Great Video on Second Life – Archive of Online Videos on Science, Environment and Nature from Quest/KQED

This excellent short video on Second Life was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education, but it led me to an incredible and amazing treasure trove of online videos. QUEST is a TV, radio, Web, and education series by KQED that explores science, environment and nature in Northern California. I have listed the other September listings below to give you an idea, but I highly recommend looking at the others! Chris.

Second Life: Big Avatar on Campus
by Sheraz Sadiq
Sept. 25, 2007, Quest/KQED Television

It’s a virtual world, but the transactions are real. Go inside Second Life, an online game where millions of people are creating digital personalities called avatars and are living virtual lives– meeting other avatars, going to events, and even buying property with real money. You may view the “Second Life: Big Avatar on Campus” TV story online, as well as find additional links and resources. Also, see See additional photos of our producer’s avatar, ‘Quest Infinity,’ as he explores Second Life. Sheraz Sadiq is a Segment Producer and Associate Producer for QUEST on KQED Television.

September Video/Radio Reports
See more

Perilous Diesel
Sept. 20 2007, Quest/KQED Radio

Your tennis shoes. That radio you’re listening to. If it wasn’t made in the U.S., chances are it passed through the Port of Oakland, the fourth busiest Port in the country. But there’s a downside to that convenience and those affordable prices, as Amy Standen reports.

From Salt Ponds to Wetlands
Sept. 18 2007, Quest/KQED Television

For more than 100 years, south San Francisco Bay has been a center for industrial salt production. Now federal and state biologists are working on a 40-year, $1 billion project to restore the ponds to healthy wetlands for fish, wildlife and public recreation.

Watching the Brain at Work: MRIs and Beyond
Sept. 18 2007, Quest/KQED Television

The human brain was once a black box, but scientists are finding ways to peer inside and explore some of our most complicated thought processes. Using MRI scanners in innovative ways, Stanford scientists are learning how children’s brains process words when they read.

Sea 3-D: Charting the Ocean Floor
Sept. 18 2007, Quest/KQED Television

Using sound and laser technology, researchers have begun to reveal the secrets of the ocean floor from the Sonoma Coast to Monterey Bay. By creating complex 3-D maps, they’re hoping to learn more about waves and achieve ambitious conservation goals.

Eat Less, Live Longer?
Sept. 11 2007, Quest/KQED Television

Have we found the fountain of youth? Scientists are discovering ways to make animals live dramatically longer through calorie restriction. While the technique has attracted a small, but devout following, skepticism abounds.

Earthquakes: Breaking New Ground
Sept. 11 2007, Quest/KQED Television

Can earthquakes be predicted? Northern California researchers are now identifying the slow-moving clues that may foreshadow violent quakes. Their work may provide even a few seconds of warning to open elevator doors, slow down trains or alert firefighters.

Your Photos on QUEST – Russ Morris
Sept. 11 2007, Quest/KQED Television

QUEST launches a new photography feature about viewers like you who love documenting science, environment and nature imagery here in the Bay Area. This week, meet Russ Morris, who takes pictures using 2 cameras at once– one old, one new– to create unique images.

Greening Man
Sept. 7 2007, Quest/KQED Radio

Burning Man is going green. QUEST heads out to the Nevada desert to see how clean tech CEOs are tapping into this counter-culture art festival.

Perilous Diesel
Sept. 4 2007, Quest/KQED Television

Diesel engines are the durable workhorses of transportation, but as they get older, they spew unhealthy soot. Communities with the highest diesel smog levels, like West Oakland, California, are working hard to reduce the pollution.

The Reverse Evolution Machine
Sept. 4 2007, Quest/KQED Television

In search of the common ancestor of all mammals, UC Santa Cruz scientist David Haussler is pulling a complete reversal. Instead of studying fossils, he’s comparing the genomes of living mammals to construct a map of our common ancestors’ DNA. His technique holds promise for providing a better picture of how life evolved.

Urban Forest 2.0
Sept. 4 2007, Quest/KQED Television

The urban forest is going digital. Thanks to volunteers with laptops and handheld devices, San Francisco is creating an online map of every street tree in the city, getting a leg up on keeping the urban landscape healthy and growing.

