By Stephen Downes
October 29, 2004

Single Sign-on At Last
Martin Terre Blanche weighs in with a solid description of Sxip (is it pronounced 'skip'? Perhaps someone could inform me here) highlighting the advantages but also sounding a cautious note. "I'm not sure if charging licensing fees is the best way to go," he writes. "I also find it a little hard to understand where the open source ends and the commerce begins. The FAQs say 'the Sxip Network and protocol are community-driven and open to all' which sounds good, but 'community driven' could mean many things and 'open to all' does seem to mean 'open only to those who can pay'. And The FAQs also say 'the protocol can be easily extended to support identity initiatives between communities, organizations, and standards groups' (which is a good thing, but only if they pay membership fees?)." By Martin Terre Blanche, Collaborative Learning Environments, October 26, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Students covering political issues in a multimedia environment. "The project was undertaken by students in a journalism class and has been overseen by Department of Journalism faculty. The group of students organized in a newsroom to produce print, online and broadcast products. The group also conducted a scientific survey to drive its reporting. The idea behind the project was students covering students." Eric meyer writes on the Online News mailing list, "This is not a project that was artificially propped up by professional staff or high-tech spending. This is the students' own work -- including many all-nighters -- using whatever resources they could scrounge together. This is just what 22 very committed students -- print and broadcast, mainly undergrads -- can put together under their own leadership with just a little bit of guidance." By Various Authors, University of Illinois College of Communications, October 29, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

RSA Throws Its Hat into the OMA DRM Ring
RSA is a leading security infrastructure vendors, like Verisign or Entrust, and its BSAFE Mobile Rights Management system, which supports the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) DRM 2.0 standard and the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) 1.1 specification, will be available in January. By DRM Watch Staff, DRM Watch, October 28, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

I hadn't see this before, and it is reported in an email to WWWEDU as being new. A relatively inexpensive commercial product, Kidzlog has an interface designed for young children and supports password control and teacher moderation. By Will Leshner, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Mali, Ancient Crossroads of Africa
Projects like this capture my imagination. And the history and geography of sub-Saharan Africa are subjects too often overlooked in western education. By Various Authors, Virginia Department of Education Prince William County Schools, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Games Deserve a Place in Class
"We want to reassure anxious parents and teachers that games are a legitimate cultural form that deserve critical analysis in schools just as film, television and literature do. But we also want to argue that full understanding only comes when children have the tools to create their own games." The research website is available online. The important bit in this story, from a conceptual perspective, is this: "Games literacy is a way of investigating how games are means of expression and representation, just like writing or drawing." More coverage of this report in the BBC and in the Guardian, here and here. By Press Release, Institute of Education, University of London, October 26, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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