.
A controversy has broken out this week over a legal change in Facebook. The popular social networking site altered its terms of service (TOS) to extend ownership over user-contributed content after users withdraw from Facebook. Facebook claims the right to alter its TOS at any time.
Facebook's founder issued a statement defending the changes. Mark Zuckerberg argued that Facebook has no interest in abusing user content, but needs to maintain ex-users' content and licenses in order to maintain current users' copies of those materials.
Overall, Zuckerberg opined:
Our philosophy is that people own their information and control who they share it with... we wouldn't share your information in a way you wouldn't want.
Naturally enough, several Facebook groups have formed to protest the Facebook change. Consumerist lists three so far:
"People Against the new Terms of Service (TOS)"
"FACEBOOK OWNS YOU: Protest the New Changes to the TOS!"
"Those against Facebook's new TOS!"
A New York Times article reflects:
The online exchanges reflected the uneasy and evolving balance between sharing information and retaining control over that information on the Internet.
Facebook hit another milestone, by reaching 175 active users, according to a microblogging Facebook engineer:
“Today we gave our 175,000,000th user the power to share and be more open and connected through Facebook. Awesome.”
Facebook reached 150 million just more than two months after reaching 120 million and about four months after reaching 100 million.
While Facebook got its start at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in 2004, most of this recent growth is coming from outside the U.S.
Travelers' standby Mapquest is nearly tied with Google Maps for popularity, according to Hitwise. The Web-based travel map contest is getting intense:
MapQuest receives most of its search traffic from searches for its brand name - in other words from people actively searching for MapQuest.
A recent New York Times article explores how Google decides to end projects, and offers some interesting details about that company's project management system.
For example, this set of criteria might seem familiar to project managers outside of Google:
They were not especially popular with customers; they had difficulty attracting Google employees to develop them; they didn’t solve a big enough problem; or they failed to achieve internal performance targets known as “objectives and key results.”
is essentially a cellphone-friendly interface to several existing Web-based campus services. With a few taps, users can read their campus e-mail, see which laundry machines are available, or check when the next shuttle bus will arrive using their iPhone or iPod Touch. The application is free, but it requires a Georgia Tech account to access the services.
A Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts recently launched. This project, based in the University of California, Los Angeles' Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, offers nearly one thousand objects, and is adding more.
(example: Origen, "Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans", Switzerland, St Gallen, Abbey of St Gallen, MS 88)
Faculty members Matthew Fisher and Christopher Baswell used CMRS and a California state humanities grant to support the site.
(via The Cranky Professor)
One liberal arts campus library has put itself on Facebook, for very classical reasons. The Burke Library (Hamilton College) has established a profile in order to let patrons:
find out more about library hours, events, and services. Now you can ask a librarian a question from Facebook. Just click on the "Ask a Librarian" box during the hours listed and you can chat online with a librarian.
One Twitter-based assignment comes from a University of San Francisco class. The tasks are broken down into detail, and involve both studying and using social media.
AMST0277 (Spring 2009, Middlebury College) is a seminar on The Wire, and a blog is the class's communication platform. The professor posts notes and prompts for each session, and class discussion can follow in the form of comments. For example, this post on the program's opening episode.
Blog participation is structured thusly:
Since much of the in-class time will be spent viewing The Wire collectively, students are expected to extend their discussion outside of class onto this blog. Students are expected to make at least 2 postings of significance per week - these can be detailed comments on another posting, including discussion questions posted by the professor, or original posts on a topic of your choosing. The goal is not to quantify participation, so students who contribute to the blog in a variety of ways will be considered active, while students who do not participate regularly or with substance will be penalized.
American campuses should use digital tools to further disseminate faculty research, argues a joint statement from a group of academic organizations. "The University’s Role in the Dissemination of Research and Scholarship — A Call to Action" (pdf) comes from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC).
Two key points: higher education should use technology to share scholarship more widely. That includes born-digital and new, digitally-enabled forms of research:
As new kinds of digital products emerge from the conduct of scholarship, universities must act to ensure that they become broadly available and that some basic dissemination rights remain within the academy.
• To ensure the academy’s ability to make its products accessible, it must employ existing infrastructure and continue to invest where needed in technological, organizational, and policy strategies to build capability within the academy to disseminate its work
The group's statement is a call for campus action and leadership:
Where the academy has relinquished the ability to manage its intellectual capital to best serve its needs and priorities, it should act to regain this capability...
[U]niversities must retain the ability to ensure broad distribution of research and scholarship...
Primary Recommendation: Campuses should initiate discussions involving administration and faculty about modifying current practices and/or its intellectual property policies such that the university retains a set of rights sufficient to ensure that broad dissemination of the research and scholarly work produced by its faculty occurs.
[emphasis in original]
Copyright is an issue:
[U]niversities [need] to have the ability to make appropriate decisions
about access to content and the uses to be made of it. They must acquire and maintain the rights necessary to make scholarly content as usable and broadly accessible as possible. Particularly for content that is not formally published, universities need appropriate limited rights.
"Videogames are in most cases not dangerous and can even contribute to the development of important skills," said Toine Manders, the Dutch liberal lawmaker who drafted the report.
"(They stimulate) learning of facts and skills such as strategic reflection, creativity, cooperation and a sense of innovation," a news release on the report said.
Moreover, as is well known in gaming studies,
It further challenged received wisdom that such games were chiefly for children, quoting statistics that showed the average age of the European gamer was 33.
(thanks to Ceredwyn Alexander and David Brake!)
A California campus is exploring how to use Web 2.0 for fundraising. The University of California, Davis's Web editor for university communications has started a fellowship to explore "us[ing] social media to generate philanthropy for the school."
"We're using those pages to promote UC Davis to the demographic that use those media," [Mitchel Benson, interim assistant vice chancellor for university communications] said, "but we haven't taken the next step to use these sites for fundraising or development."
The opportunity is ripe, he said, because social media are becoming more popular among older people and universities are strapped for funds.
(via Jay Collier via Twitter)