(191) | B
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(301) | F
(58) | G
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(113) | I
(249) | J
(23) | K
(6) | L
(189) | M
(143) | N
(31) | O
(90) | P
(145) | Q
(1) | R
(74) | S
(334) | T
(402) | U
(5) | V
(45) | W
(72) | Y
(1) | Z
A simple statement about the numbers of students studying abroad led Jeff Howarth, a geography professor at Middlebury College, to design an innovative cartography assignment: how to represent that data visually on a map. This project-based approach to learning lets students put their theoretical learning into practice and explore the creative side of problem solving.
How do you help students visualize the what a landscape looked like over 13,000 years ago? Biology professor Chris Fastie found some help using Google Earth and simple animation tools. With these tools, Fastie's students can better recognize the landforms of the past in the shape of the landscape today.
, a Web-based map and data sorting application, parents in the metropolitan Hartford, CT region can navigate a myriad of school choices for their children. Developed through collaborative work between Jack Dougherty, a professor at Trinity College, students enrolled Dougherty's course, and a local community partner, the site illustrates the power of community-connected teaching and learning.
Brian Croxall reflects on the semester's adventures using the wiki, twitter, wave, google docs and zotero in his classes.
To facilitate real time language exchange with native speakers, language technologist Todd Bryant and Japanese instructor Akiko Meguro developed the Mixxer. What began as a simple project connecting American college students with native Japanese speakers is now a significant conversational network with more than 40,000 users. Bryant explains how his project grew and how tools like Drupal and Skype made it possible.
Does simulated reality help students think more deeply about their work? That's the question at the center of a fascinating experiment by Jack Green Musselman, who teaches philosophy. Working with technologist Jason Rosenblum, he has created Plato's Cave in Second Life. In addition to the classroom discussion of the allegory, some students in his ethics course will also participate in the Second Life experience. Will this virtual experience generate deeper understanding of the text?
Registration is now open for NERCOMP's upcoming workshop:
"Leading from the Front Lines: Piloting, Planning, Promoting, Partnering and
Predicting Technology Across the Curriculum." For a full schedule
and registration information, please go to: http://www.nercomp.org/events/event_single.aspx?id=5969
The third-annual Digital Media and Learning Competition will award $2
million in support of participatory learning experiences that incorporate
STEM principles. The competition launches Dec. 14 and winners will be
announced in spring 2010.
For more information about the competition, visit dmlcompetition.net
The Visual Resources Association (VRA) has just released a White Paper on the management and use of image resources: Advocating for Visual Resources Management in Educational and Cultural Institutions.
paper encourages "holistic thinking" about meeting institutional and
individual image user needs in educational/cultural institutions. It
identifies six strategic areas for future planning: multiple image
sources; integrating personal and institutional collections; social
computing and collaborative projects; life-cycle continuum of image
assets and their description; rights and copyright compliance; and
Ben Terris interviews Jason B. Jones, a professor at Central
Connecticut State University, and George H. Williams, an assistant
professor, who together have launched a new group blog, Profhacker
Doesn't the title say it all? In this week's Chronicle, Jeffrey R. Young discusses a new movement
underway to "teach naked," that is, a call to give up the Powerpoint.
Michael Coventry and
Matthias Oppermann draw on their work with student-produced digital
stories to explore how the protocols surrounding particular new media
technologies shape the ways we think about, practice, and represent
work in the scholarship of teaching and learning. The authors
describe the Digital Storytelling Multimedia Archive, an innovative
grid they designed to represent their findings, after considering how
the technology of delivery could impact practice and interpretation.
This project represents an intriguing synthesis of digital humanities
and the scholarship of teaching and learning, raising important
questions about the possibilities for analyzing and representing
student learning in Web 2.0 environments.
Registration is open for NERCOMP's April 16th workshop "Multimedia Project Support for Faculty and
Students." With multimedia on the rise in the classroom, find out what campuses need in facilities, instruction, software and support. For more information, see http://www.nercomp.org/events/event_single.aspx?id=1768
Blended learning (also known as hybrid learning) is often
described as the “best of both worlds” because it combines the affordances of
both face-to-face and online learning. Good blended courses don’t just
happen by default--many factors contribute to the success or limitations of
fledgling blended courses and programs. Find out more at this April 16th
Viet Thanh Nguyen reflects on a three-year
experiment in assigning multimedia projects in courses designed around
the question “How do
we tell stories about America?” Determined to integrate multimedia
conceptually into his courses, rather than tacking it onto existing
syllabi, Nguyen views multimedia as primarily a pedagogical strategy
and secondarily a set of tools. Exploring challenges and opportunities
for both students and teachers in using multimedia, he outlines principles
for teaching with multimedia, and concludes that, while not for everyone,
multimedia can potentially create a transformative learning experience.
Jon Orech offers suggestions and resources for use of wikis in the classroom.
Does multimedia scholarship
add academic value to a liberal arts education? How do we know? Looking
back at the history of the Honors Program in Multimedia Scholarship
at USC, Mark Kann draws on his own teaching experience, discussions
with other faculty members, and the university’s curriculum review
process to explore these questions. He describes the process of developing
the program’s academic objectives and assessment criteria, and the
challenges of gathering evidence for his intuitions about the effects
of multimedia scholarship. Finally, Kann reports on the program’s
first student cohort and looks ahead to the future of multimedia at
Effective habits of research begin early and should be
practiced often. Unearthing discoveries, making connections, and
evaluating judiciously are research traits valued by Taimi Olsen in her
first-year composition course. Not only should these research habits
exist in the library, but Olsen advocates the application of these
habits in online archives hones students' abilities to become expert
Many teachers wonder what happens (or doesn't happen) when students
read text. What knowledge do students need, gain, or seek when
reading? Through VKP's early emphasis on technology experimentation,
Sharona Levy adapted a proven reading method of annotation from paper
to computer. Through using the comment feature in Word, students'
reading processes became more transparent, explicit, and traceable,
allowing her to diagnose gaps in understanding and to encourage
effective reading strategies.
Traditionally, academic institutions have segregated
multimedia production from disciplinary study. Bernie Cook wondered
what his American Studies students would learn from working
collaboratively to produce documentary films based on primary sources,
and what he in turn might find out about their learning in the process.
Students created documentary films on local history, and wrote
reflections on their creative and critical process. Not only did
students report tremendous engagement with the topics and sources for
their projects, they also indicated satisfaction at being able to
screen their work for an audience. By allowing his students to become
producers of content, Cook enables them to participate fully in the
intellectual work of American Studies and Film Studies.
This is a portrait of the new shape of learning with digital media, drawn around three core concepts: adaptive expertise, embodied learning, and socially situated pedagogies. These findings emerge from the classroom case studies of the Visible Knowledge Project, a six-year project engaging almost 70 faculty from 21 different institutions across higher education. Examining the scholarly work of VKP faculty across practices and technologies, it highlights key conceptual findings and their implications for pedagogical design. Where any single classroom case study yields a snapshot of practice and insight, collectively these studies present a framework that bridges from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 technologies, building on many dimensions of learning that have previously been undervalued if not invisible in higher education.
What endures about the work from the Visible Knowledge Project are the
insights about teaching and learning that bridge from Web 1.0
technologies to Web 2.0. These insights emerged from the work in VKP by
looking across practices and beyond specific technologies and sometimes
the technology itself. These insights include findings that are
conceptual and bear on pedagogical designs. Where any one of the
classroom case studies yields a snapshot of practice and insight,
collectively these studies present a picture of new learning, building
on many dimensions of learning that have previously been invisible or
undervalued in higher education. (Part II of III)
What endures about the work from the Visible Knowledge Project (VKP)
are the insights about teaching and learning that bridge from Web 1.0
technologies to Web 2.0. These insights emerged from the work in VKP by
looking across practices and beyond specific technologies and sometimes
the technology itself. These insights include findings that are
conceptual and bear on pedagogical designs. Where any single classroom
case study yields a snapshot of practice and insight, collectively
these studies present a picture of new learning, building on many
dimensions of learning that have previously been invisible or
undervalued in higher education. (Part III of III)
“This is a social revolution, not a technological one,” says Michael Wesch, “and its most revolutionary aspect may be the ways in which it empowers us to rethink education and the teacher-student relationship in an almost limitless variety of ways.” Looking at higher education as a whole, as well as his own teaching, Michael Wesch argues that we have had our "why's," "what's" and "how's" of teaching and learning turned upside down, and that the most compelling consequence of this moment is that it has sent us into a new "question-asking, bias-busting, assumption-exposing environment."
