*So, I’m sitting here on Wednesday wondering what to talk about on Friday’s post, and into my email comes the Campus Technology Newsletter with a great story about Ohio University in Second Life. But I don’t want you to think that’s all I think about anymore, so I’ll let you read what the OU Russ College of Engineering and Technology has to say (it’s good–you’ll hate yourself if you don’t read it–and it has pictures).
*Did you hear about the Blackboard patent challenge last year? Well you can read the background and a recent update here. Last week, Blackboard sent a valentine to the open-source crowd in the form of a pledge, announcing a retreat from their widely-detested position that they should have the patent on “technology used for Internet-based education support systems and methods.” It’s almost like they claimed to have invented the Internet or even the Internets! The whole thing made us Blackboard users and supporters very uncomfortable, and now, I’d say the academic community is wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing (that’s not a reference to Second Life avatars).
*Google has a neat 3D tool, SketchUp, that you can download free in it’s lite form and use to create your own 3D world. Integrated with its Google Earth, you can locate your completed houses and such for the world to see. They also have a competition for teams of students to build their campuses in 3D and win a trip to Google! Who’s up for that? and who wants to be the faculty advisor?
*Finally, I’ve been watching 2001: A Space Odyssey in 30 minute snippets while on the treadmill this week, and I must say the technology still looks like the future, although we’re catching up. The flat screen video phones finally materialized for us in video IMing, if you’re lucky enough to have a videocam or new Mac with a built in camera. Our space stations are not as glitzy, or roomy, and as far as I know we don’t have stewardesses in them (recent astronaut foibles excluded). I love the way Kubrick and his designers pulled in art, design, and music from a variety of earlier periods–both mid-century modern and Louis Quinze (or one of the Louis’s) interior design, 19th-century classical music, and couture that was quite contemporary. It still looks good, folks.