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February 5, 2002

What is Your Question? ... Why? This is a long read... around a hundred thinkers (and Alan Alda too) contribute their most pressing questions and some discussion about the nature of the questiuon and why it is important. Print this - 125 pages - and save it for a weekend afternoon with a long coffee and a short cat on your lap. heady, inspirational, often brilliant. By John Brockman, Edge, January 14, 2001.[Refer]

Presenting Isn't Training Oh my, I'm not really sure whether I should be passing this along, but the analogy is so vivid and so evocative that I'd better get it out there (send your complaints to the author, not to me): "PowerPoint is great for presentation," says Stewart. "But presentation is not training. Imagine your 14-year-old daughter comes home from school and tells you her class had a sex-education lesson with a presentation. Fine. Now imagine she comes home and tells you she had sex training. You'd be concerned, right?" By VNU Business Media, VNU Online Learning E-news, February 5, 2002.[Refer]

The Impact of Open Source, Grids and Advanced Networks The bulk of this article relates remarks by IBM's Bill Zeitler on the economics of open source - "The same thing is happening in Life Sciences. Structural Bioinformatics, for instance, uses Linux to model the 3D structures of proteins. Linux has reduced their cost per calculation from $28 to $1" - and the evolution of open source as a global movement. Note also the opening remarks by CANARIE's Bill St. Arnaud: "The next big challenge will be to move from open source to open content. Will the content industry eventually come to a similar realization that maybe the free and open distribution of knowledge will have a similar impact on their industry?" By Bill St. Arnaud and Bill Zeitler, CAnet-3-News, February 5, 2002.[Refer]

Software Improves School's Test Scores in Reading OK, for the most part this reads like a press release converted into a newspaper article (the sort of article I complain about on various media discussion lists), complete with the required introductory story about little Deyci Sierra from Mexico. Buried two thirds of the way down is a nugget: "When students launch the Fast ForWord software, they feel like they're playing a computer game. But what they're really doing is causing permanent physical changes to their brains through repetition of certain exercises." Now of course it's not quite that simple, but there is an important insight here into why computers (could or should) teach differently than, say, teachers and textbooks: learning is an emergent property of the activity, rather than the sole focus of the activity. It's the difference between learning the principles of ballistics by playing baseball and learning the principles by reading about them in a physics text. By Nicole Garton, Manchester Tennessean, February 4, 2002.[Refer]

Computer and Information Technologies: Resources for the Postsecondary Education Of Students With Disabilities Report submitted to Canada's Office of learning technologies (OLT) on the state of adaptive technologies and support for students with disabilities in Canada's colleges and universities. The results indicate that these service are (in my phrasing, not theirs) spotty and inconsistent. Though the study was completed in the Fall of 2001, it have only recently become available online. By Catherine S. Fichten, Jennison V. Asuncion, and Maria Barile, Adaptech, 2001.[Refer]


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