by Stephen Downes
May 1, 2007
MiWiFi .V. Gatekeepers Inc.
So I wonder what's going to come first - community-wide WiMax implementations, that allow students to send and receive broadband in the classroom independently of the school's internet service, or jamming systems, that prevent WiMax signals (which can go through things like walls and buildings) from being accessible in schools. How ironic, that after schools spend millions of dollars to provide (filtered and blocked) internet access in the classroom, that they'll have to spend millions more to keep it out. John Connell, Weblog May 1, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Accessibility, Online Learning, Schools] [Comment]
On Groups, Networks and Collectives
Blog post from Terry Anderson, and a companion blog post from Jon Dron, discussing the distinction between groups and networks. So far so good. But they include a third type of entity, 'the collective', with which I'm less comfortable. "Collectives are what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. Collectives are about aggregation. The logic of the collective is that of the set, not the network. A classic piece of collective software would be the recommender system or the tag cloud."
I can see the reasoning here, but the term 'collective' - with all its connotations to the epitome of group formation, communism, is a very bad choice. And to say 'collectives are about aggregation' and then to compare it to a recommender system is to (in my view) misunderstand how recommender systems work. That said - yes, I can see that there is this type of organization, too much like a group (being based on properties and aggregation) to be a network, too much like a network (having no internal cohesion or order) to be a group. To Terry and Jon: can you find some other name that doesn't have so much baggage? 'Collection', maybe? Finally, the chart of teaching and learning implications needs some work, mostly technical, making sure the right things are put in the right category - data mining, for example, has as much (more! on my account) to do with networks and connections than aggregations or collections; the same with 'search and query' (and especially Google's link-based sorting algorithm). Terry Anderson, Virtual Canuck May 1, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Web Logs, Google, Networks, Ontologies] [Comment]
Reflections On Media in Transition 5
Blog post that will be used as a central location for coverage of the Media in Transition conference that took place this past weekend. Already the post has links to audio from the conference (which makes it worth linking to - but with files like this - "MIT 5: Folk Cultures and Digital Cultures - recorded Apr. 27, 2007 - (1hr51min / 102.4MB)" - it seems apparent that the organizers should reduce the bit rate to produce manageable file sizes - a two hour file shouldn't be much over 20 megabytes (hint: use Audacity). Henry Jenkins, Confessions of an Aca/Fan May 1, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Linking and Deep Linking, Audio] [Comment]
Science Commons News: Copyright and Fair Use in the Blogosphere
Documentation of a recent flap in which a publisher sued someone for using a figure copied from a published research paper. After the blogosphere made a fuss the publisher relented - but for that particular instance only. The author asks "in the world of blogging where cutting and pasting is common practice, how do copyright and fair use laws apply." But the better response is to observe that "this is exactly the kind of situation that the open access movement is trying to address." Kaitlin Thaney, Science Commons May 1, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Patents, Web Logs, Open Access, Copyrights, Research, Books] [Comment]
Networks, Connections and Community: Learning with Social Software
Researcher Val Evans (who has a lot of experience in this field) finds that "there was compelling evidence from the research that social software is valuable in enhancing and enriching knowledge sharing, capability development and the teaching and learning experience, and it should be seen as 'another tool' in the organisation's and VET practitioner's toolkit." There you go. I like the way the author credits the 'Storytellers' in the report, and also the way the research blog was used to support the report as it was written. A summary document and 105 page PDF 9with many many links) are available at the website. Val Evans, Australian Flexible Learning Framework May 1, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Web Logs, Research, Experience] [Comment]
Radical Trust: The State of the Museum Blogosphere
This article actually has very little to say about 'radical trust' but instead looks at a survey of museum blogs (the number of which has doubled since the beginning of 2006) and goes on to say "Museum blogging is maturing and is becoming an accepted (and unfunded!) communication platform." Some nice links in the references. Via George Siemens. Sebastian Chan and Jim Spadaccini, Museums and the Web 2007: Proceedings May 1, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Web Logs, Connectivism] [Comment]
Elephant Not in the Room
Longish discussion of why students skip class - and are skipping class in increasing numbers. Part of the theme os the article is that the only way to get them to attend is to force them - use things like pop quizzes or participation points, for example. What a nice message that sends them, though. Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed May 1, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]
The Unbearable Weight of Infrastructure
Again, the statement about media could, with some modifications, be applied to learning. And the statement is, in a nutshell, that the entire apparatus we have to 'vet' the learning and then 'read' it to students is useless infrastructure. Students could be accessing learning resources - including teachers - directly. Imagine that as an educational system: instead of the entire apparatus we fund today, we instead fund several thousand people with really good salaries and tell them to go forth and provide education to whomever wants it. Add to that perhaps personal coaches hired by local communities. Imagine... Jess Jarvis, Buzz Machine May 1, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Online Learning] [Comment]
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