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January 10, 2002

Education on the Internet This useful email newsletter was launched in the U.K. in October. Currently on issue 11 (with more than 11,000 subscribers) the newsletter provides weekly links of interest in a range of topic areas including history, English, politics, sociology, music and more. The 'news from the web' section is a little weak (so you can't give up your subscription to OLDaily) but the newsletter would be a valuable resource for K-12 teachers. By John Simkin , Sparticus International, January 9, 2002.[Refer]

Blackboard Will Acquire a Competitor, Prometheus, From George Washington U. The discussion lists are in a tizzy about Blackboard's acquisition of Prometheus, one of its competitors. This Chronicle article makes much of Prometheus's 'open code' format (not that Prometheus had any choice: you can't hide Cold Fusion scripts) but in my mind Blackboard wasn't buying the learning management system, it was buying the customer base, about 70 institutions at last count. By Florence Olsen and Michael Arnone, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 8, 2002.[Refer]

Maine Students Hit the IBooks Starting in the fall of 2002, every grade 7 student in Vermont will use a portable wireless Laptop supplied by Apple and purchased under a $30 million state grant (the Maine school and library network is kicking in an additional $9 million). That adds up to 36,000 laptops and while some people are critical, calling the iBook's glorified CD players, the educational potential is large. Depends on how they use them, though, and I hope the Maine school system is allowing wide latitude for innovayion (and not merely using them to replace pens and paper for students to take lecture notes). By Katie Dean , Wired News, January 9, 2002.[Refer]

Online Training or Teaching: A Layman?s Rant! Last September John Duncan wrote a rant which, as the saying goes, fell stillborn from the presses. e shared it with me today and I find myself largely in agreement with its sentiments. I am not so preoccupied with the language of learning as Duuncan is but I agree with the idea that learning should be self directed, a voyage of discovery rather than a military drill. By John Duncan, Duncans MindLeaders, September, 2001.[Refer]

Oxford University Press to Launch Biggest Online Reference Website Planned for a launch in March, 2002, Oxford Reference Online will dwarf any previous online reference service. The publisher intends to make money from the site, selling subscription-based access. This is one of few cases where a subscription fee may be successful, and it would be successful because no other organization has a reasonable hope of duplicating Oxford's reference collection. By Veronica Garcia-Robles, EuropeMedia.Net, January 9, 2002.[Refer]

Teachers Train in New Classroom: Cyberspace The message from this story is in the last paragraph: "This is a new era," says Roy Pea, co-founder of TeachScape. "We've finally made the leap in understanding that teachers don't learn well from reading journal articles or workbooks, they need to see new strategies put into action with real kids that look like their own." By Daniel B. Wood , Christian Science Monitor, January 3, 2002.[Refer]

AOL's Online Campus Your new competition in online learning: AOL Time Warner. The internet and publishing giant has "thousands of content partners" including the University of Phoenix. The only roadblock to their total world domination is the fact that AOL Time Warner doesn't have degree granting capability. But that, like all things, is subject to change. By Elisabeth Goodridge, Information Week, December 17, 2001.[Refer]

The EDUCAUSE Program Plan for 2002 EDUCAUSE outlines its program priorities for 2002. The U.S. consortium of higher education institutions and consortiums will look at (among other things) public key infrastructure for higher education bridge certification authorities, launching a virtual communities and teams initiative, and the establishment of an institute for computer policy and law. EDUCAUSE is also planning a "next generation" website (I think it should be called EDU-Worf... *giggle*). PDF document. By Unknown, EDUCAUSE, January, 2002.[Refer]

The Learning Frontier Good article in which three experts in simulation game design - including the designer of Sim City - talk about what makes a good similation and how simulatioons could be used for learning. Some tidbits: the object is to create an immersive environment and to eliminate distractions from the players' belief in that environment, so save the questions for later. Also, discussion about the game teaches as much as the game, so enable some sort of community element. And have the players work toward some sort of tangible artifact so that when they get up from 20 hours of gaming, er, learning, they don't feel they've wasted 20 hours. By lark Aldrich, Online Learning Magazine, january 10, 2002.[Refer]

Classrooms of the Future A vision of the "school of the future" has been unveiled by Education Secretary in the U.K. and it looks like they've got some things right: "Beyond the office-style reception desk, students enter the school using a swipe card to take part in 'self-directed learning' using the latest technology." So a school of the future, according to this account, is more like a community learning resource center as postulated in some ancient (three years old) descriptions of the 'Triad Model.' This article also spends a long time discussing the program to purchase laptops for U.K. teachers, a red herring that distracts from the fundamental changes to schools being (at least implicitly) proposed. By Unknown, BBC, January 9, 2002.[Refer]

Sign of the Apocalypse: MTV Announces Line of PCs To be aimed directly at college students living in dorms, these branded PCs will focus on games and entertainment and will feature "exclusive" MTV content. And for once, I'm speechless... By Eric Grevstad, Hardware Central, January 9, 2002.[Refer]


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