OLDaily

By Stephen Downes
January 14, 2005

Please Label PDF Links
Digging my way from under a mountain of backlogged email and RSS posts. I know there's a lot of really good content in the queue, so I may send an extra issue of OLDaily over the weekend. In the meantime, here's Friday's edition (or for those of you reading the Weekly, this week's edition), and we begin with this item send by Todd, a plea for some sort of identification of PDF links (something I may consider for OLDaily). By Garrett Dimon, YourTotalSite, January 12, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Moodling Around in Anger - Some Initial Reflections
There has been a lot of talk about Moodle, the open source learning management. But what is it like for an institution that has typically used WebCT or Blackboard to start using it? This article looks at a real-life case - a use 'in anger', if you will. And the initial results are good. "It largely does what it says on the box (if it had one:) If you wish to deliver courses that support a student centred approach then this is what it does. The software installation does not raise any problems and customisation, as mentioned earlier, is straightforward, even for people with limited programming experience." The author reports some speed issues (which shouldn't be - I wonder what caused them) and notes that scalability remains an open question. By Graham Blacker, Auricle, January 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Microsoft to Launch RSS Aggregator
Short item saying that Microsoft is adding an RSS aggregator to My MSN. Confirmation here. I dusted off the old My MSN account (which still works) and took a good look around, but saw no sign of it. Amazing - My MSN looks almost exactly like My Netscape did in 1997 - except that My Netscape let me add Stephen's Web as a content provider. Of course, that's what the RSS would enable - if I can ever find it. By Duncan Perry, Search Engine Journal, January 12, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Enterprise Blogging
Good overview of the potential uses for blogs ina commercial enterprise, including inbformation sources, employee communication, and corporate intelligence. Good lost of links at the end of the article. Via elearningpost. By L. Anne Clyde, FreePint Newsletter, January 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

When Tests' Cheaters are the Teachers
I've commented on this before, but this article is a good summary of cases where educational providers manipulate tests results in order to avoid penalities under standardized testing legislation. By Kris Axtman, Christian Science Monitor, January 11, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Education Reform Is Biggest Urban Legend
Commentary and a number of good links reporting on the state of American education. "Education reform in the United States is a myth," writes the author. "Unless you live in a wealthy part of town that has better schools, or you have found an alternative such as a magnet, your child is getting short-shrifted by the shortsighted. Despite what the educators say, despite what the political leaders say, despite what anyone says, there is no education reform." Via PEN Weekly Newsblast. By Unattributed, DadTalk, January 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Google and the Human Spirit
In a column in the Los Angeles times American Library Association president, Michael Gorman, calls on Google to forget about digitizing books. Gorman writes, "Massive databases of digitized whole books, especially scholarly books, are expensive exercises in futility based on the staggering notion that, for the first time in history, one form of communication (electronic) will supplant and obliterate all previous forms." Gorman - perhaps not familiar with clay tablets - gets his history wrong. But more to the point, as Drum comments, his proposal "bespeaks a paucity of both spirit and vision that's staggering." Some people - myslef, for example - do not have easy access to research libraries (a hopelessly content-challenged Chapters hardly counts). It's digital content or nothing. Via TeleRead. By Kevin Drum, Washington Monthly, December 17, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Enlaces To Install Linux in Chile Schools
As the headline suggests, Linux is being installed in 600 schools in Chile as part of a trial project. "The Edulinux open-source platform allows schools to use old computers with low resources that are not able to run modern applications. At the same time, Edulinux improves the use of Internet, e-mail, software and educational resources." By Business News Americas , Linux Insider, January 12, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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