Are open educational resources such as iTunes U and thought-provoking dot-coms such as BigThink.com a distraction from the mission of professors and universities, or the wave of the future? We debate the merits of “open access” intellectual content in the feature story on our twentieth Digital Campus podcast. Also, I report on the mostly good (if a little odd) experience of buying a book from PublicDomainReprints.org, and we discuss the MacBook Air, Flickr Commons, and a variety of tools for manipulating RSS feeds.
Joining the growing network of CHNM podcasts (which includes Digital Campus, Tom Scheinfeldt‘s History Conversations, and occasional podcasts from our many online projects) is THAT Podcast: The Humanities and Technology Podcast. The podcast, available in both video and audio, is the brainchild of CHNM’s Creative Lead, Jeremy Boggs, and one of CHNM’s crack web developers, Dave Lester.
And what an incredible way to start the podcast: Jeremy and Dave interview Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress. Matt has a number of interesting observations about the role of blogs in academia and how to run a successful open source software project. Jeremy and Dave also demonstrate how to install their ScholarPress Courseware course management plugin, which can be used to set up a course website and blog.
A day before Steve Jobs unveiled the MacBook Air, we recorded this Digital Campus podcast on the One Laptop Per Child project and the rise of small, cheap laptops (including the wildly popular Asus Eee PC) and their significance for education and cultural sites. In the news roundup we cover the end of the line for Netscape and heap more scorn upon social networks and Second Life. Plus we note a great new word processor for the Mac, a service to print out-of-print books, and the digitization of a gigantic medieval bible.
The final Digital Campus podcast of 2007 covers the top digital humanities stories of the year. For those who haven’t had the time to listen to the first 17 episodes, here’s a great way to catch up. And for longtime listeners (as well as new ones) we anticipate the important technology trends that will affect universities, libraries, and museums in 2008. Why not make your New Year’s resolution to subscribe to the podcast?
Can cell phones become a useful platform for education? That’s the feature story on our holiday Digital Campus podcast, as we discuss several possibilities for the device that is now in every student’s and museum-goer’s pocket. We conclude our discussion of Facebook‘s controversial advertising system, wonder if privacy will be a draw for Ask.com, and revisit the rise of the podcasting of lectures now that commercial companies are entering the market. Our links for the week include exhibition software for museums, a great new academic blog from Stan Katz, and a simple way for libraries and museums to turn cell phones into audio tour handsets.
As noted in this space recently, Amazon.com’s release of its new e-book reader the Kindle has set off a frenzy of speculation about the future of books, reading, and publishing. On the new episode of Digital Campus, we debate the promise and problems of the Kindle and e-book readers in general. In the news roundup we express outrage at a possible new U.S. bill that would remove funds from universities that fail to stop online piracy and at Facebook’s new feature that allows everyone to see what you’re buying. Listeners beware: it’s a cranky week on the podcast.
Think Google is scary with all of the information it gathers about you through your web searches? Wait until Facebook starts its advertising platform based on all of the likes and dislikes you’ve given it, and combines that with the power of Microsoft, which just bought a stake in the biggest social network on campus. We tackle privacy, anonymity, and giving away personal information in this week’s podcast. In the news roundup we celebrate the release of Apple’s new operating system upgrade, Leopard, and debate whether it and Ubuntu can begin to steal market share from a faltering Windows Vista.
On this episode of the podcast, we debate the proper relationship between a museum’s virtual and physical manifestations. Our news roundup covers the opening up of Harvard’s scholarship, Berkeley’s YouTube channel, iTunesU, and two software projects that aim to improve the library catalog and the museum exhibit. We also highlight Errol Morris’s blog posts on truth in photography, a great museum blog, and a tool for converting one type of digital file to another.
Is the moderated environment of email discussion lists still the best way for scholars to communicate with others in their field? Or is the time ripe to move those conversations onto blogs and less mediated and more open formats? That’s the debate in the feature segment of this week’s Digital Campus podcast. In the roundup we cover news about greater competition for Microsoft Office and the significance of the New York Times dumping its pay-for-certain-content model. Picks of the week include a great podcast from the BBC, a blog for bizarre and interesting maps, and a way to overlay historical (and other) maps onto current ones.
Congrats to my friend and colleague Tom Scheinfeldt, assistant director of the Center for History and New Media, on his new podcast, History Conversations. “An occasional dialogue with historians and history lovers about their interests, their ideas, and their lives in history,” as Tom puts it, the podcast gets off to a great start with a dialogue with Peter Liebhold, Chair and Curator of the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Tom will undoubtedly have all kinds of guests on this podcast (in the same way his blog covers amateur as well as professional history), but it doesn’t hurt to start at the top, and especially to learn how Peter moved from a background in engineering and photography into the museum world. Also interesting are Peter’s reminiscences about the major changes at the Smithsonian over the past 25 years.
Definitely worth a listen.