By Stephen Downes
August 6, 2004

Internet Time Blog
Jay Cross has moved his blog to Blogger (so change your RSS feeds) because of the incessant spam on this other site. By Jay Cross, Internet Time, August, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Democracy, Community, and Youth Activism in K-12 Schooling
One of the major arguments for a public education system is that society has a stake in instilling certain values in its citizens, and in particular, citizenship and democracy. But what does that mean? This page links to articles by Joel Westheimer, mostly with Joseph Kahne, that explore the subject. One issue that crops up repeatedly is the lack of agreement on what constitutes a democractic citizen; the authors, for example, identify three types - personally responsible citizens, participatory citizens, and justice oriented citizens - in Educating the "Good" Citizen: Political Choices and Pedagogical Goals. And in Reconnecting Education To Democracy: Democratic Dialogues the authors examine the role of patriotism and political opinions in learning, looking at, for example, how "Nebraska's State Board of Education did jump on its own version of American Bandstand, specifying that the high school social studies curriculum should "include instruction in . . . the benefits and advantages of our government, the dangers of . . . communism and similar ideologies, the duties of citizenship, and appropriate patriotic exercises." Democracy in education, sure, but at what point does it become propaganda? These essays are a great read; required for anyone working in this area. By Joel Westheimer, mostly with Joseph Kahne, Democratic Dialogue, August, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Community Engagement Techniques and Tools
What should be noted in this chart is the big orange arrow designating "increasing level of public impact" for the various collaboration tools described. Below the arrow is a grid with many tools familiar to educators: plain old content sits at the lowest level, serving only to inform, while more interactive tools engender greater empowerment, right up to the point where citizens make decisions for themselves. Which is where - in both government and learning - we want to be. By Unknown, Government of New South Wales, February 23, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

NSDL At a Glance
The National Science Distributed Library (NSDL) has made access to its collection available through a nifty interactive graphic. The visual view requires Java to be enabled in your web browser. Though interesting to look at, though, it is unlikely that anyone will use this display to actually search for resources. Just my feeling. By Various Authors, NSDL, August 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Nature RSS Newsfeeds
The Nature Publishing group, which produces top-flight scientific journals such as Nature, has announced a raft of RSS feeds linking to journal articles. Unfortunately, viewers will require a subscription or to pay fees in order to read the articles. More information on the RSS-DEV Yahoo news group (you may have to sign up to view this item). By Announcement, Nature Publishing Group, August 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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