Great Video on Second Life – Archive of Online Videos on Science, Environment and Nature from Quest/KQED

Two Web Lectures on Copyright Law and Enforcement: Live on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 3:00pm ET and 7:30 ET

This afternoon, Cornell University’s Office of Information Technologies University Computer Policy and Law Program is sponsoring two free lectures on copyright issues on their Web site. The programs will be archived for later access. I have listed the programs they held earlier this year below which might also be of interest.

Brock Read in the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote that “Both lectures should offer plenty of food for thought, and some pointed perspectives. Ms. Seltzer was formerly a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has opposed the entertainment industry in court and in public debate. And in an editorial for The Harvard Crimson, she argued that colleges should do more to fight ‘the draconian copyright law that the copyright industry has forced upon us.’”

Wendy co-wrote the article, “Protect Harvard from the RIAA,” in the May 1, 2007 issue of the Harvard Crimson with Charles R. Nesson. See


Protecting the University from Copyright Bullies
Sept. 27, 2007 at 3:00 pm Eastern Time
Wendy Seltzer, Northeastern University School of Law and Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School

How can the university foster intellectual exploration and creativity, protect students’ privacy, and educate responsible citizens of the networked world? Is it possible to support balanced copyright law and enforcement, without responding to every entertainment company’s demands for internet filtering and “pre-litigation notices”?

Righting the Copyright Balance
Thurs., Sept. 27, 2007 at 7:30pm Eastern Time
Wendy Seltzer, Northeastern University School of Law and Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School

Can the music go on by offering fans better ways to get music, while guaranteeing payment for its creators? Where have copyright law and its enforcers gone wrong, and what can students, music fans, and co-creators do to put the law back on track?


Archived Presentations – 2007
See the rest of the video archive since November 2002

Caught in the Web: Accessibility Now and in Next-Generation Technologies
Presenter: Cyndi Rowland, Ph.D., Executive Director, WebAIM, Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University
February 8, 2007

Video 1: User Experience
Video 2: Next Generations

Individuals with disabilities have struggled over the past two decades to gain access to Web content; content that powerfully predicts academic and employment success. As the field moves to new technologies (e.g., AJAX) what are the likely outcomes for individuals who struggle to gain basic access? Dr. Rowland will discuss the experiences of individuals with disabilities as they attempt to gain access to current content. She will forward the argument that there are many reasons why developers should keep Web accessibility in mind now and in the future. One of those reasons is that from a technologic standpoint, it is the smart thing to do.

Web 2.0 and Accessibility – What Challenges and Opportunities Await?
Presenter: Mark Greenfield, Director of Web Services, University at Buffalo
February 12, 2007

Abstract: The next generation web has arrived. Social Networks, User-Created Content, Rich Media, and the Mobile Web are now part of the landscape. What does this mean for Web Accessibility?

We Are All Public Now: Surveillance, Technology, and the Sanctity of the Classroom
Presenter: Siva Vaidhyanathan, Department of Culture and Communication, New York University
April 4, 2007

Abstract: As information and communicative technologies pervade the higher education classroom; academia has been justifiably enamored of the democratizing potential of constant connectivity and inexpensive information distribution. But these technologies — Web sites, blogs, social networking sites, course management systems, digital video, and camera phones, instant messaging, etc. — have generated some profound negative externalities as well. Chief among these is the loss of the sense that the classroom is a special, even sacred, space. Professors and students now operate in an environment of almost constant surveillance. And for those teaching and learning controversial subjects, the potential for abuse is clear and present. This talk argues that we in the academy should avoid the temptation of “quick fixes” such as restrictive technologies and regulations. Instead, we should foster a structures conversation that generates better norms, protocols, and ethics and aims to restore the classroom as a safe and special place for the deliberation of ideas and the dissemination of knowledge and wisdom.

