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)
Eleven percent of Americans recently used Twitter or similar microblogging service, according to a new Pew study.
This number has been growing:
As of December 2008, 11% of online American adults said they used a service like Twitter or another service that allowed them to share updates about themselves or to see the updates of others. Just a few weeks earlier, in November 2008, 9% of internet users used Twitter or updated their status online and in May of 2008, 6% of internet users responded yes to a slightly different question...
The number varies by age:
Nearly one in five (19%) online adults ages 18 to 24 have ever used Twitter and its ilk, as have 20% of online adults 25 to 34. Use of these services drops off steadily after age 35 with 10% of 35 to 44 year olds and 5% of 45 to 54 year olds using Twitter. The decline is even more stark among older internet users; 4% of 55-64 year olds and 2% of those 65 and older use Twitter.
Current subscribers will continue to have access to some audio, but not all, according to TechCrunch:
We’re told that music that has not passed its “renew date” still works, but that music that has expired will no longer work because the DRM licensing server has apparently shut down.
Why did Ruckus fail? TechCrunch suggests problems with its owning company. The Chronicle thinks it never engaged students, due largely to mobile device restrictions.
A second edition of the Kindle e-book reader was launched by Amazon this week. Version 2 resembles version 1 in many ways, with modifications to button size, battery life, the scroll bar, and other features. The device is also thinner than its predecessor.
One site has come up with a list of the ten leading Twitter clients. These are tools used to read and/or post Twitter content, a/k/a "tweets".
1 Web - 29.57%
2 TweetDeck - 10.58%
3 Twitterfeed - 5.54%
4 Twhirl - 4.92 %
5 Twitterrific - 3.79 %
6 Tweetie - 3.65%
7 Text - 3.40 %
8 Mobile web 3.00 %
9 TwitterFon - 2.96 %
10 TwitPic - 2.94 %
Notice that no one app dominates the pack, and that the leading service is the plain old Web browser.
A Web service designed to increase Web surfing serendipity hit a major milestone this week. Stumbleupon now has more than 7 million users, according to a new report. The service lets users semi-randomly discover new sites. Registered users can train their copy of Stumbleupon by approving or disapproving types of Web content.
Amazon is making some e-books sold through its Kindle store available to be read on some smartphone platforms, according to the New York Times.
The company, which is expected to unveil a new version of the Kindle next week, did not say when Kindle titles would be available on mobile phones.
“We are excited to make Kindle books available on a range of mobile phones,” said Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon. “We are working on that now.”
Twitter was used by a United States Representative to leak a security secret.
Before the delegation left Washington, they were advised to keep the trip to themselves for security reasons. A few media outlets, including Congressional Quarterly, learned about it, but agreed not to disclose anything until the delegation had left Iraq.
“Just landed in Baghdad,” messaged [ Rep. Peter Hoekstra , R-Mich], a former chairman of the Intelligence panel and now the ranking member, who is routinely entrusted to keep some of the nation’s most closely guarded secrets...
Not only did Hoekstra reveal the existence of the lawmakers’ trip, but included details about their itinerary in updates posted every few hours on his Twitter page, until he suddenly stopped, for some reason, on Friday morning.
One happy update for the NITLE Camp, coming up this June:
NITLE Information Services Camp has just released information regarding room rates for the NIS Camp at Smith College this summer, June 1-4, 2009.
Room rates at Smith College are $36.14 per person, per night. We have a limited number of rooms available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
NIS Camp is a four-day intensive set of fifteen workshops and meetings on topics critical to managing our information services in higher education efficiently and effectively. More information regarding NIS Camp be seen at http://campnis.blog.nitle.org/. Or contact Christina Richison.
Phones using Google's Android platform, and the iPhone, are the only devices for which this is designed, for now.
If you and other campus leaders are seeking a venue for substantive, high-level collaboration that will help you advance your institution in the midst of economic challenge, we encourage you to register for the NITLE Summit by this Friday, January 30. The Summit will take place March 29 - 30 in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Ed Ayers, President of the University of Richmond, will deliver the keynote address.
