Tom, Dan, Mills, Amanda, and Stephen returned for this week’s episode of Digital Campus, joined by Digital History Fellows Ben Hurwitz and Jannelle Legg. We began by discussing a JSTOR’s new individual subscription offering, JPASS, which allows individual users access to more than 1500 journals for a monthly fee of $19.50 or $199 annually. While our panel commended JSTOR’s efforts, Mills expressed concern that the cost of subscription will effectively prohibit JSTOR’s target audience (including adjunct faculty) from access. Amanda pointed out that while JSTOR access has been greatly expanded through library and other institutional subscriptions, many people are unaware of the ways they can currently receive free access. The discussion then moved to “Signals,” a performance monitoring software from Purdue University. Signals is a data-mining program which collects information about individual students such as time spent in online assignments, completion of homework, and performance on quizzes and tests. This information is used to alert students to areas of strength and weakness within their academic schedule. While the program is showing early signs of success, the panel was concerned that this type of program will not encourage students to develop independent study skills.
Next, the group examined the growing complexity of free speech on the internet with two recent news stories. In the first, Facebook ‘likes’ were found to be protected by a fourth circuit appeals court in a case involving a newly re-elected Sheriff and six fired deputies. The second story involved a tenured journalism professor at the University of Kansas that was put on leave as a result of a controversial a tweet. Our final news story concerned the digital footprint that shadows us on the web. In this story a law in California requires the creation of an “eraser button” for minors. The aim is to give users under 18 the ability to delete content from websites, apps and online services. While some contended that the erasure of some data, particularly on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, could be effective – our hosts expressed skepticism that these imprints can fully be erased from the internet. To conclude, Patrick Murray-John delivered a report from the Center about the release of the Omeka API, which will allow users to connect Omeka with other platforms.
NOTE: I mistakenly said that Patrick Murray-John is the Lead Developer for Omeka. Patrick Murray-John is the Omeka Dev Team Manager; John Flatness is the Lead Developer. See http://omeka.org/about/staff/. — Amanda
Links to Stories Discussed:
JSTOR individual passes – http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2013/09/digital-libraries/jstor-launches-jpass-access-accounts-for-individual-researchers/
Coursework nagging software “Signals” at Purdue apparently increases graduation rates – http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/purdue-u-software-prompt-students-to-study-and-graduate/46853
Court rules that Facebook “likes” are free speech – http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/18/4744288/appeals-court-rules-that-facebook-likes-are-protected-as-free-speech
Kansas professor suspended after tweet – http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/09/23/u-kansas-professor-suspended-after-anti-nra-tweet
“Delete-button” for minors in California – http://gizmodo.com/why-californias-new-web-wide-delete-button-for-teens-w-1377730365
Running time: 50:39
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