By Stephen Downes
September 18, 2004

E-Learning Business Models in the Web Services Era?
I'm not big on web services - I have yet to see a fast one - but the concept of web services, allowing third party applications exchange data with yours, is a good one. And it's interesting to observe the slow lurch toward that sort of interoperability in the education technology field. Derek Morrisoin has an insightful point here - perhaps it's the emergence of free and open source software pushing the way forward. Perhaps it's causing more of a ripple in our community than we think. By Derek Morrison, Auricle, September 17, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Searching for Creative Commons on Yahoo!
This is something we've needed for some time - a way to search and find only that content we can use. Google, meanwhile, doesn't reliably let searchers know whether the link they're following is free, registration or even pay. Bad Google, bad. By Neeru Paharia, Creative Commons, September 17, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Weblog For Every Student
People doubted my claim a month or so ago that there would be tens of thousands of teachers using weblogs this academic year. I have no real stats on this (and no way to get any) but the University of Warwick seems bent on making the prediction come true all by itself as it offers a weblog for every student. As David Davies says, "It'll be interesting to see what the take-up is once the new university term gets underway." By David Davies, Edtech, September 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

RSS Wave: Good Examples Of Newsmaster Sites
Sometimes the best way to make your point is with a few examples, and Robin Good steps up with a series of examples of what he calls 'NewsMasters'. Yes, this site is included among those examples, but the range of cases cited include a Harry Potter update site, Game Blogs, and some health and alternative medicine sites. By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, September 17, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Best Practices for Connecting with Students Online
I am not going to say that the author is wrong; in fact, she probably isn't. But this best practice for connecting with online students illustrates that we still aren't completely into the online era yet: "Our action plan includes: welcome calls [and] phone calls on at least a monthly basis..." Soime good items in the 'related links' at the bottom of the page. By Sherry McAuliffe, Tech Learning, September 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Online Adversaries
Via MANE IT Network: "The creators of TheFaceBook, a very successful college student social software system, are being sued by a group of students who allege they came up with the idea first." I had never heard of it, but "Thefacebook has 284,000 users at 99 colleges, and on many campuses it has become the primary tool to get someone's phone number, form a study group, or scope out interesting new people." Fascinating. By Marcella Bombardieri, Boston Globe, September 17, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Back to School Means Back to Advergames
Bonnie Bracey in WWWEDU raiuses the question of whether advertising ought to be allowed inside educational games directed toward children. "This is flying under the radar screen of most parents and teachers," said Jeff Chester, executive director at the Center for Digital Democracy. Although some may argue that such advertising is innocuous, online games have, as I observed a few months back, the capacity to sensitize or desensitize their players. By Sue Zeidler, Reuters, September 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Registration? For What?
Some mainstream people are now arguing against newspaper website registration policies, people who even get mentioned in Poynter's E-Media Tidbits when they make the case. "Exactly what is the point of requiring registration? Is it to prove that the person exists? Is it to stop bots from scanning the sites, and so make sure that none of the content is properly indexed for everyone to find? Or is it to irritate people and keep them away? I think that in the case of American newspapers, it's done to keep people away." By John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine, October 5, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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