Hacking the Academy Project

Hacking the Academy is an interesting project from Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

The project began in 2010 and is self-described as an “exercise in re-imagining the edited volume.”  It’s a a collection of blog posts, videos, articles, and other media that discusses how people are challenging the current state of the academy and the ways it teaches, conducts research, performs service, and publishes texts.

Oh, and all the content for the project was crowd-sourced in a week, which I think is pretty cool.

The Educational Technology and Lessens, Classroom, and Curriculum sections looked particularly interesting.

Academic iPad Blog

An entire blog devoted to the use of iPads in academia? Well, Steven Krause thought it was an interesting idea. It’s called Academic iPad, and it has some interesting links and tid- bits about iPad news and how-to’s, along with some of Krause’s own comments and “rants” about iPads in academia. Krause started the blog in November 2011 as a spin-off of National Novel Writing and National Blog Writing month. He says he’s not sure if he’ll continue to keep up with it now that November is over, but I might check back in periodically to see.

E-books: From Social Action to . . . Social Media?

I recently stumbled upon an article by in WIRED called This is Why We’ll Never Have Innovative E-Books. (With a title like that, of course I had to read it.)  It’s author, Tim Carmody reflects on one of the challenges that makes e-book publishing so difficult–the technologies and ideas of e-book creators are often funneled into other projects.  Carmody uses Push Prop Press, the press that published Al Gore’s interactive e-book, Our Choice, as his example.  Push Pop Press was just recently acquired by Facebook–and its publishing team no longer intends to publish books. Carmody sums up the problem of e-book publication very plainly in the closing statement of his article:

The ideas are there; the talent is there; the readers are there. But when the three come together, inevitably someone else can figure out a way to use the technology for a different end. The better and more experimental it is, the more likely this is true.

After reading Push Pop Press’s statement on their website about the team’s move to Facebook, I was struck by a mix of feelings. While a part of me, like Carmody, is happy that the Push Pop team has such a great (I think?) opportunity–a very large part of me can’t help but be disappointed.

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