Cac.ophony: or, the mellifluous sounds of inter-campus collaboration

Cac.ophony.orgMikhail Gershovich, the director of the Bernard L. Shwartz Communication Institute at Baruch College (CUNY), has been engaging many of the questions about technology and learning that we are dealing with here at UMW. Like us, he has been integrating an external web-hosting service into the exploration of enterprise wide tools such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, etc. Moreover, we have just recently discussed the possibilities of a multi-user blogging program, such as Lyceum, that could offer a scalable option for a college of over 15,000 students, counting undergrads and grads.

In fact, the Institute’s blog,, is tracing many of the questions about the intersection of technology and learning that we have been grappling with lately. Kate Moss, who I worked with as an Instructional Technology Fellow at the CUNY Honors College, has recently posted an informative taxonomy of the different ways blogs can be used in the classroom setting for teaching an learning.

Recently, Mikhail and I have been speaking about hosting alternatives to that allow him and his staff to start playing with tools, such as Lyceum, in a more robust way -allowing experimentation and play to develop alongside research and adoption of new tools. So, i just wanted to draw your attention to the ways in which the conversation we are having is really important for many schools out there that want to pushing the envelope for communications possibilities. And is one of those places we need to keep a close eye on …

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5 Responses to Cac.ophony: or, the mellifluous sounds of inter-campus collaboration

  1. Gardner says:

    Very cool. I had noticed that had linked to Gardner Writes and figured out the connection, but the backstory helps a lot here. If we end up in a community of folks who are all on their own Fantastico voyage, or some version thereof, we will be in clover, oh yes will will. Onward and upward!

    (By the way, I figured out how I had broken Lyceum when I tried to tweak it after your install, so now I’m back in business :-)).

  2. jimgroom says:

    I really think you should be blogging about your tweaking, Garder! 😉

    As for cac.ophony, Mikhail and I really started experimenting with WordPress together well over a year ago now, and I think it is safe to say the diviends for both of us have been tremendous. Zach Davis started a web hosting cooperative that I have been part of since 2003, which was premised on the idea of experimentation and play and cost 2 bucks a month (however, we never called it a sandbox, missed opportunities!). One major difference is that we weren’t directly connected to any institution -it was a grass roots idea for which Zach Davis and Lucas Thurston (the magic behind the hosting-cooperative and CastIronCoding) get all the credit, for they, as usual, were well ahead of the curve on all these things.

    When I first started my account in 2003 I had no idea what to do with it, I treated it like a mobile file sharing device to have my research and papers always accessible, then I made static webpages, and then came blogs and wikis -Matt Gold’s blog (another member of the hosting-cooperative) The Tattered Coat was exemplary for content, design and vision – as well as a clear, early understand of what ablog was and how it should be used – bravo Matt! After I saw what was happening with DTLT at UMW, things started to click for me and this job – because while I was hesitant to leave the city I love, I was sure this job was custom-made for me, and boy was I ever right.

    All this to say, it is really nice to see how the communities I have been part of are starting to congeal and move forward in really exciting ways. Parallel play?

  3. Mikhail says:

    Thanks for the plug, Jimmy. Much obliged. We here at Baruch can only aspire to what you heavy hitters are dolng over there at the DTLT at UMW. We’re just now starting to play around with blogging in the classroom and this is happening largely independent of BCTC, Baruch’s Computing and Tech Center, which means that all the support we get comes from folks like Jim and Zach Davis. Those who came before us, like the CUNY Honors College, did their thing despite BCTC. At some point those guys will catch up with us — maybe when Blackboard introduces blogging. We’ll see.

    Jim’s absolutely right about our debt to Zach and Lucas at CIC. What got me onto the Web was the Hosting Cooperative and then, with the help of Jim, Zach, and Matt, things got rolling. emerged from that experimentation and exploration. What’s more is that we’re really benefitting from the expertise of some of the very best CUNY Tech Fellows like Zach, Jim, Kate whom Jim mentioned, and Luke Waltzer who wil be joining the Institute in the Fall. Oh how the connections emerge. Here comes the CUNY tech mafia!

    In other news, Matt is almost done with his dissertation which means that the Tattered Coat will rise again. Soon!

  4. Kate Moss says:

    Hey Jim! Cheers for the plug. CUNY tech mafia is right…

  5. Gardner says:

    These are all great stories, and go a long way toward explaining how Jim has accomplished so much in so short a time–that is, along with his natural talents, intelligence, and relentless good-humored activation. 🙂

    Will be blogging on the tweaking soon, so stay tuned. And did I tell you about the Night Gallery episodes I just bought?

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