Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Director Werner Herzog at a press conference i...Image via WikipediaI know this is not a movie review blog, but this is not really a movie review. I am on "vacation" in Chicago this week and one of the things I like to do on vacation is catch up on movies. German movie director Werner Herzog has shown up in this blog previously for his "Rogue Film School" and here in Chicago, I finally got around to seeing "Cave of Forgotten Dreams." There are so many reasons why this is an important film. The first of which is that it is a record of the oldest known artistic production of our species. The cave paintings are 35,000 years old, twice as old as the cave paintings in Lescaux. The cave is being protected by the French government because of what tourism has done to the paintings in Lescaux. The movie is filmed in 3-d. For myself, I think this is the first real use of 3-d since we have been making 3-d films. There are a couple of entertaining 3-d films out there, but this is the first time the technology has been used to completely situate one's experience of the film's subject matter. The 3-d technology is not just used as an effect or a gimmick; it is the core experience of the film from beginning to end. By using 3-d even in interviews with people in their offices or outdoors, it allows the viewers the chance to orient themselves to the medium when he is filming in the cave. I found the experience profoundly moving. The film has its eccentricities: philosophical hyperbole and a bizarre post-script, but this is a film by an artist, not National Geographic. And that is my next point: I always thought that NASA should send artists, musicians, and/or poets into space. Monkeys, test pilots, and chemists all seem to be unable to really communicate the significance or the meaning of their work. They do not seem to be interested in that at all anyway. In the past, art and science were a lot closer (I am thinking of Leonardo for instance). The French government made a brilliant decision by letting Werner Herzog have access to the cave.

Cave hyena (Crocuta crocuta spelaea) painting ...Image via Wikipedia
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wikis - More than Text and Context

Burruss Hall, signature building on the Virgin...Image via WikipediaPresenter(s):
Amber Evans (Virgina Tech)
M. Aaron Bond (Virginia Tech)
Karen Swenson (Virginia Tech)
Description: Dr. Karen Swenson, a 2010 Teaching With Sakai Innovation Award finalist, uses the Sakai wiki with her students to "think about important issues presented through works of speculative fiction," but has found there is even more to her students than the wiki reveals. Although the course goals include collaborative work to "reconsider traditional concepts of 'author' and 'self,' working together to build a better world, encourage a sense of community, and become aware of others contributions" her recent collected data provides insight as to "who" are these students in her Sakai Wiki community. Come to this session to see the paradigms that underlie the structure of the course, what the students do with the Wiki in class and after the semester ends, and who these students are (including demographics, previous wiki contributions, and perceptions of self, information technology, and active involvement in their learning process).

Presenter bios: Amber Evans: Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology. 15+ years experience in teaching, pedagogy, and technology. Professional and Faculty Development. Knowledgeable about (and doing research in) Diffusion of Innovations in Higher Education.

M. Aaron Bond: Aaron works as a member of the Instructional Design, Development & Support unit of the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning (IDDL), as well as with other IDDL units to provide quality course development and support. He designs, develops, and delivers professional development activities for distance and distributed learning faculty. Aaron provides support to faculty, students, and staff engaged in distance and distributed eLearning at Virginia Tech and assists faculty with the design and development of instructional materials for online courses. He regularly meets with faculty and other members of the Virginia Tech community to assist in the planning and preparation for online courses. In each case, he works to assist in the effective integration of educational technologies into distance instruction.


This presentation covered the design of the course - this was a collaborative site for a science fiction course. The wiki played a key component in the course. She covered basic instruction design principles around interaction.

Paradigms include behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. Chickering and Gamson (1987) and "Cultivating communities of practice" Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder (2002).

Her course was a fully online course, 80 students, 15 weeks long. Wide variety of backgrounds among her students. She wanted her students to be engaged contributers. Students share ideas in the Discussion Forums and a speculative fiction wiki. There are reading quizzes because the reading is essential to the course.

The created course goals and objectives that included collaboration and community.

She spent a little time describing wikis. They are collaborative webpages. They used the wiki in Sakai. A wiki is a web page that can be viewed and modified by anybody with a web browser and access to the internet.

She calls information on wikis "relative truths" because the information can change.

She continued to talk about the mechanics of wikis.

The best feature is that the wiki can be exported and shared with others.

Rob talked about an instructor who had to download and scan to pdf a wikipedia to "freeze" the information in time. Information now has a temporal dimension.