How can we teach students to slow down their reading process and move beyond
surface-level comprehension? Patricia O’Connor’s Appalachian Literature
students co-constructed hypertexts which capture the connections
readers make among assigned texts, reference documents, and multimedia
sources. These hypertexts became more than artifacts of student work;
rather, they became collaborative, exploratory spaces where implicit literary associations become explicit.
What happens when the discussion board goes from being just an
assignment to a springboard for intellectual community? Foreseeing many benefits to
cultivating discussion among his English students, Ed Gallagher worked
to develop frameworks to articulate why discussion is not only central
to the learning process in the classroom but also beyond its walls. A
higher level of critical analysis, reflection, and a synthesis of
multiple perspectives turned class discussions into artful
In this essay Heidi Elemendorf and John Ottenhoff discuss the central role that intellectual communities
should play in a liberal education and the value of conversation for
our students, and we explore the ways in which web-based conversational
forums can be best designed to fully support these ambitious learning
goals. Coming from very different fields (Biology and English Literature) and in different course contexts (Microbiology course for non-majors and Shakespeare seminar), they nonetheless discover core values and design issues by looking closely at the discourse produced from online discussions. Centrally, they connect what they identify as expert-like behavior to the complexities of intellectual development in conversational contexts.
Confronting the challenge of improving student writing in a large sociology class, Juan José Gutiérrez developed a software-based peer review process. He required students to evaluate one another's papers based on specific criteria and to provide constructive feedback. He found that not only did this process help with the logistics of paper-grading, but it also allowed him to adapt his teaching to address specific concerns indicated by qualitative and quantitative analysis of the peer reviews.
What does it mean for two community college colleagues, teaching in very different disciplines, to work together on a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) project? What happens when they join together to examine their students' work, their individual teaching practice, and the possibilities for collaborative research? And what do they learn when they undertake an electronic publication of that work in a digital gallery?
Registration is now open for NERCOMP's
upcoming workshop: "Pen-based Technologies for Teaching and
is now open for NERCOMP's upcoming workshop: "Teaching Well Using
Technology: A Faculty Member’s Guide to Wise and Time-Efficient Use of
Registration open for NERCOMP workshop: "P(V)odcasting - Digital Media On-Demand"
Get the latest analysis of the impact of Web 2.0 on higher education and see it in action at NERCOMP's Oct. 16th workshop.
Registration is now open for NERCOMP's upcoming workshop "Lecture Capturing."
Registration is now
open for NERCOMP's upcoming workshop: "Big Picture Instructional
Technology: Models for Planning, Piloting, Promoting, and
Wetpaint released a new technology called "Injected" earlier this summer. For those unfamiliar with Wetpaint, they're a free hosting service for wikis. We use them for several class websites because they remove ads for educational sites and the version comparison is very good for collaborative writing.
In this new media age, online games are making their way into the classrooom. But with all those titles out there, how do you know what to use or how to use it? Todd Bryant breaks down the game world for class use and offers a wide range of ideas and resources on finding games that enhace student learning.
Who Owns This Image?
Art, Access, and the Public Domain after Bridgeman v. Corel
Art Law Committee, New York City Bar Association, College Art Association,
ARTstor Creative Commons
Dr. Theodore Feder, President, Art Resource, Artists Rights Society
Christopher Lyon, Executive Editor, Prestel Publishing
William Patry, Senior Copyright Counsel, Google
Hon. Richard A. Posner, United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
Maureen Whalen, Associate General Counsel, J. Paul Getty Trust
Virginia Rutledge, Chair, Art Law Committee, New York City Bar
Faculty are familiar with
teaching in classrooms, but put them in a virtual classroom and they are often
lost and unsure of how to proceed. The planning required to offer a quality
online course is new to many faculty, as well as all of the delivery,
communication, collaboration, assessment, and class management issues they will
encounter. How can we prepare faculty to teach an online course? What are the
obstacles to getting faculty to participate in preparation programs and how can
they be overcome?
One of the advantages of writing about your own workshop is that you can
benefit from participant evaluations. Over seventy-five people attended the
full-day workshop on Instructional Design that I led last October,[1
] and at least twenty seven of those in attendance
had never before enrolled in a NERCOMP event. Over twenty five of these people
drove more than five hours roundtrip to participate. This leads me to believe
that many people feel a compelling need to understand and benefit from instructional
design, so much so that people will step out of their comfort zones and venture,
literally, into new territories.
Not so long ago, the stereotypical computer gamer was a geeky
adolescent male who basked in the glow of a computer screen for days at
a time, living on nothing but junk food and soda. But these days, as I
observe my two daughters, I know that computer-mediated games can be a
healthy pursuit and that they are now central to the lives of many
youth. For example, my 10-year-old spends hours playing online Webkinz
games to earn "cashâ€ so she and her 9 year-old sister can purchase
furniture for the house of their stuffed animals' avatars. The youngest
also desperately covets the Wii, longing for something to do that's
more "active and interestingâ€ than TV.
are teaching me that digital games can be multi-faceted, social,
compelling, and intellectually stimulating worlds. In comparing the
richness of good digital games with the mind-numbing worksheets that my
daughters bring home each day from school, it's apparent that educators
have a great deal to learn from computer games. In early October, 2007,
a group of NERCOMP workshop participants met in Southbridge to do just
Registration is now open for
NERCOMP's upcoming workshop:
"Preparing Faculty to Teach
John Unsworth chaired the ACLS Commission that authored Our Cultural Commonwealth. In a conversation with Kevin Guthrie, he offers his own well-developed definition of cyberinfrastructure, talks about why and how the needs of the humanities should be considered separately, and explains how the report's framework has been useful already in developing new implementation strategies.
This gripping account describes what the process and products of a new cyberscholarship might look like in the age of the Semantic Web, in which cyberinfrastructure’s potential as a "facilitator of a vast social process of meaning making" might be further developed.
Three art historians discuss how their most urgent needs might be addressed by cyberinfrastructure. While they hold themselves responsible for fostering new forms of scholarship as they appear, the bottom line, they agree, is that CI will be useless if it can not revolutionize image access and metadata management, and cannot help us think differently about vision and objects: "what kind of image work is the work that matters most?"
Provost O'Donnell, author of Avatars of the Word, is fascinated by how "institutions full of creative, innovative, iconoclastic people" are paradoxically "bastions of conservatism." Guiding us through the texture of change since the Internet hit 15 years ago, O"Donnell posits that incremental change is perhaps the best we can do until the fundamental instruments of scholarly communication and the academic reward structure change: "until the problem we have to solve is defined persuasively enough that we get enough people interested in solving it."
The director of Skidmore College's Tang Museum proposes a dynamic new relevance for the college museum, whose tasks of addressing students' visual literacy and in more effectively deploying the multisensory exhibition in global curricula could be dramatically facilitated through cyberinfrastructure.
Many themes of this collection are encapsulated within this new facility in an old library at Bates College. Blending a 21st-century codification of Liberal Arts Education, with cyberinfrastructure-ready facilities, the Bates Imaging Center, in Professor Coté’s words, "presents the campus hub for collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, especially those that are computationally intensive, apply visualization techniques, or include graphical or image-based components."
We present here a collection of short profiles, specially written for
Academic Commons, on key service organizations and networks that will
be poised to assist and lead others who are working to bring a rich
cyberinfrastructure into play. Some are older humanities organizations
for which cyberinfrastructure is a totally new environment, others have
been created specifically around the provision of digital resources and
ARTstor is a non-profit organization created with several aims:
1) To aid in the transformation of education in the arts and humanities through the innovative use of digital technology;
2) To achieve economies of scale and reduce costs for the community by providing digital images for teaching and scholarship;
3) To facilitate efficient dissemination of content from a broad range of time periods, cultures and disciplines, making accessible large portions of our cultural record scattered across libraries, museums, archives, galleries and private collections around the world; and
4) To work with the community to find answers to commonly shared problems, including the development of standards and best practices for the creation of useful visual materials.
As of July 2007, 750 colleges, universities, schools and museums have access to ARTstor's evolving library of close to 600,000 images and its accompanying software tools.
ARTstor seeks to play a role in the international network connecting educational institutions with content contributors, ranging from artists (such as the Roy Lichtenstein Estate) and photographers to museums (such as the Getty) and libraries (such as the Harvard College Libraries). In doing so, we work with the community to develop policies around sharing image collections, as well as to develop and enhance harvesting software and schema that promote interoperability (such as the Open Archives Initiative and CDWA-Lite), leading to the aggregation for users of images from disparate sources. We believe the coming years will bring continued expansion of an ever more decentralized environment. ARTstor's role in such an environment will not be that of the single source of image content, but rather that of a value-adding node in this increasingly networked environment. Toward this aim, much of our time has been spent creating or improving upon existing inter-relationships and networks, building bridges across the community and demonstrating both the potential and the challenges of facilitating the use of digital images.
Ithaka promotes innovation in higher education by
helping pioneering initiatives to thrive. Leaders of new not-for-profit
projects, and their funders, must navigate a challenging path from early-stage
funding to long-term viability. At the same time, long-established institutions
are finding that they must fundamentally rethink the way they serve
their constituents in a changing world. Ithaka supports entrepreneurial
leaders in higher education with a range of services.
Our research group works to understand how new technologies are
changing higher education and how colleges and universities can best
manage these changes. Its work is guided by an advisory committee of community leaders, and it is presently
emphasizing three areas of interest:
NITLE is a non-profit initiative focused on advancing learning through the use of digital technology. NITLE's participating institutions represent more than 100 primarily smaller independent colleges and universities in the U.S. and world-wide.
NITLE provides professional development programs and managed information services that strengthen higher education by enabling the collaborative sharing of resources, expertise and effective practices. In addition, using collaborative technologies such as multipoint, interactive videoconferencing and open-source systems for learning and collaboration, participants in NITLE programs and services are able to engage in on-going, peer-to-peer exchange across disciplines, professions, and institutions and to build communities of practice that create and share solutions for learning that are useful and relevant to smaller, teaching-centered colleges and universities.
NITLE's programs--both face-to-face and virtual--engage faculty, instructional technologists and librarians in reflective discussion and hands-on practice focused on good teaching and the appropriate use of technology as well as effective, mission-centered strategies for adopting instructional technologies and enterprise tools on campus. NITLE's services lower institutions' risk in testing and adopting technology systems by aggregating community needs and providing managed services that meet those needs. NITLE services currently provide its participating colleges with access to multipoint, interactive videoconferencing (MIV); open-source learning management systems (Moodle and Sakai); and institutional repository services (DSpace).
In all its activities, NITLE leverages the expertise inherent in its participant community and provides a forum and resources to enable the strategic understanding and effective adoption of digital technologies.
For more information, visit www.nitle.org or subscribe to NITLE's blog, Liberal Education Today.
The Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research
(SEASR) is a software engineering project that is leveraging the latest informatics research to innovate essential technology for a cyberinfrastructure for the humanities. Under the direction of Michael Welge, Loretta Auvil and John Unsworth, the SEASR team is developing software that:
- enhances humanities researchers' ability to use digital humanities applications for knowledge discovery, and
- provides digital humanities developers with an improved environment for advancing and innovating applications.
SEASR's software research and development environment will enable existing applications (e.g., Wordhoard
; Nora; MONK
: Metadata Offer New Knowledge; IMIRSEL
: International Music Information Retrieval Systems Evaluation Laboratory) to more actively, precisely and comprehensively analyze information extracted from large collections in a variety of formats (i.e., digital libraries, databases, archives, mixed media, and even custom data). SEASR offers a range of data synthesis improvements, from focused data retrieval and data integration, to intelligent human-computer interactions for knowledge access, to semantic data enrichment, to entity and relationship discovery, to knowledge discovery and hypothesis generation.
Tim Berners-Lee presented the second annual Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC) yesterday at the Fall Task Force meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI).
$650,000 in prize money went to 10 nonprofits for "leadership in the
collaborative development of open source software tools with
application to scholarship in the arts and humanities."
While more information is available on the CNI site, the winners are as follows:
- American Museum of the Moving Image (Astoria, NY: www.movingimage.us) for the development and release of the OpenCollection museum collection management system (www.opencollection.org) [$100,000].
- Duke University (Durham, NC: www.duke.edu) for leadership and development work on the OpenCroquet open source 3-D virtual worlds environment (www.opencroquet.org)[$100,000].
- Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (Wellington, NZ: www.openpolytechnic.ac.nz) for leadership and development work on several open source projects including the New Zealand Open Source Virtual Learning Environment (http://eduforge.org/projects/nzvle/) [$100,000].
- Georgia Public Library Service of the University System of Georgia (Atlanta, GA: www.georgialibraries.org) for the development and release of the Evergreen open-source library automation system (www.open-ils.org) [$50,000].
- Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT: www.middlebury.edu) for the development and release of the Segue interactive learning management system [$50,000].
- Participatory Culture Foundation (Worcester, MA: www.participatoryculture.org) for the development and release of the open source Miro media player (www.getmiro.com) [$50,000].
- Talboks-och Punkstkriftsbiblioteket (The Swedish Library of Talking Books and Braille: Enskede, Sweden: www.tpb.se) for the development and release of open source tools supporting the Daisy Project for talking books for the visually impaired [$50,000].
- University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana, IL: www.illinois.edu): one award for the development and release of the Firefox Accessibility Extension (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1891) [$50,000]; and one award for the development and release of the OpenEAI enterprise application integration project (www.openEAI.org) [$50,000].
- University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario: www.utoronto.ca) for the development and release of the ATutor learning management system (www.atutor.ca) [$50,000].
focusing on financial aspects of implementing new technology in higher education, this CNNMoney article contains some interesting statistics regarding the relevance of podcasting and "web 2.0" in higher education. In particular, it illustrates the increasing demand for access to "a
next-generation learning environment" from incoming students (something I have personally predicted over the past several years).
We've received this news from Chapel Hill --
The popular bFree
application has been revised to extract far more material from a
Blackboard course archive, and to make your exploration and use of that
The program now extracts Announcements,
Discussion Board entries, archives, and attachments, as well as Digital
Drop Box and group File Exchange uploads. It continues to extract wiki
entries and attachments, Staff Information and attachments, and Content
Area pages, including folders, descriptions, links, and attached files
of all kinds. Tests, Gradebook, Surveys, Assignments, and Pools are
among the content items not yet supported...
The editors of Currents in Electronic Literacy
(an MLA-indexed, peer-reviewed e-journal) seek manuscripts for its
upcoming issue, themed "The Commons." The manuscripsts should address
the role or the relevance of the cultural commons for those working,
teaching, or living in a mediated age.
Dickinson College will be hosting a small conference entitled "Games
and Simulations for Situated Learning in the Liberal Arts Classroom"
You can read the full description here:
conference is open to librarians, technologists and professors from
NITLE institutions. If you're not sure if your school is a member, you
can check their list, http://www.nitle.org/index.php/nitle/about_nitle/colleges
Attendance is free, and we're offering a stipend of $750 to cover travel and lodging expenses as well.
If you're interested, please send an email to Todd Bryant at email@example.com
along with a brief description of how you have used or hope to use
games or simulations at your college. Questions can be sent to the
It's rare as an educational technologist that you find a cutting edge technology whose use is immediately obvious to faculty. Google Sky is the exception. Astronomers will need little convincing after seeing the latest version of Google Earth in action.
