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Google Apps for Education Edition

USC Law Students Adopt University-Branded Google Apps for Education. USC Law is the first school in the university and one of the first law schools in the nation to implement Google Apps for Education, an online suite of communication and collaboration tools including Gmail (e-mail with 2 GB of storage per account), integrated chat, and applications for calendaring and document and spreadsheet production. Read more about it. See also an overview of Google Apps for Education Edition being added to the USC curriculum. [JH]

Google Apps for Education Edition: Google-Published Information & Resources

Recent Coverage of Google Apps for Education Edition

Jeremy Smith critiques the adoption of Google Apps for Education Edition at Case-Western at Using "Google Apps for Education" at Case Western. I caution readers to compare his criticism of Case-Western's implementation with the services now being provided by the Education Edition before making a final evaluation of this Google service. [JH]

October 5, 2007 in Technology, Curriculum_ | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Google on Using Personalized Search and Privacy Tools

Google has produced two videos explaining their privacy practices and tools in the context of personalized searching. The first video provides information Google collects (IP addresses, cookies, and search queries) and how Google uses this information to improve your search experience as well as prevent against fraud and other abuses.

The second video takes a closer look at personalization and the privacy tools available when a searcher choose to personalize his or her search. As the video explains, Google's privacy tools — such as "pause" and "remove" buttons — help put a searcher in control of personalization.

Hat tip to beSpacific. [JH]

October 4, 2007 in Privacy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Web 2.0 and the Uninitiated

A recent post to this blog addresses the question, What is Web 2.0?  Indeed, it "is more than a set of 'cool' new technologies and services."  But what about those technologies and services?  Who explains them to the unitiated?  What if you are one of the unitiated?  No doubt, teaching is an ever-expanding role for law librarians, one that further integrates us into our parent institutions.  Often, this role includes teaching technologies and technology services.  So, thoughts of teaching and Web 2.0 merged in my mind when I recently accessed the 7 Things you Should Know About series from Educause.  The series offers concise, two-page explanations of wikis, Facebook, YouTube, virtual worlds, open journaling, Twitter, and much more.  Take a look at these to see how they may help you with instructing others, or yourself. [MM]   

Editor's Note: With this post, I am delighted to announce that Matt Morrison has joined Law X.0 as a co-editor. Matt, Research Attorney and Lecturer in Law, Cornell Law Library, has worked in law libraries since 1996.  He really enjoys teaching and discovering the new ways in which students learn. Matt is also a regular contributor to Cornell Law Library's InSite which his library allows us to republish. Joe Hodnicki

October 3, 2007 in Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Will Web 2.0 Create a Legal Tsunami?

Eric Barbry has deposited Web 2.0: Nothing Changes... but Everything is Different in SSRN. Here's the abstract:

For some, Web 2.0 is a simple evolution of the current web; for others, Web 2.0 is a real revolution. Web 2.0 is, in fact, a revolutionary evolution. Technically speaking, Web 2.0 is a simple evolution because it is not a technical breakthrough, as it is essentially based on an aggregation of existing technologies. However, the impact of Web 2.0 is such that it can actually be described as an evolution that will shake our sociological, economic and legal bases. This paper addresses the legal aspects of Web 2.0 and tries to explain that while Web 2.0 is not a lawless domain, it is highly likely to create a legal tsunami.


October 3, 2007 in Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Web 2.0 Predicament: Making the Web Inaccessible Again?

The IT predicament occurs when a new technology that is designed to empower many places other potential users at a disadvantage because the technology is found to be unaccommodating. One readily apparent example is the widepread use of the PDF file format to distribute documents. Unless properly tagged (and the vast majority are not), the PDF file format cannot be read by the blind using JAWS.

Now, please take a moment to imagine the predicaments created by Web 2.0 and then view these video presentations. [JH]

Caught in the Web:
Accessibility now and in next-generation technologies

Cyndi Rowland, Ph.D.
Executive Director, WebAIM
Center for Persons with Disabilities
Utah State University

Abstract: Individuals with disabilities have struggled over the past two decades to gain access to Web content; content that powerfully predicts academic and employment success. As the field moves to new technologies (e.g., AJAX) what are the likely outcomes for individuals who struggle to gain basic access? Dr. Rowland will discuss the experiences of individuals with disabilities as they attempt to gain access to current content. She will forward the argument that there are many reasons why developers should keep Web accessibility in mind now and in the future. One of those reasons is that from a technologic standpoint, it is the smart thing to do.

Web 2.0 and Accessibility
What Challenges and Opportunities Await?

Mark Greenfield
Director of Web Services
State University of New York at Buffalo

Abstract:The next generation web has arrived. Social Networks, User-Created Content, Rich Media, and the Mobile Web are now part of the landscape. What does this mean for Web Accessibility?

October 2, 2007 in Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Web 2.0, Two Years and a Day Later

The term "Web 2.0" became popular in tech circles following the first O'Reilly Media's Web 2.0 conference in 2004. On September 30, 2005, Tim O'Reilly wrote a piece summarizing the subject "for the rest of us," What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Download oreilly_web20.pdf  Today, we celebrate the two-year anniversary of the popularization of "Web 2.0" (albeit one day late).

Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices by John Musser with Tim O'Reilly and the O'Reilly Radar Team ($395 | November 2006 | 101 pages | ISBN 0-596-52769-1) laid out the terrain. From the book description:

Web 2.0 is here today—and yet its vast, disruptive impact is just beginning. More than just the latest technology buzzword, it's a transformative force that's propelling companies across all industries towards a new way of doing business characterized by user participation, openness, and network effects.

