edX is throwing a 2 year anniversay party

edX is throwing a global birthday party to celebrate edX’s 2nd birthday and you’re invited!
edX party
Please join as we celebrate two years of edX. On Thursday, May 15, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EDT, join the party virtually via live stream. We’ll be taking questions live on air via Twitter and Facebook using #edXturns2. Tune in for a chance to ask us your questions, meet your favorite professors and win cool edX prizes.

PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference 2011

Are you an educator? professor? teacher? do you want to understand what’s going on in the academic open access publishing world? This conference is for you.

Freie Universität Berlin: September 26, 2011 – September 28, 2011

According to their site:

The Public Knowledge Project is pleased to announce that, in partnership with the Freie Universität Berlin, the Third International PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference will be held from September 26 – 28, 2011 in Berlin, Germany.

This is the first time that the PKP Conference is being held outside of Vancouver, Canada, and we look forward to meeting more members of the international scholarly publishing community. Given that the landmark Budapest Open Access Initiative, launched in December 2001, will be celebrating its first decade, the conference invites explorations of the lessons to learn, successes achieved, setbacks overcome, and lessons to learn in our shared attempts to support alternative publishing solutions and to increase open access within scholarly publishing. The first and second PKP conferences brought together a remarkable array of presentations and participants from around the world, and we anticipate an equally valuable experience in 2011.

For more information about the programme please see preliminary conference schedule.


In two weeks RSCON3, will take place from Friday, July 29 to Sunday, July 31, 2011. According to the organizers, this promises to be their ‘biggest yet global online conference for everyone concerned with education.’

With more than 65 presentations and 12 keynote speakers it is sure to be an incredible event! Organised by educators for educators, it is FREE but will offer more valuable and inspiring PD than money can buy!

Register here or read more about it.

the professor as parrhesiastus

Berkman Center May 17, 12.30: The Post-Humboldtian University: Re-thinking the University’s Role in Society in the Network Age. Juan Carlos de Martin, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the NEXA Center for Internet & Society at Politecnico di Torino & Charles Nesson, Berkman Center for Internet & Society .

University is a complex concept. University is many things. It is a problematized entity bec there is a crisis of some sort. As a brief history of universities:

  • We started with opportunities but there are also challenges.
  • What was implicit, struggles to become explicit.
  • Question: what are universities for? Historical processes and interacting with cultural, technological process, political process.
  • Early university started in 11th c taking books out of monasteries to read and discuss them in public.
    • Guilds
    • Uniersitas magistrorum et scholarium
    • Students hire professors and pay them
    • A truly European space
    • Constant struggle with the powers (lay and religious) about autonomy, privileges etc.
  • Modern University: Humbold’s Principles 1810 wrote a treatise
    • Unity of research and teaching
    • Freedom of teaching
    • Academic self-governance

Another vision from anglo-saxons is John Henry Newman 1852: netural education – one generation to another. Creating an atmosphere of thought.

The pragmatic moment is the lecture: printed book and in public puts it on table and students who already read it try to understand and discuss it. This modern university is a model and remarkable with worldwide success. But it betrayed its origins. It was there to define a national culture and expand it and therefore became an institution of the state. It forms experts and forms a new elite. Knowledge is created outside universities. Math education is no more an elite but large percentage of population attends universities.

Recent model is to get money and accountability and control based on metrics – this became mainstream in Europe and elsewhere.

Each country began to compete economically so strong emphasis on competition, economic growth, short term returns, innovation, science and technology. Accountability became word of the day. This became more and more controlled. There are metrics and parameters are used to show whether a university is good or a single individual is good. They are not looking at how good students get but looking at numbers. They end up destroying what they are trying in principle to do.

Amazing opportunities in the age of the internet: what can be made different and what stays the same? What university in a networked age. There is a clear opportunity to expand reach of universities through online learning and long distance degrees come of age in Asia going to rural areas without having to move. Not everything should change, though. Would you build a library? A physical building? He argues no.

The university of the networked economy and society: challenges and opportunities. There is the online experience [being physically in one place] the inner circle remains there as the experience, but is enlarged by technology so there will be an extension of experience. Larger circle is what university contributes to the public domain,  and that is open access. What it puts out there without actual education.

Public engagement of single professors and universities is important at international level in order to do something effective. But that brings us to parrhesia. Parrheisa is to speak freely and to speak the truth. It was important for ancient greeks: The Pheonissae by Euripedes: what is it to be an exile? The exile cannot speak his mind. Like being a slave. To join in the folly of fools. The parrahesiaste is someone who chooses a specific relationship with him/herself. Parrhesia speaker uses libery and chooses to speak frankly instead of persuasion, truth rather than falsity or science [Fouccault].

Professor comes from to profess: ‘I profess law’ for example.  To profess: to frankly declare what one is, what one believes, to go beyond purely informative talk towards a public commitment. It is a public commitment.

  • The professor as parrhesiastus;
  • the professor as amateur
  • university is where matters of concern are made public. Must be done in person and online.
  • I can speak truth in blog and distance learning but while not great it is still important.

In summary:

Experience of this university in this century: conceptualizing with such difficult global problems to face. Using internet through online access and expanding the experience with open access is great.

operation payback (..is a bitch)

Pirates session
Burcu Bakioglu, Operation Payback (…is a Bitch): Hacktivism at the dawn of Copyright Controversies
Bodo Balasz, Informal Media Economies – What Can We Learn from the Pirates of Yesteryear?
Martin Fredriksson, The Ideology of Piracy and the Public Spheres of Modernity
Jinying Li, Piracy, Circulation, and Cultural Control in Cyber-Age China
moderator: Marcienne Martin

Unfortunately I was able to attend only the talk by Bakioglu.

  • culture of piracy is what they call copypasta [or copy paste]. It is a subversive culture. Response to it was to extend regulation and limitation of piracy.
  • The ‘culture’ perceived any copyright issues as a threat to creativity, to corruption exposure, privacy, an act of criminalization of society, surveillance.
  • They were a true networked society that was lateral: hoizontal modes of communication presenting alternative strategies of resistance.
  • Sites of struggle: The Pirate Bay. This alternative form of protest took the form of hacktivism. It is non-violent civil disobedience [DDOS attacks, site defacements etc.]
  • It used to be a sub-culture but now it is becoming mainstream.
  • Wikileaks and Assange are a model. Nodes that exchange information and give power. One therefore needs to intercept flow of information and leak it out.
  • Op Payback began when an Indian company was contracted and announced it would take down Pirate Bay [co. called aiplex.com].
  • Case of ACS Law solicitors whose site was taken down and in effort to remedy problem hurriedly put their site back up and inadvertently published secret information that stayed online for two hours and the info proved it was damaging enough to the company because it exposed its illegal dealings.