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by Stephen Downes
October 23, 2007

Open Ed - Week 8: Economic Models of Open Education
Good discussion of different models of open education, colour coded (red, yellow, green). Jennifer Maddrell writes, "At the Open Ed conference, I heard a suggestion to hire students (cheap labor) to sit and "convert" professors lecture content and other face to face course materials into a digital format. Why? Do learners want this? Isn't this the same mistake made when online courses first came into being?" Good questions. Jennifer Maddrell, Designed to Inspire October 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Dear Ed Tech Leaders
So anyhow. I'm at one of those conventions being panned in this post. I am sympathetic with part of the lament - the part about making these conventions more accessible. Though I would add that there's a lot of free conversation available on the web. And as for the Ed Tech leaders who are 'preaching to the converted' and who are 'charging too much for their materials' - here's my recommendation: pick different Ed Tech leaders. Some people (ahem) make all of their work available for free. And they use this tech they talk about every day. Maybe they - and not the ones charging for access of writing only in books - are the ones you want to follow. Tim Holt, Byte Speed October 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

A 14-Year-Old Talks Educational Technology
Steve Hargadon writes, "To me, Arthus is not representative of most 14-year-olds, but is representative of the kind of independent, engaged, proactive, and self-directed learner we often think will thrive in the flattened and connected world of the Internet." Having read his posts, Arthus seems pretty typical to me, except, I suppose, his choice of topic. Anyhow, it's enjoyable reading. Steve Hargadon, Infinite Thinking Machine October 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Introducing EduGarage!
Blackboard has launched something called EduGarage - "the home of the Blackboard Developer Network, a community of more than 2000 developers who create and share tools, applications and services for teaching and learning through Blackboard Building Blocks, Blackboard PowerLinks and Blackboard Language Packs." Announcement, Blackboard October 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

NRC policy prohibits the providing of mobile devices to researchers (they are reserved for management and business development officers) so I cannot pursue the links sent to me regarding mobile learning. But it's no surprise to see products like this aimed directly at the iPhone market. Some of the ad content is ridiculous (who thought it would be a good idea to use the word 'sizzle'?) but the use of a blog is a good idea. There's a portal - but you have to sign in. I expect that, were I able to try this stuff out, I would be frustrated by the access controls imposed by the hardware. The phone isn't the computer; the manufacturer controls the hardware and the operating system, which means they control the transactions. Various Authors, Website October 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

A Typology of Learning Object Repositories
"The state of the art of LORs (Learning Object Repositories) in 2007," writes Rory McGreal, "can be described as functional and growing." Some interesting bits, including a discussion of DRM (when users encounter access restrictions, they just leave) and the reusability paradox (McGreal cites Hodgins's distinction between reuse and repurposing, but it is not clear how this addresses the problem). He also notes some of the criticisms of learning objects, countering with access statistics from Connexions and OCW (not that these are 'Learning Objects' properly so-called). The major deliverable in this paper is his typology of learning object repositories: "Content repositories; Linking or metadata repositories; and hybrid repositories that host content and link to external LOs." The fake link provided in the Handle record link takes you to a DSpace record, which is user-hostile; the link to the actual paper and table are hidden in the grey shaded area (lower right) and titled 'View/Open'. Or ignore the Handle and link directly (the way the internet should work) to the paper and the tables. Rory McGreal, Athabasca University October 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Web2Summit: Opening Up the Social Graph
A lot of things are happening very quickly in the social identity space. This post, which appeared a couple of days ago, is already a bit out of date. No matter; here are the latest slides from David Recordon and Brad Fitzpatrick. And here is the key thought for the day: "A lot that you have heard here is about platforms and who is going to win. That is Paleolithic thinking. The Web has already won. The web is the Platform." Quite right. Don't invest too much in one platform. Invest in the web. David Recordon, O'Reilly Radar October 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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