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by Stephen Downes
March 15, 2007

The Revolution Will Be Televised...On YouTube
Larry Downes: "The early signs of a social, political and economic revolution are increasingly visible--copyleft, net neutrality, Web 2.0, the 'privacy debate,' Barlow's Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace, neo-luddism against RFID and the increasingly desperate and increasingly blunt force responses of the vested interests--the DMCA, the Convention on Cybercrime, business process patents, Grokster." Make no mistake. I am a revolutionary. Larry Downes, Stanford Center for Internet and Society March 15, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Talk On Deployment Strategies For Web 2.0
I suppose the talk on deploying Web 2.0 applications is OK but I could get past the audacity of putting up an 'Acceptable Use Policy' on the first slide. I know it was intended to be permissive and to allow people to do things like record the talk. But still, the mechanism is really disturbing. It gets me thinking I should put an AUP on my handshake, or perhaps attaching terms of use to my next telephone call. Whatever happened to just saying "please don't distract others" or even just relying on common politeness? The idea that one person can (or should need to) stipulate conditions to another like that is abhorrent and should be rejected. Let's not let our standards of common decency be dictated by the publishing industry. We can aim so much higher. Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus March 15, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

My Vision for Wikieducator
Leigh Blackall figures it out. Everybody focuses on wikis. Collaborative creation and all that. But "the problem with wikis is that they require people to remember to contribute, stop what they're doing, go to the wiki, click edit and retype what they wrote somewhere else already, such as in a blog, email, or other media upload somewhere else." OK, good. Then how would you fix this? He goes through a little thinking, and then: "one-way aggregation is only half useful. Being able to quickly and easily compile an information piece on a wiki page from a variety of already existing information and media is great, being able to then quickly edit and add your own information around that media is even better, but to be able to dynamically export that page in true Web2 fashion would be the bomb!" Yes. Exactly. Bring in content from multiple sources. Mash it up, whatever. But instead of requiring that everybody go to your place (which is where these initiatives always go) ship it out in whatever form will be useful to a person and where that person needs it. And then you have (ta da!) a learning network. Leigh Blackall, Learn Online March 15, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Inside Out
Jay Cross writes, "An educational institution asked [Teemu Arina] to draw up a one-pager on how to take advantage of informal learning. They were imagining the formal learning at the core, with informal learning glued around the periphery. Teemu gave them an informal-learning centric rendering instead." Great diagram, have a look (I would have put it in this post but Flickr is down for the count as I write). Jay Cross, Informal Learning March 15, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Universe Is a String-Net Liquid
Too cool not to pass along: "What if electrons were not really elementary, but were formed at the ends of long "strings" of other, fundamental particles? They formulated a model in which such strings are free to move 'like noodles in a soup' and weave together into huge 'string-nets'." There seems to be some support for this theory, including most spectacularly the production of a new type of matter." My first thought when I read this was "Ewww, I'm made up of noodles." After that response, I realized - there may be much more to me (or anybody) than we realized. And that is good news - wouldn't you say? Via Graham Glass. Zeeya Merali, New Scientist March 15, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

BBC Suspends Jam, Its Flagship Online Learning Web Site
The BBC suspends Jam, the site that is, as Seb Schmoller summarizes, "its expensive, ambitious, error-ridden and strangely designed e-learning web site." That may sound like a good reason to close it, but he notes, "there are 200 jobs at risk, 170,000 registered users will lose a service that (?) they've been making use of, and any work that they have saved, and a lot of procured and ready-to-launch content, developed with, say, £50m of public funding, may now never be used." Maybe there's some other way to fix it. More from John Connell and Ian Delaney. Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing March 15, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Descriptive (Network) Versus Normative (Community) Based Development of E-Learning in Organisations
Quotes at length on a post I wrote about networks and power, and then describes the numerous ways people use their position to exert their (not always well-informed) will in an institutional setting. David Jones asks, "Then how can you create this within an organisation like a university." My response, basically, is that you can't. David Jones, David's WebLog March 15, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Explaining the Crackdown On Student Downloading
The RIAA explains its position. Again. As though stating the same things over and over could somehow make them true. Mitch Bainwol and Cary Sherman, Inside Higher Ed March 15, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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