The instructor has a guide to editing and "netiquette" for those edits and settling disputes. she has had no problems teaching the course over two years.

Challenges to wikis:
  • They have to be monitored
  • May need authorization
  • Learning curve
  • Lack of some features
  • Content-focused - it is really ugly
  • No hierarchy - like a concept map - there are no "contents" pages
  • Collective group bias
  • Remembering to use it
"Student writing has meaning, power, and significance in this course."

"Wiki Aliveness"

1. design for evolution
2. open a dialogue between inside and outside perspectives
3. Invite different levels of participation
4. Public and private community spaces
5. Focus on value
6. Combine familiarity and excitement
7. Create a rhythm for the community

She created a handout for the students on what a wiki is all about, how to behave, how it works. The instructor has a very flexible grading philosophy, but there is a simple rubric for the wiki grading.

One feature suggestion would be to support "track user."

They collected student data on student demographics that coverted GPA, gender, major. 64% of their students had never used a wiki before. 14% use a wiki weekly. She went through survey data - one of the items was that 44% of the students do not like learning via websites, blogs, and wikis.

In general the students liked the course and the instructor. The students were participants in the course.

Their website is http://learn.vt.edu
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Supporting Our Vets: Creating a community hub with Sakai

College of the Redwood's Barry Tucker, the Student Development Advisor for Distance Education and Veterans students, has created a unique project site for supporting veterans at College of the Redwoods. This project site is not only used to send out information to students who are eligible for veteran's benefits, but is also a site for collaborating with the veteran's advisor at the local state university. This site is also used to connect to other veteran's support agencies. Creating a project site like this can be a catalyst for creating collaboration. The Distance Education department supports these efforts and recognizes that this is also a way to introduce students to tools that are used in online courses such as the Discussion Forums, Messages and MailTool, etc. Participants in this session will learn how the site was created, strategies for collaborating with other institutions and agencies, and how Sakai can be used to address the special needs of the veteran's students.

Presenter bios:
Geoff Cain: Geoff Cain is the Director of Distance Education at College of the Redwoods where he leads the instructional design and faculty training team as well as facilitating the online orientations for students.

Barry Tucker: Barry Tucker is the Student Development Advisor for Distance Education and Veterans students. He is also the co-facilitator of "DE 101," the free online orientation to distance learning for students. After serving eight years in United States Navy he moved to Humboldt County in 1985 where he attended College of the Redwoods before transferring to Humboldt State University where he received his single subjects teaching credential in Social Sciences in 1993. Barry is currently working on his master?s degree in Academic Advising at Kansas State University.


The Needs and Frustrations of Teaching Staff Using Vula at UCT

Jameson Hall, Jammie Steps and Jammie Plaza at...Image via WikipediaIn this presentation I am going to explore the common themes as they appear in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 staff surveys. I will be analyzing the comments on the annual staff survey using Nivo to establish the common complaints and likes/dislikes and determine how this issue relates to the use of Sakai at UCT. I will link this to the debate regarding online teaching and learning at a tertiary institution and whether the needs and frustrations have changed over time.

Presenter bio: Roger Brown: Despite a background in environmental studies (BSc Protected Area Management; Mphil Env. Management) I've worked in online teaching environments for the past 15 years - 1st at Griffith University in Queensland Australia and now at the University of Cape Town, where I am the operations manager of the learning technologies team.I am responsible for effective delivery and support of Sakai, Adobe Connect, the open educational resource directory, Turnitin and other initiatives for online teaching and learning. In addition I manage the front line support team and provide faculty and general staff training.At the moment (June 2011) I am, amongst a lot of other things, working on the Opencast/Matterhorn pilot project and an Early Warning System for at 'at risk' students at UCT.

I think it is really refreshing that there is a session dedicated to the problems with Sakai. He is sharing the comments that were made in a 2008 - 2010 survey. He wanted to know what they liked best and what they thought needed improvement.

UCT is largely a face-to-face institution. They are running 2.7.

His surveys are open for 2 weeks and open to all staff. His response rates are only 6-7%. They survey about tech in general. They are getting a large percent that generally agree that it has improved their teaching. He is looking at how staff look at the tool in environment, Ease of use, effectiveness, engagement, administration, and other.

What his staff liked the most was that it allowed them to easily administrate their classes.

