Thursday, June 24, 2010

Free Ning Access for Educators

Ning announced that it will collaborate with Pearson "to develop a program that will help educators keep their Ning Networks running for free". The deal is apparently that "Pearson will sponsor Ning Mini plans for free for all K-12 and Higher Education networks in North America".

Librarians and others involved in information literacy work might want to find a way to leverage this, especially in times of budget crunch and in efforts to erase the boundaries between social and academic learning spaces. Of course, any effort to detourn, or use said technologies in creative ways to radicalize curriculum, would be cool too.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"What is Cyberpunk?"

I ran across this great essay, "What is Cyberpunk?", today by Rudy Rucker. Its title pretty much sums it up...good stuff. Here's an excerpt that struck me.

The real charm of punk is that stupid hippies dislike it as much as do stupid rednecks. “What’s the matter with them? What do they want?” Anyone who was ever a hippie for the right reasons — a hatred of conformity and a desire to break through to higher realities — is likely to appreciate and enjoy the punks. But a lot of basically conventional people slid through the ’70s thinking of themselves as avant-garde, when in fact they were brain-dead. What’s good about punk is that it makes all of us question our comfortable assumptions and attitudes. Wait . . . look at that last sentence, and you can see I’m forty. How complacently I slip the “us” in there — trying to coopt the revolution. How Life magazine of me, how plastic, how bullshit. What’s good about punk is that it’s fast and dense. It has a lot of information...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Elsevier Acquires Semantic Technology

This is an interesting development with Elsevier, often the bane of libraries' budget decisions. I wonder what impact this will have on my project at NCSU where I will focus on development of Graduate Student and Faculty Spaces and Services in the Research Library. Verbiage-wise, this is a perfect match with what a research and graduate commons should do, but historically Elsevier has been the imperfect match for many libraries.

Press Release Blurb (lifted from TechCrunch)
Elsevier, a juggernaut of a global publisher of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, announced today the acquisition of assets from Collexis, a developer of semantic technology and knowledge discovery software.

According to Elsevier, the combination of Collexis’ semantic technology and its own content will provide institutions and researchers new ways to collaborate, showcase accomplishments and improve grant related workflow efficiencies.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

AAPL Eclipses MSFT in Market Cap

Still figuring on this one, but I guess this does mean something paradigmatic...can't be just one tech company growing larger than another tech company. I do think this is a milestone that signifies a dramatic change of computing: Windows is in decline, and technologies like the iPad and iPhone, Android and Google Search, and Cloud Computing are on the way up.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Next Generation Scholarly Communication Ecosystem: Implications for Librarians

I have been meaning to post this. Lee Dirks, Director of Microsoft's Education & Scholarly Communication External Research Division, gave an incisive talk a couple of months ago at the OCLC/Frederick G. Kilgour Lecture in Information and Library Science. Dirks provided a pretty solid thinking through of the major paradigms we've got upon us in these times of big (and even chaotic) data. Technically and epistemologically his talk was pretty tight.

The video and the presentations (more than one) are available from the UNC SILS website:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Two Great MacArthur Videos on Learning in "New" Times

The 21st Century Learner

Re-Imagining Learning in the 21st Century

There's also a pretty fantastic MacArthur page with findings and videos located here:

Creating a 21st Century Library