Integration of learning
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].
Hank Glassman, Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies, Haverford College
Hank 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 is going.
Robert Nelson, Robert Lehman Professor, History of Art, Yale University
Robert 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.
Nelson: 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 transition. 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 ?
Well 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 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?