Two Web Lectures on Copyright Law and Enforcement: Live on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 3:00pm ET and 7:30 ET

Students & Technology, Second Life Debate, Analytics and Privacy, Library 2.0, FAFSA, Grants for Minority-Serving Institutions

The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2007
by Gail Salaway, EDUCAUSE, and Judith Borreson Caruso, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sept. 12, 2007, Educause Center for Applied Research

“This 2007 ECAR research study is a longitudinal extension of the 2004, 2005, and 2006 ECAR studies of students and information technology. The study, which reports noticeable changes from previous years, is based on quantitative data from a spring 2007 survey and interviews with 27,846 freshman, senior, and community college students at 103 higher education institutions. It focuses on what kinds of information technologies these students use, own, and experience; their technology behaviors, preferences, and skills; how IT impacts their experiences in their courses; and their perceptions of the role of IT in the academic experience.”

See Chapter 2 – “Introduction: A Sea Change in Thinking, Learning, Knowing and Learning” by Chris Dede, Harvard Graduate School of Education

See the article about this report, “Students’ ‘Evolving’ Use of Technology,” by Andy Guess in the Sept. 17, 2007 issue of Inside Higher Ed

. . . “The changes in technological habits aren’t revolutionary per se, as the authors point out; rather, students are making “evolutionary” gains in access to the Internet for everyday uses, inside the classroom and out. Perhaps the most visible of these changes is the continuing increase in the proportion of students with laptops, which has grown to 73.7 percent of respondents (while an almost-total 98.4 percent own a computer of some kind). More surprisingly, over half of laptop owners don’t bring them to class at all, with about a quarter carrying them to lectures at least once a week.”

“The amount of time spent on the Internet also shows no sign of abating, with an average of about 18 hours a week, for any purpose – and, on the extreme end, some 6.6 percent of respondents (mostly male) saying they spend more than a full-time job’s worth of 40 hours online a week. Most students use broadband, more are on wireless connections, and “smart phones” – all-in-one communications and personal data assistants – are also on the rise, with 12 percent owning one.”

“What they’re doing when they’re online is also changing somewhat, with the rise of Facebook and other social networking sites as the clearest trend this year (to 80.3 percent from 72.3 percent in 2006), along with streaming video and course management software, which 46.1 percent of respondents said they use several times a week or more (compared with 39.6 percent in 2006).” . . .

Facelifts for the Facebook Generation
by Andy Guess
Sept. 14, 2007, Inside Higher Ed

“Web sites aren’t about throwing some text and pictures onto a page anymore. Colleges, catching on to the evolving online habits of their prospective students, are starting to wise up – and that often means making their online presence more appealing to Facebook-surfing high schoolers.” . . .

“College and university Web operations have been adapting to these realities incrementally for some time, revamping their designs and adding more pictures, interactivity and various other bells and whistles. But more recent redesigns suggest that when institutions go back to the drawing board, the entire process is informed by a more all-encompassing conceptual framework that views site visitors as content creators, values user input and emphasizes showing over telling. In short, Web designers in higher education are starting to embrace the grab bag of technologies loosely referred to as “Web 2.0,” a realm in which streaming media are readily available, people can share or remix content and communication is always a two-way street.” . . .

The Chronicle Fears Second Life, Continued
by Bryan Alexander
Sept. 16, 2007, Infocult: Information, Culture, Policy, Education

“The Chronicle of Higher Education takes another whack at Second Life. Michael Bugeja wants readers to think about liability and ethical issues, primarily. It’s good advice, as one legal education blog observes. The author is also concerned about the nature of virtual worlds, insofar as they impact teaching and learning. It’s a fascinating article, at least in terms of fearsome cyberspace writing, and for considering how the Chronicle approaches technology.” . . .

Second Thoughts About Second Life
by Michael J. Bugeja
Sept. 14, 2007, Chronicle of Higher Education

“Chances are you have at least second-hand knowledge about Second Life, a virtual-reality world created by Linden Lab, in which avatars (digital characters) lease “islands” for real-life purposes — to sell products, conduct classes, do research, hold conferences, and even recruit for admissions. About nine million avatars reportedly interact on this digital landscape, in which dozens of colleges from around the world have set up islands.”

