by Stephen Downes
February 20, 2007
Let's Toss Jobs Under the Bus
I don't recommend such drastic action as indicated by the headline, but I do share the author's displeasure with Steven Jobs's simpleminded 'blame the union' analyis of education. If unions were the cause of a malfunctioning educational system, then education in places without teachers' unions would automatically be that much better. But there's no evidence of this; just look at the lacklustre accomplishments of the union-busting private and charter schools that have been launched in various places throughout the U.S. I agree with this assessment: "Perhaps we ought agree -- for once -- that the entire 'public education experiment' (in the US) of the last 150+ years has been an insanely SUCCESSFUL adventure. It worked." That's why it is so mysterious - and so disturbing - that people want to destroy it. What, are they pining for the halcyon days of the 1850s? Christian Long, think:lab February 20, 2007 [Link] [Comment]
Intellect, Emotion, Spirit, and Will: Another Side of Connectivism
I have said from time to time, in asserting that 'to teach is to model and to demonstrate', that one should 'be the person you want your students to be'. Not original with me, and not original to connectivism, either, but surely at the heart of the theory, and the idea that learning is 'pattern recognition' explains why. Sessums finds links from all this to The Courage To Teach by Parker Palmer. "Good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness. They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves." Now to somehow convince Sessums that Connectivism is not the work of Siemens alone (and he would be the first to say this!), that it is the world of a largish community of writers who have been working on this concept for years. Christopher D. Sessums, Weblog February 20, 2007 [Link] [Comment]
My First DMCA Takedown
YouTube has gone from being something that was pretty neat to something that is evil. Yes, I can understand the owners wanting to remove violations of copyright. However, criticism requires quotation, and this is as true in video as it is in print. Quotation is clearly an area covered by fair use. But the YouTube copybots don't see it that way, and so one person's right to free expression is summarily trampled upon. Evil, Google, evil! Wendy Seltzer, Legal Tags, the Blog February 20, 2007 [Link] [Comment]
Today seems like a good day to note that Clark Aldrich is slowly creating a dictionary or encyclopedia of instructional technology terminology. He has been working on this for weeks, and is up to the letter 'C' (though he has been going back and adding 'a' and 'b' entries when he thinks of them, which explains this item). It's a worthy endeavour, and while I don't always agree with the definitions I certainly think this will evolve into a useful resource. Clark Aldrich, The Blog of Clark Aldrich February 20, 2007 [Link] [Comment]
TypeKey and the UK Access Management Federation
When the UK Access Management federation announced they were opting for Shibboleth, I was pretty critical. Still am. But now the question becomes more direct: how hard would it be for them to support OpenID? Why would they not do so? Andy Powell, eFoundations February 20, 2007 [Link] [Comment]
How Do I Explode?
The people at ELGG created some weekend code on the fly and came up with Explode!, a partially distributed social networking application. I made some suggestions and it appears some more work will be put into the API (I hope they remember me when they make their millions). Watch this space. Scott Wilson also comments. Dave Tosh, Weblog February 20, 2007 [Link] [Comment]
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