Episode 26 – Free for All

7 May, 20082 comments

At a time when everything seems to be trending toward being freely available online, how can education and digital resources and tools for academia, libraries, and museums sustain themselves? Tom, Dan, and Mills discuss models for sustainability in the age of the free in the feature segment of this week’s podcast. In the news roundup, we cover the RIAA’s newfound love of the lawsuit and the University of Chicago Law School’s newfound hate of the laptop. Picks of the week include a proportional mapping tool, a thesis repository, and a site that helps non-techies understand and use RSS.

Links mentioned on the podcast:
Mills on free education
Laura Dewis, “Money makes the world go… open?”
Harvard Thesis Repository
World Mapper

Running time: 43:07
Download the .mp3

Categorized under web 2.0

2 comments to “Episode 26 – Free for All”

  1. gren : 7th May, 2008

    re Laptops

    I have mixed feelings about the uChicago decision. Sometimes, being a TA, I sit behind students and can see what they’re doing at a glance. I know tons of students just look at facebook and other completely unrelated sites. And I’m sure some students only type up notes in Google Docs and don’t even need the internet. The most interesting case is the kids I have seen using Wikipedia for concepts and figures related to the class. Many classes (especially introduction to government) are far too easy and it is incredibly boring to rehash high school material. I find that reading journal articles during class is often far more productive than listening to 1) the book, verbatim, 2) remedial (yet required) material.

    I think you guys missed the big issue–and possibly for good reason since it’s outside the scope of your show. Grade inflation. It has been a big issue at my university with no clear effort at resolution. Students like easy classes and (often) give better evaluations for it creating a negative feedback loop for mediocrity. College (and even graduate school) have proved easier than my (admittedly good) high school. I agree with Mill, students that are not disruptive should be allowed to do as they chose. The problem is that often students needn’t do any work to do well or accept C’s that take almost no effort to get.

    Now, cell phones. THEY should be banned since text messaging during class has almost no use.

  2. THATCamp » Blog Archive » 2 Ideas : 23rd May, 2008

    […] and digital humanities organizations. Dan, Mills, and I talked about sustainability on the last Digital Campus, but there’s a lot more to be said. It’s a huge issue both for us and for our funders, […]

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