“One such institution is Ohio University. Last May, in the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech, a visiting avatar entered the university’s Second Life campus and fired at other avatars. According to the university’s student newspaper, The Post, the cyber-shooting constituted a behavior called griefing, “where one player harasses another for the sake of doing so.” We have enough trouble dealing with violence, assault, and sexual harassment in the real world, but few of us — even campus lawyers — know how the law applies in virtual realms vended by companies whose service terms often conflict with due process in academe.” . . .

Thoughts on “Analytics” and Privacy
by Michael Feldstein
Sept. 11, 2007 in Higher Education and Tools, Toys, and Technology

“The idea is that if you could get an early warning that a student is at risk, you can intervene and hopefully help that student get through a rough spot. Of course, developing this kind of tool raises all sorts of interesting problems, not the least of which is privacy.” . . .

“Campbell has pointed out that there are all sorts of competing moral obligations when it comes to data mining student behaviors that are captured in university IT systems, even when the intentions are the best. What do we have the right to look at? When do we have to ask the student’s prior permission, and when do we not? And what are the affirmative obligations? If we know we can find out how likely a student is to drop out, do we have a moral obligation to do so? And if we do, what moral obligation do we have to act on any such knowledge?”

Listen to the podcast of the Oct. 11, 2006 presentation, “Student Persistence: Using the CMS as an Early Warning and Intervention System,” by John Campbell, Lukas Leftwich, and Stephen Wanger.

What’s New about Library 2.0? Shift in Power
by Kathryn Greenhill
Sep 10th, 2007, Librarians Matter

“So, if being user centred is not new, and Library 2.0 isn’t only about new tools, what is new about it? Why should we lift our heads from the stuff we are already doing and take notice of it? To me, the new element that Library 2.0 brings to our libraries is a shift in power balance – between us, our users, suppliers, software vendors, non-users. Users are able to control parts of our library that they previously could not. Librarians are now able to control spaces outside our buildings. This is different.”

“Here’s some places where I think power relationships have changed.” . . .

Education Dept. Will Switch to Electronic FAFSA and Stop Distributing Paper Copies
by Paul Basken
Sept. 14, 2007, Chronicle of Higher Education

“The U.S. Education Department plans to change how it handles its main application form for student aid, by largely eliminating the distribution of paper copies. About 90 percent of applicants now use the online version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as Fafsa. Under the change, the department next year will stop routinely mailing cartons of paper applications to American high schools, according to Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education.” . . .

Minority Serving Institutions Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2007
Update from the American Council on Education

[On September 4] “the House passed the Minority Serving Institutions Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2007 (H.R. 694) on a vote of 331-59. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.”

“H.R. 694 authorizes new funding for minority-serving institutions for technology instrumentation and infrastructure that would allow them to strengthen academic instruction and research and improve connectivity and campus communication. The measure is virtually identical to S. 1650, which has been reported by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and is supported by ACE along with American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the United Negro College Fund.”

The legislation defines eligible institutions as: “(1) historically Black colleges or universities, (2) a Hispanic-, Alaskan Native-, or Native Hawaiian-serving institution; (3) a tribally controlled college or university; or (4) an institution with a sufficient enrollment of needy students as defined under the Higher Education Act of 1965.”

For more information see

Students & Technology, Second Life Debate, Analytics and Privacy, Library 2.0, FAFSA, Grants for Minority-Serving Institutions

NYT, Electronic Books, Web Trends, Education Statistics, Statistics Online, Resources for Language Teachers

Here are some recent articles and some resources you might be interested in. Have a great weekend! Chris.

‘New York Times’ Enters Distance Learning Market
by Scott Jaschik
Sept. 7, 2007, Inside Higher Ed

“The New York Times on Thursday announced a major push into higher education — with new efforts to provide distance education, course content and social networking. A number of colleges are already either committed to using the new technologies or are in negotiations to start doing so, evidence of the strong power of the Times brand in academe.” (See

“If successful, the enterprises could help some colleges start or expand distance education and might provide professors and students with information that might replace the need for some textbooks or course materials, college officials say.” In distance education, the Times will be providing technology and marketing for non-credit courses taught by college and university professors. Funds from tuition revenue will be split (with the precise formula varying) between the colleges and the Times. Among the institutions that are already part of the effort are Mount Holyoke College; New York, Northern Kentucky, Stanford and Towson Universities; and the Society for College and University Planning. Felice Nudelman, director of education for the Times, said that the list would soon grow significantly. She said that the emphasis would be on having a range of institutions and a range of high quality programs. Tuition rates are set by the colleges — in some cases with in-state and out-of-state rates.” . . .

