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by Stephen Downes
February 2, 2007

The Wizard of SOA
Some refreshingly blunt coverage of SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) - the much touted Next Big Thing (after 2L, that is). "This is what I don't get: a) we have to pay for it (licensing more products) and b) we have to develop it (and development of SOA applications seems overly complex to me)." Every time I talk to people about the Semantic Web (always in caps) and SOA, they are always talking enterprise. But think about it - when was the last time something developed for the enterprise had any great influence? The things that make real change - and therefore are really the Next Big Thing - are always (always) small, simple and personal. And they tend to be empowering (freeing you from a company rather than locking you to it) and less expensive (free or nearly free, not something you actually have to pay for (hardware excepted)). Susan Miltenberger, EDUCAUSE Connect February 2, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Prof Seymour Papert Recovering From Trauma
Just an update. "Papert's family said that he had been discharged from the hospital in Boston in the US. He is now still undergoing treatment at home. Luckily enough, he will not have any after-effects after the head trauma and now he can speak." Tuoi tre, VietNamNet February 2, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Collaborative Building in Second Life
This video is a very good demonstration of how an environment like Second Life can be useful (and no, it doesn't have a single lecture theatre of video screen in it). (P.S. the author of this blog continues to remain anonymous - making me wonder whether it's marketing rather than a real blog. Certainly the gush gush gush reporting is uncharacteristic of a typical blog). PacRimX, PacificRim Exchange February 2, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

OpenCourseWare Consortium Wiki
David Wiley links to the OpenCourseWare Consortium Wiki. Not remarkable - except that this is the first link to the wiki from anywhere. It would have been nice to have a link when I was reviewing the OpenCourseWare Consortium website. I guess now the OpenCourseWare Consortium will have to link to it... right? AuthorVarious Authors, OCW Consortium February 2, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Internet and the Threat It Poses to Local Media: Lessons From News in the Schools
In a nutshell: "Internet-based news is trumping both television news and the daily newspaper as a mode of classroom instruction." The rest lies in how you portray it; one person's "threat" is another person's "liberation". Also interesting to note: "NIE (Newspaper In Education) program directors are only vaguely aware of the Internet's inroads on newspaper use in the classroom." Note to research authors: this survey consisted of 1,262 respondents, not 5. That's why they get a sampling error of 2.7 percent, not, say, a zillion. Via Thomas E. Patterson, Carnegie-Knight Task Force February 2, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

New Criteria for New Media
The thesis is that traditional criteria for assessment - such as publication in traditional journals - is inadequate for evaluation of work done in new media, partially because of the medium but mostly because of the time lag before publication. Alternatives suggested are invited publications, conference presentations, citations, downloads and influence. Sounds good to me. There is also an expanded version of this paper in wiki form, waiting for your contributions. Via iDC mailing list. Joline Blais, Jon Ippolito, and Owen Smith, New Media Department, University of Maine February 2, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Media Education Kit Published by UNESCO
Pretty good and comprehensive media awareness kit, beginning with the nature and impact of traditional media and continuing through to many internet services and practices. Worth noting is the authors' extensive use of Wikipedia in the internet section. Also new to me was the story of how Celestin Freinet introduced a printing press to his classroom and watched as the students took it upon themselves to learn the art of newspaper production. "The pupils wrote down their own personal adventures, the incidents that they had experienced inside and outside the classroom, and so on. Usually these texts were then presented to the class, discussed, corrected and edited by the class as a whole before being finally printed by the children themselves working together. Freinet called this approach Free Writing ('Texte libre')." It sounds a lot like the stories being told by today's bloggers. Via E-Learning Africa. Divina Frau-Meigs, ed., UNESCO February 2, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Blackboard Makes a Pledge
More on the Blackboard pledge. Inside Higher Ed comes in with comprehensive and well-source coverage showing, I think, that nobody is satisfied with the Blackboard pledge, and more than a few think Blackboard was "misleading" in the way it portrayed, in its press release, support from Sakai and EDUCAUSE. More commentary (all negative) from Barry Dahl, Mark Oehlert, Joseph Hart, Seb Schmoller. meanwhile, we have this very odd report about an email sent to the "Blackboard Community" containing a very very misleading interpretation of the Sakai-EDUCAUSE statement. It also contains some phrasing from the Australasian Council on Open, Distance and E-Learning. I can't verify this statement because no press release has appeared on their web site. Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed February 2, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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