Hello! Welcome to my blog. =) What am I doing here? Why am I doing here? Honestly, this is just an assignment blog that needed to be done so that I can score for one of my subjects. Hopefully for an A for this? Ha. So anyway, back to the topic, reason I asked those question is because I want to show you the fact that universities are no more just about notes from lecturer and textbooks. It’s going into the digital age!
Notes, assignments, tutorials, all can be done through the digital world. For example, I’m now in Malaysia, but thanks to the technology development, not only that I can get notes from my lecturer, but also from the lecturer from Australia. Sounds good? Not only that, now that we have a database for loads of journals, we don’t have to go through racks of books from the library anymore. This eventually make things to be done fast, easier and work produced in a better quality. At least, we don’t have to combine with the racks of books like the picture below. If you can spot that. =)
source @ newyorker
According to Miller (2010), with the help of this advance technology,
“Right now, anyone of modest intelligence and ambition can make his or her thoughts available via the Internet to a global audience instantaneously and at virtually no cost. “
Just like me. I typed a blog, I post my opinions, I share my views but all these cost me not even a single cent. What’s more it reach even more people than having to be published on a paper. Stated by Neylon (2012), he said
“Some key individuals can make a serious impact. Editors can start or move journals to open access principles, resigning from high-profit publishers if needed. Developers can create web-based tools like academia.edu or peeravaluation.org. Authors can publish directly in open access journals or at least ensure their work in available on their homepage or in free-to-read forms such as through the arXiv or PubMed.”
But is this all? Bringing universities to digital age is the wise choice?
When universities are brought into the digital age, the academics are searching for an alternative as well. No, of course they are not giving everything out for free! They spent months or even years to complete a research and do you think they going to just share it straight out? Well, undeniably, some did so. They shared it openly. But there are also academics that would try to get profit from their work done.
Have you ever notice that journal databases like JStor, Taylor & Francis, Ebscohost or more are charging for each article you requested? So, what happen next? If the student needs the information, they’ll need to pay for it. This eventually means, students are paying to gain knowledge. Fair? Not for me.
According to Arvanitakis (2012), he stated that he ‘see education as a cultural commons: something that we all share and can grow to expand creating a new form of biopolitical production.’ He also stressed that only by having the works to be shared openly can education step to a higher point.
So, having the same thought as the statement above, Aaron Swartz, the co-founder of RSS 1.0 took an action. According to Cai (2013), ‘Swartz was indicted in July 2011 by a federal grand jury for allegedly downloading millions of documents from JSTOR through the MIT network — using a laptop hidden in a basement network closet in MIT’s Building 16 — with the intent to distribute them.’
Source @ heavy.com
His move, eventually helped a lot of students to get to the needed journals and articles however bought himself into trouble. He was charged and having too much people to talk about him, he at last could not take it and hung himself in his apartment.
Why this would even happen in the first place? It’s all because students are needed to be charged for a certain amount before they could retrieve the scholar article from the database. Personally, I think knowledge should not be something to be restrained by money. Students are already paying for their university fees that cost over thousands and why should they spend more on it? Indeed, you can argue that students can avoid getting articles that needed to be purchased. But does this means that, only people who are affordable for the papers have the rights to read the paper and gain knowledge?
No. At least not me.
There shouldn’t be a line in knowledge. It’s limitless.
So, what about universities in the digital age? I would say that it helps us a lot in terms of getting the assignment to be done better and faster, and to share the materials from partners of universities. But, it also showed us the clear reality of this world. Not everything is free. Even knowledge.
Source @ IndependantAustralia
Pages I reference!
Arvanitakis, J 2012, Education, commons, pirates and ninjas¸ viewed 24 April 2013, http://jamesarvanitakis.net/education-commons-pirates-and-ninjas/
Cai, A 2013, ‘Aaron Swartz commits suicide’, The Tech, 12 January, viewed 24 April 2013, http://tech.mit.edu/V132/N61/swartz.html
MacFarquhar, L 2013, ‘Requiem For A Dream’, The New Yorker, 11 March, viewed 24 April 2013, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/03/11/130311fa_fact_macfarquhar
Miller, RE 2010, The Coming Apocalypse,Pedagogy, vol. 10, no. 1, pp143-151
Neylon, T 2012, Life after Elsevier: making open access to scientific knowledge a reality, The Guardian, viewed 24 April 2013, http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/apr/24/life-elsevier-open-access-scientific-knowledge?INTCMP=SRCH