Issue #1 – December 2005 – Hyperlink


Interactive Reading, Early Modern Texts and Hypertext: A Lesson from the Pastby Tatjana Chorney, Saint Mary’s University

Views Over the past decade, the increasing presence of hypermedia environments in the lives of a growing number of readers and learners has contributed to a change in the definition of “text.” However, we still do not have adequate ways of speaking about the implications of the gradual extension of the notion of text—an entity existing usually in print, with clearly defined borders and presenting information in a highly structured manner—to e-text or hypertext, a much more fluid concept, whose borders are not at all clearly defined, and whose manner of presenting information is non-linear. Because “hypertext is a mental process, as well as a digital tool,”[1] one of the larger cultural implications arising from this change in the meaning of text concerns the role of the reader. Text in print implies and, to a certain degree, constructs a passive reader, one who is often a “receptacle” of information. Hypertext is shaping an appropriative reader who is interacting with the text, and is involved in knowledge construction…

Technology as Epistemologyby Peter Schilling, Amherst College

Early in the 20th century Gertrude Stein wrote that America was the oldest country because it was the first to arrive at the new Century. Today’s students have formed their habits of mind by interacting with information that is digital and networked. They are, in a way, older than their teachers, whose relationships with information are governed by earlier generations of technology. There is more. Not only do our students possess skills and experiences that previous generations do not, but the very neurological structures and pathways they have developed as part of their learning are based on the technologies they use to create, store, and disseminate information. Importantly, these pathways and the categories, taxonomies, and other tools they use for thinking are different from those used by their teachers…

Taking Culture Seriously: Educating and Inspiring the Technological Imaginationby Anne Balsamo, University of Southern California

Introduction:  On the Relationship of Technology and Culture

Ignorance costs.

Cultural ignorance — of language, of history, and of geo-political contexts — costs real money.

Microsoft learned this lesson the hard way. A map of India included in the Windows 95 OS represented a small territory in a different shade of green from the rest of the country. The territory is, in fact, strongly disputed between the Kashmiri people and the Indian government; but Microsoft designers inadvertently settled the dispute in favor of one side. Assigning the territory (roughly 8 pixels in size on the digital map) a different shade of green signified that the territory was definitely not part of India. The product was immediately banned in India and Microsoft had no choice but to recall 200,000 copies. Through a release of another version of its famous operating system, Microsoft again learned the cost of cultural ignorance. A Spanish-language version of Windows XP OS marketed to Latin American consumers presented users with three options to identify gender: “non-specified,” “male,” or “bitch.”  In a different part of the world, with yet a different product, Microsoft again was forced to recall several thousand units. In this case the recall became necessary when the Saudi Arabian government took offence at the use of a Koran chant as a soundtrack element in a Microsoft video game. The reported estimate of lost revenue from these blunders was in the millions of dollars.[1]

Faculty as Authors of Online Courses: Support and Mentoringby Deborah Cotler and Gail Matthews-DeNatale, Monmouth University

Our Present Context: How Did We Get Here?

Only a few years ago, if you had polled Simmons College administrators, faculty, students, and even technology staff members, the consensus would have been that “online”  learning is not relevant to the mission of our institution. A “small university”  with a liberal arts undergraduate program and four graduate schools, Simmons’ culture is “high touch”  and personalized. To the uninitiated, distance learning seemed antithetical to our institutional mission and philosophy of learning…

Open Access to Scholarship: An Interview with Ray Englishby Michael Roy, Middlebury College

What is the open access movement?
Open access is online access to scholarly research that’s free of any charge to libraries or to end-users, and also free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. In other words, it’s scholarly research that is openly available on the Internet. Open access primarily relates to the scholarly research journal literature–works that have no royalties and that authors freely give away for publication without any expectation of monetary reward…

NOTES & IDEAS: Using Blogs to Teach Philosophyby Linda E. Patrik, Union College

Students taking their first philosophy course often express surprise when encouraged to use “I” in their papers. Unlike academic writing in most other disciplines, philosophical writing frequently and strongly states the “I” because philosophers have to develop and defend their own positions. They cannot weasel out of taking responsibility for their views, and thus the assertion of the “I” means that they are willing to stand or fall with their expressed position…

Interactive Engagement with Classroom Response Systemsby Michael Roy, Middlebury College

What is the open access movement?
Open access is online access to scholarly research that’s free of any charge to libraries or to end-users, and also free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. In other words, it’s scholarly research that is openly available on the Internet. Open access primarily relates to the scholarly research journal literature–works that have no royalties and that authors freely give away for publication without any expectation of monetary reward…

Incorporating Blogging in a Free Speech Course: Lessons Learnedby David Reichard, California State University Monterey Bay

What is the overall aim of the course?:

This course serves meets the Relational Communication outcome required for all Human Communication majors (an integrated humanities degree). It also fulfills concentrations in Pre-Law,Practical & Professional Ethics, and Journalism. The goal is for students to contend with ethical and effective ways to communicate through intensive study of free speech…

Learning Outcomes Related to the Use of Personal Response Systems in Large Science Coursesby Jolee West, Wesleyan University

The use of Personal Response Systems, or polling technology, has been receiving wider attention within academia and also in the popular press. While neither the technology nor the pedagogical goals are new, general knowledge and implementation of course-related polling appears to recently have reached the critical threshold. Between 2004 and 2005, the implementations by “early adopters”[1]began to seriously influence the “early majority” resulting in wider visibility of the technology. This trend is illustrated by the increasing number of references to “clickers” and “personal response systems” on the EDUCAUSE website from 2004 until the present, as well as a recent spate of newspaper and e-zine articles.[2]

TK3: A Tool to (Re)Composeby Virginia Kuhn, University of Southern California

For a copy of this review in TK3, please click here. If you need to download the TK3 reader, please click here. The download is quick and easy.

