November 16, 2006


Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: A New Website, Part Two - Choosing Drupal, Half an Hour [Edit][Delete] November 16, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] The reation of my new website continues. Earlier this week, in Part One, I described the selection of a hosting services and preparation of the web server. In Part Two, I discuss the reasons I chose Drupal and begin the preparations for installing Drupal 5.0 beta on my new site. Part Three continues that description, wrapping up the software installation. Coming next: configuration and customization. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Associated Press[Edit][Delete]: Bill Gates Says U.S. Education System Needs Work, Cnn [Edit][Delete]CNN [Edit][Delete] November 16, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] In a related story, educators say Microsoft needs work. The company "needs higher standards, clear accountability, flexible personnel practices and innovation." They stressed accountability. "Real accountability means more than having goals; it also means having clear consequences for not meeting the goals," including penalties for things like bugs, security flaws, and operating systems that reboot themselves without permission. Yeah - one wonders just what sort of expertise Bill Gates is bringing to the education sector. Let's just be glad he didn't show an interest in aviation. [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Nancy White[Edit][Delete]: Backchannel Resources, Full Circle Online Interaction Blog [Edit][Delete] November 16, 2006
[link: 15 Hits] Nancy White links to a list of resources offered by Howard Rheingold on backchannel resources - that is, resources that help participants in seminars and lectures communicate with each other during the event. She also points to the other use of the term 'backchannel', "private messages that are part of the communication fabric of groups/networks/community and not always captured or visible for the full group." Quite right. So we have two separate things here, called by the same name. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Harold Jarche[Edit][Delete]: e-Learning Project Management Book, [Edit][Delete] November 16, 2006
[link: 11 Hits] Harold Jarche reports, "This 192 page PDF from CeLEA covers dozens of case studies on e-learning management (focus = A-DDI-E). Almost all of the cases are academic situations, using the online course model, so this book would be best suited for those developing e-learning in higher education." Hpw much time am I going to spend with this one, I wonder. [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Dave Pollard[Edit][Delete]: Adding Meaning and Value to Information, How to Save the World [Edit][Delete]How To Save The World [Edit][Delete]How To Save the World [Edit][Delete] November 16, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] As I read through this list offered by Dave Pollard (notwithstanding my ennui with YALA (Yet Another List Article - can't anybody write some deeper content?)) I realized that I do each one of the things he described. And it is the foing of these things, I think, that makes this newsletter the service that it is, rather than just a directory of articles. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Barclay Barrios[Edit][Delete]: Call for Submissions: Blogging Textbook, Kairosnews [Edit][Delete]KairosNews [Edit][Delete] November 16, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] Is a blogging textbook a good idea? I'm not sure - I still don't see why people aren't happy to have blogs tell the story of blogging. But at any rate, this is a call for submissions for "an edited collection of pedagogical materials on blogging to be published by Allyn&Bacon/Longman (ABL) in 2007 and to be distributed for *free* to interested instructors." I would hardly call this "unprecedented" (last year's Coming of Age is a clear precedent). But I still like it. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Grace Rubenstein and Amy Standen[Edit][Delete]: Free Radicals, Glef [Edit][Delete]GLEF [Edit][Delete] November 16, 2006
[link: Hits] Nice - but badly titled - account of some of the (as this article says) "so-called free, or democratic, schools, which eschew most conventions of traditional education in favor of a much more radical program." We could probably do without the attitude in this article, which seems intent on marginalizing the alternative schools, including Montessori schools. Still, don't expect change to come from anything like traditional schools. As the article says, "If reform is to come, he believes, the staging ground is in home schooling and in the independent study schools many school districts offer." The free schools offer a supportive environment, but home schooling might not (how much home schooling is motivated by a desire to indoctrinate the child?). The challenge is, how can we make it possible for a child, even if in an unsupportive environment, to make a good education for him or herself. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

StevenB[Edit][Delete]: Where's The Library In This Partnership, ACRLog [Edit][Delete] November 16, 2006
[link: Hits] Leaving aside for the moment the narrow point of view in this article, highlighted in the headline, the gist is that Blackboard has struck a deal with Google to support Google Scholar, along with some other tools, into its software. Google had better be careful that Blackboard does not declare that it has invented and patented the search engine. The author expresses his concern: "Google Scholar will further marginalize the library's e-content. It also potentially puts students in a position to pay for full-text access to resources their library may already provide." Of course. Why would you even bother with libraries or library e-content when you can just connect students to the source?

Librarians have not thought out the implications of online content, and it's going to cost many of them their jobs unless they start rethinking right away. With online access, there is no need to store local copies of anything, whicher printed or electronic. No reason. Zilch. Nada. So why have libraries? Librarians need to understand that they should stop purchasing other people's contents, now. They should redirect their acquisitions budgets into creating institutional repositories and become the source Google Scholars and others consult for locally produced open access content. I know librarians have always played this game of commercial content. But if they keep playing this game, they will cease to exist. Period. [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

James Daly[Edit][Delete]: Return from Genocide, Glef [Edit][Delete]GLEF [Edit][Delete] November 16, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] I want to cover this story because it's a story that should be told. But I really dislike the angle taken in this GLEF coverage, which while explaining the technical details well, takes the point of view that the wiring of Rwanda should be taken as a lesson for other economically depressed regions - like North Dakota. "Kids are attracted to the bright lights of Broadway," says Schafer. "Unless they get that connectivity, they are out of here." Yeah. That's just like in Rwanda. Sheesh. Try to take a world view, GLEF. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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Copyright 2006 Stephen Downes
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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