For those of you who are familiar with HASTAC, this group always has some absorbing things going on out on the Web. Of particular interest to NMC members will be a discussion starting on April 6th called Mapping the Digital Humanities. You can read about the moderators and a blurb about what is covered here. It should be interesting. Its worth joining in if you are currently doing mapping work that is tied to the Humanities (or not). I think it fits quite nicely with the Geo-Everything portion of this year's Horizon Report.
Just as the Kindle 2 news begins to fall off the "what's new" radar, a report at TechCruch says a Kindle academic version is in the works. It may be a mad rumor, but if it is true it could throw another wave of disruptive technology into the classroom. Things could get very interesting. Be sure to check out the comments as well.
While this is only one study of one class, the results are provocative and provide fodder for discussion. Researcher Dani McKinney at State University of New York found that students who only listened to podcasts of a lecture and did not actually attend the class did considerably better on tests than the students who went to class but did not use the podcasts. There are a number of variables that could affect a study like this, but nevertheless, it is quite compelling. I think it definitely is a study that sheds some light on where 21st century Higher Ed is heading and should be grounds for ripe conversation on campuses. McKinney plans on expanding this study to cover more than one class over a semester's time so it will be interesting to see these results for comparison. The physical walls of the classroom are definitely being torn down and the sledgehammers are being carried by students.
There is a new iPhone app on the horizon called SekaiCamera. Its not out yet and some are skeptical that it can really do what it proposes, but the demos at conferences have been well received. It is being developed by a company in Japan called Tonchidot. The app uses the iPhone's camera as a "lens" onto the world where tags pop up in the field of view showing items people have tagged in the area you are looking at. You really need to see some of the video demos to get a sense of it. If its the real deal, it will be one amazing application. Do a Google search for SekaiCamera for links and go to this one at TechCrunch for some more eye candy. Don't trip!