December 11, 2006


Various authors[Edit][Delete]: First National Report on Post-Secondary Education Paints Worrisome Picture for Canada's Future, Canadian Council on Learning [Edit][Delete] December 11, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] What are the goals and objectives of the post-secondary system in Canada? According to a report just released by the Canadian Council on Learning, they are as follows:

1. A skilled and adaptable workforce to meet the human resource needs of the country
2. Capacity for innovation, knowledge creation, and knowledge transfer
3. Active, healthy citizenry
4. Quality PSE and training
5. Access for all Canadians
6. Participation and success of under-represented groups
7. Lifelong learning
8. Affordable and sustainable PSE and training

As an observer I find it remarkable that 'workforce' and 'human resource needs' are so high on the list, though I do note that they mention 'access' and 'health' - no mention of fulfillment and happiness, though. No mention of personal empowerment, the fostering of culture, self-expression, self-determination, freedom and democracy. No, it's all about making us trained and productive employees. This report calls on the creation of a national strategy for the post-secondary education system in Canada. All well and good, but let's keep in mind that the system is owned by the people of Canada and that they should be its primary beneficiaries. Oh, and if you can't get the Canadian Federation of Students to sign off on it (the report lists support from the much smaller Canadian Alliance of Student Associations) then it's probably not very representative. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michael Feldstein[Edit][Delete]: Blackboard Patent Celebrity Death Match, E-Literate [Edit][Delete] December 11, 2006
[link: 9 Hits] Michael Feldstein opines about the recent debate between Blackboard's Matthew Small and the Free Software Foundation's Eben Moglen's (see the coverage from Seb Schmoller about the Blackboard patent and lawsuit. Feldstein is unhappy. "Some audience members were offended by Moglen," he writes, "describing him variously as 'a bully', 'a pimple', and 'our side's version of Rush Limbaugh'." Maybe so. But when you launch a war you need to expect to sometimes be attacked. And make no mistake about it, Blackboard launched a war. Mattyhew Small may be good at making people like Michael Feldstein feel sorry for him, but it's all tactic, not reality. The reality is that his company is trying to destroy Desire2Learn and that it is pandering to a court's basest sentiments to do it. As Alfred Essa summarizes, Blackboard is saying in court "We want an injunction (i.e. death) against an illegitimate and criminal foreign competitor." So, why is it we should be polite again? [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Graham Glass[Edit][Delete]: Edu2.0, [Edit][Delete] December 11, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] Graham Glass has launched Edu2.0, which appears to be an aggregation service for learning materials, sorted by subject, supported with online community (the site's 'about' page really needs a section titled 'what this site is'). [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jay Cross[Edit][Delete]: From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Internet Time [Edit][Delete] December 11, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] Jay Cross outlines one version of the history of the internet and net culture, tracing its roots from the counterculture movement of the 60s via Stewart Brand and Kevin Kelly to the Long Now and Wired magazine. We children of the 70s know there is always another side to the idealism of the 60s, the side that has more to do with self-interest and making a buck than it has to do with saving the world. Just saying, is all. And so while there's the Wired version of the history of the web and the web economy, there is another side to the story of Wired. Read it here. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Vicki A. Davis[Edit][Delete]: Using and Citing Video from Google Video in your Student Movies, Cool Cat Teacher Blog [Edit][Delete] December 11, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] I know this topic will appeal to some people, but I also link it here to raise a point. Vicki Davis writes, "MLA has yet to determine how exactly to cite the wealth of electronic resources out there. If you know how to cite video, please help me..." Why wait for MLA to decide this? If you are citing video, you are ahead of the curve - you shoulds be setting the standard, and let MLA follow. By all means, ask for help. But don't ask to be told what to do. There's no reason for it. Via Emma Duke-Williams. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Scott Wilson[Edit][Delete]: Communities of Practice - The Patent, December 11, 2006
[link: 11 Hits] Yes, you read that correctly. I'm sorry. As Scott Wilson observes, "It essentially patents the idea of doing any kind of community-oriented knowledge management involving filesharing and forums involving one or more experts." How long before this becomes a full-blown crisis, and not the absurd annoyance it is now? Or are we at that point now, with absurdities like the Blackboard patent and lawsuit? See also Harold Jarche, who comments, "I remember a sign that was posted in the Officers' Mess in Wainwright, Alberta. It said, 'Let not common sense become so rare that it is mistaken for genius'. Perhaps this sign should be shipped to the USPTO." [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michael Geist[Edit][Delete]: Digital Info Strategy Requires Courage Before Cash, [Edit][Delete] December 11, 2006
[link: Hits] Some pretty straightforward advice that would cost almost nothing to implement and would greatly increase access. "The government should mandate an open access model that would require that all taxpayer-funded research be made available to the public at no charge... Ottawa could also amend the legal deposit program... by expanding the program's requirements to also include a digital copy... Crown copyright should be dropped." Of course, while all of this wouldn't cost very much, it would require politicians to confront the publishers who benefit from the current system. [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Lawrence Lessig[Edit][Delete]: Codev2 by Lawrence Lessig, [Edit][Delete] December 11, 2006
[link: Hits] Lawrence Lessig (I don't know him well enough to call him Larry) has launched an update of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. I haven't read it yet, but I'm sure everyone will be reading it this week (download it for free from the net). I wonder why he uses such an old picture of himself on the launch page. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Geoffrey Glass[Edit][Delete]: Eben Moglen on Free Software and Social Justice, A Whole Minute [Edit][Delete] December 11, 2006
[link: Hits] I posted a longish excerpt of this to ITForum today, part of a wider discussion. And I think that Eben Moglen is exactly right to focus not simply on the mechanics of open source but also on the reasons people are working on this, in this way. "We have a very special place in the history of the campaign for social justice. We have some very special infrastructure. We have new means of economic development available to us. We have got proof-of-concept. We have got running code. That's all we ever need." Oh, and the other thing. "We have been looking for freedom for a very long time. The difference is, this time, we win." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Graham Attwell[Edit][Delete]: Social Software, Personal Learning Environments and Lifelong Competence Development, The Wales Wide Web [Edit][Delete] December 11, 2006
[link: Hits] Good paper that looks at the links between competencies and the personal learning environment (PLE). Attwell notes that while there has been a hostile reaction from the education community to social networking applications, research about SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) shows that people actually learn informally and socially, in communities of practice. Informal learning isn't just some uncredentialed version of formal learning, which is why recognition has been difficult. It is closely tied to practice, and practice varies from community to community. "Broad policy decisions over funding and support need to be taken as close to practice as possible and that such policy implementation needs to be enabling rather than restrictive." Blog post with a link to the paper (see the bottom of the page) in RTF. [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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