Podcasting Higher Ed

Some years ago the first podcasts emerged in higher education. Initially these were mostly downloadable lecture series, mainly from US universities. Universities like Berkeley and Stanford took the lead here but soon many other US universities followed and later, also some UK universities jumped the iTunes U bandwagon. In the Netherlands, the universities of Wageningen, Leiden and Rotterdam were the first to podcast lectures. Of course there were fears that these podcasts would make real lectures superfluous, but i don't think that podcasts ever knocked lectures off the podium. More recently, also several…Read more …

The Principle of Open Access

I'm reading 'The Access Principle' by John Willinsky, a Canadian scholar now at the Stanford University School of Education. He is also the driving force behind the Public Knowledge Project, dedicated to improving the scholarly and public quality of research. I heard about his book some time ago when developing an interest in the open access movement (especially in relation to research in developing countries). But I got really interested after reading the intro to this book review by Scott Aaronson: I have an ingenious idea for a company. My company will be…Read more …

3rd Birthday

The blog turned three a couple of days ago: at the 28th of September 2005 I startedĀ  this blog. IĀ  had started my postdoc at Sydney Uni earlier that year and wanted to avoid drowning in theories and concepts and lose touch with what was really happening in the global world of higher education, science and innovation. That has definitely worked and therefore it's a good thing that many PhD students started blogging, and actually, nowadays many academics are writing about their research and their academic life. I'm still managing to create a…Read more …

Interactive Higher Education Policy [or HigherEd 2.0]

Both the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEST) of the Australian Commonwealth Government and the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) of the British Government are looking for news to organise and coordinate their higher education sector. For this, they have started a similar initiative. Both are relying heavily on input from the field and the broader society to get new ideas, and probably to receive more support for their future polices. Yet, there are some differences as well. In its Review of Higher Education, the Australian government has asked…Read more …

Academic Networking

Social networking has gone academic. The Web 2.0 principles were already introduced in the field of science and innovation by the iBridge Network. Facebook brought social networking to the university, but it's main goal was not exactly academic in nature. LinkedIn brought social networking to the professional sphere. Recently there have been some initiatives that bring social networking to academic life: Researchgate and Graduate Junction. The Graduate Junction was established by Daniel Colegate and Esther Dingley, graduate  students in respectively Chemistry and Education at the University of Durham, in the United Kingdom. They…Read more …

Metaspamming

Like all of you, I get my daily dose of spam. This one sneaked through both of my spam filters, but that was of course because it isn't spam. It fights spam. If you have been a victim of "all sorts of internet crime that arose from South Africa, Ghana and especially Nigeria", just contact these nice Nigerian officials. There's five and a half million dollars waiting for you. Or maybe not? Click the picture and judge for yourself...Read more …

New News: University World News

Will it be the global equivalent of the Chronicle, Inside Higher Ed and the Times Higher Education Supplement? They at least claim to be 'the first global window on higher education' (but of course I've been having a small global window on higher education since 2005;). What is this about? It's about a new information resource in higher education: University World News: With international competition and collaboration between universities growing apace, it has never been more important for higher education managers, researchers, scholars and public officials to keep abreast of developments in their…Read more …

The Blog’s 2nd Birthday

I noticed that it has been exactly 2 years ago today that my blog went to air. Happy birthday! And another milestone occurred at September 1st when Beerkens' Blog welcomed its 100,000th visitor. Some more stats? Busiest day was on May 24th 2007. Most visited post was the one on the UNSW Asia debacle followed by the one on international university rankings and reactivity and my critical analysis of the economics of selective knowledge...Read more …

Debating Education: Oxford 2.0 style

The Economist has taken the initiative to start a debate series. In the series, a range of topics will be debated in the Oxford 2.0 style. The first topic being debated is... Education. And you can decide on the topic that's being discussed. Five propositions that the Economist sees the most far-reaching and divisive aspects of the education debate, are short-listed . It covers a variety of topics ranging from the place of foreign students to the global digital divide to private contributions in higher ed. Here are the 5 selected propositions: 212Read more …

Blog Repaired

I noticed that the links to the posts in my blog were not working anymore. I am not sure how long that has been the case. I don't know what was wrong. But I fixed it. Although I don't know how...Read more …

Moving the Blog. Change Bookmarks and Feeds!

What better moment than at 07:07 PM of the day 07-07-07 to change things...I have changed my blog software from Blogger to Wordpress. Just makes things easier and more flexible. I have also taken the opportunity to make some cosmetic changes and to adopt a 'new' name. The change in software also leads to a change in a few URLs.: The URLs http://blog.beerkens.info or http://www.beerkens.info/blog should still work. Only if you have bookmarked this site with a .htm or .html extension you will have to change your bookmarks. The URLs [http://blog.beerkens.info/index.html] and [http://www.beerkens.info/blog/index.html]…Read more …

Science 2.0

One of my first posts in this blog was on the iBridge Network, a platform for searching and sharing innovations in universities. Universities can use the platform to license and distribute a variety of items, including software, research tools, databases, teaching materials, surveys, and reference materials.Obviously I was surprised to read on the URENIO website that the iBridge Network was launched at DEMO 07 in January of this year. Well, it appears that the event I posted about 18 months ago was the announcement of the network, while this was the launch of…Read more …

No Censorship

Due to mysterious circumstances a change in the settings for the comments on my blogposts has occurred some months ago. I've been able to recover some of the comments you have made on some of the posts, but it might be the case that some have been deleted. Just to let you know that there is no censorship here...Except of course if you are one of the spammers that have tried to flood my blog with spam comments (for very strange products I might say). Since I don't want to moderate the comments,…Read more …

The world according to maps

The Spatial and Social Inequalities Research Group of the Geography Department at the University of Sheffield have created an interesting website. Worldmapper: the world as you've never seen it before. It is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest.I played around a bit, creating maps reflecting the participation in higher education, the amount higher education spending and the scientific research in terms of the number of scientific articles. Unsurprisingly, this creates maps where the US, Europe and East Asia is dominating. However,…Read more …