Summer is here and, with it, I again have the privilege of teaching a grad class with the (mouthful of) a title “Digital Citizenship, Intellectual Property, and Internet Legal Issues” AKA “Nousion” because…shorter titles FTW. It’s a small class (12-weeks, a half-dozen students) about big ideas. Any one of the clauses in the title could be a semester-long class, a PhD dissertation, or a book!
But we start with digital citizenship because, as problematic as the concept is, I think it works to have everything else in the course be part, or a function of, it. And the questions there are perennial:
- What does the word “digital” mean and do here?
- What is citizenship?
- How do we live and work online, individually and together?
- Where does digital literacy fit?
- What about identity?
- What about privacy?
- Whose data?
You get the idea. I love exploring this topic every summer with a cohort of engaged students even if by the end of each term the most important lesson I’ve learned is just how much more I don’t know and if the only answers to those questions are more questions.
We’re launching Domain of One’s Own at my institution this year. If you haven’t heard of Domains, it’s a program that helps institutions offer students, faculty, and staff online spaces that they control. Domains grew out of a project at the University of Mary Washington (UMW). Co-founders J...
Let me offer another scenario for academia’s future. As is usual with the scenario forecasting methodology, this is based on extrapolating from several present-day trends – here, several trends around open.
In the past I’ve called this “The Fall of the Silos.” It’s a sign of our urban- and suburban-centric era that this rural metaphor doesn’t get a lot of traction. It’s also possible that contemporary American politics leads many to embrace silos. So I’ve renamed the scenario “The Triumph of Open.”
tl;dr version – In this future the open paradigm has succeeded in shaping the way we use and access most digital information, with powerful implications for higher education.
Electracy is a theory by Gregory Ulmer that describes the kind of skills and facility necessary to exploit the full communicative potential of new electronic media such as multimedia, hypermedia, social software, and virtual worlds. According to Ulmer, electracy "is to digital media what literacy is to print." It encompasses the broader cultural, institutional, pedagogical, and ideological implications inherent in the transition from a culture of print literacy to a culture saturated with electronic media. "Electracy" is the term he gives to what is resulting from this major transition that our society is undergoing. The term is a portmanteau word, combining "electrical" with "literacy", to allude to one of the fundamental terms used by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida to name the relational spacing that enables and delimits any signification in any medium.