By Stephen Downes
April 23, 2003

How To Get a News Feed Into Your WebCT course
In my April 19 OLDaily post on how to post RSS feeds in WebCT I credited David Carter-Tod, but the article was actually written by Cyprien Lomas. Maybe a name, a title, or something other than a picture of a barn at the top of the page might have helped me avoid this error. And I'm still not sure about the name of the blog. By Cyprien Lomas, 42, April 17, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

E-Learning Business Translator
This very cute Flash sales-speak translator is making the rounds in the blogs today. Good for a giggle - nice (but pointless) animation and sound. By Various Authors, e-learning guru, April 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Six Factors to Consider when Planning Online Distance Learning Programs in Higher Education
The important message in this article isn't contained in the conclusion, though it should be: "It is recommended that the institution give equal consideration to all six areas as their ODL program is designed and developed, and to not let the development of the program be driven by those instructors who want to teach online or the software that is the most readily available for student support services." Discussion of the six factors - planning, curriculum, staff training, student services, student training, and copyright - constitutes the bulk of this paper and shows that the issues surrounding online reach well beyond merely placing courses online. By Suzanne Levy, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Spring, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Penn State Cuts off P2P File-Traders
The crackdown continues as Penn State pulls the plug on 220 student accounts acused of being used for file sharing. There is no word in this story about how it was determined that the contents were in fact copyrighted materials or whether any sort of due process, such as a hearing, was followed before the penalty was exacted. Another report. As Kenny Crews writes to the Digital Copyright list, "The statute is filled with nuance, procedures, and protections, but the practical reality is that we will often see it implemented with the delicacy of a sledge hammer." By Ryan Naraine, News.Com, April 22, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Recording Industry Goes After Students Over Music Sharing
The New York Times belatedly covers the music industry's lawsuits against four students accused of file sharing (this story will disappear in a week, which is about how long after the event it was written). The best bit is a quote from one of the students: "'This is just more crazy litigation that shows everyone over 40 not understanding the future of music,' said Thomas Geoghegan, 21, a history major at Maryland and a frequent user of Jason's site before it was so abruptly removed." By Amy Harmon, New York Times, April 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Rethinking Wireless
Good overview of the major points to consider when installing and managing a wireless network in an educational institution, spliced with case studies from the University of Maryland, Stanford and McGill. This article has more of a management take than most, making it better reading for administrators. And if you're an administrator and not grounded in this new technology, you had better get started. As the article says, wireless is here to stay. By Matt Villano, University Business, April, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Oregon Dad Sues to Ban Channel One From Schools
A Portland, Oregon, parent has launched a lawsuit to ban the airing of Channel One, a commercial news and advertising service, into his child's classroom. "Most parents actually believe Channel One has something to do with school," Boyes said. "It's a commercial interest occupying the public school." By eSchool News staff, eSchool News, April 22, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Common Sense Learning Principles
Jay Cross reprints this essay on educational principles. Back to the basics, he writes. It is certainly that, but also, certainly some straightforward and useful advice for designers drowning under a flood of new techniques and new technologies. Tell stories, advises David C Forman. Play games, explore and experiment, use pictures, have a coach, learn with others, focus on the important, take recess, have lunch, become passionate and keep learning. By David C Forman, Internet Time, April 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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