Tracy Mitrano

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Most Recent Articles

December 7, 2011
Carol Twigg raises doubts about the ultimate viability of the Khan Academy.  Khan raises the question of completion rates verses quality of education.  These questions are red herrings. The Khan Academy is trying something in an era when education is challenged by stagnation, technology, global competition and gross domestic inequalities. I thought of two people when I read the article in IHE about it today.  The first is Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  The second is my Aunt Toni.
November 20, 2011
NYT headlines today reflect a mature understanding of the Internet. In the "Technology" section there are no articles on "technology" per se, for example semi-conductors, fiber optic cables or wireless access points. (The Times does cover these matters in its "Science" section anyway.) Rather, there are economic, legal, and social articles about technology.
November 11, 2011
Call a lawyer today!  That is more or less why I have come to D.C. for the NACUA conference on compliance for the last couple of days. I wanted to hone in on what, precisely, the legal language would be in a vendor contract to address the need that higher education has to protect its institutional information and take advantage of selective cloud providers of transmission and storage services.
October 31, 2011
I have a bold proposal: to make standard in all vendor contracts regarding the transmission and storage of institutional information that the vendor will comply with applicable privacy and technical security regulations in existing federal privacy laws.
October 23, 2011
In the New York Times article, "Why Does Facebook Want Our Kids," the on-going micro debate about the Child Online Privacy Protect Act illuminates the macro market influence that Facebook has on social norms of youth culture. May the law always be such a guide!
October 7, 2011
We all knew he was ill, but his passing still comes as a shock to many people. We have come a long way since our first introduction to an Apple computer. Reading about his magnificent public biography can't help but make us think about our own personal journeys. That those journeys have computers, network systems and applications woven into them says a lot about our age.
October 2, 2011
I have two comments to make about today's New York Times article regarding the United States Post Office's (USPO) challenge to remain relevant. According to the article, USPO's deficient is large and growing. The alleged problem is "the Internet," with a focus on email verses "stamped" mail. My first comment is academic, the second is administrative.
September 29, 2011
In today's IHE article on the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid Committee's survey of higher education regarding regulation, the conclusion suggests that higher education may perceive the burden of regulation to be greater than it actually is. Maybe so, I am not an expert on the whole thing. But I do know something about the last decade's file sharing debacle. My experience based on that example makes me skeptical.The Higher Education Opportunity Act's peer to peer file sharing provisions are discriminatory toward higher education.
September 27, 2011
In The New York Times today, there is an article about Paulo Coelho, author of among other works, the best-selling novel, The Alchemist.
September 19, 2011
Last week I gave an invited talk on copyright at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. Before I left Ithaca on Wednesday, news of the suit by the Author’s Guild against Hathiway Trust and a number of universities, including Cornell, made higher education journals. I read with interest, of course, and included mention of this suit in the talk that I gave on Thursday. This morning, in my father’s ancestral home of Gaeta, I read about the developments regarding Orphan Works. Now is the time for higher education to lead copyright reform.

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