The most frustrating things about Sakai was how complicated it was to use - small fonts, clunky, grading displays not in chronological order, not intuitive. TRANSFERRING FILES FROM ONE YEAR TO THE NEXT.

To most important improvements are about ease of use: they want the ability to change the layout of the page and make the calendar easier to use. They want to be able to mass download multiple documents, easier to bring in images. Simplify the course evaluation tool.

There were comments about needing to integrate SMS (phone texting).

What would help you use Sakai better? Increased bandwidth, more hours in the day, The help files need improvement.

One of the respondents referred to their IT staff as "clueless, in-fighting depressives."

Conclusions: staff use and value Sakai even when they don't see positive direct benefits in terms of teaching and learning. UCT teaching staff DO NOT see Sakai as a platform that enables effective education or better student engagement.

I think a lot of this is about integration of tools and a user interface. There needs to be more customization available.

Needs to be made easier to use - break down the silos between the tools.
Streamline internal processes
Sakai needs to move beyond an administrative too
Strengthen Sakai as a platform that enables student engagement and effective teaching

I think a lot of these issues were addressed in Angel Learning.

Collis (2001) "A model for predicting the educational use of information and communication technologies"
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Infrastructure Strategies for Success Behind the UofF's Sakai Implementation

GIMP cropping of :Image:CenturyTower.jpg, orig...Image via WikipediaI am interested in this session because I want to get an idea about how much work it takes to support Sakai on a large scale. The change management process and support are critical issues for us. I need to know how to talk about our issues with Sakai to support vendors like rSmart, Unicon, and Longsight. I am discovering over this last year that I need to really get under the hood to get a common language with support folks.

All changes at U of F are load tested - no matter how small the changes and tested against monitoring scripts. All changes require a full two weeks of testing time. This is even for a single script change for a single instructor.

Why do public speakers still use language like "off the reservation"?

Martin talked about the usefulness of collaboration between institutions for problem-solving.

Pattern: maintenance for a new build - session replication for seamless upgrades is missing in Sakai. Sakai needs more flexibility.

One of the admins in the room does restarts on Sundays at 10:00 AM. The idea is that no real student is up at that time.

They are hosting Sakai on 8 servers. Only a few people here have a DBA. They have a single sign-on system with Shibboleth.

The presenters philosophy revolves around "Design Patterns" - A general reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem.

Their support staff get bug reports and THEY CALL STUDENTS AND CUSTOMERS BEFORE THEY REPORT A PROBLEM! They track what kinds of problems people have and send that to their support desk.

As the University of Florida's Sakai implementation grows, our Sakai system has begun to regularly exceed 3,000 user sessions at any given time. This presentation will share some of the strategies for success (and failure) that the UF's Open Systems Group, the systems infrastructure team behind Sakai at UF, has used to manage our Sakai infrastructure. This presentation will provide an overview of our stratgies for backup, testing, monitoring, and sizing of our Sakai system. For each topic, we hope to broadly explain our design decisions and rationales for various parts of our Sakai infrastructure. We will also share some of our general designs for large, highly available, fault tolerant systems. This presentation will be mostly technical in nature.

Presenter bios: Martin Smith: Martin B. Smith has worked at the University of Florida since 2006, and holds a degree in Computer Science. He currently works in the UF's Computing & Networking Services infrastructure team that supports Sakai at the University of Florida. He also works with many of UF's other central infrastructure such as its Shibboleth deployment, Oracle deployments, Webmail hosting, and shared hosting. He makes frequent contributions to open source projects and enjoys participating in the community aspects of Sakai.

Chris Cuevas also presented. He is a sys admin at the University of Florida.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Faculty Development: It is more than technology training!

Johns Hopkins Monument, Johns Hopkins Universi...Image via WikipediaI am interested in this because we have a lot of issues around professional development at College of the Redwoods.

At Hopkins, Denille works in a graduate engineering program. The teachers are adjunct. She has 9 on staff. Previously, they had outsourced instructional design, used WebCT, and had no pedagogy instruction. No targeted faculty development. They created 30-35 courses in five years. Online instructors had different needs: tech, distant, pedagogical, changing roles, and misconceptions. The changing roles were "sage on the stage" to online facilitator. There was no consistent quality online. Faculty and students were very frustrated.

They needed ongoing development - they hired additional staff, designed a course dev process, offered more training to faculty.

They adopted the quality matters rubric.

They used a cohort-based course development process. They put up tutorials but still not thinking about a formal faculty development program.

