By Stephen Downes
January 13, 2004

Report Faults Charter Schools in New York
The good news is that these charter schools are being held accountable for results. The bad news is that they are performing so badly. And who pays for the repairs to the children subjected to this experiment gone awry? By David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times, January 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

RSS Support in CourseForum and ProjectForum
Evidence of the wider adoption of RSS in the e-learning world is provided here as CourseForum now supports RSS feeds. "Starting with version 3.2, an existing RSS feed from a website can be included directly inside any forum page.... This might be the easiest way for you and your colleagues to collect and share up-to-date information with each other, without visiting multiple web sites individually, without downloading extra software, and without everyone even needing to know what RSS is! And of course, the headlines are embedded into your existing forum, along with other things you're working on, and topics you're discussing." Yeah. By Press Release, CourseForum, January, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

E-Discussion Toolkit
Good overview resource outlining the major steps involved in hosting an online discussion. Each step is described, with additional resources offered. Navigation is at the top of the page, so you'll have to scroll back up to find the next page. Via elearningpost. By Unknown, World Bank, January, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Death of Micropayments?
What can go wrong with micropayments? Just about everything. Consider what happened to those companies that tried and failed: ""Some were platform dependent, or asked for unreasonable percentages of the take, or relied on putting everything on a centralized site, which would make them a portal. It seemed like every one of them offered a different road to hell." But that does not entail the end of micropayments. It tells us, though, that any such system must be platform neutral, inexpensive, distributed, and simple. By Elizabeth Millard, E-Commerce Times, January 12, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

New Digital Initiatives Have Import For All Higher Education
From the short article: "One - the Distributed Open Digital Library initiative - will make more holdings of major research libraries accessible universally in an online, collaborative digital library. The second initiative - the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program - will engage multiple institutions in R&D work on ways to ensure long-term access to digital resources." By Unknown, CLIRinghouse, November, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Yahoo, NewsGator Extend RSS Aggregation
A stir has been created in the RSS community as news portal Yahoo! has been working with the format. A short lived trial run appeared on its beta site last week, setting of a flurry of activity. RSS has been increasingly described - as it is in this article - as a 'push' format. In my view, this is an incorrect characterization. Though applications such as news readers resemble the old Pointcast push engine, the use of RSS feeds is actually very selective. More. By Ryan Naraine, Internet.Com, January 8, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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