November 21, 2006


Danah Boyd[Edit][Delete]: Social Network Sites: My Definition, Many2Many [Edit][Delete] November 21, 2006
[link: Hits] For Val, this link to Danah Boyd on the definition of social network sites (I know that's not exactly 'social software' but it's close enough). Something like this definition is needed because with the recent popularity of social software everything and its dog is being called social software or a social networking site (I can just imagine getting in my email: Purina Cat Chow - social networking for your pets). Boyd writes, "A 'social network site' is a category of websites with profiles, semi-persistent public commentary on the profile, and a traversable publicly articulated social network displayed in relation to the profile." or as I wrote (see the comments), "The point about social software is that it creates persistent links between users, and through these persistent links, a community is formed. Moreover, the ownership and control of these links - who is linked, and who isn't - is in the hands of the user. Thus, these links are asymmetrical - you might link to me, but I might not link to you. Also, these links are functional, not decorative - you can choose not to receive any content from people you are not connected to, for example." [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jay Cross[Edit][Delete]: Wissensdurstig?, Internet Time [Edit][Delete] November 21, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] Twenty minute audio conversation between Jay Cross and George Siemens in preparation for their upcoming talks at Online Educa Berlin. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Derek Wenmoth[Edit][Delete]: Wiki Generated, Free Textbooks, November 21, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] You have to figure, the people in a society should be able to collectively author high quality textbooks for schoolchildren. Right? So why would we be paying some company mnillions of dollars to do it? "Using wiki technology and an open community format, over a 1,000 textbooks are being assembled online (with some PDF and print versions as well). Titles include Accounting, Chess, European History, Physiology, Managing Groups and Teams, Ecology and more." Do have a look at the Solar System text. See also: Using ICT to Develop Literacy. [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Andy Gibbons and Clint Rogers[Edit][Delete]: Selection of Quotations on Design Languages and Their Relation to Design Layers, ITForum [Edit][Delete] November 21, 2006
[link: Hits] This is a very interesting paper. The premise is that the process of, say, instructional design involves the participants in the creation of a 'design language' - a set of terms, metaphors, meanings and images - that will characterize their project. Design language is best thought of as a tool, rather than a theory. It is typically applied in layers, with different representations of entities in the design relating to different aspects of that design. I think the authors finesse the incommensurability of theoretical language, and I think their description of the layers in instructional design shouldn't separate the message and the representation (here I'm thinking of McLuhan and Derrida). But I think the discussion as a whole makes sense, especially in light of my recent exposure to the architecture of Gaudi while visiting Barcelona. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Mary Burgan[Edit][Delete]: In Defense of Lecturing, Change [Edit][Delete] November 21, 2006
[link: Hits] In TALO, John Gregory wrote, "Will Richardson says we don't need college. Daniel Pink says high school's out too. How low can we go? Can a fourth grader replace every positive aspect of traditional schools with an online education? A second grader?"

I responded, "Why do people always represent this sort of thing as though the student would be doing it completely on his or her own? Nobody expects a fourth grader to 'replace every positive aspect of traditional schools.' Sheesh, they're kids, not government employees. But it's a very different question to ask, are the positive aspects only possible via traditional schools? Could kids obtain (vs. create) these positive aspects without the need for traditional schools. A very different question and, I think, a very different answer."

Meanwhile, James Neill went in the other direction and noted, "Mary Brugan - In defence of lecturing doesn't buy it." Though I would note that her defense is of practice and repetition as much as it is of lecturing. [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Skills Training Dysfunctional, BBC News [Edit][Delete] November 21, 2006
[link: Hits] I can believe that the skills training program is dysfunctional. But I am not convinced that it ought to be put into the hands of business and industry to manage. After all, aren't they the ones who demanded something like the current "'alphabet soup' of skills quangos?" Business and industry have demonstrated over the years that they are mostly interested in the short-term and that they have no acuity for the development of public policy, including education policy. So why put them in charge of it? [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Christopher D. Sessums[Edit][Delete]: Action Research and Social Software, [Edit][Delete] November 21, 2006
[link: 9 Hits] "When we frame our actions in terms of experimentation, we can be somewhat relieved of the burden of being perfect." Right. "Richardson talks about the importance of modeling such behaviors, and I believe he is correct." I agree. These basic statements are couched in the model of Action Research in this post, which is a perfectly good model as such things go (the devil is in the details, as always). The post breaks down in the last few sentences, though. It is not about the edublogosphere being a collective, and it is not about evangelizing. It's about modeling and demonstrating, not preaching and converting. Why is this simple point so hard to grasp? [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Scott Adams[Edit][Delete]: Good News Day, The Dilbert Blog [Edit][Delete] November 21, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] This is a great story, and I'm really happy for Scott Adams. In a nutshell, he had lost his voice due to Spasmodic Dysphonia - "essentially a part of the brain that controls speech just shuts down in some people, usually after you strain your voice" - but recovered it this week using, of all things, poetry. I'm not going to claim all sorts of vindication for networks, a la Tex2All, but I will echo this: As Steve Biko said, "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." Via Bud Hunt. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tony Greenberg and Alex Veytsel[Edit][Delete]: Every Time You Vote against Net Neutrality, Your ISP Kills a Night Elf, RampRate [Edit][Delete] November 21, 2006
[link: Hits] The premise of this article is that if net neutralist is lost then a major casualty will be online gaming, because online gaming requires minimal latency (that is, the smallest possible amount of time between an action and a response). "The battle over net neutrality is really a battle for latency (and jitter). It is unlikely that an ISP will make the mistake of repeating Canadian ISP Telus' attempt at outright censorship. Rather, the ISP's gentle nudge towards the preferred offering or provider is likely to come in the form of slow and inconsistent network performance for services that refuse to pay what amounts to 'protection money' to an ISP." This is probably correct. Online communication is likely to be the other victim. It is interesting - I have already noticed 'Skype sponsored' wireless internet access in places - Skype will work, but nothing else will unless you pay for access. Net neutrality, it need to be pointed out, is something that matters not only in the backbone but also at the access point. [Tags: , , , ] [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.

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