Collected Comments about Themes for upcoming Academic Commons issues
I am posting everyone's comments to date as a single file. I hope this is helpful to you - it certainly was helpful to me! If you wish to post comments or replies to this post, you can log on to the Academic Commons site and click "Academic Commons Advisory Board" in the dark "My Groups" box on the right margin of the page.
From: Diane Graves <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 10:40:04 -0500 (EST)
Of the themes you list, the top two are the most interesting to me!
I have some suggestions for both categories: Âeither interview subjects or authors.
For Open Source/Open Access, our old Longsight buddy Scott Siddall would be a great subject. I like his "take" on the potential for open access products to combine course-materials/learning objects, etc. with institutional repositories.
On educational gaming, I strongly recommend that you contact my colleague Aaron Delwiche, Assistant Professor of Communication here at Trinity. Aaron is working with us right now to develop a game-based orientation for first year students. Here's a blurb about him and his interests:
B.A., University of California at Berkeley; M.A., Ph.D. University of Washington
Has worked as a technology consultant in both the private and public sectors; directed a team of interface specialists at one of Hong Kong's leading web design firms; maintains an award-winning site on propaganda analysis. Research interests include new media, youth culture, and global civil society. Teaches media messages, multimedia design and criticism, and video game theory.
And here is a link to his blog:
Good luck on this!
From: Kate Wittenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 11:04:24 -0500
This is an excellent list of possible themes that you have proposed. In my opinion they represent the most important topics that need to be addressed in the short term. While it is difficult to select priorities, I agree that it is not possible to focus on all of these issues at once, so here are my choices:
I think that themes two (Educational Gaming) and six (Social Software) are currently the most critical and least-studied areas and that they should thus be top priorities for Academic Commons this coming year. I am starting to see interesting work/publications about these topics, and I have a feeling that Academic Commons could make a significant contribution to the emerging conversation.
For Educational Gaming, one article that seems directly relevant is by John Kirriemuir, and it is called: Parallel Worlds: Online Games and Digital Information Services. It is at: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/december05/kirriemuir/12kirriemuir.html. It is focused primarily on the connections between web-based gaming and digital libraries, and has interesting insights relating to education and gaming. The article contains good references that provide a list of others who are working in this area and the related literature. I would personally like to organize some focus groups with gamers, both children and adults, to talk with them about what they are experiencing, what qualities are most appealing, whether they see this environment translating to other kinds of content, etc. I would be happy to collaborate with Academic Commons on this activity if there is interest.
For the Social Software focus, I would recommend a recent blog by dana boyd called Friendster lost steam: Is MySpace just a fad?
I would also recommend the work of Ellyssa Kriski at http://infotangle.blogsome.com .
She gave an excellent presentation at the Columbia Libraries on The Hive Mind: Folksonomies and User-Based Tagging
< http://infotangle.blogsome.com/2005/12/07/the-hive-mind-folksonomies-and-user-based-tagging/ >, which raised very interesting issues related to libraries, education, and online social network. I imagine that these two can also connect us to others in the field who are doing some innovative thinking.
From: "Joan K. Lippincott" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 14:48:50 -0500
Dear Jennifer and others,
I also think the Gaming theme is of great interest and very timely. Some resources:
Serious Games Initiative
MIT/U. Wisconsin initiative
In addition, I would encourage exploration of the Emerging Literacies and Pedagogies theme. In addition to the description of that theme on the AC website, I'd suggest that more attention on what it means to develop literacies such as visual literacy in today's students *in relation to their academic work* would be very useful, particularly in the liberal arts context, where students generally do many real projects, and not just take tests. How can we assist students in incorporating various types of media into their projects and creating their projects using multi-media software in a way that will be acceptable to faculty? I believe that while many faculty will not adopt creative use of technology in their teaching, it is really more important that they give their *students* the freedom and the guidance to work in the multi-media environment, within the academic disciplines. Use of media can be a key way of engaging students in their academic work (or do we also need to test this assumption as part of this theme?).
Elizabeth Daley, Expanding the Concept of Literacy. EDUCAUSE Review
Susan Metros at Ohio State is interested in this topic.
Georgetown Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (Randy Bass)
From: "Janet Murray" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 16:36:40 -0500
I think Educational Gaming & New Media and Higher Ed are particularly compelling.
Game Studies is worth focusing on in itself and it intersects both of these topics.
From: Alan Levine <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2006 09:58:31 -0700
Besides being an occaisional reader, I regret I've not sufficient time to be active. Along those lines, I should let you know that I am leaving my position at Maricopa for a new one at the New Media Consortium. I hope I can continue being a part of this effort in my new capacity.
* Open source/Open access
While this is a big and important topic, it seems to be covered well elsewhere. It's hard to start this without the usual and already said issues of having enough support to make OS successful versus the value of commercial software support.