After five years there was increased quality and consistency, knowledge of tech increased.

A survey after five years of faculty said that they felt their needs were not being met, 100% thought that targeted prof dev would be useful. They wanted opportunities to learn teaching skills and best practices.

How to meet the demands? Improve the course dev process. They put together a course that taught online course development. Focused on best practices, not technology. Subliminal goals - teach them the tools by using them.

The course consisted of 6 modules
Intro to online teaching
online course component
writing learning objectives
preparing content
learning activities

They found that 2 weeks was not enough time, enjoyed interacting with their peers, caught on quickly, prepared for course development, more open to new ideas.

Room for improvement: More examples, less eduspeak, extended duration. Increasing dev opportunities, we shouldn't stop here; consider the muddiest points.

Redesign Intro to Online Development (FA 11)
Revised learning topics, learning activities, added periodic and final deliverables.

Next steps: evolve standards, increase faculty dev, increase fac dev for retention, need more just-in-time opportunities, and create blended and peer-led opportunities.

Later will create courses such as Engaging Online Learners, Learning activities, Creating better Assessments.

The cohorts are 12 faculty. They are paid - part of the development stipend is that they have to take this course. The faculty receive a generous stipend.

Why is faculty development important?
Most faculty were not trained to teach.
Faculty are important to student retention and recruitment.

In the conversation, we talked about sharing professional development resources: denille@jhu.edu

Denille Williams (Johns Hopkins University)

Faculty development is critical to the quality and success of online programs. The quality of development and delivery of online courses can be greatly enhanced by providing opportunities for faculty to learn best practices and increase faculty knowledge of online teaching and learning. During this session you will learn about the evolution of faculty development for online instructors at Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals as we present the past, present, and future of the JHU-EP online faculty development efforts. JHU-EP will also share our findings and experiences as we work to transition our faculty development program online using Sakai to deliver a course on best practices for online course development and plan future courses to enhance online teaching skills. After learning about online faculty development at JHU-EP, share in an open discussion about the faculty development efforts at your institution and ideas for the future of faculty development.

bios: Denille Williams: Denille Williams is an instructional designer at Johns Hopkins University, Engineering for Professionals. Denille has over seven years of experience in working with faculty and students in online education, specializing in the development of online science and engineering courses. Denille is a Certified Faculty Developer and has an M.S. in Higher Education (Academic Development, Instruction, and Technology) and a B.S. in Legal Studies. Her research interests include adjunct faculty development and promoting active learning in the online environment.s)
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Sakai Open Academic Environment

David Goodrum, Sakai OAE Steering Group Member, Indiana University Alan Marks, Director, Sakai Foundation presented on the Sakai OAE. The presentation on Sakai OAE (formerly known as Sakai 3). There are nine main partners - Cambridge, Charles Stuart, AAr, Georgia Tech, Berkeley, Stanford, Indiana, Michigan, and New York universities. Started in 2010 and are now ready for a 1.0 release for 6.31.11. Sakai serves 1/4th of all students by FTE enrollment. Sakai is self-sustaining. It is not dependent on Mellon funding.

Goodrum talked about the difference between Sakai CLE vs. the OAE using their concept of "lenses." They refer to the Sakai Open Academic Environment as "a new

Openness: They demonstrated the tools for sharing, tagging and categorizing documents. One can click through another students research and interests.
Reuse: Students can share using social bookmarking or add to the student's library and reuse it. You can do much of the things that people are already doing in Google Docs. I like this because it represents a breaking out of the traditional silos that are holding back elearning.
Share: Again, like Google Docs, users can share the documents with other users.
Collaboration: The presenters do not see social media as a "powerful educational tool." They believe that they need to add knowledge and information.

I will be really interested in this if there is a way to carry all of this outside of Sakai. I am hoping that this will not just be another silo, even though it is already a very useful silo.

There were a couple of little bugs but not bad for a 1.0 release.

They are adding content commenting, content authoring, and activities (engaged learners).

DE 101: Preparing students for online learning

Geoff Cain (College of the Redwoods)
Barry Tucker (College of the Redwoods)
Description: College of the Redwoods offers its students "DE 101" a free, two-week, fully online seminar on how to take an online class and be a successful online student. In this seminar, students learn about Sakai and how to use other online tools such as MyCR email and TurnItIn.com. The course covers the tools in Sakai as well as the skills required to be a successful online student. Topics covered include an over-view of the typical tools used in an online Sakai course but also cover, time management, online collaboration skills, solving technology problems, identity theft prevention and other topics of concern to online learners. The Distance Education department has completed 9 sections of this course. We have found that having this kind of training available before the student takes an online course (or concurrently) helps student completion and retention in online learning. This presentation will review the course and discuss the decisions that went into the creating the content.

