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by Stephen Downes
February 28, 2007

Thinking Like an Engineer
"Can games actually develop creative thinking and foster innovation?" asks Gina Svarovsky. "Yes. The data is in and this one does." She describes research work involving the game Digital Zoo and adds, "it turns out that, yes, by playing as engineers they learn to think about problems the way engineers do." Gina Svarovsky, Spotlight on DML February 28, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Windows Vista: I'M Breaking Up with You
Even not considering the DRM issues, Windows Vista is a long way from prime time, to judge by this list of problems posted by Chris Prillo (who will be re-installing Windows XP as soon as he has time). Via odd time signatures. Chris Prillo, Weblog February 28, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Edublog Tutorials
A new and very useful blog by Mike Temple, chock-full of advice for edubloggers. Via James Farmer. Mike Temple, Edublog Tutorials February 28, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

No More Pencils, No Print Books, No More Analog Backward Looks
I linked to this one just to be able to run the headline. Lauding mobile learning, Judy Breck writes, "If you are more the tempest type, you can join Todd Richmond in saying: the educational sector will be dragged into the future kicking and screaming by the next perfect storm." Or as Howard Rheingold says, "The tools for cultural production and distribution are now in the pockets of 14 year olds." I suspect they'll do a rather better job of carrying forward what's worth carrying forward than, say, Disney. Judy Breck, Golden Swamp February 28, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Open Educational Resources: Overcoming the Obstacles
This is a good discussion of the OECD/CERI Open Educational Resources (OER) discussion, I would say, though the objections I had at the time persist - there's too much of an institutional focus, too much of a sense of things produced 'by us' 'for them'. Paul Stacey's five-sided model, for example, doesn't even contemplate non-institutional production methods. That's why we continue to see an over-emphasis on licensing and business models, and no emphasis whatsoever on sharing and co-production. Similarly, the chart of 'policy issues' talks a lot about managing people and resources, and doesn't contemplate the eventuality that they might manage themselves. My own contribution to the discussion was made about a year ago. Alexa Joyce, eLearning across the globe February 28, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Social Networking for Kids - Young Kids
It's pretty easy to miss these services targeted at young kids because we are outside the marketing window. But Will Richardson notes that both Nickelodeon and Disney are entering the social networking market, aiming their services at young children, joining established players such as Neopets and Club Penguin. Via Susan Sedro. Will Richardson, Weblogg-ed February 28, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Notes On Ubiquitous Computing's Dominant Vision
An interesting argument that I don't think can really be sustained but which is nonetheless certainly worth a look. According to the author, references to ubiquitous computing are focused on a certain vision of 'tomorrow', suggesting that it is not yet here. But it is here, he writes, it's just not evenly distributed (how original *sigh*). The city-state of Singapore, he writes, is fully wired, as is, arguably, the Republic of Korea. What these examples tell us is that the tomorrow-land of ubiquitous computing is not some seamless fully interoperable utopia, but a messy infrastructure of hacks and kludges; he writes about the auto maintenance system in Ghana as an example. While his argument stands against a certain version of ubiquitous computing - the pristine Semantic Web oft-criticized in these pages. But for the rest of us, the idea of 'more evenly distributed' (messy or otherwise) is at the heart of ubiquitous computing - indeed, there's not much point to it otherwise. Found on Dourish's website (do look, lots of stuff here) - no blog or RSS (tsk!) so its discovery was accidental. Dourish has been too busy doing other things, like patenting tagging. Genevieve Bell and Paul Dourish, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing February 28, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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