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February 19, 2002

Empathic Instructional Design Though it has some bumps and appears at first glance to be a little estoteric, this is a good article stressing the need to learn what people actually need to know before designing training for them. Quoting Dorothy Leonard and Jeffrey Rayport's "Spark Innovation Through Empathic Design" the article observes that, "At its foundation is observation—watching consumers use products or services... in the course of normal, everyday routines." By Maish Nichani, Elearningpost, February 18, 2002.[Refer]

I Stand Corrected: Reading 4,934 Pages of Franzen as an E-Book OK, a book that runs 4,934 pages may seem a bit daunting... until you are told that's an e-book being read on a Palm Pilot. A miserable experience, right? Not so, according to this author. "I found most of the typical complaints about reading e-books--that they're hard to see, not tactile enough, impersonal, an eye strain--to be moot." So why won't people buy them? Could it be the unreasonable pricing and distribution policies? By Edward Nawotka, Publisher's Weekly, January 31, 2002.[Refer]

Supreme Court to Hear Digital Copyright Case The question the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Tuesday: support the extensions to copyright recently passed by the U.S. Congress (to 70 years after the death of the author) or toss aside the extensions, thereby saving thousands of books from the 1930s that are disappearing because the publishers can't make any money selling them. By AP, USA Today, February 19, 2002.[Refer]

Key Case in Future of School Choice The United States Supreme Court will hear a case tomorrow concerning an issue that is dividing educators: the question of school vouchers. Spurred by the institution of a voucher system in Cleveland, the court will hear arguments to the effect that vouchers promote school choice, and thereby, better schools. But it will also hear that religious schools dominate the voucher system and that the $2500 vouchers are not able to sustain private schools. The case does not have a direct bearing on online learning but the ripple effects - especially considering the development of online charter schools in other states - are obvious. By Gail Russell Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor, February 19, 2002.[Refer]

What Web Services Are Not A good antidote to the hype surrounding web services. They are not stand-alone applications. There will not be one universal XML standard. And there will not be a single directory of all web services. Good lessons for people thinking about web services and online learning. By Sriram Rajaraman, WebReference, February 19, 2002.[Refer]


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