Web 2.0 Teaching blog
, Alan A. Lew points out a new mashup
tool from Slideshare
. A Slidecast synchronizes an uploaded PowerPoint presentation with an MP3 audio file (that must live somewhere else on the web). Slidecasts do not incorporate video of the presenterâ€”compare with Zentation
, a web-based mashup that does
include presenter videoâ€”but Slideshare's embeddable results look very slick.
Collaborative web-based tools are gathering sophistication and traction. Digital Library Federation Director Peter Brantley points out
that while Trinity College, Dublin,
has adopted Gmail whole hog, the University of California at Berkeley, in a detailed report
on Web tool offerings by Google
finds that they are generally not quite ready for adoption. The report
suggests though that as the software improves, and as legal and privacy
issues are seriously addressed, it won't be long before many more
individuals and institutions will be collaborating using these online
Most literary scholars know about the fabulous online editions of Blake, Rossetti, and Whitman, but in my experience many people who use these editions regularly don't yet know about Collex, "an open-source collections- and exhibits-builder designed to aid
humanities scholars working in digital collections or within federated
research environments like NINES." NINES is an acronym for Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship; it links together many important 19thC digital editions.
Red vs Blue is getting ready to release their final episode. You can read more about it at Wired.
For those not familiar with Red vs Blue, it's a comical video series created with the video game Halo and released via the internet. The series was the first popular example of what is now known as machinima, the use of video games to create films.
If you're interested in the possibility of using games to have students create content, you can find an infinite number of examples at www.machinima.com. They also have tips and tutorials for the most popular games. Sims may be the easiest. If you're focused on foreign languages, Felix Kronenberg at Pomona has some good examples.
Rome Reborn 1.0 resides at the crossroads of history, archeology, technology
and imagination. You can
project's website or read
short report on its unveiling from CNET News.com where you will learn that
the simulation "shows almost the entire city within the 13-mile-long Aurelian
Walls in 320 A.D., when Rome was the multicultural capital of the Western
world." One of the more provocative tidbits from the project site is the fact
that the creators are hoping to incorporate the work of other scholars who would
"contribute their work as bricks in the larger edifice." If that dream of
collaboration is realized, the virtual city would double as a spatialization of
particular scholarly projects and as a metaphor for the scholarly endeavor at
large. At the same time, as you view the video clips on the project site, you
may be reminded of
Life and find yourself wishing to move about in Rome Reborn as a toga-clad
avatar. The pedagogical (and other) possibilities are staggering.
As a companion piece to a hands-on campus technology expo, a group of us at
Wesleyan recently put together a round-up of various Web 2.0 technologies
including overviews, practical academic applications, references to live
examples, and a few tips on how to get started. You will find our "Web 2.Xpo"
Even if you are already acquainted with most of the content, and even if some of
it is tailored to the Wesleyan environment, it might prove useful as a place to
direct the uninitiated. And you can leave comments.
The results from this somewhat biased study are promising in that it appears that students who utilize educational podcasts feel that they are helpful.
But are recordings of lectures really podcasts?
Many people will be familiar with Muzzy Lane
's game Making History
. This World War II strategy game is designed with certain extra capabilities, such as decision tracking, to make it easier to integrate into the classroom than other commercial games such as Hearts of Iron II
. It seems their game's success along with successful titles from other small publishers such as Peacemaker
and A Force More Powerful
have encouraged Muzzy Lane to focus on current events as their next subject area. Harvard historian Niall Ferguson
will be working with Muzzy Lane to create a new series of video games focusing on modern global conflicts. You can read more about it on Wired
Tessa Jowell, the UK secretary of state for culture, media and sport, has weighed in
on the blogging code of conduct debate from a few weeks back, stating
that she welcomes and supports the initiative. From her article "Civility in 'Ourspace' " on The Guardian's website: "The wonderful, anarchic, creative world of the blogosphere shouldn't
be a licence for abuse, bullying and threats as it has been in some
disturbing cases...There is a need for serious discussion about maintaining civilised
parameters for debate, so that more people - and women and older people
in particular - feel comfortable to participate."
My office is located in the suite of offices that comprises
Academic Affairs. Recently, visitors from our partner institution in
England met with the Vice President, the Deans and Associate Deans, the
Director of International Programs, and the Director of our London
program. No one poked their head in to say hello, no one introduced me
to anyone, and as they all went into the Vice-President's office, they
closed the door behind them. It is obvious to me that the Director of
Distance Learning should be introduced to our foreign partners, but
apparently it is not obvious to anyone else.
know, from talking to colleagues at other institutions, that my
situation is not unique. Much like continuing education at some
institutions, distance learning is seen as a discrete
program that we can develop separately and incrementally, and it is
therefore not integrated into existing structures of shared governance
or planning. For this
reason, I too am seen as separate from the institution as a whole. I
don't think this is intentional--it is simply the result of distance
learning's organic growth. But now that our online programs are more
mature, it is time to provide our students with real institutional
support. It is also time to use distance learning--and instructional
technology more generally--as a tactical tool that can be used to
address institution-wide issues (such as graduation rates and space).
Ben Vershbow from the Institute for the Future of the Book has posted a nifty review/preview of the World Without Oil, the social consciousness-raising ARG (alternate reality game) that recently launched. His posting is interesting both for what it has to say about ARGs and their power as a narrative form, but also for its critique of Second Life. He writes:
"This couldn't be more unlike the whole Second Life phenomenon (which,
as you may have noticed, we've barely covered here). Instead of
building a one-to-one simulacrum of the actual world (yeah yeah, you
can fly, big whoop), this takes the actual world and tilts it â€”
reinterprets it. There's imagination happening here. "
"When you look at knowledge as the central aspect, or the central
product of education today, it would suggest that if knowledge itself
changes significantly or substantially, that we also would need to
consider the framework and the design of the organizations that we use
to create, disseminate, share, evaluate that knowledge."
George Siemens, author of Knowing Knowledge,
Associate Director of Research and Development with the Learning
Technologies Centre at the University of Manitoba, and founder and
President of Complexive Systems Inc., was the keynote speaker at the Ohio Digital Commons for Education Conference in Columbus,
Ohio (March 4-6).
In this address,
Siemens shared some of
his thoughts on knowledge and technology and their implications for
A March 13, 2007 ARTstor press release brings news of an important development in the open access movement:
a new initiative designed to assist scholars with teaching, study, and
the publication of academic works, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will
distribute, free of charge, high-resolution digital images from an
expanding array of works in its renowned collection for use in academic
publications. This new service, which is effective immediately, is
available through ARTstor, a non-profit organization that makes art
images available for educational use..."
Digital Image Interview Series
Henry Art, Biology/Environmental Science, Williams College
Art, the Samuel Fessenden Clarke Professor of Biology at Williams
College, has been a member of the faculty since 1970. He has taught
courses in environmental studies, field botany, ecology and land use
planning, through the biology department and the environmental studies
program. His research includes long-term ecological studies of the
Hopkins Memorial Forest. Innovative use of images has been key to both
his teaching and research. In this interview, he is joined by Jonathan
Leamon, a member of Williams's Office for Instructional Technology.
Academic Commons: How have you used images in your teaching and how has digital technology come into play?
Images are key to the way I teach. For example, I've been teaching a
new course on the natural history of the Berkshires. We've set up a
website on the Williams CONTENTdm server with maps, video and images of
various physical sites that are used in the course, and we've now made
this available to the public:
Registration is now open for the Electronic Literature Organization
and Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities' Thursday, May
3rd public symposium at the University of Maryland, College Park on The
Future of Electronic Literature:
Date: Thursday, May 3, 2007
Location: University of Maryland, College Park
Symposium URL: http://www.mith2.umd.edu/elo2007/index.php
symposium is co-sponsored by the University Libraries, Department of
English, and Human-Computer Interaction Lab at Maryland.
Podcasting is not just about the one-to-many delivery of lecture material; it also allows professors to reconfigure the use of class time in ways that enhance the intimate learning environment that is the hallmark of the small liberal arts college. Laura Blankenship describes the experiences of three Bryn Mawr professors in the sciences who began using podcasting last year.
