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May 18, 2001

The beta test continues... send me your comments at sdownes@ualberta.ca:

The Internet is Not Television This is a great deconstruction of a Wired article that tries to tell us that internet users have an obligation to make online services profitable. A must-read for anybody who buys the idea that we have to charge subscriptions (or copyright fees, or other fees) in order to make online content provision (including educational content) profitable. The bottom line is: it is not up to the consumer to fit the business model, it is up to the business to create a model that fits the consumer. By Bob Frankston, May, 2001. Submitted on May 22, 2001

Pity the Science Students This article begins with a reference to schools being connected to the internet, but the main story has to do with high school textbooks being riddled with errors. I don't see why the author mentions the internet at all; a better angle would be to suggest that the much vaunted accuracy of the traditional system of publishers and reviewers is, in fact, a smokescreen. By Kathy Foley, NUA Internet Surveys, May 21, 2001. Hubisz and his team found hundreds of errors, so many that the report would have ran well over 500 pages if they had included all of the mistakes they turned up in the textbooks... One physics textbook shows the equator running "north of the Gulf of Mexico - approximately through Tallahassee". Another says World War I ended in 1945. Yet another has a picture of singer Linda Ronstadt described as "a silicon crystal doped with an arsenic impurity". Submitted on May 22, 2001

Saba Throws Another Annoying Acronym in Pool The headline reveals the tone of the article, and may I add that the problem isn't just that it's another acronym, it's a rather annoying one. The phrase 'human capital' has been making the rounds recently as a replacement for 'human resources,' but the implication is that an institutions's staff are not merely assets of a company, they are actually owned by the company, for after all, isn't capital something that is owned? Saba does the world a disservice by perpetuating this attitude, and while it probably plays well in the boardroom, it will be met with distrust on the shop floor. Submitted on May 22, 2001

Chinese Government Predicts Strong Growth in Online Education Everybody is looking to the Orient... and the Chinese government is encouraging them with the announcement that the Ministry of Education plans to have five million students in 50 to 100 online colleges by 2005. Tere are issues. The article mentions China's prohibition against for-profit educational institutions. It should also talk about China's rigorous content restrictions (how would an online course discuss recent Chinese history, for example?) and potential instability inherent in an undemocratic countr. By Daniel Walfish, the Chronicle of Higher Education, May 21, 2001. Submitted on May 22, 2001

Trust Matters Good article which makes a point that should be obvious: trust is essential in any knowledge management initiative. This is because knowledge management requires that people share knowledge with each other. The article also outlines some strategies (with examples) for rebuilding trust. By Phat X. Chiem, DestinationCRM.Com, May, 2001. Submitted on May 22, 2001

Instructional Design Models Comprehensive listing - with all links checked as of April, 2001 (for which we deeply thank them) - of instructional design models. By Martin Ryder, University of Colorado at Denver. Submitted on May 22, 2001

WBT Sytems Launches TopClass XML Toolkit This is a press release and therefore almost impossible to read because to the flowery adjectives, but the gist is that TopClass, a learning management system, has released an e-learning XML toolkit which allows users to export their TopClass data in XML. Which is good. Submitted on May 21, 2001

Homeschool Gets Sex Education from the 'you can learn a lesson from this dept.' - Home Education Magazine lost its domain name, www.home-ed-press.com, to a porn site when it failed to renew its registration with Network Solutions. By Katie Dean, Wired news, May 21, 2001. Submitted on May 21, 2001

Intro to MacroMedia CourseBuilder Good stuff - exactly as the name implies, with screen shots and clear direction. By Garin Hess, Learning Circuits, may, 2001. Submitted on May 21, 2001

Rebuilding E-Learning Companies Advice on how to retool your e-learning company (we all have e-learning companies, right?) to adapt to the changing marketplace. Generally sound advice, though the last suggestion - "Acquire companies" - is a bit more than most of us can manage. By Claudia Flowers, Learning Circuits, May, 2001. Submitted on May 21, 2001

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