Liberal Education Today
Gears must be downloaded and installed, although it comes preinstalled with Chrome, Google's browser, as Slate points out.
This provocative post argues that there is such a thing as "the real-time Web," and that Google isn't connecting with it. The real-time Web refers to very fast platforms and services, which facilitate rapid conversations - asynchronously, but quick. The major examples is Twitter, but it's easy to see other microblogging tools this away, along with some uses of Facebook. The importance of this was underscored by the Hudson River plane crash-landing; the first mention was probably a Twitter tweet.
(via Ton Zylstra)
A new game for mobile devices offers an interesting example of the uses of computer gaming. Jetset lets players explore the airport environment as a simulation game... and as satire.
In other words, this iPhone game works as satirical art, mocking modern security. At the same time it functions as a game, with rules, levels, and winnings.
Jetset is published by Persuasive Games, founded by a leading gaming studies academic.
Stories about a Google Web-based hard drive have bubbled up this month. For example, this Guardian article sketches what a "G-drive" could look like, casting it as a challenge to laptop or desktop storage.
(more links via Helen Barrett)
Blackboard, the leading course management system in United States higher education, launched version 9.0 this week. According to Inside Higher Ed, this new edition is "more open and flexible... [and] feature[s] expanded Web 2.0 and “social learning” tools". This means, among other things, that: the CMS look and feel changes; Blackboard's antiplagiarism software is more closely integrated; connections to open source CMSes are available; integrated blog and wiki tools; changes to the notification system.
More about campus implementation:
While Blackboard prices change from year to year, a spokesman said that the new release has no bearing on the price structure. Colleges holding Blackboard licenses can upgrade to the 9.0 version at no extra cost; Finnefrock said she expects many institutions will pilot the new version this spring and summer and fully launch it come fall.
Various versions of 9.0 elements have been beta-tested on campuses over the past year.
This Campus Technology article explores using several different campus uses of Web 2.0 technologies for student retention and recruitment.
Want to play mini golf in Miller Library? Or flashlight tag? Or chess, or card games, or Mario Kart? Or maybe your own favorite board game? Come to Miller Library on Friday, January 16 from 7 to 10pm and join in the fun!
We'll have food and games for you to enjoy, or you can bring your own favorite board or card game to share.
The academic library world continues to explore intersections with gaming.
(thanks to Sara Prahl!)
How can we use semantic Web technologies for teaching and learning? Such was the subject of a London meeting this month, led by the SemTech group.
The group found that, at present, "there is most activity around information collection, publishing and data gathering." Moreover, semantic Web adoption was blocked by a lack of available case studies, campus silo issues ("institutions suffer from having numerous data empires who don’t see the need to communicate with each other"), interoperability quality, and a lack of clarity on the value such Web 3.0 technologies can add to education.
A new social bookmarking, Web 2.0 service has appeared, aimed at education. Brainify lets users aggregate and share bookmarks, like other such platforms (del.icio.us, Furl, H2O, Scholar.com, etc.). A key difference is that Brainify users are restricted to those affiliated with an academic institution.
(sample search for "learning")
Some critics argue that Brainify's appeal is limited, even to academics, by the .edu restriction.
A Wheaton College curricular technologist reports on a recent talk about the OAI-ORE (Open Archives Initiative's Object Reuse and Exchange) project. This is a complex metadata scheme, one designed to track relationships between parts of a larger, aggregate digital object. Rosalyn Metz follows Herbert Van de Sompel's update for early 2009.
Previous Liberal Education Today posts on OAI-ORE are here.
A school or program can set up a group of RSS feeds to expand communication with different audiences. For example, Duke's environmental studies school offers this group of feeds:
Note the diverse mix: one faculty member, blogging as a public intellectual; a student blog; several different program news feeds. Some are for blogs, others are not.
The number of Facebook users grew steadily last year, outpacing the user base of MySpace, according to Comscore.
Facebook now has nearly 100 million more worldwide users than MySpace, which added 4 million new users in December to 125 million total. The page view difference is more dramatic - Facebook had 80 billion monthly page views in December v. 43 billion for MySpace. Just six months ago the sites were about the same size.
ne is more tightly contested, according to this account:
Facebook, still a private company, is the world’s default social network. MySpace is still the king in the U.S., but trends suggest that 2009 is its last year on top. By January 2010, at current relative growth rates, Facebook will overtake MySpace as the largest U.S. social network as well.
