January 13, 2006


Tony Hirst[Edit][Delete]: USB Study Stick, OUseful Info [Edit][Delete] January 13, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Kind of a neat idea, drawn from Google's recently release Pack, "a free collection of essential software from Google and other companies." What would an educational Pack look like? Portable office, Firefox, calendar and RSS reader? How about a a portable personal learning enviroment (PPLE) (I like that)? How about a wiki on a stick? Or even Wikipedia on a stick? [Tags: Wikipedia, Google] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Neil C Cranston[Edit][Delete]: Game, Set and Match: Bureaucracy 1, Schools 0: Time to Change the Rules?, Centre for Innovation in Education [Edit][Delete] January 13, 2006
[link: Hits] Though the topic of this essay is the relation between schools and central administrative organizations, I think that the argument can be applied more broadly, to the relationship between any entity in an organization. Of most value is the table comparing 'traditional' and 'revolutionary' management of the organization. Consider, for example, the difference between "promotion is the reward of those who 'look' and 'sound' like their superiors" and "difference and diversity in thinking, attitudes and ideas are valued and rewarded." Which one more resembles your own organization. But the thing is: the value of this list isn't in how you are to set about to criticize and change them. It is best used to examine our own actions and beliefs, to set out a personal program of reform. PDF. Based on this article, I composed a blog post, My Creed as a Manager. [Tags: Paradigm Shift, Web Logs, Schools] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Teemu Leinonen[Edit][Delete]: Thriftiness is a Virtue - in Learning and Education, As Well, FLOSSE Posse [Edit][Delete] January 13, 2006
[link: Hits] The concept in a nutshell: "The whole idea behind the free or libre learning is thriftiness. We can not afford to loose people who are interested in to learn: whatever they do it inside the formal system or informally with content from libraries / Internet and in online discussions with their peers. These are the people who come up with new ideas, start businesses and finally, one day, pay taxes." [Tags: Online Learning, Discussion Lists] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Teemu Leinonen[Edit][Delete]: (Learning) Nodes are Here - Still and Again, FLOSSE Posse [Edit][Delete] January 13, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Teemu Leinonen points out that the current bout of scepticism regarding learning objects is a continuation of a longer-running discussion. And the idea of 'object' or 'node', he writes, is already well-enough entrenched on the web. "There is maybe nothing new in the LO thinking. We already have the Web where content is as reusable and modular as it can be." And he adds, "The world of reusable and modular content - the web - is today better than a few years ago. Some people call it web 2.0. I would call it comeback of the web." Sounds right to me. [Tags: Learning Objects] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Brian L. Hawkins[Edit][Delete]: Twelve Habits of Successful IT Professionals, EDUCAUSE Review [Edit][Delete]EDUCAUSE REVIEW [Edit][Delete] January 13, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] From the most recent issue of EDUCAUSE Review, this article offers a reasonable - though not perfect - list of factors promoting success for IT professionals (of course, the definition of 'success' here is implicit). Things roll along fine until we hit principle number 5, where the article takes a turn, equating 'success' with (it seems to me) obedience. They "understand the limits of their advocacy," the author cautions. They are careful when speaking publicly. They don't whine. It feels as though the article transmogrified from a dispassionate overview to something personal part way through. Me, I think there is great value in a long passionate whine. Does that make me "not a team player"? Maybe. But it is better to speak out than to suffer in silence. [Tags: EDUCAUSE] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Diana G. Oblinger and Brian L. Hawkins[Edit][Delete]: The Myth about Online Course Development, EDUCAUSE Review [Edit][Delete]EDUCAUSE REVIEW [Edit][Delete] January 13, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] The myth is that "A Faculty Member Can Individually Develop and Deliver an Effective Online Course." The authors explain, "Developing and delivering an online course requires numerous and varied skills--skills that are unlikely to be found in a single individual. Teams will probably be more effective." It is interesting to contrast this article with one on the same subject I wrote in 1998. In it, I identified three motivations for the use of course design teams: "the need for standardized course packages... economics... [and] control over copyright and content." As I commented then, "from the point of view of a traditional instructor, none of these reasons may seem to be very palatable." This article doesn't grapple with anything other than the economics - and is therefore likely to be viewed with a similarly sceptical eye by today's designers. [Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Copyright and Patent Issues] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jim Farmer[Edit][Delete]: On the Cost of Selling an Enterprise Learning System, January 13, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] A must-read if you are interested in the learning management system (LMS) marketplace. "Using industry-average data, the cost of selling a Blackboard enterprise learning system is estimated to be $259,000 per sale. Analysis of the third-quarter 2005 data estimates this cost at $280,913. Other estimates range as low as $222,386." Via e-Literate. [Tags: Online Learning, Web Logs, Blackboard] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michael Feldstein[Edit][Delete]: Blackboard by the Numbers, E-Literate [Edit][Delete] January 13, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] Michael Feldstein analyzes Jim Farmer's study. "OK. So. Blackboard pays a quarter of a million for a new customer. That's adds up to be more than 30% of the total amount of money that they bring in. How, exactly, do they stay in business? How do they grow?... Blackboard needs to acquire 185 new customers every year to hold steady, 371 to get 5% growth, and so on, up to 742 new customers needed to grow at 15%. How many new customers a year has Blackboard been getting? 152. Less than they need to break even." [Tags: Blackboard] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence.

This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward. - Stephen Downes


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