Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
June 25, 2002

Deep-linking Flap Could Deep-six Direct Links to Relevant Content for Students This item, a couple of weeks old, is now being circulated in e-learning newsletters. Beware, warns the article, of controversies that may affect whether you can 'deep link' to external resources. Piffle. The Dallas Morning News and Runner's World cases are even older than this article and amounted to nothing. The most recent instances of the deep linking debate centre around the National Public Radio's acceptable use policy prohibiting deep linking (now being revised after a storm of protest) and a Danish court case currently being heard. Not one judgement has ever prohibited deep linking. And its not going to happen: to prohibit deep linking is to to put sites like Google and Yahoo off the internet. So, this story notwithstanding, don't worry about it. By Corey Murray, eSchool News, June 11, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

International Consortium Readies Ambitious Distance-Education Effort A high profile venture backed by a publishing company, Universitas 21 has garnered more publicity over the years than any other online institution still waiting to admit its first student. The corporate nature of Universitas 21, the faculty protests and the murky business plan make it a perfect paradigm of the demons faced by the authors at the Chronicle of Higher Education every time they look at online learning. Add a touch of the mysterious (and undemocratic) orient and you have the makings of a feature article. I'm not a fan of Universitas 21 for many reasons, but still, read this item with a grain of salt. By Michael Arnone, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 28, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Moving From Here to There Without Getting Lost First, let's curse the marketing people for taking a perfectly good name and substituting something meaningless. That said, this interview loks at some of the background behind the development by a Vancouver company of pliable display technology, a way of zoming in on certain data while keeping the context in view. If you are not into data representation, this is a pretty dry interview. By Unknown, Ubiquity, June, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Leaders-to-be Disdain Summer Jobs, Lose Empathy OK, I spent many years in the food services and related industries so I have many opinions about this condescending little piece. The premise is, as the title suggests, that students of wealthier parents are opting for summer schol rather than service level jobs. This is a bad thing, sucggests the author, because these elite students - our future leaders - lose the empathy they would otherwise gain. Well. We may well be on the way to acquiring leadership by inhertiance, but I'm not ready to grant that yet. That said, the last thing people in the food services industry needs is a flood of low paid students who don't really need the income coming in and forcing wages lower. But most of all, this story emphasises the need for an education accessible to all so that people are not forced to chose between working and studying. Perhaps then we can address the not-so-subtle disadvantage faced by students of lower income parents who believe that they, to, can become leaders. By Laura Vanderkam, USA Today, June 25, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Competition for CliffsNotes Arrives on the Scene In Print An online competitor to CliffsNotes, SparksNotes, is taking is product to the print world. This is not as unusual as you might expect - think of it as blended publishing. The online user base of 2.1 million registered members is expected to translate into offline sales. And since being purchased last year by Barnes & Noble, SparksNotes not has some cash to work with. By Staff, Christian Science Monitor, June 25, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes