Friend of the podcast Peter Hirtle stands in for Amanda to give Tom, Mills, and Dan some much needed legal education as we take on SOPA, PIPA, the Research Works Act, and the Supreme Court’s decision in Golan v. Holder [PDF]. We also consider Apple’s attempts to shake up the textbook market and the sad fate of two very old University of Nevada at Reno students’ Facebook pages.
The clock strikes noon, and that sound might just signal the end of the bright morning for closed systems in higher education. On this week’s podcast, we discuss Coursekit, a free (for now) learning management system built by dropouts from the University of Pennsylvania; Commons-in-a-Box, a free (funded by the Sloan Foundation) academic social networking system of blogs and wikis that will be built by non-dropouts from the CUNY Academic Commons; and the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference, which seems to have convinced not only several universities but also the White House that peer-reviewed scholarly publications should be, what else, free. Our honored guest is journalist Audrey Watters of Hack Education.
In this episode of Digital Campus, Tom, Mills, and Amanda (sans Dan) touch briefly on the passing of Steve Jobs and discuss Apple’s announcement of iOS5, the release of the Kindle Fire and other new Kindle products, the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Project Directors meeting, and one university’s brief ban on social media sites. We also agree that “Nickerson” probably isn’t the best name for a razor company.
A few days before we recorded the latest episode of Digital Campus, Apple visionary and guru of all things cool in digital technology Steve Jobs announced that he would step down as CEO in what we assume will be the end of his adept micromanaging of the business. Tom, Dan, Amanda, and Mills mused on what Jobs’ legacy will be and how the tech world may or may not be different without him. Will we feel like orphans now that the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Sphere can no longer descend upon us at times of severe tech ennui? And what about those other digital orphans — the “orphan books” we hear so much about? Amanda reviewed for us the latest on this subject coming out of the University of Michigan Library and some of us agreed that we will henceforth banish the term “orphan work” from our vocabulary. Why? Listen and learn. And from what we learned about student searching skills, someone should start teaching students more about online quests for information. That someone could be you.
If there’s one theme in this episode of the podcast, it’s content being hidden from the open web. The new social network Google+ lets you create “circles” that will allow you to post certain content to certain people and hide it from others, but just as with Facebook, it’s not at all certain that future historians will be able to see any of it, or at least not in context. Computer scientists at Old Dominion University are working to estimate how much of the open web is backed up, and we’re happy to learn that at least thirty percent of it might be available for future study. Blackboard, the original turnkey for course content, is no longer a publicly traded company, and according to the well-read Mills Kelly, that’s because Blackboard may be losing market share to free and open source software. Finally, Tom and Dan tell us a little about PressForward, the Center for History and New Media’s new publishing initiative, which is made possible precisely because so much good work is not in fact locked down, but is freely available on the web.
UPDATE: Google+ does indeed have URLs for individual posts — thanks, Stephen, for pointing that out in the comments. Also, we’d like to give proper credit to Tim Carmody for his remark on Twitter that Google+ “is the first general-purpose social network actually designed for post-collegiate grown-ups.”
On Friday, June 3, we live-streamed Digital Campus from the first day of THATCamp CHNM, The Humanities and Technology Camp at the Center for History and New Media. About half the live audience of seventy-five or so people said they had heard the podcast before — it was great to see the listeners in person, not to mention one another.
We discussed at some length the trial of the copyright lawsuit brought against Georgia State University by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Sage Publications, agreeing that if the publishers were to win their suit, teaching faculty would certainly have to become more aware than ever before about the costs of the readings they assign. Also on the table (more briefly) were Google’s cessation of its mass digitization of newspapers, the major search engines’ support for structured data with http://schema.org, the Library of Congress’s plans to transition away from MARC, YouTube’s announcement of Creative Commons licensing, and Amanda’s alternative solution to the Open Researcher and Contributor ID.
Special thanks to Chris Preparato, who managed the audio recording and livestreaming. And, with proof that we’re at least as good-looking as you always imagined, here’s video of the episode 70 of Digital Campus, kindly provided in high definition by George H. Brett (whom you can also hear making a comment about parallels between the GSU case and the early days of Electronic Theses and Dissertations). Thanks so much, George, for capturing this.
Joined by new podcast irregular Audrey Watters, educational technology writer for ReadWriteWeb, the Digital Campus crew discusses a whole passel o’ news for this episode. Dan Cohen gives us an eyewitness report from the first meeting of the Digital Public Library of America initiative, identifying three (only three?) chief tensions: how “public” and how “American” such a library could be; how centralized such a library should be; and how such a library could help fulfill our national yen for free Dan Brown ebooks. Tom thinks the iPad 2 shows that Apple is a little behind the curve (cough, cough, Android), but Audrey thinks that consumers are going to prefer Apple to Android (cough, cough, apps), especially since you can get Dan Brown ebooks in the iBooks store. We do all agree that the iPad 2 is a lot more classroom-friendly than the first iPad, though. Mills gives us his take on Bill Gates’s influence on education, and promises Bill that for an educational technology grant of a mere $20 million, he won’t buy an iPad 2 after all. Finally, we claim that we don’t want UniLeaks, the WikiLeaks for higher education, to degenerate into a gossip site like Juicy Campus, but we might be lying just a little bit.
Links to stories and articles mentioned in the podcast:
If you would like to contact Digital Campus, or if have any comments or suggestions for future show topics, please send us a message at email@example.com, or leave us a message at 703-879-4796.
Misha Vinokur, Producer
Mike O'Malley, Music
Jeremy Boggs, Design
Site powered by WordPress