Have you seen people walking around talking to their iPhones like they were alive? Do you think it’s creepy? Or do you wish Siri loved you the way she loves them? Tom, Amanda, Dan, and I speculated about what the Siri phenomenon might mean (or more likely not mean) for digital humanities in the most recent edition of Digital Campus. Of more substance, we also discussed the future of academic publishing, libraries, and archives in some detail, given such trends as the rise of alternative publishing models and the increasing likelihood that the Digital Public Library of America is actually going to happen. And for you long time listeners to the podcast, I made a shocking request that has yet to be answered…Want to know what that’s all about? You’ll have to go listen.
When I was in high school PDA meant “public displays of affection” and the term was used more to taunt couples who spent too much time making out, as in “Whoa, too much PDA!” Then the personal digital assistant came along and PDA took on a whole new meaning, as in “Whoa, nice PDA!” Now, as a result of this week’s edition of Digital Campus, I learn that PDA means something altogether different yet again — now it stands for “patron driven acquisition” as in “Whoa, we better buy that book right away! Patrons want it!”
In addition to setting me straight on pop culture (and library culture) acronyms, hosting Digital Campus this week gave me a chance to learn a lot from Jennifer Howard of The Chronicle of Higher Education about Robert Darnton’s proposal that we create a “national digital library” and that, to my immense satisfaction, the Wikimedia Foundation has caught up with Episode #1 of Digital Campus in which I discussed assigning my students to write Wikipedia entries. Oh, and Dan had a chance to fill listeners in on the latest developments on the Omeka front: Omeka.net.
Want to know more than these teases? Then go to the Digital Campus website and give the podcast a listen.
Forget about the University of Alabama — the real number one out there turns out to be…me. Who knew?
It turns out that a fellow blogger, writing at Do It Yourself Scholar, decided that the podcasts of my lectures from my course Nationalism in Eastern Europe (last given in the fall of 2007) were the best available on the web. These lectures are available via iTunesU and it was a surprise to me that anyone other than my students was listening. However, over the past few years I’ve heard from a few people who found the lectures, listened, and then offered laudatory or negative feedback.
I intend to offer this course again in the spring 2011 semester and when I do, I plan to use these (and a few others I have recorded) to set up class discussions. Rather than me giving the lectures again, I’ll have the students listen to them prior to class and then we’ll use the class time more productively discussing issues I raised in the lectures, etc. My hope is to do this with all of my courses so that eventually I don’t need to lecture much in class at all.
For those interested in podcasting, don’t be talked into fancy set ups. I made these recordings with my iPod Nano using an iTalk plug in microphone with a small lapel microphone plugged into that. Rather than investing in a serious recording system — as our university has done — I can just drop my Nano in my shirt pocket and blab away. I then do the post-production work in Audacity (free), a software program that took me about an hour to figure out how to use. My total investment, not counting the cost of the Nano, was less than $50.
The latest installment of Digital Campus is now up online for your listening pleasure. In this episode (#42 if you’re counting), Tom, Dan, and I consider what happens when reputable publishers of scholarly journals publish journals that are, well, not so reputable. We also take a look at the latest attempt to take some of Google’s market share in the world of search. My assessement of Wolfram Alpha? Let’s just say I didn’t mince any words on the podcast. So, give us a listen and don’t forget to stalk us (sorry, follow us) on Twitter.