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by Stephen Downes
December 18, 2006

The Basics: Your Office on the Web
How to crank up your internet (not just tubes any more!). First, change your start page (oddly, 80 percent of internet users never do). Pick a content page like NetVibes and then fill it with content. Add some widgets and some feeds to RSS contents. Then cue in some personal organization tools, like Google Calendar and Orchestrate (a personal to-do list). Create an address book (don't use Plaxo, it spams your contacts). Connect to Flickr for your photos (and I would suggest Slideshare for your slides). And while you're at it, set up a display to view other people's photos - something nice every day. Get set up on Google spreadsheets and documents, so you've got some serious content capacity. Or use Zoho, which bundles all these together. Your web could be doing so much more for you - but you need to stop thinking of it as some place where you go and read stuff. Ian Delaney, twopointouch December 18, 2006 [Link] [Comment]

Those Idle Canadians
Whee! Yay us! "Canada has the highest number of blog readers per internet-head of any of the other countries measured in recent comScore research conducted in North America and Western Europe." Ian Delaney, twopointouch December 18, 2006 [Link] [Comment]

Wrong Problem, Wrong Solution
Roger Schank asks for the evidence that the math we teach is foundational and needed by high school graduates. "I always start any discussion on education by asking if the person I am talking with knows the quadratic formula. One out of hundred knows it" (me, I know what it is, but I'd have to look it up, not having used it in 30 years of frequently technical work). Schank says simply, "Lets get serious. We don't need more math and science. We need more people who can think. We need to teach job skills, people skills, and reasoning skills. And we need to make education exciting and interesting. We need performance tests not competence tests." the thing is, these things are pretty obvious - why is it such a hard sell? What is the agenda that would defy the obvious like that? Via Christian Long. Roger Schank, December 18, 2006 [Link] [Comment]

India e-Learning Directory 2005
Link to a PDF File (which is almost obscured by the Google ads). Unknown, The Learned Man! December 18, 2006 [Link] [Comment]

This (or something like this) is the future for online identification. This page is a stand-alone instance of OpenID, implemented in PHP, which means (in theory) you could put this on your website and then use it to log into compliant websites. Via Simon Willison. CJ Niemira, December 18, 2006 [Link] [Comment]

Educators Explore 'Second Life' Online
See, here's part of what I don't get. You couldn't buy space on CNN to note the use of more generic technologies in learning. I don't recall any media push behind, say, the use of MUDs in e-learning, blogs in e-learning. Or mailing lists, or even things like Flickr or So how does Second Life rate such coverage? I still think that what really distinguishes Second Life from other technology is its marketing, the very big push it's getting from mainstream media. As Albert Ip says, "Yet-another-classroom is definitely a poor use of 'Second Life'." And yet that's what gets covered. Albert Ip, Random Walk in Learning December 18, 2006 [Link] [Comment]

Identity Management
The educational technology community has still not come to grips with the question of identity and identification, Shibboleth notwithstanding. The perspective typically seems to be the matter of access control and authentication. But there is no user demand for limited access rights and demands that they prove who they are. Unless identification does something of worth to the user, there will be no demand for it. Moreover, there needs to be some recognition that user data, including personal information and access information, is in a certain sense the property of the user. I wouldn't want to (as this author suggests) emulate the system of credit reporting agencies. I would want it to be more like a name and a signature - both unequivocally mine. Theresa Rowe, EDUCAUSE Connect December 18, 2006 [Link] [Comment]

Top 10 News Events of The Edublog Year
Dave Cormier's version of the list. You'll find more listed over at Learning Circuits's Big Question. Also see Edward T. Simpson on EDUCAUSE. Before undertaking any such exercise, if I do, I will wait until the year actually comes close to being finished. Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog December 18, 2006 [Link] [Comment]

The Edublog Awards 2006 Winners
The announcements were held Sunday. Congratulations to the Winners. Josie Fraser, Edublog Awards December 18, 2006 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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