Envisioning the Next Chapter for Electronic Books
by Brad Stone
Sept. 6, 2007, New York Times

“Technology evangelists have predicted the emergence of electronic books for as long as they have envisioned flying cars and video phones. It is an idea that has never caught on with mainstream book buyers. Two new offerings this fall are set to test whether consumers really want to replace a technology that has reliably served humankind for hundreds of years: the paper book.”“In October, the online retailer will unveil the Kindle, an electronic book reader that has been the subject of industry speculation for a year, according to several people who have tried the device and are familiar with Amazon’s plans. The Kindle will be priced at $400 to $500 and will wirelessly connect to an e-book store on Amazon’s site. That is a significant advance over older e-book devices, which must be connected to a computer to download books or articles.”

“Also this fall, Google plans to start charging users for full online access to the digital copies of some books in its database, according to people with knowledge of its plans. Publishers will set the prices for their own books and share the revenue with Google. So far, Google has made only limited excerpts of copyrighted books available to its users.” . . .

10 Future Web Trends
by Richard MacManus
Sept. 5, 2007, Read/Write Web

“We’re well into the current era of the Web, commonly referred to as Web 2.0. Features of this phase of the Web include search, social networks, online media (music, video, etc), content aggregation and syndication (RSS), mashups (APIs), and much more. Currently the Web is still mostly accessed via a PC, but we’re starting to see more Web excitement from mobile devices (e.g. iPhone) and television sets (e.g. XBox Live 360).”

“What then can we expect from the next 10 or so years on the Web? As NatC commented in this week’s poll, the biggest impact of the Web in 10 years time won’t necessarily be via a computer screen – “your online activity will be mixed with your presence, travels, objects you buy or act with.” Also a lot of crossover will occur among the 10 trends below (and more) and there will be Web technologies that become enormously popular that we can’t predict now.”

“Bearing all that in mind, here are 10 Web trends to look out for over the next 10 years…”

Mini-Digest of Education Statistics 2006
August 2007, Center for Education Statistics

A “pocket-sized compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from kindergarten through graduate school. The statistical highlights are excerpts from the Digest of Education of Statistics, 2006.”

Statistics Online Computational Resource

Based at UCLA, portable online aids for probability and statistics education, technology based instruction and statistical computing. SOCR tools and resources include a repository of interactive applets, computational and graphing tools, instructional and course materials. The core SOCR educational and computational components include: distributions (interactive graphs and calculators), experiments (virtual computer-generated analogs of popular games and processes), analyses (collection of common web-accessible tools for statistical data analysis), games (interfaces and simulations to real-life processes), modeler (tools for distribution, polynomial and spectral model-fitting and simulation), graphs, plots and charts (comprehensive web-based tools for exploratory data analysis), additional tools (other statistical tools and resources), SOCR Wiki (collaborative Wiki resource), educational materials and hands-on activities (varieties of SOCR educational materials), SOCR Statistical Consulting and Statistical Computing Libraries.

National Capitol Language Resource Center

Includes information on language teaching theory and method, practices for applying theory in teaching grammar, listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture. Addresses common concerns of language teachers and connects the material on the site with the ways language instruction takes place in actual classrooms and textbooks. For each topic, provides information on teaching goals and methods and guidance on developing learning activities, using textbook materials, and assessing laerners’ progress. Examples in the text are drawn from English language teaching with plans to add links to examples in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish as the site develops. Developed by George Washington University, Georgetown University and the Center for Applied Linguistics.

NYT, Electronic Books, Web Trends, Education Statistics, Statistics Online, Resources for Language Teachers