Sterling Fluharty has an interesting post about Zotero 2.0 and the semantic web. His analysis helpfully points to the limits of Web 2.0 and folksonomy, pushing us toward the benefits of a semantic web.
- Author: jwa
- Published: Apr 27th, 2009
- Category: Scholarly Network, Theological Libraries, academic life, pedagogy
- Comments: None
Mark C. Taylor’s op-ed in the NYTimes is a real challenge to the structure of higher education…
GRADUATE education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans)……
I especially appreciated one of his suggestions:
2. Abolish permanent departments, even for undergraduate education, and create problem-focused programs. These constantly evolving programs would have sunset clauses, and every seven years each one should be evaluated and either abolished, continued or significantly changed. It is possible to imagine a broad range of topics around which such zones of inquiry could be organized: Mind, Body, Law, Information, Networks, Language, Space, Time, Media, Money, Life and Water.
We’ve been imagining something like this in the Library as well. The Library’s role in learning/teaching as well as in the creation of knowledge lies in its ability to create and facilitate communities of scholarly discourse that spans traditional disciplinary boundaries. These communities engage problems as Taylor suggests in the context of the collections that embody scholarly discourse through the centuries…
Michael Wesh describes an interesting classroom experiment in this brief post…
Michael Wesh’s Presentation: “From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able”
from the Educause Learning Initiatives conference in Orlando. This presentation is part self-critique and part extension of my earlier “Portal to Media Literacy” presentation:
Michael Wesch’s presentation at the University of Manitoba on June 17th 2008.
Wesch discusses his efforts “to bring meaning and significance back into the classroom.”
Gandhi’s List of Blunders – Seven + 1 + 5
The University Council’s approval was announced this morning…
Boston University took a giant step towards greater access to academic scholarship and research on February 11, when the University Council voted to support an open access system that would make scholarly work of the faculty and staff available online to anyone, for free, as long as the authors are credited and the scholarship is not used for profit. Click here to download the full pdf.
“We believe this is the first time that a university as a whole has taken a stand on behalf of the university as opposed to a single school or college,” says Wendy Mariner, the chair of the Faculty Council and a professor at the School of Law, at the School of Public Health, and at the School of Medicine. “We are looking forward to new forms of publication in the 21st century that will transform the ways that knowledge and information are shared.”
“The resolution passed by our University Council is a very important statement on the importance of open access to the results of scholarship and research created within the University,” says BU President Robert A. Brown. “The digital archive called for in the resolution will become a great repository for the creativity of our faculty and students.”
You can read more at BU Today.
Two news recent news articles point to changes in business models for publishing.
Courtney Sullivan’s essay in the New York Times Sunday Book Review describes the “author web site” industry that has grown up around publishing to promote the books.
A survey released last June by the Codex Group, a research firm that monitors trends in book buying, found that 8 percent of book shoppers had visited author Web sites in a given week.
Lorcan Dempsey discusses the importance of “social objects” in our networked culture. “Social objects become integral to communications activity, and providers think about how their resources might benefit from social engagement.” Like the meta-content that has grown up around television series (web sites, background videos, extra “web only” episodes, graphic novels, etc.), authors and publishers are trying to build a social network around the books of authors.
In “Books Gone Wild: The Digital Age Reshapes Literature,” Lev Grossman discusses recent shifts toward self-publishing that seem to be acceptable in ways that “vanity publishing” wasn’t.
Self-publishing has gone from being the last resort of the desperate and talentless to something more like out-of-town tryouts for theater or the farm system in baseball. It’s the last ripple of the Web 2.0 vibe finally washing up on publishing’s remote shores. After YouTube and Wikipedia, the idea of user-generated content just isn’t that freaky anymore.
After describing some of the problems plaguing publishers, Grossman says:
Put these pieces together, and the picture begins to resolve itself: more books, written and read by more people, often for little or no money, circulating in a wild diversity of forms, both physical and electronic, far outside the charmed circle of New York City’s entrenched publishing culture. Old Publishing is stately, quality-controlled and relatively expensive. New Publishing is cheap, promiscuous and unconstrained by paper, money or institutional taste. If Old Publishing is, say, a tidy, well-maintained orchard, New Publishing is a riotous jungle: vast and trackless and chaotic, full of exquisite orchids and undiscovered treasures and a hell of a lot of noxious weeds.
Both articles point to radical changes in publishing. Whatever it becomes, publishing in the future will provide a broader range of possibilities and provide even more challenge for information discovery and collection development.