Today is the last day to register for "Tablet PCs In and Outside the Classroom: What Difference Do They Make?", an online program via MIV in NITLE's series "Special Topics for Instructional Technologists and their Colleagues". It will be offered online on Friday, February 6, 2009, at 12 noon Eastern time/11 Central time/10 Mountain time/9 Pacific time.
What possibilities does the tablet PC hold for liberal education and the digital enhancement of teaching and learning? Instructional technologists and faculty from DePauw University, Albion College, and Vassar College will explain the basic features of these mobile computers and will provide case studies of tablet PC use in and beyond the classroom. Michael Gough, instructional technologist, DePauw University, will introduce the topic with "Tablet PC 101" and a report on the results of a survey that DePauw conducted of tablet PC use at liberal arts colleges. Andrew French, professor of chemistry and chair of the chemistry department, Albion College, will discuss his use of tablet PCs in the classroom. Meg Stewart, academic computing consultant for GIS, Vassar College, will discuss using tablet PCs outside as mobile devices for mapping and to capture information in the field. Nancy Millichap of NITLE will moderate.
More information, including how to register, can be found here: http://www.nitle.org/www/events/852.
Mapping for Sustainability: Call for Proposals deadline fast arriving!
The Call for Proposals deadline is next Friday, January 30, 2009, for "Mapping for Sustainability," a conference for members of participating institutions who use spatial applications to understand, support, and promote sustainability on the campus and beyond. This event will be held at the University of Redlands (Redlands, CA), April 23-25, 2009.
The registration deadline is February 27, 2009.
Important themes for sustainability and mapping addressed in this conference include: past evidence of human-environmental interaction and outcome, environmental geography of poverty, pollution, and conflict; our carbon foot-print; community outreach through the classroom; and campus practices and sustainability assessment.
We are pleased to announce our invited speakers who will share their expertise with us at this event. They include:
- Dr. Debra Rowe, President, U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development. Debra will offer a live virtual presentation titled,” Education in Action for a Sustainable Future: People, Planet, and Prosperity”. Participants will have opportunity to discuss sustainability with Dr. Rowe as a process relevant to all sectors of the campus environment (curricular and non-curricular), with examples and resources drawn from the liberal arts.
- Dr. Monty Hempel, Hedco Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Center for Environmental Studies at the University of Redlands. Dr. Hempel is currently the interim president of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) and serves on the executive committee of the national Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD). He is a founding board member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
- Hugh Keegan. Manager of the Applications Prototype Lab, ESRI. Mr. Keegan will introduce work from the Applications Prototype Lab with application to sustainability.
- Sean Askay. “KML Evangelist" (i.e., Development Support Engineer), Google Earth Outreach. Sean will offer in insider view of Google Earth’s work to promote social and environmental awareness through mapping. Sean will also lead a roundtable workshop with participants to discuss their project ideas for Google Earth and to address related questions to assist them. Sean may also be joined by other members of the Google Earth Outreach team.
A complete description of the program, information on registration, and links to our call for proposals can be found at: http://www.nitle.org/www/events/824-mapping-for-sustainability.
If you have questions about this conference, please contact Sean Connin (email: sean.connin at nitle.org).
A service to search across microblogging services launched this week. Twingly supports federated search for:
Twitter, Jaiku, Identi.ca, Pownce (which is sadly closed but we still have a lot of data indexed so we keeped it) and even some local microblogging platforms like the Swedish Bloggy and the German Bleeper.
(via Ton Zylstra)
Two sessions on web 2.0 storytelling are being held at the ELI conference today.
Session content and materials can be found starting from this wiki page.
The latest Horizon Report on emerging technologies for teaching and learning has been released by the New Media Consortium (NMC) at this month's Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) conference. Major trends identified include mobile and cloud computing; geographically-focused applications and the personal web; semantic applications and smart objects.
- Google Video: no more uploads.
- Google Notebook: no more development.
- Google Catalog Search: closed.
- Dodgeball: closed.
- Mashup Editor: closed.
- Jaiku: open sourced.
This is a significant development for cloud computing in general, and Google as service in particular.
(thanks to Victoria Stawiarski)