When I was on the InCommon Steering Committee, I wrote an article for EDUCAUSE Review imagining uses for the bridging authentication technology that many people know as "Shibboleth." That exercise let out the genie in me that long had a penchant for big ideas. Having grown up in Catholic education, the concept of globalization was nothing new, so the idea, first, of a physical Internet layer that went around the world, and then, second, interoperable authentication to access content was consistent with a deeply held tradition and vision.
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June 15, 2011
June 10, 2011
I have been focused, some might say obsessed, with concern about the future of higher education, if not since I devoted my life's work to its enterprise some thirty years ago, increasingly as I have observed challenges escalate to threats emerge to not-for-profit higher education in the last few years. Copyright conundrums are both symptom and disease. With its policy tentacles extending from the free market to speech, copyright and its inimical balance of innovation and incentive sits squarely in the center of why, for and how higher education operates at is most dynamic levels.
June 7, 2011
In more than one forum over the last couple of years I have made the claim that the concept of privacy has the potential to become a central organizing principle for politics in the twenty-first century. I venture this idea based on the following three thoughts. As a concept, it is as old as it is nebulous in civic life throughout Western society and therefore stands the test of time as an enduring political quality while not having been so thoroughly exhausted as the eighteenth-century notion of rights might be suspected of becoming as we move forward in this new, global century.
May 31, 2011
May 28, 2011
May 26, 2011
May 23, 2011
Higher education faces a combination of challenges today. First and foremost, the concept that education is a public good is on the wane. What are its effects? For over a generation now, private college tuition has risen faster than inflation to the point that on average it costs in the ballpark of $50,000 per year per student, a sum that has become the subject of concern, if not invective, from parents and students who graduate with degrees that do not provide jobs that safely allow them to pay back the debt.
May 20, 2011
To ask what is “digital literacy” is to ask first from what “literacy” derives? It is inexorably intertwined with history -- articulated self-consciousness. Archeological evidence from the Mesopotamian Valley suggests that trade fostered the first forms of this kind of communication. That makes some sense. As hunter/gatherers transformed into early agricultural societies, social organization inevitably came to assume greater degrees of specialization. Trade among members of the community as well as with outsiders would naturally emerge as a primary activity.
May 18, 2011
May 17, 2011
Yesterday I met a wonderful group of people at Loyola in Baltimore at the invitation of my friend Luise Finn, CIO. The subject was literacy in the digital age. The talk is too long for a single post here, so I am going to post it as a serial. Here is the introduction. See you soon for more! “It Takes Only a Generation:” Information Literacy in the Digital Age