Aaron Prevots was looking to incorporate music more in his French language, literature and culture classrooms, and beyond that, to create a dynamic, collaborative space online in which to share this music and exchange information, articles and music-related pedagogy with others. The result: a multimedia educational Web site featuring music-related articles, streaming MP3's of primarily public domain material and annotated, downloadable lyrics.
Despite claims that "the learning object is dead," learning object repositories continue to grow. But how do we measure the success of a learning object? Diane Goldsmith provides her own clear and comprehensive "assessment" of the problem.
Digital Image Interview Series
Hank Glassman, Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies, Haverford College
Glassman teaches Buddhism, Religion and Gender, East Asian Religions,
Japanese Literature, Language, and History. Images have become
increasingly important in his teaching on Japanese language, history,
and culture and in his research on Japanese religions in the medieval
period. He constantly struggles with how best to display images in his
classes and how to help students engage them as texts.
Academic Commons: Tell me a little about your ambitions for using digital images and what the transition has been like.
Glassman: First, I've been at Haverford for six years and I
have to say that for three of those years it was very much a struggle
to bring digital images into the classroom. I was very dissatisfied
with the options-software, hardware, and support; it was very difficult
to get material scanned at the resolutions I requested and there was a
real absence of a support system or of specialists able to manage
digital images. But then everything changed and now I cannot complain.
First we had MDID and now we're moving to ARTstor and we have a
terrific level of support. I'm very pleased by the direction everything
OPML Workstation provides OPML creation, editing, hosting and distribution services, free of charge. OPML, for those not in the know, is a free-form, highly versatile markup language aimed at creating hierarchical outlines including multiple kinds of resources (nodes may include text, links, HTML, RSS feeds, rich media, or other XML). Here's my working example.
This site is intended to help students, collectors and researchers to better understand the Ukiyo-e technique. Photographs and video clips show demonstrations of the techniques by master printmaker Keiji Shinohara. These demonstrations are accompanied by traditional prints from the Davison Art Center collection at Wesleyan University, and contemporary prints by Keiji Shinohara.With its impressive depth of information, captivating visuals and easy navigation, the Ukiyo-E Techniques website highlights the level of collaboration that is required to produce these sorts of materials.
Digital Image Interview Series (November 2006)
Ann C. Burke, Associate Professor of Biology, Wesleyan University
Ann Burke teaches evolutionary and developmental biology at Wesleyan
University. Her image-intensive classes now also use animations and she
looks forward to using 3-D images in the near-future. In 2005, she
developed, with the Wesleyan University Learning Object Studio, an
animation of the Body Wall Formation of the Chick Embryo, which has
provided a useful link between her teaching and research.
Academic Commons: What would you say the chief impact has been in using digital images?
Because what I teach (anatomy, embryology, evolution) is extremely
visual, I have always used a lot of images. Searching for images on the
web, mostly using Google Images, really has changed things for me.
Things that I wouldn't have done before because it was too much work,
like digging out the exact picture I thought I wanted from the library
but then might not use, is now no problem. Literally you can sit and
Google just about anything you want and come up with an image and
import it into PowerPoint and that's a tremendous boon. I used to have
big books of slides accumulated at great expense of time and money and
now they're in the closet. So I don't know whether it fundamentally
changes anything, but it just makes it much easier, so I can do more.
The Fall 2006 issue of AAC&U's Peer Review examines a range of current issues
concerning the role and use of technology in student learning and
also addresses how these technologies can advance liberal education
learning outcomes. Much of the issue is online, but several key articles are not--so you still need the paper copy!
The online articles include David Shi's "Technology and Integrative Learning: Enabling Serendipitous Connectivity across Courses," "Harnessing Technology to Improve Liberal Learning"--an interview with Steven Sachs, and Charles Hannon's "Service Learning in Information Technology Leadership." Jack Meacham offers a "Reality Check": "Questioning the Best Learning Technology," in which he confesses, "Yes, I
continue to use a variety of technologies in my teaching, but less so
than a few years ago, for often the students can best be stimulated by
sharing a good story with a twist or sketching a simple table or
diagram with chalk. The criterion for bringing technology into my
courses should always be: will this enable me to pose questions that
better engage my students, spark their curiosity, and push them to
think critically and, ultimately, to learn?"
Digital Image Interview Series
November, 2006Robert Nelson
, Robert Lehman Professor, History of Art, Yale University
Nelson studies and teaches medieval art at Yale University. He came to
Yale in 2005, after a long and distinguished career at the University
of Chicago. It was there that he started teaching with digital images,
and he has not looked back. He is co-curator of the exhibition Holy
Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai, on display at the Getty
Museum through March 4, 2007. Academic Commons: Let's start by asking about your own engagement with digital images.
I'm very interested in this because I've written about the history of
the slide lecture and so I'm actually quite interested in this
The coming of slides transformed art history and I believe this will
make not the same transition, the same revolution, but it's definitely
going to make a big change.
Art history is frozen in a certain
technological state. There was once a time when art history and film
were basically the same medium but art history is frozen in
late-19th-century technology that has survived into the early 21st
century. Whereas film went on to many other things - there were talking
pictures, there were DVDs and many more manifestations, and now art
history will move into that larger realm.So how is it changing what you're doing in the classroom ?
it's changing many things. But first I'd like to say why I've made the
switch. I told people when I first arrived here  I'm not going to
show a slide at Yale University. Come hell or high water, no matter
what happens, I'm not going to show a slide at Yale University! So,
I've completely made the switch. And the reason is that students learn
much better. That is the most important reason.
The Scout Report
, always a good source for heads-ups about tools for learning with technology, points in its recent issue to a collection of science animations
gathered at North Harris College. Scout bills this as a "clearinghouse for science animations created by a wide range of institutions from the University of Hawaii to Cambridge University." But it would be good if sites such as this, our own LOLA
, and MERLOT
managed to find more connections, cross-listing, and generally good use of indexing.
The Digital Humanities Summer Institute provides an ideal environment in which to discuss, to learn about, and to advance skills in new computing technologies influencing the work of those in the Arts, Humanities and Library communities. The institute provides a week of intensive coursework, seminar participation, and lectures. It brings together faculty, staff and graduate student theorists, experimentalists, technologists, and administrators from different areas of the Arts, Humanities, Library and Archives communities and beyond to share ideas and methods, and to develop expertise in applying advanced technologies to activities that affect teaching, research, dissemination and preservation.
Now in its sixth year, the institute takes place on the
University of Victoria campus, and is generously hosted by the
University of Victoria's Faculty of Humanities, its
Humanities Computing and Media Centre and its Electronic Textual Cultures Lab. It is sponsored by the University of Victoria and its Library,
University of British Columbia Library,
Simon Fraser University Library, Malaspina University-College,
Acadia University, the Society for Digital Humanities / SociÃ©tÃ© pour l'Ã©tude des mÃ©dias interactifs, the Association for Computers and the Humanities,
the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada's Image, Text, Sound and Technology Program and others.
The Horizon Report, a publication developed by the New Media Consortium in collaboration with the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) "identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning or creative expression within higher education." Reviewer Gail Matthews-Denatale attended a NERCOMP event about the 2006 Horizon report and reports on a fascinating workshop where "presentations were adapted on-the-fly to address participant questions and therefore sessions merged into a fluid day-long experience."
David Green's study focuses on the pedagogical implications of the widespread use of the digital format for images. While the core of the study involved changes in the teaching-learning dynamic and the teacher-student relationship, related issues concerning supply, support and infrastructure rapidly became part of its fabric. In addition to the report, the site contains a set of one-on one-interviews with faculty on how digital changes everything.
Editor's note: URL has been updated to show proceedings from the conference. 9/3/07
International HASTAC Conference
"Electronic Techtonics: Thinking at the Interfaceâ€
April 19-21, 2007
HASTAC ( "haystackâ€â€”Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) is now soliciting papers and panel proposals for "Electronic Techtonics: Thinking at the Interface,â€ its first international conference. The interdisciplinary conference will be held April 19-21, 2007, in Durham, North Carolina, co-sponsored by Duke University and RENCI (Renaissance Computing Institute). Details concerning registration fees, hotel accommodations, and the full conference agenda will be posted to http://www.hastac.org as they become available.
