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by Stephen Downes
July 13, 2007


I'm home from Duluth after a nice four days at the foot of Lake Superior and as usual have a set of photos to share. Stephen Downes, Flickr July 13, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Is Web 2.0 a Manifesto for Anarchism?
I had some discussions in Duluth on the nature of anarchism - understood strictly as 'no government'. So this post, a wonderful look at Colin Ward's Anarchy in Action, originally published in 1973, in today's context. "Could Web 2.0 likewise be a transitory period of flux, or does it offer a means of relating to each other, and to power, that could enable a 'permanent revolution'? None of us has a crystal ball, but it's hard to resist the cheeky old Mitch Kapor quote: 'Inside every working anarchy, there's an Old Boy Network,' which was coined specifically with the early days of the internet in mind." David Jennings, DJ Alchemi July 13, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Beyond the Basics: Achieving a Liberal Education for All Children
Series of articles making the case for a liberal education. Chester Finn and Diane Ravitch write, "Liberal learning is critical to young people because it prepares them for 'public life' - not just politics and government,but the civic life in which we should all partake." The volume of articles "develops the rationale for liberal education in the primary and secondary grades, explores what policymakers and educators at all levels can to do sustain liberal learning, and sketches an unlovely future if we fail." Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Diane Ravitch, eds., Thomas B. Fordham Foundation July 13, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Underwhelmed by iTunes U
Good point about iTunes U from Jim Groom as he criticizes the general impression being fostered that "'everyone' is doing it." He notes, "In Virginia it seems like UVa, William&Mary, VCU, Radford, Va Tech, and many more have jumped on the bus. Why are they doing it? It could be because they haven't been playing with more sophisticated, web-based options for media-casting, aggregating, and customizing their own space with free, open source applications that have easily accessible RSS feeds built in." Echoing Gardner Campbell, he writes, "Apple is really trying to create a situation of "vendor lock-in" by providing a branded digital management system that offers little beyond a customizable homepage for selling their products." jim Groom, bavatuesdays July 13, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Another on of those web visualization tools that works both for Google searches and Facebook accounts. The star of the show, though, is the Java application that grabs the websites' favicons and uses them to illustrate the connected network of related sites. Alan Levine covers it in a recent post, on which Scott leslie opines, "touchgraph has been around a long time, but man is this much improved. Nice find." I used it to find a blog by Joanne Jacobs while searching for 'education blogger'. MoreLink] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Pimp My Course
Alan Levine sums up this article - yet another anti-technology screed in the Chronicle - with one word: Loser. More snark, is now New Kid on the Hallway describes it, correctly. "What's particularly disturbing about this column is that much of his dismissal of educational technology seems to be inspired by a deep contempt for his students." Quite so. The blog Twice says the article "was kind of funny." Geeky Mom asks, "Why is it that we never see articles in the Chronicle about successful uses of technology in the classroom?" Aacademic Hack writes, "If I had time I would point out everything that is wrong with the Chronicle piece." Pharyngula writes, "It seems to be nothing but a long whine about modern teaching technologies - it's rather pathetic, actually, but the Chronicle seems to have a fondness for running occasional articles from defensive, confused Luddites."On the Verge calls the author's tone "clearly self-deprecating and tongue-in-cheek." I call it the characteristically lazy and sloppy journalism that serves as the best evidence we could ask for regarding the increasing irrelevance of traditional media. Rob Jenkins, Chronicle of Higher Education July 13, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Members Only
This article describes a website called 'Late Night Shots', a social network for the Georgetown elite. Serious language and content warning. Everything people think happens on MySpace (but doesn't) appears most likely to be happening on LNS. This is a very detailed and well researched article (compare with the quality of journalism the Chronicle of Higher Education is offering, above) exposing everything people fear about the internet. Via Crooked Timber, where Scott McLemee points to the cultural politics of the comments section: "The LNS people are not happy with the article. Once past calling the reporter a drunk, a plagiarist, and (this is clearly the real crime) someone who had been a nerd in high school, the discussion focuses on the hostility directed at LNSers by their social and economic inferiors." Angela Valdez, Washington City Paper July 13, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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