Episode #98 — 500 in Podcast Years

16 September, 2013No comments

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Digital Campus is back! In the inaugural episode of the 2013-2014 school year, Tom, Dan, Mills, and Amanda welcomed RRCHNM’s new director Stephen Robertson and two of the Digital History Fellows, Amanda Morton and Amanda Regan. We began with the union between Google and edX, and the potential for change in the way that MOOC platforms are chosen, a discussion that included brief thoughts on Google Apps for Education and the collection of data on education. Moving on, we looked at the launch of a new platform for iPhone called Oyster, which offers a Netflix-like service for ebooks. The discussion revolved around what this new service might mean for the current state of textbook rental, deals with publishers, and efforts to combat the rising costs of textbooks. Mills suggested the possibility of a flat fee for a subscription to a semester worth of textbooks instead of students paying individually for ebooks.  We dug deeper into this topic with a discussion of the current state of ebook purchase and rental, citing the Kindle borrowing program as well as libraries’ offering ebooks through the Overdrive platform, and we wondered whether ebook subscriptions could be compared to movie and television streaming through services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

Finally, we took a quick look at Topsy, an analytical service that allows users to search tweets from the earliest days of Twitter, an option that brings up interesting questions about how historians (and educators!) can use Twitter as a historical source. There was some suggestion that the release of this tool might be connected to Twitter’s IPO offering.

This episode concluded with a briefing on the state of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media by the new director Stephen Robertson, which marks the introduction of a new segment narcissistically titled “Reports from the Center.” Tune in two weeks from now (we promise) for more.
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Running time: 45:49
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Categorized under Amazon, copyright, course management systems, ebooks, Google, iPhone, libraries, MOOCs, open access, publishing, social networking, Twitter

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