Unfortunately, at $395 a copy, many of us couldn't afford to buy this report. Dion Hinchcliffe, however, did provide an excellent summary of the report at the time.

With the jaundiced eye of a one-time stock trader, I viewed O'Reilly's early Web 2.0 promotions as a prelude to Internet Bubble II. Luckily, Big Money stayed on the sidelines; Web 2.0 looked too much like Web 1.0. I pretty much ignored the buzz then despite the fact that I had already co-founded with Cincinnati Law Prof Paul Caron the Law Professor Blogs Network in the Summer of 2004 and launched Law Librarian Blog on January 1, 2005.

What is Web 2.0? I'll leave that up to you to decide. See generally Wikipedia's Web 2.0 entry and Whatis?com's Web 2.0. O'Reilly's "Web 2.0" has it's share of critics. In a July 28, 2006 podcast interview for IBM [transcript] Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee expressed doubts that Web 2.0 was any different from Web 1.0. Nate Anderson, Tim Berners-Lee on Web 2.0: "nobody even knows what it means," ars technica (September 01, 2006).

In November 2005, Paul Grahman wrote

Does "Web 2.0" mean anything? Till recently I thought it didn't, but the truth turns out to be more complicated. Originally, yes, it was meaningless. Now it seems to have acquired a meaning. And yet those who dislike the term are probably right, because if it means what I think it does, we don't need it.

See also Jeffrey Zeldman's Web 3.0 (January 16, 2006) and Wil Arndt's Web 2.0 is Bull, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Web 2.0 (June 5, 2006).

Despite the critics, Web 2.0 must exist. Why? Just listen to the buzz. "Web 2.0" has drowned out it's critics. First, there's O'Reilly's annual Web 2.0 Summit. Attended by the Internet elite, the latest summit is coming up Oct. 17-19, 2007 in San Francisco.

Second, we rank Web 2.0 apps, see Web 2.0 categories in Webware's Top 100 Web Apps, and forecast the future based their development, Richard MacManus, 10 Future Web Trends.

Third, Google's CEO is already defining Web 3.0 while, as recently as December 10, 2006, Tim O'Reilly was still trying to define Web 2.0 in Web 2.0 Compact Definition: Trying Again. See also Alex Iskold, Web 3.0: When Web Sites Become Web Services.

Finally, librarians have been writing about it; Web 2.0 has morphed into Librarian 2.0 and Library 2.0. See, for example, Library 2.0 Guides. Meredith Farkas, author of my favorite book on the subject, Social Software in Libraries, has some interesting things to say on the subject at Do we need a translator here? on her great blog, Information Wants To Be Free, including the following:

I think most people who are into this stuff, me included, fall into the “Pragmatists” category. We are big technology fans, but we understand that these tools should only be used in libraries to fill needs. We realize that not all of our patrons are tech-savvy and that many of them have needs that can’t be filled by 2.0 technologies. We know that any time we focus on a 2.0 technology, we take time and resources away from something else, so we must carefully prioritize our technology use at work. Pragmatists manage to be both excited and skeptical.

Today. So where does this long and winding post lead us? To the best report I have read on the subject: Paul Anderson's What is Web 2.0? Ideas, Technologies and Implications for Education (Feb. 2007) (pdf). From the introduction:

The report establishes that Web 2.0 is more than a set of 'cool’ and new technologies and services, important though some of these are. It has, at its heart, a set of at least six powerful ideas that are changing the way some people interact. Secondly, it is also important to acknowledge that these ideas are not necessarily the preserve of ‘Web 2.0’, but are, in fact, direct or indirect reflections of the power of the network: the strange effects and topologies at the micro and macro level that a billion Internet users produce. This might well be why Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, maintains that Web 2.0 is really just an extension of the original ideals of the Web that does not warrant a special moniker. However, business concerns are increasingly shaping the way in which we are being led to think and potentially act on the Web and this has implications for the control of public and private data. Indeed, Tim O’Reilly’s original attempt to articulate the key ideas behind Web 2.0 was focused on a desire to be able to benchmark and therefore identify a set of new, innovative companies that were potentially ripe for investment. The UK HE sector should debate whether this is a long-term issue and maybe delineating Web from Web 2.0 will help us to do that.

As with other aspects of university life the library has not escaped considerable discussion about the potential change afforded by the introduction of Web 2.0 and social media. One of the key objectives of the report is to examine some of the work in this area and to tease out some of the key elements of ongoing discussions. For example, the report argues that there needs to be a distinction between concerns around quality of service and ‘user-centred change’ and the services and applications that are being driven by Web 2.0 ideas. This is particularly important for library collection and preservation activities and some of the key questions for libraries are: is the content produced by Web 2.0 services sufficiently or fundamentally different to that of previous Web content and, in particular, do its characteristics make it harder to collect and preserve? Are there areas where further work is needed by researchers and library specialists? The report examines these questions in the light of the six big ideas as well as the key Web services and applications, in order to review the potential impact of Web 2.0 on library services and preservation activities.

Tomorrow. We relaunch this blog tomorrow as Law X.0 to cover news, resources and information about developments in web communications, knowledge management, information technology, and education technology as they apply (or can potentially apply) to the legal academy. Law blogs will continue to be an important focus of this blog but in the broader context of Web X.0. Individuals interested in contributing to this blog are invited to contact me at [email protected]. [JH]

October 1, 2007 in Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack