Tag Archives: digital

MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) at UW – Madison

Classrooms have been changing over the past 20 years as new technologies become available, but they may come with consequences that affect students and faculty alike.

The University of Wisconsin is following the lead of top-tier schools like Berkeley, MIT and Stanford in offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) that any person with a computer and an Internet connection can access for free.

“Right now, we are treating the pilots like an experiment,” said Dr. John Hawks, a professor in social sciences who will be teaching a MOOC in January. “After the first round of courses is done, we will meet and decide whether they have met desired outcomes.”

Some of these desired outcomes include the number of students who follow through the class to completion, how the University is able to support it, and how professors feel about teaching them. Continue reading

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Competition between digital & analog worlds?

In Paul Virilio’s paper on the speed of information, he attempts to make sense of the transition from an analog world to a digital one. Although I think that many of the points he makes are valid, I would argue that digital reality is not at odds with what he considers to be the “real” world.

Firstly, I must define what digital reality and tangible reality are. The digital world is just that: it requires the existence of computers and technology to keep it running. The internet itself is merely the result of connections between computers. The digital world does not, however, ignore temporal boundaries. The digital world does not tell users what the future is (at least beyond a few days of weather predictions), but it does catalog some of what the past has taught us. In this way, the internet is like a book. The digital world is accessible to any person around the world with a working computer and an internet connection. It does not permeate everything everywhere, but where it does exist, it shortens the time and space between users.

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Interviewing in the Digital Age

After reading through Tompkins’s “Aim for the Heart” chapter 6, I thought about how technology influences the interview processes. He made a lot of good points, touching on a few that are probably familiar to most people already. The most interesting things that came to mind during this reading, however, were the changes in technologies over the past few years.

What is the best way to interview someone if that information is going to be filtered into written stories for publishing or alternative story forms? Continue reading

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The Greatest Blog Post Ever Sold

… but not really.

Courtesy of FireCritic.com

This blog doesn’t get nearly enough views for me to put advertisements up, but if I did, I would be getting paid just because you’re reading this. This is part of the reason Facebook makes money- not a lot, granted, but Facebook is currently worth a few billion dollars.  For every page on which an ad is shown, the proprietor of a website will make a few cents. Given the number of ads on each page, and the number of viewers, this can add up fairly quickly.

So why don’t we use ads to pay for more? In a sense, we already do. Twitter shows ‘promoted’ feeds that pay for more views even though you might not subscribe to the sender. I once heard a great quote that went something like “If you do not pay for a product or service, you are the product being sold.” Essentially, this is true. Free services like most e-mail servers, website hosting (including, dear friends, my blog), social networking and other such web-based platforms are all fueled by advertisement revenue.

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Web-based marketplaces streamline purchases

Technology is ever-changing, and at times can be difficult to predict. Recently, however, websites like the Amazon Marketplace and etsy.com have made it easy for small business owners, aspiring artists and artisan crafters to sell their products over the internet. This enables them to reach a vast audience of consumers, to tailor their advertisements based on the search keywords that bring people to their sites, as well as creating interest based on affiliation with other web-based stores. Sites like these also make it easier for consumers to find exactly what they are looking for, and compare prices. Reviews and average ratings can say a lot about a particular product, or even a seller in general. Continue reading

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