As I head into Day 2 of the Learning Design Summer Camp here at PSU I am humbled by the power and energy of our community. If you are sitting in Foster Auditorium and can’t feel the vibe, then we need to check you for a pulse. Seriously, there are some amped up people. My colleague Chris Millet said to me that the event had the energy and spirit of the Berkman at 10 event he and I attended a while back … I have to agree this thing has raised the bar.
I took part in several conversations yesterday and most of them centered around digital stuff. From assessing content that is completely distributed in a course (how in the world do Tweets play into a participation grade) to talking about how students obtain copyright on “published” videos they produce in Digital Commons? It got me thinking a bit about the challenges we have in front of us as more and more faculty assign digital activities and more and more students create rich media as evidence of learning. That in and of itself is very interesting, but I am beginning to wonder what it means to us as it relates to storage. With Digital Commons, one of our biggest concerns is providing speedy and reliable storage for creating digital assets. When they walk away from the DC, they want to take it with them … and as they produce more, the more disk space we need to give them.
Here at PSU, we give everyone one GB for free in their personal space … I’ve been talking with people about kicking that up to 5 GB and the discussion seems to have legs. What I am wondering about is the long term personal management of all this stuff. Storing it all is one thing, while finding it quickly is another. What I am thinking about is how to empower people to use their personal space as a virtual disk drive that has real asset management associated with it. I know I keep beating the Blogs at PSU drum, but once again I could see this environment as a critical link between simply storing content and managing content.
It seems to me there is so much more to the question of storing content … we need to help our students understand how to manage it so they control it more comfortably. I wonder if this is in direct conflict with my earlier post asking if they care where it goes when they upload it. All I know is that in the coming years there is going to be so much more digital content produced and so many more students living in the cloud that we need to go beyond simply throwing disks at the problem … we need to help move the conversation forward and give them a place for it today and a path to move forward.
As a final thought, I have been doing my best to live in the cloud for the last four or five weeks with much success. I am no longer living on a machine packed with stuff — I’ve moved it google docs, IMAP mail, my blog, and more and more into Evernote (BTW, you can now do note editing on your iPhone!). Only once during that time did I have to figure out how to get access to a document that was on my old laptop. When Camp is over I plan on moving the rest of my stuff into the cloud — managing most of my digital assets with MT and seeing how that goes. I have a feeling it will be just fine.