By Stephen Downes
February 22, 2005

Broadband Companies Eradicating Community Networks
I've been following this story and becoming increasingly concerned. "Big telecom and cable companies have responded by furiously working to slam the door on community wireless." It is in essence becoming illegal to set up your own community wireless network. From Slashdot: "Broadband Reports says that 14 and possibly more states that have or will pass(ed) bills banning community-run broadband. Free Pass shows a map breakdown of the states while Tallahassee.com takes a look at a newly proposed bill in Florida, backed by Sprint, BellSouth, Verizon, and Comcast, designed to bog down the muni-development process." A new "piracy" is evolving: something that used to be called "freedom of speech". By Matt Barton, Kairosnews, February 22, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

New Teacher and Student Roles in the Technology-Supported, Language Classroom
The February issue of the International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning is out. I cite three articles, beginning with this. It is generally an unassuming and fairly traditional account of the changing roles of teachers in technology-supported classrooms. But the best bit comes as the author discusses the "flip-side of the coin": "Thirty-eight percent (38%) of the teachers involved displayed a certain resentment to the presence of what they perceived to be the policy-makers’, non-consultative imposition of technology into their classrooms." Gee, they wouldn't do that, would they? By Daithí Ó Murchú, International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Right Horse and Harness to Pull the Carriage
In my mind, the requirement of a PhD Dissertation is essentially a requirement of a demonstrated committment to orthodoxy. Yes, a harness. This article doesn't change my views, but it does do a nice job sketching the various research options available and makes the reasonable point that the methodology ought to follow from the definition of the problem being addressed. And if you don't start with a problem? Heresy. By Kim Blum and Brent Muirhead, International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Can Interest in Distance Training be Sustaine in Corporate Organizations?
The authors ask, "With alternatives to training such as outsourcing, the question is again raised whether training programs, even distance training programs, can be sustained." And they answer, somewhat vaguely, "the ability to sustain distance training is deeply rooted in the success during the early stages of implementing distance training and the integration of the work and learning environments." In other words, if it was effective, they will keep using it. By Zane L. Berge and Adrian A. Kendrick, International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

OASIS Patent Policy Sparks Boycott
This was pretty inevitable. "A who's who of the open-source and free-software movements on Tuesday took aim at a leading Web services standards group, escalating pressure for mandatory royalty-free licensing policies with calls for a boycott of its specifications." OASIS does not require that submission be patent-free, which means that companies that use OASIS specifications could at any time be hit with a lawsuit over a previously undisclosed patent. An OASIS representative denies that this is the case, but if you read the policy it's pretty clear that royalties can attach to the specifications and that the policy explicitly allows this. It's a pretty foolish company that used an OASIS specification, in my mind. By Paul Festa, ZD Net, February 22, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

University of Phoenix puts Technology at Learning’s Forefront
Survey coverage of the University of Phoenix's operations in Spokane, Washington, with an emphasis on the use of simulations. I note this because it marks the clear incursion into another state. Washington State University, based in Spokane, isn't even mentioned in the article. I wonder whether it's feeling the pinch. Via ADL. By Paul Read, Spokane Journal of Business, February 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A la rencontre du Québec
From European Schoolnet: "Parcours le Monde is an association of French teachers based around Paris. They are working on networking teachers of French and French teachers around the world. They implement very nice projects with Canada, Africa and all the countries where people speak French. There is already a group of about 100 teachers exchanging and sharing projects." Also from the same newsletter, a link to this nice site for kids from the European Space Agency. By Various Authors, Parcours le monde, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

COL Learning Object Repository
Paul West advises that the Commonwealth of Learning's Learning Object Repository has opened, and writes, "It's based on a combination of 'eRIB' and 'pakXchange', which gives it a strong database with security. Multiple partnering institutions can collaborate on the same implementation; they can each have multiple libraries of content, with different levels of security on each (from open to proprietary)." Downloads of the repository software are also available on the site. By Various Authors, Commonwealth of Learning, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

[Refer] - send an item to your friends
[Research] - find related items
[Reflect] - post a comment about this item

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[About This NewsLetter] [OLDaily Archives] [Send me your comments]

Copyright © 2005 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.