Wednesday, September 27. 2006
NJIT has created a new university wiki at http://wiki.njit.edu. Nothing so cutting edge about that. We already have several wikis started by groups or departments (ours, for example, is at http://devel2.njit.edu/mediawiki/ )
Like most public wikis, you can edit or create any page here. It is created for students by students. Anyone who has an NJIT university ID can add additional elements.
Hopefully as it grows, you'll find out what's happening around campus, find out some things about NJIT that you didn't know before, discuss People, Places, and Organizations, rate things (it's anonymous) and more.
What I think makes this wiki more interesting is it's connection to the Smart Campus project at NJIT. Smart campus is experimenting with Social Mobile Computing (related to MoSoSo or Mobile Social Software which I'll write about in the near future). As new wireless networks comprised of cellular, ad hoc, local area, personal area, sensor and home networks emerge, "a network of networks" can be used to locate users and thus enable new applications. They are defining this as People-to-People-to-Places, or a P3-System.
That means that on this wiki if I am logged in as an NJIT user, I can see who is in my proximity or who is logged in from the Campus Center, or the Redwood dorm etc.
If you have used online services like Plazes, you know what this is all about. If not, Plazes lets anyone with a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop define a "plaze" (usually a Wi-Fi hot spot like a Starbucks or campus). It tells where the user is located and looks for other members nearby. When a user detects another member, the system displays similar interests and enables you to contact them. It also shows members when their friends are in other plazes, in case you want to physically go there to meet them. In big cities, there is a good chance of finding another member in your area. The Smart Campus wiki is a Plazes for the NJIT community.
What will make this mashup work (as with any wiki or location application) is getting members to participate. Logging in right now I only see 2 people in my building (on other floors), so it still has a ways to go.
Well, our branding slogan is "On the edge of knowledge" - let's see what happens when we get in a little further from the edge with this project.
Tuesday, September 26. 2006
I had read earlier that Apple went after some small companies who were using names with "pod" for products (even a few like Profit Pod and TightPod that don't even have anything to do with portable audio).
Today I read that Apple Computer has hit Podcast Ready (they have a product, myPodder, that lets you download podcasts to a portable device) with a "cease and desist" letter, claiming that the terms "Podcast Ready" and "myPodder" infringe Apple's trademarks. (see this post from Wired's Listening Post blog)
Major blogger Robert Scoble of PodTech and has written that the tech community should start using other terms (like audiocast, videocast, audcast, vidcast) to describe this type of content.
Of course, someone could fight Apple too. Maybe they will not want the negative press that comes from acting Microsofty, and just be happy with all the buzz iPods get from the use of podcast and other poddy terms. Think of all the people who still think that you can't listen to a podcast unless you have an iPod!
Monday, September 25. 2006
The headline I saw was "Automated podcast box takes on Apple's iTunes U" but I'm not sure that Apple is too afraid or that the schools that have been trying the past few months to implement Apple's iTunes U (that includes us at NJIT - and it has NOT been an easy or quick process - very much a WIP for Apple) will bail out.
The podcasting firm Webcast in a Box plans a name change to BOXpopuli to reflect the company's new emphasis on podcasting. They see market for "automated podcasting" using an "appliance" (such an odd term - I keep seeing refrigerators and blenders). This seems to be more a production tool rather than a distribution system. iTunes U is all about DELIVERY and not about production, though Apple certainly would love you to use their computers & software to produce podcasts. Their site does have a link to meedu.org which seems to be an affiliated service for hosting & distribution.
"Podcast in a Box," requires no training to operate and can operate on a schedule where no administrator interaction is required other than initial configuration or using a USB key (insert the key to capture and remove the key to publish and notify your subscribers).
It's a Linux-based box that records audio in a classroom or other location and uploads the encoded files, with optional "intro" and "outro" segments and ID3 tags added, to a server as a podcast. It has a 200GB hard drive and no manual recording controls.
