October 25, 2006


M. Cohn[Edit][Delete]: MacArthur Funds e-Learning: $50M, Red Herring [Edit][Delete] October 25, 2006
[link: Hits] Perhaps they were reading my coverage (the Tribune story is long gone, See this). Who knows? Anyhow, the MacArthur foundation is granting $2 million a year "for competitive research, writing, and demonstration projects." So my checque should be... oh, wait, they said competitive. Guess not, then, I am not of that political persuasion.

The grants have attracted some blog attention, with Harold Jarche taking a look and landing on the Spotlight blog, a group blog complete with a launch promo from Danah Boyd, all part of their (competitive?) Knowledge Network.

The grants were announced at a press release held inside Second Life and the winner of one grant, $240,000 will be going to Edward Castranova, an associate professor of telecommunications at Indiana University, who is developing a massively multiplayer online game called Arden: The World of Shakespeare.

Mark Glaser, meanwhile, cites Boyd extensively in his look at the grants, which becomes an article on whether the web is dangerous for kids. I think this Boyd quote: "the authorities [have] started to catch predators by posing online, so MySpace has become more dangerous for predators than for teens!"

Beth Kanter, a trainer and consultant, live-blogged the event; the result is a pretty good (and thorough) column. She asks, "One of the points mentions that this is a new field - digital learning and media and that it was a cross disciplinary field. Given all this potential change in education, what do we need to think about how all this applies to nonprofit sector?" This is especially relevant given the overtly commercial focus of most media.

There's a lot more coverage - you could build a whole new edublogosphere out of it. Tom Hoffman complains, "None of the 'edubloggers' seem to know a damned thing about it... nobody other than me seems to have anything to say about it at all." Of course, this was five days ago - it takes time for the blogosphere to respond. But how? Hoffman writes, "Time to start sucking up? Or turning on the heat? Collectively we've got a lot of Google juice to bring to bear in this participatory media environment."

[Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Juan Carlos Perez[Edit][Delete]: Web 2.0 Reaches The Classroom, Infoworld [Edit][Delete]InfoWorld [Edit][Delete] October 25, 2006
[link: Hits] According to this article, "University of Arizona students are learning how to build online business communities using technologies often grouped under the controversial and problematic Web 2.0 concept." Which of course is exactly what Web 2.0 is all about. Right? Isn't it? [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Shane Schick[Edit][Delete]: Open Source Advocates Step Up Government Lobby Efforts, IT Business [Edit][Delete] October 25, 2006
[link: Hits] Because the usual channels are clogged with paid representatives from commercial software companies spreading fear, uncertainly and doubt (FUD) open source advocates have taken their lobbying campaign directly to government members, distributing a CD to each of Canada's Members of Parliament. I am not a part of this effort, though it certainly enjoys my support, as I can see first-hand how much money we spend on software that we don't have to. "During your work as an MP," they write, "we encourage you to ask the public service where they are including free/libre open source approaches in their acquisition, use, production and distribution of software. We hope you might encourage further investigation of its benefits within the Canadian Government." [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Fourth EDEN Research Workshop, October 25, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] I am in Spain for the EDEN Workshop starting today. This is actually yesterday's newsletter - the wireless internet went down last night. Another newsletter will appear at the usual time, all else being equal. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Licence, SURF [Edit][Delete] October 25, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] From the email press release: "SURF and JISC today published a model agreement that will help authors make appropriate arrangements with publishers for the publication of a journal article." In the proposed model, the author retains copyright, the publisher is granted a license to publish the work, and then (here's where it gets odd) "once the article has been published, the author can make it publicly accessible - in the form in which it was published by the publisher - by making it available as part of a digital scientific collection (a 'repository')." Why this additional restriction? Why not just let me run it on my website? [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Joint Assessment and Metadata&Digital Repository SIG Meeting Report, Jisc [Edit][Delete]JISC [Edit][Delete] October 25, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] Presentations and discussion are now online from a recent joint meeting between the Assessment and the Repositories SIGs (Special Interest Groups) in JISC. "In considering whether item banks [for assessment] are repositories, it was felt that a repository is at the heart of an item bank system." Some criticisms of the presentation, made on an email list (I'm just the messenger, don't shoot me): "The Breeze presentations were vile, because the sound was so awful. This must be unnecessary as the MP3 was fine [and] many presentations did NOT include references that one could browse at leisure." [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Why It Takes a Doctorate to Beat Inflation, University Business [Edit][Delete] October 25, 2006
[link: 16 Hits] This short and odd item is characterized by audacity more than anything else. From the Wall Street Journal (the original is obscured behind a subscription wall, so we thank University Business for the copyright-bending four paragraph excerpt), the point of the article is to note, "wages of college grads have fallen on average, after adjusting for inflation, in the past five years." Why? Well, there's this: "Labor's slice of the apple is smaller and corporate profits' slice is larger." But the article would like you to believe "that's probably temporary" and that the "more lasting trend" is "the very best-paid workers [PhDs, in other words] are getting the bulk of the raises." Like I said, audacity. I have never seen a time when the corporate share was shrinking. Temporary phenomenon, my eye. But PhDs had better beware an impending scapegoating. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michael Liedtke[Edit][Delete]: Google Provides Tools for Tailor-Made Search Engines, Globe and Mail [Edit][Delete] October 25, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] As the headline says, you can create a custom Google search engine by seeding it with a list of preferred URLs. Though as the article says, correctly, "The concept mirrors the approach of a small startup called Rollyo.com." Anyhow, Doug Belshaw has created an Edublog Search Engine using my Bloglines subscriptions as the list of URLs. It seems to me though that Google's technology needs some refining. On Google.com, when I search for 'Downes' I see my site at the top, as it should be. But in the Edublogosphere search we see Downes Wholesale Nursery at the top, which is not only odd, it is not even educational, and almost certainly not linked from any of the edublog sites. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: New Edna Releases, EdNA [Edit][Delete] October 25, 2006
[link: 36 Hits] EdNA has relaunched its website with a new interface and logo, sector portals, improved search, podcasts and an rss-to-javascript tool. It looks nice, and it's very easy to read, though I find the web-2.0-ish colour scheme very bland. "Find-Join-Connect' reminds me a lot of the tripartate navigation 'Knowledge-Learning-Community', but with shorter words. [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Stephen Downes

About Me
Bio, photos, and assorted odds and ends.

You know, the ones that appear in refereed journals of Outstanding Rank.

Lectures, seminars, and keynotes in a wide variety of formats - everything from streaming video to rough notes.

All my articles, somewhere around 400 items dating from 1995.

Audio recordings of my talks recorded in MP3 format. A podcast feed is also available.

What I'm doing, where I'm doing it, and when.

Newly updated! A collection of my photographs. Suitable for downloading as desktop wallpaper.

Stephen's Web
Since 1995

About this Site
Why this site exists, what it does, and how it works.

OLDaily RSS Feed OLDaily
Edu_RSS RSS Feed Edu_RSS
FOAF (Friend of a Friend) FOAF
Podcast Link
OLDaily Audio


About the Author

Stephen Downes

Copyright 2006 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada

Contact: stephen@downes.ca

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License


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