Geoff Cain: Geoff Cain is the Director of Distance Education at College of the Redwoods where he leads the instructional design and faculty training team as well as facilitating the online orientations for students.

Barry Tucker: Barry Tucker is the Student Development Advisor for Distance Education and Veterans students. He is also the co-facilitator of ?DE 101,? the free online orientation to distance learning for students. After serving eight years in United States Navy he moved to Humboldt County in 1985 where he attended College of the Redwoods before transferring to Humboldt State University where he received his single subjects teaching credential in Social Sciences in 1993. Barry is currently working on his master?s degree in Academic Advising at Kansas State University.

Daniel Fiore, our multimedia instructional designer also presented.

Open Syllabus and Sakai

There is a syllabus tool in Sakai, but it is generally just a static document. There is no semantic or tool integration. There is a need for a tool to organise all the resources in one place. This sounds like the concept around Moodle. All of the information, lessons, assessments are linked to one page. This new tool allows for greater flexibility in editing and provides a single page to deliver all components of a class. I have been wanting to add templates to our instance of Sakai. Another interesting piece is that this tool is being created by a working instructor which means that the tool looks more like a teaching tool than the product of database administrators. He is asking questions about file type that not only describe what the file is (text, video, etc.), but how it is used. You have to give a context to the materials in your class. The open syllabus provides licensing and permissions for individual files. When you publish the syllabus, it posts a message in the Announcements. Unlike most tools in Sakai, when you move the Open Syllabus, it will update the links in the syllabus. In the Sakai syllabus, all the links are broken. One cannot currently embed media in this syllabus.

OpenSyllabus Sakai 2.7 Contrib Tool from Jacques Raynauld on Vimeo.


Title:Open Syllabus: Building a Coherent Learning Environment in Sakai 2.x
Presenter(s):Jacques Raynauld (HEC Montreal)
Description:Open Syllabus (OSyl) is now a fully functional Sakai 2.7 contrib tool that helps instructors quickly organise their course's material to provide a coherent learning environment for students. It has been tested successfully in a large pilot with 9 000 students. In this presentation, we sketch the most important features of the tool. OSyl is easy to use and provides templates to organize all the resources (files, citations, urls, etc.), assessment activities (assignment, quiz, forum, etc.) and other elements (description of the course, etc.). OSyl is an XML model-based approach to syllabi so all the information is organized and kept in a general semantic format. Simple configuration rules can be set to reflect different university practices. OSyl course websites are very flexible and can be shared, exported, printed and archived easily. Osyl can also generate a public Open Courseware gateway. Osyl now includes a simple and powerful course site manager.

Sakai 2011 Conference Keynote

These are basically my personal notes of the presentations. These notes are not transcriptions but notes that I found interesting or useful.

Katzuo Yana spoke a little about about what is happening in the Sakai community in Japan. They call their project Ja-Sakai ("Ja" stands for Japan but also means "go for it!") in Japanese. He talked about the fact that despite all of the earthquake and nuclear issues they are moving forward and held their annual conference in March right after the earthquake. They started in 2008. Their mission includes the development of a Japanese language version of Sakai; promoting its use in Japanese universities. There are three major universities using Sakai campus-wide. A number of universities use it as well. The students get a life-long account.

There was a review of what happened over the last year. The foundation is now seen as a facilitator of communities rather than a software house. They have expanded internationally and with commercial partners.

Jens Haeusser spoke on "Open Source in Higher Education." He described the Jasig organization in great detail - a global coalition of educational and commercial partners focused on higher ed infrastructure projects. The board facilitates CAS (single sign-on project), uPortal, Bedework (enterprise-wide calendaring), etc. and communities of interest around open source.  They are also working on a mobile framework called uMobile - allows users to deploy native and mobile web apps. The communities of interest address the strategic use of open source, evaluating software, free identity framework for education and research, and reference architecture. Jasig has 8 graduated projects and 23 in incubation. Newcomers are going to need a glossary for all of these acronyms and jargon.

