By Stephen Downes
July 15, 2004

UK Department for Education and Skills Hosts Launch of LAMS Roadmap
Big news today as the roadmap for the development of LAMS - the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) - is announced by the UK Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and its inventor, James Dalziel of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. LAMS is a "software program that allows teachers to design, manage and deliver online collaborative learning activities. They can sequence individual tasks, small group work and whole class activities, and incorporate 'Learning Objects' into sequences where appropriate." A key point of today's announcement is that LAMS will be released as open source software (OSS) under the Gnu Public License (GPL) in late February 2005. More on LAMS. See also LAMS International. This announcement is only to be applauded, and I wish the LAMS foundation success through the development process and after. Thanks, James, for the link. By Press Release, LAMS Foundation, July 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Lord of the Rings Domain Fight Enters Realms of Fantasy
J.R.R. Tolkien's books will not pass into the public domain for decades, and the movies will take even longer, but the studio's and publisher's assertion that they own the rights to the word 'Shire' ought not last much beyond next Tuesday. As the Register explains, "it would be impossible to argue with the legal letter's initial assertion: 'shire' is extremely well known in the UK. In fact, it has been well known since around 600AD - not long after the Romans had wandered off." Not to be missed, if you haven't seen it already, is a link to Groucho Marx's famous reply to Warner Brothers after the studio tried to block the release of A Night in Casablanca. By Kieren McCarthy, The Register, July 14, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ethiopian Teacher Education Portal
This site is a trove of information about teaching and for teachers in Ethiopia. The site contains news, information, links and more, including resources for the Teacher Development Program (TDP) and for the Teacher Education System Overhaul (TESO) program. Built with PostNuke, it recently won a Gold Award for Ethiopian websites. Just shows what you can do with free software and a little participation. By Various Authors, July, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Democracy in the Balance
Not quite my usual fare, but I wanted to share this article that identifies many of my concerns, concerns I feel not just when I look south of the border but also when I look at the environment here at home. "Money has democracy in a stranglehold and is suffocating it.... That's why so many people are turned off by politics. It's why we can't put things right. And it's wrong. Hear the great Justice Learned Hand on this: "If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: ‘Thou shalt not ration justice.'"" It should be noted that when people opt out of politics, they opt out of rule of law also. As it becomes clearer that the law serves special interests, the moral imperative to follow a law vanishes. We tread on dangerous ground when we cede the mechanisms of society to a certain sector, one that harsher and harsher laws won't make right. By Bill Moyers, Sojourners, August, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

eScholarship Title List
437 books, released for free public online access, by University of California Press, following, as Peter Suber notes, the pioneering lead of the National Academy Press, though while the latter is in PDF, the University of California Press is in HTML and hence is much easier to read online. The site also provides linking assistance and a spreadsheet. Outstanding. Other sites hosting free online books include E-Editions - University of Nebraska Press, Baen Books, Hoover Institution, and, of course, Project Gutenberg. By Various Authors, University of California Press, July, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]

Copyright © 2003 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.