At the Summit, participants will have a chance to discuss and develop solutions that are both mission-centered and efficient. In addition to Dr. Ayer's keynote, participants will benefit from sessions such as:
- Envisioning and Planning Trans-Institutional Work in the Age of the Cloud. Robert Kieft (College Librarian, Occidental College) and Michael Roy (Dean of Library and Information Services, Middlebury College) will facilitate a highly interactive, action-oriented session that will use a series of brainstorming and analytical exercises as springboards for next-generation projects.
- Recent Findings on Undergraduates' Approaches to Research: a presentation and discussion of recent research by Ithaka and JSTOR on the needs and activities of undergraduate researchers. Sabrina Manville (Strategic Services Analyst, Ithaka) and Nancy Millichap (Director of Professional Development Programs, NITLE) will lead participants in a discussion of what the findings mean for NITLE participating colleges.
- Job and Expertise Exchanges. Sam Demas (College Librarian, Carleton College) will lead participants in developing plans for a national job and expertise exchange system. Wanted: Brave souls interested in pioneering a new horizon in pro bono expertise exchange, domestic and international. The goal: to identify and develop less expensive and more targeted ways of exchanging expertise across institutions.
- Determining Core and Context: Information Services. Richard A. Holmgren (Executive Director of Learning, Information, and Technology Services and Director of The Learning Commons, Allegheny College) will lead participants in defining what functions are core to information services work at liberal arts colleges vs. those that are "context" and could/should be outsourced. Also on the table: what functions might be more effectively or efficiently addressed by a collaboration of small colleges?
- Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: How To Stop Doing Some Things To Allow Us To Do Other Things in the Library. Katherine Gill, Ph.D. (College Librarian and Associate Dean of Information Services, Whittier College) will report on the Open Learning Environment (OLE) project's effort to rethink library functions and produce an open-source library "system." Jonathan Miller (Director of Libraries, Rollins College) will outline progress on personnel and organizational change in the Olin Library at Rollins. Together, they will facilitate discussion of how libraries, in the shift from print to digital, can contain costs for maintaining the print library and shift needed support to the digital library.
Participants will also have opportunities to share ideas via poster sessions, three-minute presentations, and panel presentations. In addition, CIOs who participate with the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) will be able to continue discussions begun at the Summit at CLIR's annual meeting of CIOs at Liberal Arts Colleges, which will take place on Tuesday, March 31, also in Philadelphia.
If your institution wishes to register a team of three for the Summit and that team also presents a poster, NITLE will cover the 5-program-unit registration fee for the third team member. To take advantage of this team discount, please e-mail participate at nitle.org with the names, job titles, and e-mail addresses of your institution's Summit participants. The title of the team's poster and a descriptive sketch of its content (50 words or fewer) should also be submitted with the registration e-mail. Posters can present projects and initiatives at any stage, of any scope, and with any focus related to using technology to promote the learning mission. (Individuals and teams of two may be registered online or via e-mail.)
One academic CIO explains why he blogs. Lev Gonick (Case Western) offers three main reasons for his practice: communication, outreach, and opinion.
Underwater images and information appear in the latest version of Google Earth, released today. Google Earth 5.0 contains an undersea layer, which includes objects from several oceanographic organizations and academic units.
Upon first joining Twitter, I posted updates that were simple lifestreaming. Tweets consisted of mundane updates that everyone experiences thus my account was pretty boring. Don’t be boring.
Everyone starts their day off with coffee. Don’t tweet that you’re having coffee.
The Internet Explorer Web browser is used by a smaller proportion of people than before, continuing a decline, according to a new report. Net Applications finds that one open source browser is winning more audience:
Internet Explorer now has 67.55 percent of global browser market share, a drop of over seven percentage points in a year... Mozilla's Firefox browser, meanwhile, has gained market share in the same time frame, climbing over three percentage points to 21.53 percent.
Other browsers continue to be in play:
Apple's Safari browser now stands at 8.29 percent, up from 7.13 percent in November, when IE dipped. Safari has gained share more quickly than Firefox in that period: Mozilla's browser accounted for 20.78 percent of browser use three months ago, and now has 21.53 percent.
Google's Chrome browser, launched in September 2008, now has 1.12 percent of the market, having overtaken Opera in November. Opera's share of the market now stands at 0.7 percent.