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by Stephen Downes
April 25, 2007

Educationau Jimmy Wales Seminar
Today's lesson is that the best laid plans and all the ambition in the world are no match for a nasty cold picked up while travelling. Sniffle. Anyhow. Sniffle. This post is a summary of Jummy (Wikipedia) Wales's recent presentation in Australia. Sniffle. See also (from the same author) the and the reflections on barriers to knowledge sharing. Sniffle. Sniffle. Sniffle. Graham Wegner, Teaching Generation Z April 25, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

How to Moderate a Panel
I think this is good advice. I think the biggest mistake is to overplan a panel. "Do not get everyone together beforehand. Do not have breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Do not start an email thread and make everyone participate. All this does is rob the panel of any spontaneity." Via Simon Willison. Derek Powazek, Weblog April 25, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Censorship, Audience, and International Collaboration
Clarence Fisher wrestles with some words and imagery right on the edge (these days) of acceptability. People don't censor only that which is offensive and hurtful, they also from time to time censor messages they don't want to hear. I think these instances fall into that category. It's a concern, though - when a class uses a public video service, like DivShare, to distribute a powerful message, it creates a much greater need for caution. But I think that excess caution is as harmful as excessive expression. Anyhow, I would have allowed the image - it is not inherently offensive and expresses a point of view. And it is part of what is in fact a very sophisticated presentation. See also Anne Davis on this. Clarence Fisher, Remote Access April 25, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

An MIT OpenCourseWare Course Via an OPML Feed
Tony Hirst pulls a Peter Shanks and shows MIT how it should be done. I love this commentary: "The download bundle is - I guess(?!) - a standard (?) IMS - err - package? (can you tell I'm not up on educational material interoperability standards?!;-) That is to say, the zip archive file opens into a set of nested directories with an imsmanifest.xml document. The archive file also contained copies of the HTML pages used on the course website as well as the PDF versions of the course lecture notes. What I had been hoping for was a 'clean' XML version of the course webpages (i.e. a single source document from which they had been generated). Some hope!" Tony Hirst, OUseful Info April 25, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Open Access Learning Environments
According to the author, "Although there are logical reasons for moving toward closed environments, we may be erring too far on the side of caution. Educators and administrators are encouraged to consider the advantages of alternative models that respect the need for privacy while opening learning opportunities to a wider population." Reasonable. Via Learning Online Info. Kenneth Mentor, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration April 25, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Critical Thinking
I've written quite a bit on critical thinking over the years, including the wayward Guide to the Logical Fallacies. Mostly, I've let that writing drift, but recent events have led me to think I should pull it together. So I've been working on the fallacies website. I was wanting to wait, and present this all as a package, but as usual, events precede intention, and so this article pushes me into this post. Here's the thing: after the cyberbullying episodes recently, and the poor attempt at a code of conduct posted by Tim O'Reilly, I asked myself, what does 'good conduct' actually amount to. And I realized: good conduct is reasonable conduct. OK - so what's that? Well, that is what I've written quite a bit on over the years. If you were to draft 'rules of conduct', it would be the same thing as the 'rules of reason'. Conversely, the list of things you should not do is essentially the same as the list of logical fallacies. So, maybe it's time I rebuilt the fallacies site. Not as a 'code'. Just a guide. Celine, Learning and Teaching Practice April 25, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

These Proposals Are Echoes When We Need Ideas
I have stated before that wealth does not confer expertise. Thus with the campaign by Eli Broad and Bill Gates to reform education via "a call for stronger, more consistent curriculum standards nationwide; lengthening the school day and year; and improving teacher quality through merit pay and other measures." My reaction is similar to Judy Breck's: "the above 3-plank education platform would sound perfectly appropriate for the elections of 1988, or 1948, or 1908." Judy Breck, Golden Swamp April 25, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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