Friday, June 21, 2013

Rome 320 CE. A 3D Digital Model

A friend of mine on Facebook pointed this out. It is a video fly-over of ancient Rome. I am not sure how accurate it is, but it certainly gives one a good idea of the size and grandeur of Rome.

Rome Reborn 2.2: A Tour of Ancient Rome in 320 CE from Bernard Frischer on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Like Archaeology? There's an App for that.

Archaeology is the type of science that allows many to experience the results. Rather than being sequestered in a laboratory away from the public, archaeologists work in the open air to uncover and study the past. And when they are done their results are not necessarily stuck in a file draw or the closet in a museum. In many cases visitors can tour the site and see history for themselves. 

One thing about touring an archaeological site, however, is you need a good bit of imagination. Since what you are touring is often reconstructed ruins, you will need to picture what the city or building in front of you looked like hundreds if not thousands of years ago. Until now that is. 

A company is developing an App for your tablet and smart phone that allows you to view a picture of what the ruins looked like at one time. According to the Times of Israel

There are loads of aids to help prompt those imaginations, from guidebooks to audio recordings to professional guides. But Architip, a new app created by a team of image and archaeology professionals, takes a decidedly high-tech approach to the issue. Using augmented reality (AR) technology, the app lets users see what sites actually looked like long ago, bringing to virtual life a view of the ancient world.
“With Architip, you can see Tel Lachish as it was,” Benvenisti said, “walking through its streets and seeing the reconstruction through your device.” All a user has to do is point their device at a specific point, and Archtip’s technology does the rest.

Read the rest of the article here.

Sounds cool! I can't wait to try it out. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Think MOOCs are the answer to overpaid faculty? Why not try MOOAs for administration?

I ran across this short piece on Minding the Campus.Com.  At first I thought I was reading a nice bit of satire from the Onion, but it is a real article (perhaps). In response to the move by some colleges and universities moving towards Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Benjamin Ginsberg is suggeting that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

As colleges begin using massive open online courses (MOOC) to reduce faculty costs, a Johns Hopkins University professor has announced plans for MOOA (massive open online administrations). Dr. Benjamin Ginsberg, author of The Fall of the Faculty, says that many colleges and universities face the same administrative issues every day. By having one experienced group of administrators make decisions for hundreds of campuses simultaneously, MOOA would help address these problems expeditiously and economically. Since MOOA would allow colleges to dispense with most of their own administrators, it would generate substantial cost savings in higher education.
"Studies show that about 30 percent of the cost increases in higher education over the past twenty-five years have been the result of administrative growth," Ginsberg noted. He suggested that MOOA can reverse this spending growth.  "Currently, hundreds, even thousands, of vice provosts and assistant deans attend the same meetings and undertake the same activities on campuses around the U.S. every day," he said.  "Imagine the cost savings if one vice provost could make these decisions for hundreds of campuses."
Asked if this "one size fits all" administrative concept was realistic given the diversity of problems faced by thousands of schools, Ginsberg noted that a "best practices" philosophy already leads administrators to blindly follow one another's leads in such realms as planning, staffing, personnel issues, campus diversity, branding and, curriculum planning. The MOOA, said Ginsberg, would take "best practices" a step further and utilize it to realize substantial cost savings.

Of course this would not work. But I do think it raises an important point in the ongoing discussion about higher education. Just as the "one size fits all" won't work for administration it won't work for the  classroom.  Certainly we all need to think about what we are doing, how we are doing and how much we are charging for it. But looking for the answer in anything massive and open will probably lead to more colleges failing quicker.