Highlights include a keynote address by John Seely Brown (The Social Life of Information), a talk by legal theorist James Boyle (co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain, Creative Commons, and Science Commons), a conversation among leaders of innovative digital humanities projects led by John Unsworth (chair of the ACLS "Cyberinfrastructure and the Humanities and Social Sciencesâ€ commission), and a presentation by media artist and research pioneer Rebecca Allen. The conference will also include refereed scholarly and scientific papers, multimedia performances, an exhibit hall of innovative software and hardware, plus tours of art and scientific installations in virtual reality, learning-game, and interactive sensor space environments.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Six sessions will be devoted to panels with refereed papers on spects of "interfaceâ€ spanning media arts, engineering, and the human, social, natural, and computational sciences. Panels will be topical and cross-disciplinary; they will be comprised of papers that are themselves interdisciplinary as well as specialized disciplinary papers presented in juxtaposition with one another.
Deadline for Proposals: December 1, 2006.
The next NERALLT meeting, Virtually Anything: Modes of Communication,
will take place on Thursday and Friday, October 26 and 27, 2006 and
will be hosted by Thomas Hammond at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
This meeting will examine the generational shift occurring
in young people, regarding the use of communication and collaboration
technologies by these "digital natives.â€ How will their social and
learning styles shape instructional language technology and pedagogy
for the next generation of students?
An interesting study by two art historians (Hilary Ballon at Columbia
and Mariet Westermann at NYU) examining the obstacles to successful
electronic publication of art history has now been made available as a
course on Rice University's CONNEXIONS website: http://cnx.org/content/col10376/latest/.
The study, "Art History and Its Publications in the Electronic Age,â€
was nicely discussed by Jennifer Howard in her article in the Chronicle of Higher Education
this summer: "Picture Imperfect,â€ (August 4, 2006) http://chronicle.com/free/v52/i48/48a01201.htm.
Shel offers this take on a workshop looking at a very broad topic which offered a slight twist as far as NERCOMP workshops go: all of the presenters came from an academic background rather than a technological one. Says Shel, “My interest in the interaction of technology and pedagogy was well met by presentations combining strategic thinking about what constitutes and shapes a liberal arts education and examples of technology being used in the classroom in a traditionally ‘liberal’ manner.”
This website is home to an ongoing study of Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) players. MMORPGs, or MMOs, are a video game genre that allow thousands of people to interact, compete, and collaborate in an online virtual environment. Over the past 6 years, more than 40,000 MMORPG players have participated in the project by completing surveys about their playing style, habits, and preferences. Various topics have been examined, from gender-related motivation factors to the effect of running an in-game guild on one’s real life experiences. The results of the research are available as reports sorted by topic.
Christopher Watts cannot quite decide how he feels about Second Life. But he thinks it has potential for liberal arts. Meanwhile, he strives to be cool as his avatar.
Posted September 25th, 2006
Asking students to create podcasts for literature classes opens up a whole new realm of learning for Professor Peter Schmidt and his students: “Students found that the readings brought the passages and the novels to life—and that when they heard passages aloud, they noticed many more things than when they just read an assignment before class. In addition, students could respond to the interpretations of the selections that the podcasts made—adding their own collaborative insights, arguing with the interpretation, etc. With literature, this new technology encourages close reading, thoughtful interpretation, and student involvement.”
Two short videos prepared by the Online Learning department at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) showcase the center’s activities. The first video provides an overview of several projects at RIT. Topics include Pachyderm, the Student Response System, RIT’s course management systems approach, remote tutoring with Breeze Meeting, and blended learning courses. The second video highlights the advantages of using technology to facilitate teamwork and social networking among deaf and hearing students.
literacy is an important ingredient of a holistic education; however,
ways of instilling spatial thinking into the curriculum through
effective technologies remain unclear. GIS would seem to be a
successful tool for increasing spatial literacy in our students, and
Newcomb agrees. It can also be argued that another effective tool for
nurturing spatial awareness is the use of tablet PCs combined with GIS
At the October 27, 2005 NERCOMP meeting entitled "Let No Good Deed Go
Unpunished," Leo Hill, Leslie Hitch, and Glenn Pierce from Northeastern
University gave a presentation about how they planned for and
implemented a university computer cluster that serves the research
agendas of a wide array of Northeastern's faculty. At the October 27, 2005 NERCOMP meeting entitled “Let No Good Deed Go Unpunished,” Leo Hill, Leslie Hitch and Glenn Pierce from Northeastern University gave a presentation about how they planned for and implemented a university computer cluster that serves the research agendas of a wide array of Northeastern’s faculty. Mike Roy attended the meeting and lets us know about some some of the exciting outcomes--and repercussions--of a campus-wide (and perhaps nationwide) change in attitudes and support for the idea that IT-supported research can fundamentally change for the better how we conduct research and eventually how we educate our students.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Wisconsin-Madison have joined forces to catalyze new creative teaching and learning innovations around the next generation of commercially available educational electronic games.
Roger C. Schonfeld
, Manager of Research for
, has published on NITLE's recently-transformed Transformations
a potentially-useful report called The Visual Resources Environment at Liberal Arts Colleges
, which details a set of visits that he made to seven liberal arts colleges. He studied how visual resources in general and ArtSTOR in particular are used across the curriculum, with an emphasis on the role organizational and support structures play in wide-spread adoption. While the analysis is clear and concise, I found myself a bit worried about what useful generalizations can be made based on the small number of campuses visited. Schonfeld suggests that there are valuable lessons to be learned from how our campuses are managing the transition to digital images that can be applied to how we should approach the broader area of all digital assets (audio, video, multimedia). I would have welcomed a bit more fleshing out of that provocative statement. Perhaps a second report?
This Article originally appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education on June 16, 2006.
While we have
been busy attending conferences, workshops, and seminars on every
possible aspect of scholarly communication, information technology,
digital libraries, and e-publishing, students have been quietly
revolutionizing the discovery and use of information. Their behavior,
undertaken without consultation or attendance at formal academic
events, urgently forces those of us in scholarly publishing to
confront some fundamental questions about our organizations, jobs,
and assumptions about our work.
Seb Schmoller's latest Fortnightly Mailing includes a piece by Mark
van Harmelen about the state of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) in the UK, focusing especially on a recent meeting at Manchester University sponsored by CETIS (Center for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards). The post focuses not only on emerging Web 2.0 tools but on client tools being developed by groups like CETIS.
Van Harmelan writes, "Importantly, and picking up on threads that have been emerging in
the Blogosphere over the last two and a half years, PLEs are
increasingly seen as a vehicle for self-directed and group-based
learning, where individual learners construct their own agendas and
learning programmes to satisfy their own learning goals. As such, the
PLE revolution harbours two important threads, a change in learning
style in institutions, and a spilling over of learning technology from
institutions to non-institutional life."
Joe Ugoretz discusses how a new group of internet tools--Google, Wikis, Flickr and others included in the family of social software”--provide new methods of creating, sharing, categorizing, accessing and critiquing content, while lacking a central authority or a hierarchy of editorial control. Joe presents some suggestions “for how we, in the academic world, the college context, can use these tools to the advantage of our teaching and our students’ learning.”
Stephen Healey offers a “jeremiad” against the Internet—or does he?
Infobits, published by the Center for Instructional Technology at UNC Chapel Hill, has a number of interesting bits in the May issue. The issue points to a piece (in pdf format) by Walt Crawford,
"Books, Blogs & Style" (Cites & Insights, vol. 6, no. 7, May 2006) that meditates on how medium affects message. Crawford, a senior analyst at the Research Libraries Group, publishes this free online journal of "libraries, policy, technology and media."
