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An IHE Book Club?
December 13, 2009 - 8:27pm

Inside Higher Ed should start a virtual book club.

This idea came to me after finishing Googled: The End of the World As We Know It.

I wanted to discuss with someone the impact that Google is going to have on the future of higher education. The book inspired me to want to brainstorm about how Google's massive data center infrastructure and talented engineering talent could be direct to solve some of the educational technology issues that we face. I was hoping to compare and contrast the corporate Google culture with our academic culture.

But I don't know anyone at my institution who has read the book. I have no academics and ed. tech people to book club with.

That's when I thought about an Inside Higher Ed book club.

Here's how I envision it working:

1. A book is chosen of interest to the readers of Inside Higher Education. Maybe the community nominates the books to be discussed.

2. The book must be available in digital and audio format, as well as paper (if it's not an audiobook - I'm not reading it!). Perhaps IHE could do some deal with Amazon or BN or some publisher where IHE readers get a code for a discounted download of the book. This seems like an ideal marketing opportunity for authors and publishers.

3. The book club lasts for one week. The format of the book club revolves around a set of structured questions and prompts. The existing IHE blog platform is used, with the comments field being the mechanism that the community discusses the questions and prompts. The main questions and prompts may change each day depending on where the discussion is going.

4. Ideally, the discussion is led by the book's author. If that is not possible, then perhaps volunteers from our community write-up the initial discussion questions and keep the dialogue moving.

What do you think? Would you participate in such a book club? How much lead time between the announcement of the selected book and the kicking off of the week long book club would you need? Any ideas for books we could read together? What are you reading now?

If you don't like this idea for an IHE book club then maybe you'll like my next idea -- for an IHE dating site!


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