We have been doing podcasts for about a year without any automation and it can be time-consuming (training, setup, uploading etc.) but I don't know of anyone using a product like this one... anyone out there using an appliance? Please comment below. I'd like to hear about automation experiences.
Thursday, September 21. 2006
I'm in the middle of a few weeks of vacation time. Just spent a week on a nice Caribbean island without a cell phone, computer or Internet connection. I actually didn't feel withdrawal symptoms or go through cold turkey.
I did read some technology news and jotted a few notes including some on good ol' Web 2.0.
Are you tired of that term yet? I like the idea behind it, but I am getting turned off by the overuse of it being attached to every new application or service.
Web 2.0 as originlly "defined" by Tim O'Reilly is very exciting and has plenty of applicability to education. He defines it by examples. What appeals most to me is the web as a tool of creation rather than as a consumer-dominated platform. The "read/write web" is another take on this idea. I suppose I would be happy with Web 1.5 if that meant that kind of web use. How about 3.0 being the web for education?
OK, but more seriously, if you want to keep up on this devlopment, add to your links:
Do you think that Web 2.0 means things like the ability to:
Well, if you say "Yes", that might be a scary thought, because I got that list by using the The Web 2.0 Bullshit Generator at http://emptybottle.org
The scary part for me is that they actually sound pretty good!
Monday, September 18. 2006
It was news last week, so now it's time to think about how Apple's announcement will affect us as consumers and viewers. Apple not only wants your mobile music business, it wants your movie and TV business for the family room.
Saturday, September 16. 2006
Here's some information about the pollhost.com service that I used to create the poll in my previous posting. I have only just started using it, so it's not a strong recommendation at this point but here's some info for you in case you want to use it on your site.
Friday, September 15. 2006
I will be doing a presentation at the NJAET conference (New Jersey Association for Educational Technology) on October 10th entitled "Heart of Darkness: Entering the Land of Digital Natives."
The official blurb says "Have you followed your students into the jungle of the wildly popular MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, SecondLife and Flickr? Did you even know that MoSoSo, Nerve, Plazes and Meetup existed? This Net travelogue will offer a tour into some of the forbidden lands inhabited by our students that you should experience as a teacher, parent and Netizen."
What I hope to do is take the (primarily K-12) teachers there on an hourlong tour up river. For those of you who have read Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness - or think you did because you saw the movie Apocalypse Now - that makes me Marlow and my Kurtz is all of the juicy Web 2.0 applications that students are using and that many teachers know nothing about.
Now, I know that you, dear reader, are reluctant to comment on a blog (Why? Well, that's another entry some day...), but I'd appreciate it if you would just check some items in the poll below. I'll focus on those topics that get the most votes. Thanks.
Thursday, September 14. 2006
The past week there were many Facebook.com users upset about the News Feed feature that was introduced. That showed all the profile changes of users in your community network right on your home page.
Now Facebook announced that it will lift the restriction of needing a pre-approved e-mail address (from a college or approved high school, & from some corporate email domains) to register. In the new version later this month, if you sign up without a school email, you are put in a regional/geographic network.Obviously, they are planning to widen their user base (read "more faces to look at ads") but one of the things that made Facebook somewhat safer for kids to be using was that it was somewhat limited community (for example, my community centers around having a @njit.edu email address) and that it allowed to control access to who could see your photos, post comments, etc. (though many users just allow everyone to see their information including their phone number, dorm room #, IM name etc.) The site still was dubbed "Stalkbook" by some critics but it was YOUR choice to let users see your info.
"About one-third of Facebook's college users have graduated and are now interacting with more and more people outside of their schools and work environment," said Melanie Deitch, director of marketing for Facebook. "While we will continue to stay focused on our core users, we don't want to limit the Facebook experience."According to ComScore, it's the seventh-most trafficked site but it still has less users than its biggest competitors Friendster and MySpace.The creator, Mark Zuckerberg, actually apologized in a letter on the site and said they would add privacy features.
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