Ever since reading George Landow’s Hypertext 2.0 in the mid 90’s, I have been leery of application-specific theory, at least when it is not acknowledged as such. Hypertext 2.0 includes copious references to StorySpace, a software program which allows one to create hypertext and to view and manipulate nodes into various spatial arrangements. These references are not accompanied by full disclosure of Landow’s role in the program’s development; it was developed by academics, many of whom work with Landow. Though it is not clear whether he is a developer himself, there is undoubtedly a reciprocal relationship between him and Eastgate Systems, Inc., the group that created and distributes the program. As I scanned the index entry for StorySpace, noticing that it is longer than that for the World Wide Web, I felt slightly duped at having shelled out $200+ for this rather limited program, particularly when the Eastgate site was hawking Landow’s book. Now, however, I find myself in a curiously similar position. That is to say, much of the scholarly work I have done lately centers on a software program with which I have been teaching for several semesters and in which I created my dissertation. So while my reasons for this partiality ought to be evident if I have done my job in this review, I still feel the need to state my bias from the outset. Fair warning then: I have a rather solid (though non-monetary) investment in this platform. And perhaps it is time for academics to be intimately involved in software development, as I believe Landow was with Story Space, as I am with TK3; if we educators do not help to shape the tools we use, they will be shaped for us and will, no doubt, be imposed upon us by corporate entities such as Microsoft…

Writely by Bryan Alexander, Center for Educational Technology, NITLE

The slow rise of wikis as popular authoring tools produced a series of commercial ventures, such as SocialText. Recently a new group of Web 2.0-oriented, wiki-like services has appeared. Writely is a good example of these. It offers an easy-to-access, clean-looking, collaborative writing space, much like JotSpot Live and Writeboard. Users can quickly set up a web page focused on a single document…

UO Channelby Rachel Smith, NMC: The New Media Consortium


The UO Channel at the University of Oregon is a gateway to video programs that reflect the quality, creativity, and diversity of academic and cultural life at the university. Featured programs include lectures, interviews, performances, symposia, documentary productions, and more. In addition to video/streaming media on demand, the UO Channel also provides access to campus radio stations…

Harvard@Homeby Gina Siesing, Tufts University


Harvard@Home offers dozens of rich multimedia programs, each of which allows in-depth exploration of a particular intellectual or artistic arena. Programs are freely viewable by the public and are designed to be of general interest to those with curiosity about a variety of fields. Based on faculty and expert lectures and symposia, the programs feature highly edited streamed video segments, supplemented by additional program materials, including textual description, glossaries, timelines, maps, and QTVR…

The Digital Classicistby Dr Gabriel Bodard, Kings College London

The Digital Classicist is a web-based hub for scholars and students interested in the application of Humanities Computing to undertake research into the ancient world. The main purpose of the site is to offer guidelines and suggestions of major technical issues. The site also features news about events, publications (print and electronic), and other developments in the field…

The Physical Universeby Rachel Smith, NMC: The New Media Consortium

Created to accompany the eponymous textbook (The Physical Universe, by Konrad B. Krauskopf and Arthur Beiser; McGraw-Hill), this extensive site includes animations and figures for each chapter, along with study questions and exercises.  The site stands on its own with introductory text for each topic that sets the stage for exploration within subject areas such as the scientific method, matter and energy, the atom, the Periodic Law, and the solar system, among others…

ArtXplore, by Rachel Smith, NMC: The New Media Consortium

Professor Susan Tennant of the Informatics Research Institute at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has collaborated with the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the university’s Herron School of Art and Design, and Purdue’s School of Science at IUPUI to develop ArtXplore, a multimedia program running on a hand-held PDA. The interface highlights information on 16 objects in 12 galleries at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and provides the information wirelessly to the museum visitor. Additionally, museum patrons are able to review their experience and provide comments to the curator directly from the PDA…

Digital Gaming Teaching and Research at Michigan Stateby Rachel Smith, NMC: The New Media Consortium


In Fall 2005, the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University launched the Game Design and Development Specialization. The specialization  brings together undergraduate students majoring in digital media arts and technology within the department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Computer Science, and Studio Art. Combining these perspectives and talent, students explore the history, social impacts, technology, design fundamentals, and the art of team-based digital game production…

Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity Online Edition 2004by Dr Gabriel Bodard, Kings College London

Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity 2004

Revised second edition (online)

Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity was published in 1989 in the Society of the Promotion of Roman Studies Monographs series, by Charlotte Roueché with contributions by Joyce Reynolds. The second edition, expanded and revised, was published online in 2004 as:

Charlotte Roueché Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity: The Late Roman and Byzantine Inscriptions, revised second edition, 2004, (, ISBN  1897747179 (abbreviated to ‘ala2004’)…


Mixxer: Skype-enabled Language Exchange Site

by Rachel Smith, NMC: The New Media Consortium


Mixxer allows individual students or entire classes to participate in a language exchange.  Once a profile is created, the user can search for a language partner, i.e. a native English speaker learning German can find a native German speaker learning English.  The site asks all users to install Skype in order to communicate.  (Skype is a free voice-over-IP program which is very reliable, has excellent sound quality, and can run on Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux; see  The site also takes advantage of the API released by Skype which allows users in the site to see which potential language partners are currently online, giving them the ability to contact any other user directly by clicking on their Skype name…

Heterotopic Space: Digitized Audio Commentary and Student Revisionsby Michael Roy, Middlebury College