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09 MARCH 2014

Gardner Campbell: A Personal Cyberinfrastructure

"So, how might colleges and universities shape curricula to support and inspire the imaginations that students need? Here's one idea. Suppose that when students matriculate, they are assigned their own web servers – not 1GB folders in the institution's web space but honest–to–goodness virtualized web servers of the kind available for $7.99 a month from a variety of hosting services, with built–in affordances ranging from database maintenance to web analytics. As part of the first–year orientation, each student would pick a domain name. Over the course of the first year, in a set of lab seminars facilitated by instructional technologists, librarians, and faculty advisors from across the curriculum, students would build out their digital presences in an environment made of the medium of the web itself. They would experiment with server management tools via graphical user interfaces such as cPanel or other commodity equivalents. They would install scripts with one–click installers such as SimpleScripts. They would play with wikis and blogs; they would tinker and begin to assemble a platform to support their publishing, their archiving, their importing and exporting, their internal and external information connections. They would become, in myriad small but important ways, system administrators for their own digital lives.[3] In short, students would build a personal cyberinfrastructure, one they would continue to modify and extend throughout their college career – and beyond.

In building that personal cyberinfrastructure, students not only would acquire crucial technical skills for their digital lives but also would engage in work that provides richly teachable moments ranging from multimodal writing to information science, knowledge management, bibliographic instruction, and social networking. Fascinating and important innovations would emerge as students are able to shape their own cognition, learning, expression, and reflection in a digital age, in a digital medium. Students would frame, curate, share, and direct their own "engagement streams" throughout the learning environment.[4] Like Doug Engelbart's bootstrappers in the Augmentation Research Center, these students would study the design and function of their digital environments, share their findings, and develop the tools for even richer and more effective metacognition, all within a medium that provides the most flexible and extensible environment for creativity and expression that human beings have ever built."

(Gardner Campbell, 4 September 2009)

Gardner Campbell, "A Personal Cyberinfrastructure," EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 44, no. 5 (September/October 2009), pp. 58–59.

[3] Jim Groom has outlined several key parts of this vision: "A Domain of One's Own," bavatuesdays, November 29, 2008, .

[4] W. Gardner Campbell and Robert F. German Jr., "The Map Is the Territory: Course 'Engagement Streams' as Catalysts for Deep Learning," EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) Annual Meeting, January 21, 2009, podcast at "

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TAGS

2009A Domain of Ones Own (project) • a personal cyber infrastructure • agency of access and engagement • assemble a platform • Augmentation Research Center at SRI • bootstrapper • connectivism • cPanel • cyberinfrastructure • Dave Winerdigital environmentsdigital livesdigital medium • digital presence • Douglas Engelbarte-learning 2.0education innovationEducause Quarterlyengagement streams • external information connections • flexible and extensible environment • Gardner Campbell • information connections • information science • infrastructureinstitutional network • internal information connections • Jim Groomknowledge managementlearning technology • matriculate • metacognitionmultimodal scholarship • multimodal writing • personal cyber infrastructurepersonal expressionPersonal Learning Environment • richly teachable moments • Robert German • server management • shape your own cognition • share your findings • SimpleScripts • skillful practice • skills acquisition • social networkingtechnology affordancesthinking toolstinkertinkerer • Virginia Tech • web server • web server space • web space

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 FEBRUARY 2014

University of Mary Washington's project: A Domain of One's Own

"A Domain of One's Own is a project at the University of Mary Washington managed by the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. Starting in fall 2013, the project allows UMW students, faculty, and staff to register their own domain name and associate it with a space on a UMW–managed Web server. In that Web space, users will have the opportunity and flexibility to design and create spaces of almost unlimited possibilities. Within the system, they may install LAMP–compatible Web applications, set up subdomains and email addresses, and install databases. In addition, users may choose to 'map' their domain (or a subdomain) to other services, such as a UMW Blogs, Google Sites, or Tumblr."

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 DECEMBER 2013

Divining a Digital Future - Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell

"Ubiquitous computing (or 'ubicomp') is the label for a 'third wave' of computing technologies. Following the eras of the mainframe computer and the desktop PC, ubicomp is characterized by small and powerful computing devices that are worn, carried, or embedded in the world around us. The ubicomp research agenda originated at Xerox PARC in the late 1980s; these days, some form of that vision is a reality for the millions of users of Internet–enabled phones, GPS devices, wireless networks, and 'smart' domestic appliances. In Divining a Digital Future, computer scientist Paul Dourish and cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell explore the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research program and the contemporary practices that have emerged––both the motivating mythology and the everyday messiness of lived experience.

Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the authors' collaboration, the book takes seriously the need to understand ubicomp not only technically but also culturally, socially, politically, and economically. Dourish and Bell map the terrain of contemporary ubiquitous computing, in the research community and in daily life; explore dominant narratives in ubiquitous computing around such topics as infrastructure, mobility, privacy, and domesticity; and suggest directions for future investigation, particularly with respect to methodology and conceptual foundations."

Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell (2011). "Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing", MIT Press, May 2011, ISBN 978–0–262–01555–4.

TAGS

1980s2011computer sciencecomputingcontemporary practices • contemporary ubiquitous computing • cultural anthropologydaily lifedesktop computer • desktop PC • Divining a Digital Future (book) • domesticity • embedded in the world around us • everyday messiness • feature phone • future investigation • Genevieve Bell • GPS devices • infrastructureinterdisciplinary collaboration • internet-enabled phones • lived experiencemainframemobility • Paul Dourish • privacyresearch communityresearch methodology • small and powerful computing devices • smart domestic appliances • smart phones • third wave of computing technologies • ubicomp • ubicomp research • ubiquitous computing • ubiquitous computing research • wireless networkswornXerox PARC

CONTRIBUTOR

Liam Birtles
26 SEPTEMBER 2013

A New Video to Present Lithuania's Business Environment

"A new video has been released to showcase Lithuania to foreign investors. The video was developed in collaboration with current investors and it presents the country as it is perceived through their eyes. It focuses on forward thinking people, who are full of ideas, drive and energy. People who are self–starters."

(26 September 2013, Invest in Lithuania)

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TAGS

2013awareness raisingbrand experiencebrand identitybrand recognitionbusiness • business environment • country brandscountry showcasedestination brand identitydestination brandingdestination imageeconomic growth • economic investment • economy • financial investment • foreign investmentinfrastructure • Invest in Lithuania (agency) • invest in people • Lithuaniamodern economy • Republic of Lithuania • skilled workforceworkforce

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 MARCH 2013

The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin

"In November 1, 2008, a man named Satoshi Nakamoto posted a research paper to an obscure cryptography listserv describing his design for a new digital currency that he called bitcoin. None of the list's veterans had heard of him, and what little information could be gleaned was murky and contradictory. In an online profile, he said he lived in Japan. His email address was from a free German service. Google searches for his name turned up no relevant information; it was clearly a pseudonym. But while Nakamoto himself may have been a puzzle, his creation cracked a problem that had stumped cryptographers for decades. The idea of digital money – convenient and untraceable, liberated from the oversight of governments and banks – had been a hot topic since the birth of the Internet. Cypherpunks, the 1990s movement of libertarian cryptographers, dedicated themselves to the project. Yet every effort to create virtual cash had foundered. Ecash, an anonymous system launched in the early 1990s by cryptographer David Chaum, failed in part because it depended on the existing infrastructures of government and credit card companies. Other proposals followed – bit gold, RPOW, b–money – but none got off the ground.

One of the core challenges of designing a digital currency involves something called the double–spending problem. If a digital dollar is just information, free from the corporeal strictures of paper and metal, what's to prevent people from copying and pasting it as easily as a chunk of text, 'spending' it as many times as they want? The conventional answer involved using a central clearinghouse to keep a real–time ledger of all transactions – ensuring that, if someone spends his last digital dollar, he can't then spend it again. The ledger prevents fraud, but it also requires a trusted third party to administer it.

Bitcoin did away with the third party by publicly distributing the ledger, what Nakamoto called the 'block chain.' Users willing to devote CPU power to running a special piece of software would be called miners and would form a network to maintain the block chain collectively. In the process, they would also generate new currency. Transactions would be broadcast to the network, and computers running the software would compete to solve irreversible cryptographic puzzles that contain data from several transactions. The first miner to solve each puzzle would be awarded 50 new bitcoins, and the associated block of transactions would be added to the chain. The difficulty of each puzzle would increase as the number of miners increased, which would keep production to one block of transactions roughly every 10 minutes. In addition, the size of each block bounty would halve every 210,000 blocks – first from 50 bitcoins to 25, then from 25 to 12.5, and so on. Around the year 2140, the currency would reach its preordained limit of 21 million bitcoins."

(Benjamin Wallace, 23 November 2011, Wired Magazine)

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TAGS

1990s2008anonymous system • b-money • bit gold • bitcoin • block chain • broadcast to the network • chain • clearinghouse • collective interests • collective participation • collective participation technology • corporeal strictures • credit card • cryptographer • cryptographic puzzle • cryptography • currency • cypherpunkDavid Chaumdecentralisation • digital currency • digital dollar • digital money • distribution models • double-spending • financial flowsfinancial transactionsfraudfree market economyglobal capital flowsinformation flowsinformation theoryinfrastructureJapan • ledger • libertarianism • Listservminermining • mining metaphor • P2Ppuzzle • pyramid scheme • RPOW • Satoshi Nakamoto • speculationspeculation and innovation • spending • trustvalue and benefit • virtual cash • Wired (magazine)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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