By Stephen Downes
August 19, 2004

In the Classroom, Web Logs Are the New Bulletin Boards
Surface-level article describing the use of weblogs in the classroom. With a new school year approaching in the northern hemisphere the blog phenomenon is about to go mainstream with not thousands but tens of thousands of teachers using them in their classes. New experts will be annoited by the press, academic studies will be conducted, and the inevitable backlash will be in full force as writers will complain about the poor grammar and trivial topic selection of the average student blog. Via MANE IT Network. By Jeffrey Selingo, New York Times, August 19, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

How To Start a Free Culture Chapter at Your School
Not sure whether this will go anywhere, but it's nice to see the initiative, and it gives people something to watch for on campus. By Various Authors, Downhill Battle, August 18, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Welcome to eMachineShop
This is interesting. The website describes it as follows: "eMachineShop is the remarkable new way to get the custom parts you need - the first true online machine shop. Download our free software, draw your part, and click to order - it's that easy! Your part will be machined and delivered. Even better, your cost is low due to the Internet, software, and automated machines." The L.A. Times quotes Ohio State University engineering professor Taylan Altan as commmenting: "One of the biggest problems we have today in American design and manufacturing is that designers know very little about manufacturing" -- and eMachineShop overcomes that deficiency by building the knowledge of a machinist into the design software. Of course, I look at something like this and imagine the learning possibilities. Via NewsScan Daily. By Various Authors, August, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

State High School Exit Exams: A Maturing Reform
The Center on Education Policy yesterday released its third annual report on state high school exit exams. The author reports that student outcomes are largely unchanged from last year. They point to the hidden costs of exit exams - for example, extra preparation and rehabilitation - and note that they are borne by local administrations. They suggest that, in the right policy context, the exams could have a slight beneficial result, but that currently they also have a slight negative result. PDF. By Gayler, Naomi Chudowsky, Madlene Hamilton, Nancy Kober, and Margery Yeager., Center on Education Policy, August 18, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Fireworks How To: The Ultimate Aqua Button
Nice step-by-step tutorial on how to create aqua buttons using Firewworks (aqua buttons are those see-through buttons you see on Apple systems). The effect is pretty neat and the lessons show you some things about images in general. But why would anyone want their website to look like an Apple interface? Via Brain Frieze. By Brian Edgin, Community MX, August 19, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

This site allows readers to evaluate open source content management systems (CMS). What's nice about this site is that an administration userid and password are provided so people can see how the system functions behind the scenes (the systems are reinitialized every two hours). The site only offers evaluations of systems written in PHP and using mySQL, and only systems that do not require administrator access to install. Via the EDTECH mailing list. By Various Authors, August, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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