The Open Course intitiative started at MIT several years ago has prompted several similar programs, including an interesting one at Carnegie Mellon. Their program features intellectual grounding in "Cognitively-informed Educationâ€ and "Data-driven Iteration," and employs cognitive tutors, virtual laboratories, group experiments, and simulations. Assessment and evaluation tools are built into the courses, and it will be especially interesting to see how successful this OLI is in creating the "community of use" they want to build. The first courses developed through OLI are introductory
courses intended to replace large lecture format courses in Economics,
Reasoning, and Logic.
, the excellent mailing list sponsored by the Stanford University Center for Teaching and Learning
considers this week a variety of learning activities that can be done with laptops in the classroom. The post excerpts Chapter 1: "Laptops in the Class: What Are They Good For? What Can You Do with Them?" from Barbara E. Weaver and Linda B. Nilson's New Directions for Teaching and Learning
no. 101: Enhancing Learning with Laptops in the Classroom
(John Wiley & Sons, 2005). The authors state "The real question requires more elaboration: What can we do with laptops in class that (1) has genuine learning value for students (is interactive, participatory, experiential, or hands-on) and (2) cannot be done as well or at all without a laptop, at least not in class? In fact, many of the laptop activities suggested here could be done as homework on any kind of Internet linked computer. So why not just assign computer activities to be done out of class and forget about laptops?" They answer their question with 8 solid suggestions for types of activities that effectively use laptops in the classroom.
Malcolm Brown from Darmouth's Academic Computing Services polled a list
I am on, looking for software to allow students to generate timelines.
Owen Ellard from Mt. Holyoke pointed him to the timeline creator
, a nifty piece of software developed by the Center for Educational Resources at Johns Hopkins. At Wesleyan, we've created some nice timelines using fancy software (see South Asian Diaspora
) but haven't yet thought through how to go about taking this tool and
allowing non-designers use it to make their own timelines. The folks at
Berkeley's Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative point to TimeMap
, a more sophisticated (and therefore presumably harder to imagine
students using) tool for displaying data with a spatial and temporal
The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that Apple Computer is releasing iTunes U (http://www.apple.com/education/solutions/itunes_u/
), a service that allows colleges and universities to record, upload, and store course lectures in Apple's popular iTunes Music Store. The Chronicle article is available to non-subscribers and reports that colleges can customize their iTunes U site with school colors and logos. Stored lectures can be made public or restricted to certain groups. Access to lectures can be controlled using existing college user ID's and passwords.
Gabriel Jacobs recants or at least converts his guarded optimism in 1992 for the prospect of technology to "allow learning truly to mesh with the free association characteristics of the human mind" to a harsh critique of the often naive acceptance by many that educational technology must be good because it encourages active or discovery-based learning.
His criticism is not so much leveled against technology per se but against constructivist learning theory. As he puts it, "constructivist epistemology calls for a multiplicity of perspectives such that learners have a range of options from which to construct their own knowledge. But many basic techniques and skills, and much knowledge, whether or not deeply understood by students, can be effectively taught only by explanation, not by promoting free exploration; otherwise one is building on sand."
His solution does not necessarily call for the outright abandonment of educational technology, but rather new ways of thinking about how one teaches, with or without technology. He writes,"Within the problematical interplay of technological change and educational values, a predicament which is qualitatively different from previous areas of disquiet in the history of education, and with which all educators are now obliged to grapple, any application of the time-honoured method of remembering before discovering will for my part be welcomed."
The essay is interesting both as a critique of constructivism and a particular way of deploying technology, but also as a potential critique of liberal education. To what extent do our students need a foundation of facts and skills before they can become critical thinkers?
The ACM online journal Ubiquity features an interview with futurist/genius/inventor Ray Kurzweil in the January 10-17, 2006, issue. The interview focuses on his new book The Singularity is Near, which includes statements like "We'll have sufficient hardware to recreate human intelligence pretty soon. We'll have it in a supercomputer by 2010." Pulled out of context, such statements seem, well, hyperbolic, but the interview touches on some points crucial for teaching and learning. Consider, for example, this exchange about pattern recognition and think about how it might connect to the discussion about experts and novices in works such as Brandsford et al's How People Learn:
Echoing Balsamo and Schilling, Gail Matthews-DeNatale and Deborah
Cotler argue that online course authorship requires faculty to develop
a new skill set.
"Our current challenge is to ensure the development of online learning
that engages learners in the open-ended, inquiry-based learning that we
believe is at the heart of a liberal arts education. We are finding
that excellent professors whose face-to-face teaching is grounded in a
liberal arts approach to learning may sometimes encounter difficulties
when they take their teaching into the digital realm."
Peter Schilling acknowledges that "To say 'new
technology is changing the way we think' is as obvious as it is
ambiguous." But he also probes the
point and challenges our thinking: "Not only do our students possess
skills and experiences that previous generations do not, but the very
neurological structures and pathways they have developed as part of
their learning are based on the technologies they use to create, store,
and disseminate information." It's not just about skills
and experiences but "categories, taxonomies, and other tools they use
for thinking" that are "different from those used by their teachers."
"Ignorance costs. Cultural ignorance -- of language, of
history, and of geo-political contexts -- costs real money." So Anne
Balsamo begins her wide-ranging inquiry into the "technological
imagination"--"a character of mind and creative
practice of those who use, analyze, design and develop technologies." Excerpted from Chapter 1 of her forthcoming Duke UP book, The Technological Imagination Revisited; Designing Culture: A Work of the Technological Imagination, Balsamo's essay pleads for interdisciplinary collaboration informed by "new skills, new analytical frameworks, new methods,
and new practices" built on a liberal-arts framework of "personal commitment to life-long learning."
Virginia Kuhn admits that she's slightly biased, but she provides a glowing review of what she calls "a program that allows writers to both theorize and enact the types of literacies necessary for life in the 21st-century, wired world." We include a TK3 version of the review, and a link to download a free TK3 reader so that AC readers can see for themselves!
David Reichard, like S. Raj Chaudhury, a CASTL (Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) Scholar, has carefully studied the effects of incorporating blogging in his "Free Speech and Responsibility" course. Not only did students blog, but they wrote essays analyzing their own and other students’ blogs: "These essays provided invaluable 'meta' analysis of student learning in the course. Significantly, students described blogs as providing a public record of their own learning, making their process as learners visible to themselves and others."
S. Raj Chaudhury shares his experiences using clickers in large introductory science courses. Even though such courses often emphasize "finding the right answer," Chaudhury discusses how he uses the system "principally to generate discussion among students and to engender a sense of shared inquiry, where the assessment data is shared in real-time by the students and the instructor." Such an approach is applicable across many disciplines – wherever lectures can be more interactive.
Jolee West presents a round-up of the findings of the current studies and articles written on clickers and personal response systems.
GIS use in the classroom is extending beyond geology, geography, and archaeology into other less-science based disciplines.
The Bowdoin News archives from March of this year contains an interesting article describing professor Patrick Rael's "The
Civil War Era" class. Students used GIS to process US Census Bureau information from
the 1790s, mapping out the election that gave Abraham Lincoln the
presidency. From the article:
"Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology - a software
system that allows users to convert data into detailed maps - his
students mapped out voting and demographic information from the period
to visualize the impact of social forces, such as early
industrialization and slavery, on voting behavior....Rael's project demonstrates the possibilities of GIS-based
scholarship and teaching in the humanities, a growing trend among
colleges and universities....GIS is
crossing disciplines and is being used in areas such as healthcare, law
enforcement, environmental research, sociology, and land planning."
The UO Channel at the University of Oregon is a gateway to video programs that reflect the quality, creativity, and diversity of academic and cultural life at the university. Featured programs include lectures, interviews, performances, symposia, documentary productions, and more. In addition to video/streaming media on demand, the UO Channel also provides access to campus radio stations.
ArtXplore is a multimedia program running on a hand-held PDA. The interface highlights information on 16 objects in 12 galleries at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and provides the information wirelessly to the museum visitor. Additionally, museum patrons are able to review their experience and provide comments to the curator directly from the PDA.
In Fall 2005, the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University launched the Game Design and Development Specialization. The specialization brings together undergraduate students majoring in digital media arts and technology within the department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Computer Science, and Studio Art. Combining these perspectives and talent, students explore the history, social impacts, technology, design fundamentals, and the art of team-based digital game production.
