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by Stephen Downes
May 22, 2007

Does Pearson'S Purchase of eCollege Give It the Muscle to Compete with Blackboard?
Seb Schmoller links to an article by Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed and notes that "The article hints at further rationalisation and consolidation between educational technology and educational content businesses, and sees eCollege, backed by Pearson as much more serious competition for Blackboard." I don't see Blackboard's share price as an indicator of anything other than a tech bubble, personally, and I think that the major story here is that Pearson is entering a space recently vacated by Thomson. That alone gives it a lot of room to grow. Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing May 22, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Crowd Sourcing Against Perpetual Copyright
I read the editorial in the NY Times proposing that copyrights last forever and dismissed it as a ridiculous argument. Basically, the author's claim is that the expiration of copyright is akin to the government seizure of private property. Which is ridiculous, since copyright, insofar as it is property, exists only because of government intervention. Anyhow, in all the discussion over this editorial I am surprised to note that commentators have missed the author's primary intent - to reframe the debate by putting perpetual copyright on the table as a viable option. Which it never was until now. And all of a sudden life plus 75 years looks pretty good, by comparison. The campaign by Lessig and others to respond to the argument has the effect of embracing the new frame. The editorial should have been dismissed out of hand as ridiculous and then forgotten, not debated as though it were a real alternative. Colin and/or Michele, Everyday Literacies May 22, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Looks like Mircosoft's answer to Tubes. "Microsoft Popfly is a tool to build and share mashups, gadgets, Web pages, and applications." Visit the Popfly site to see a screencast. Tim Lauer, Education/Technology May 22, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Top Ten Missing Features of Second Life As an Educational Simulation Platform
A pretty good list, and it shows what a detailed attention to the design of games (Aldrich has been engaged in the creation of a glossary for some months now) can bring to the picture. Post-action review, for example, is a standard in sports and action games, yet wholly missing in 2L. I'd really like to see more NPCs in 2L as well (these would be required for a couple of suggestions). Right now it's like 30,000 people in an area 8 times the size of Manhattan - a bit empty. Clark Aldrick, Weblog May 22, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Two New Addictions..Flickrvision and Twittrvision....
Oh my, this is absolutely intoxicating. The flickrvision especially. Mark Oehlert, e-Clippings May 22, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Holy Grail for Teaching Programming
Videos illustrating how Squeak's eToy and MIT's more recent Scratch work. Definitely worth a look - think about how using this sort of computer is so very different from using a computer loaded with, well, Microsoft Office or even traditional computer games. Daniel Molnar, still reading May 22, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Ten Reasons The World Needs Patent Covenants
Good news - Sun has signed a patent covenant around OpenID (not that Sun invented OpenID, but what we like to see is that it would launch any patent silliness around it - we'd like to see the other major players do exactly the same, so OpenID can become ubiquitous). Simon Phipps, meanwhile, offers ten reasons to support patent covenants. Simon Phipps, SunMink May 22, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

OERs, Producers, Consumers, and Reuse
David Wiley gets it right: "The secret sauce in both the cases of the good open source software and the good OER is an actual, bias-riddled, context-bound, historical person located squarely in a concrete place and time addressing their own specific instructional problem." Moreover, this should say something about development: "A person who has conducted a comprehensive user survey in order to be 'consumer-driven' has a very low chance of creating an OER that meets a specific teacher's specific need." Perhaps we should return to producer-driven initiatives, he suggests. Perhaps - but only from the perspective that producers are users and users are producers. David Wiley, iterating toward openness May 22, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Cairo Tools Survey
Useful listing of software tools "for ingesting complex collections of born-digital materials, with basic descriptive, preservation and relationship metadata, into a preservation repository." Cairo stands for "Complex Archive Ingest for Repository Objects". A complete listing of Jisc repository and preservation projects is available online. Susan Thomas, Fran Baker, Renhart Gittens and Dave Thompson, JISC May 22, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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