If anything, a more interesting area is Open Content, dealing with the creation, publication, sharing, dissemination of content, be it OpenCoursWare and its relatives, the Connexions project at Rice, the exploding number of Wiki_____ community build content, and what I have seen is still an amazing lack of understanding of how to use Creative Commons licensed content.
* Educational Gaming
It's got my vote. I strongly recommend the work of Bryan Alexander ( http://infocult.typepad.com/infocult/) , and beyond games, the work he has done on net narratives and alternative reality gaming.
* New Media and Higher Ed
I have seen the power and impact of people who have gone through the digital storytelling process (e.g. Joe Lambert's many workshops done via http://www.storycenter.org/) and at maricopa we have had an explosion of interest ( http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/learnshops/digital/). While participants are often engaged, I've not seen a widespread movement or examples where the concept has moved into the classroom (beyond teaching how to do it).
* Social Software (aka web 2.0): Challenges and Possibilities
Definitely a vote from me. Beyond the cool tools themselves, I see an interesting time ahead in terms of "change management" as individuals and organizations move from an environemnt of using software, technology as stable things that are managed/supported, to ones that are more "discardable" and will change frequently.
The challenge is finding an interesting angle that is not so tools-centric. In my work with faculty at Maricopa, there is little penetration or awareness what "Web 2.0" is or means (we have our first wave beyond earyl adopters who are embracing wikis and blogs).
From: Peter Suber <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2006 11:13:39 -0500
Like the others, I think the list is a very good. It's too bad that we have to choose among the items, which are already well-selected and high-priority.
But if forced, I'd put open access first. In the sciences, OA has good momentum but far too many publishing faculty still do not understand (or worse, misunderstand) what it is. In the humanities, we're much further behind, and Academic Commons could help it get a better start there. I've had several depressing conversations recently with leaders of OA projects in the humanities who are completely unaware that there is even such a thing as the wider OA movement, let alone that it's making good progress in other fields. These projects are reinventing the wheel --in developing OA infrastructure, solving problems, analyzing issues, answering objections, and crafting policy arguments-- and failing to reap the benefits of a growing, energetic community.
Of course, even OA in the sciences can help scholars in the humanities by helping to relieve library budgets and goose the sagging demand for scholarly monographs.
From: "Larry Johnson" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2006 12:17:05 -0600
I'll echo the comments made for educational gaming and social software. Both topics have been featured it the Horizon Report more than once, and this year, Social Software (we called it Social Computing) moved to the nearest term horizon. Gaming was not far behind.
We'd love to see more discourse around both topics.
From: Roy Rosenzweig firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2006 12:38:16 -0500
Sorry to be late in responding. I would echo support for both gaming and social software--both would attract a lot of interest.
I think that open access could be a good topic if it went beyond what is well said elsewhere. In particular, it seems to me that there is lots of enthusiasm for open access among one segment of scholars but that others are either not listening or are strongly opposed (e.g., many scholarly societies). I think a discussion that brought in more
than the enthusiasts would be valuable
From: "Scott E. Siddall" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2006 13:47:13 -0500
I'll chime in with support for Joan's comments on the emerging literacies theme. I'm working with two institutions whose faculties are concerned with the integration of info/media/tech skills into first year studies programs. I don't believe all I hear about the Net Gen but even if some of it ultimately proves out, our methods will have to be assessed. Can AC get out ahead on this issue or might this be a "me too" theme?
I'm also excited about the discussion of open source cultural values beyond just software development and support....open content, challenges of collaboration, role of the motivation for the individual, etc. I agree with Alan that OS software issues are dealt with in other venues, but perhaps AC could deal with OS on a higher level.
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 15:43:24 -0500
Nice work on narrowing the focus for us. New Media and Higher Ed is important to many of us and I'd be interested not only in gaming, too, but New Literacies.
From: Mary Marcy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 14:37:59 -0400
I am in support of the other areas of emphasis and comments -- a thoughtful list, and good priorities. I will only add that I think Scott raises an important 'sub-issue' here. I think a lever for considering emerging literacies may be in analyzing first year programs, which are simultaneously more fluid and more developed than many.
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 15:09:07 -0700
From: "Hutchings, Pat" <Hutchings@carnegiefoundation.org>
Piggy-backing on the many good responses that have come in....All of the themes look interesting, and I wonder if some reflection about intended audience would help with priorities. Among Academic Commons advisors, I'm probably on the "least expert" end of the continuum when it comes to issues of technology; if we want to attract more people like me--and I'm not sure we do--the theme of new literacies and pedagogies may rise toward the top of the list.
From: "Michael Roy" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 15:56:58 -0400
Pat asks a useful question. The intended audience is quite broad: librarians, technologists, faculty, faculty developers, academic administrators. Folks who have a stake in the ways in which technology develops in service of liberal education.