Monday, December 04, 2006

Skype story in Chronicle of Higher Education

If Steven G. Sloan is at work, odds are that he will be on Skype. As an information-technology consultant at San Jose State University, Mr. Sloan uses the free Internet telephone service to make long-distance telephone calls and send instant messages to colleagues around the world. In his other job as a lecturer in the journalism school, he uses the service to bring guest speakers from remote locations into the classroom and to record podcasts for the class Web site.

I am in this week's Chronicle of Higher Education
This is way cool and the first time I have ever been in a publication like this. There just a few things I wish had been done a bit different.

Here is a brief list:

  • The formal form of my first name is Stephen Sloan, not Steven.
  • Professor Cynthia McCune is not mentioned at all and she should be. We collaborated very closely on this class and she co-taught it.
  • It quotes me as saying, ""Skype is the de facto standard," says Mr. Sloan, of San Jose State, noting that Skype has integrated Internet phone calls, video chats, file transfers, and instant messaging into its service. Because the service is so popular, Mr. Sloan says, asking users to switch to another client would be like "routing around a nuclear blast."
    What I think I said was something like, it is the nature of the Internet to route around obstructions. The Internet was designed to route around nuclear blasts. Were we to ban Skype at SJSU the faculty and staff at our university could be routed around and miss out on the collaboration and pedagogical opportunities Skype offers. If this were to happen we would be at a competitive disadvantage compared to other schools.

All in all I am quite pleased the story ran. I really hope it encourages educators to use Skype in their classes. It has really helped us this semester and I am thrilled to have been able to work with it.

The reason there is not a link to the story is because it is in a walled garden. The Chronicle only allows subscribers access to their in-print content online. I will have copies of the story available in the Tuesday class.

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