He then went on to talk about the role of open source in education. He described open source and the history of open source. His timeline of open source points out that open programming languages came first, then operating systems, and servers. Open source is good for education because ed institutions know how to share - "collaboration is in our DNA."  Commercial companies can't do this because they monetize proprietary code, processes, and information.

Do there really need to be 20 foundations that support open source for ed? Jasig and Sakai can get a lot out of merging. This would bring together 97 education institutions and 18 commercial partners. The foundation could free up the communities from licensing and translation work. It would provide better and stronger infrastructure.

Josh Baron got up to talk about "Higher Education Trends, Challenges, & the Next Five Years." He talked about the growth of Apple, Amazon, and Netflix and how they adapted to challenges by changing their business model. Some of the challenges include the cost of tuition, student loan debt, yet students are not better educated. Only 36% of our graduates complete a degree in four years. The challenges for the education will require the same kinds of changes that we see in other businesses. How will higher ed meet these challenges? "Open" will play a big role. He used MIT's open course ware, directory of open access journals, open textbooks, personal learning environments ("how long before we can integrate formal and informal learning opportunities into one environment?"), electronic portfolios, (he asked "how long before students are hired based on an e-portfolio rather than a diploma and transcript?" - ironically, I am in a room where phd's and credentials are very important.).

Openness trends will reduce costs, free instructors for innovation rather than content creation, provide new means for credentialing, empower self-directed learning.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

World Newspaper Map

A picture from the top of the Geoman Press at ...Image via WikipediaI used to teach English 101 and a big component of my classes were international newspapers. We would select international papers to follow and link to them on a blog or a wiki to use it as a central resource for the class. We would have loved to have had the Newspaper Map. This is a world map with links to hundreds of newspapers sorted by languages. It also links to translations.

Resources like this are important because teaching Eng. 101 out of a reader is a way to make sure that all of your students are discussing topics that were relevant 5 to 10 years ago! Creating a "reader" out of living resources ensures that your students are writing original papers on current topics.
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Sunday, June 05, 2011

How to Outsource Your Business Failures

There are a few clues as to why business in the United States is in the condition that it is in. There are Savings & Loan people in jail, and a bunch more that ought to be. And then there are the crooks in training. I was looking at Freelancer which is a very interesting concept. Businesses post jobs and freelancers then bid. I clicked on "ghostwriters" and lo and behold there is an advert for someone looking for a writer to write a 150 page PhD dissertation on "Management Ethics" for a $550. No other comment is needed.

There were also ads for "300 articles needed ASAP" - imagine my disappointment when the word "an" 300 times was not sufficient. For those of you who are bemoaning the death of the book - rest assured; when they are shoveling articles up into the internet 300 at a time for a 100 bucks, people will not be turning to the internet much for reading. As a matter of fact, I think in ten years the only ones using the internet will be bulk content providers, spammers, and SEO gurus.
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Friday, June 03, 2011

Google Music: Bask in the market socialist sunshine!

Ludwig van Beethoven in 1820Image via WikipediaAs you are probably aware, I am a big fan of Google. I have been using and writing about their products from very early on. In fact, this blog was acquired by Google way back when. They are a real conundrum for me at times; they represent the best of what I think companies should be and yet they are still corporate; they are not a foundation or an open source organization, but they have open source projects, products, and contribute to the open source community. Tonight I am loading Google Music on my computer. Interestingly enough, Google's Music Manager relies on about 26 open source projects to do what it does. I recommend reading the licensing documentation because that will really tell you what you can expect from this new tool/service. What Google Music is meant to do is to upload all of your music from all of your devices and host them in one spot which you can then access from any device (phone, computer, etc.). And yes, this means iTunes. I am not sure how Apple is going to take this. This means the iTunes at my work PC, my iTunes on my home computer can now be combined in one service. It all goes from the locked down silos at Apple into the socialist free market sunshine of the cloud. How does this effect the digital rights? If I bought something from Apple to be played in an Apple platform did I also buy the right to reproduce that where ever I want? I am really curious to know how this is going to play out legally.

For now, Google's Music Manager is churning through my 21 days of music and has uploaded most of Beethoven and rejected nearly 350 songs. I am not sure what that is about yet, but I will post updates to my installation and cloudification of my music on Twitter - I am at geoffcain in the Twittersphere. If you have already installed Google Music and are using it, post your insights to the comments below or email me - I am interested to know how it worked for you too.

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