The Campus Technology Newsletter sent around an interesting article on Wikis in academia. Subtitled "All Users are Not Necessarily Created Equal," it describes the steps that a team at the The Center for Scholarly Technology at the University of Southern California went through to identify and and implement a series of approaches to use of Wikis for teaching and learning.
This website offers an overview of using digitized audio commentary to respond to student writing. Features include
·benefits for students and faculty
·articles on audio commentary
·samples of MP3 audio commentaries
·research on student attitudes including student interviews
·recording options (how-to instructions)
The Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology at Connecticut
College is pleased to announce "Connectivity: The Tenth Biennial
Symposium on Arts and Technology", March 30 - April 1, 2006. The
mission of the symposium is to present new works, research and performances
in the areas of technology and the arts. The symposium will consist
of commissioned works, paper sessions, panel discussions, art exhibitions,
interactive environments, music concerts, screenings and multi-media
performances. In an effort to demystify the artistic process and create
a forum for dialogue, we are encouraging all presenters and artists
to speak about their work at the symposium.
There are a variety of wiki engines available (quite the variety
, actually), but over the past year or so Mediawiki
has emerged as one of if not the most popular wiki package. This is due in part to the popularity of the wikipedia
and its sister projects, and partly due to the strength of their software.
Play an active part in a leading higher
education IT eventsubmit a presentation proposal for NERCOMP 2006, March 2022 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The deadline for submissions is November 7, 2005.
For more information and to submit a proposal online, please go to:
Academic Commons (http://www.academiccommons.org
offers a forum for investigating and defining the role that technology
can play in liberal arts education. Sponsored by the Center of Inquiry
in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College (http://liberalarts.wabash.edu
Academic Commons publishes essays, reviews, interviews, showcases of
innovative uses of technology, and vignettes that critically examine
technology uses in the classroom. Academic Commons aims to share
knowledge, develop collaborations, and evaluate and disseminate digital
tools and innovative practices for teaching and learning with
technology. We want this site to advance opportunities for
collaborative design, open development, and rigorous peer critique of
From the Educause web site:
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher
education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.
From the NERCOMP home page:
NERCOMP's mission: to
enhance the communication and dissemination of information
related to the use of computers, networks, and information
technology in education, academic research and educational
administration throughout the northeastern United States.
NERCOMP is an affiliate of EDUCAUSE
NERCOMP workshops and conferences
offer quality, low-cost professional development geared to
Graff's interest in 'teaching the conflicts' as a way of rescuing higher education from itself has recently been replaced by a profound worry that higher ed is becoming increasingly irrelevant to American culture. We checked in to see what role Graff thinks technology might play in these unsettling times.
The NITLE News is published by the National
Institute for Technology and Liberal Education, which seeks to make effective use of
technology to enhance teaching, learning, scholarship,
and information management in liberal arts education. The newsletter highlights some of the work being done in the three regional technology
centers sponsored by NITLE.
CIT Infobits is an electronic service of the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill ITS Center for Instructional
Technology. The Center's staff offers monthly, nicely annotated citations for journal and magzine stories about information and instructional technology. The June 2005 issue index offers a good indication of their focus:
- Personal Digital Libraries
- eLearning and the Structure of Higher Education Institutions
- Principles for Supporting Cyber-Faculty
- Clickers in the Classroom
- Update on Videoconferencing Options
- Recommended Reading
is an international
electronic seminar on the application of computers to the humanities. Published since 1987, Humanist
is allied with the
Association for Computers and the Humanities and the Association for
Literary and Linguistic Computing. It is an affiliated publication of
the American Council of Learned Societies and a publication of the
Office for Humanities Communication (U.K.).
The University of Texas has provided a crash course in copyright, with emphasis on using copyrighted materials in teaching and in educational multimedia. The course includes information on fair use, multimedia, online presentations, digital libraries and more, and includes links to additional resources for further information. The entire course is licensed under a Creative Commons
The prolific Stephen Downes writes up this learning object authoring and sharing facility, giving it a luke-warm review. His main criticism: it doesn't play well in the world of RSS and OAI, and its authoring tools are too complex. Ideally, making learning objects, says Downes, ought to be as easy as creating a blog post. Would that that were so!
Derek Morrison recently started an interesting discussion in Auricle
responding to a major deployment ("world's largest) of Moodle
in New Zealand. Morrison cautions "An open source monoculture is
still a monoculture and monocultures tend to get monotonous and prone
to disease." Richard Treves offers substantial rebuttal to Morrison, which prompted a second round
of discussion about the "monoculture" issue.
The traditional humanities seminar focuses on the "major research paper," which in the college setting is based on the scholarly article. What if we changed the model? After using digital images via PowerPoint in lectures and building course websites for his students, Bob Royalty started to think more about students creating rather than just using these resources. Royalty changed his focus to developing original student research while testing the uses of digital technologies in a travel course, including weekly a digital media lab and a ten-day trip to Turkey.
The Chronicle has a brief article today (6/16) about Duke's program to hand out iPods to all 1650 of their first-year students. Writer Brock Read's lead isn't really surprising: "In a new report, administrators at Duke University have found that the
institution's much-publicized iPod giveaway had educational merit, but
not in every course." But it's worth reading the full report (a 16-page pdf document) from the Duke iPod site linked here. Only 15 fall courses (enrolling 628 students) used the iPod but 33 spring courses (enrolling 600 students) used it. The report lists four "significant institutional impacts" from the program, including "significant and unanticipated publicity" that yielded contacts, increased visibility for Duke's technology collaborations and commitments, and a means of revealing strengths and gaps in the Duke infrastructure. Most interesting, I think, is the claim that "the project catalyzed conversations among faculty, administrators, staff, and students about the best role for technology in teaching and clarified needs and interests of faculty in this regard."
continues to publish some of the best work about teaching, learning, and technology; Volume 9.2 (Spring 2005) focuses on "Writing in Globalization." I especially appreciated Virginia Kuhn's Visual Work: Visual Projects in the Writing Classroom
, for it considers crucial issues of just what we want to mean by "writing" these days.
"I firmly believe that just as yesterday's writing classrooms helped to prepare students for their other college classes by both honing their critical thinking skills as well as their verbal literacy, today's writing instructors are in a position to teach students the type of multimodal literacy...
The core characteristics of liberal arts education -- critical thinking, broad academic interests, and creative, interdisciplinary knowledge -- provide students with the intellectual flexibility to successfully negotiate shifting career paths. Training students in the latest software applications at the expense of teaching them critical, creative problem-solving skills ill prepares them for long-term success in the just-in-time labor market.
The North by South webpage explores multiple dimensions of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to Northern cities. Epic in scale, monumental in its long-term social and cultural impact, the Great Migration stands as the largest internal movement of people in the history of the United States.
The Visual Resources Association is a multi-disciplinary community of image management professionals working in educational and cultural heritage environments. The Association is committed to providing leadership in the field, developing and advocating standards, and providing educational tools and opportunities for its members. The Association offers a forum for issues of vital concern to the membership, including documentation and access to images of visual culture, integration of technology-based instruction and research, and intellectual property policy. Through collaboration and partnership with the broader information management and educational technology communities, the Association actively supports the primacy of visual culture in the educational experience.
awarded their Best Academic Weblog prize for 2005 to Collin Brooke
, assistant professor of writing at Syracuse University.
Small Tools/Big Ideas
(October 7, 2005) is a conference on the discipline-specific technologies reshaping the practice of teaching art and art history, to be held at The Fashion Institute of Technology, W 27th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, New York. More information at http://www3.fitnyc.edu/bigideas
University of the Arts, London, UK, presents Designs on eLearning , September 14th 2005 - September 16th 2005. Designs on eLearning, the inaugural international conference in the use of technology for teaching and learning in Art, Design and Communication will be held at the University of the Arts, London between 14 and 16 September 2005. The conference aims to cast light on established practice in the field, on innovations in teaching and learning with technology, on the challenges and successes presented by the visual nature of our discipline, and on the benefits of online and blended learning.