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by Stephen Downes
November 20, 2007

Government Study: Americans Reading Less
So there is a new study (Full PDF, Executive Summary) that has just been released from the (American) National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) saying that children are no longer reading, that "15- to 24-year-olds spend only 7-10 minutes per day on voluntary reading." There has been much angst about this in the media. But if you actually read the study, you find that they're talking mostly about books - and that things like surfing the web are not considered reading! Perhaps they should examine the behaviour of web users again - I have it on good authority that a lot of time spent on the web is time spend reading (oh, and writing too!). Maybe things aren't so dire as the report suggests - not so dire, say, as it was when an entire generation of kids did nothing but watch television. Hillel Italie, Yahoo News November 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

CLTI07 - David Snowden the Patternizing Brain
Dave Snowden is generally pretty up on things, and this presentation summary illustrates nicely and simply the major elements of his thinking. "The brain is revealed as a pattern processor, in which original fragments last longer as being relevant than the context they are put in by our brain." The post contains links to more of Snowden's work. It would be nice to have a link to the presentation itself, though. Ignatia also summarizes presentations from Jay Cross, Steve Mahaley, Tony Karrer. Ignatia, Ignatia Webs November 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Conversation with Pre-Service Teachers - Teacher As Learner
Good post, relevant to the talk I'm doing online for SMOOT (Finland) tomorrow. "The decision to "learn with the students," to use one's own personal blog in the class blogosphere, to engage as a participant and a co-learner, often leads us to think that we will lose the respect of our students and that we will no longer really teach... [but] losing the teacherly voice is not the equivalent of losing the voice of an expert." Konrad Glogowski, blog of proximal development November 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Um, hm. It pretty clearly works, even if it hasn't reached full-blown meme scale yet (I am only the 330,000th or so to play). The association bubbles it sprouts are spot on, and will only be more refined over time. The most prolific player is appropriately named 'I_have_no_life'. What do you do with the results of what amounts to a planetary scale word association test? Mass psychoanalysis? Jane Hart, Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day November 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

I Have Learned My YouTube Lesson
What I learned yesterday browsing through YouTube is that milk bags are uniquely Canadian (who know?) and how to make PVC-tube rockets (I watched October Sky on the airplane home from Holland). Jim Groom, meanwhile, found the debate between Malcolm X and James Farmer. Kind of makes me look like a low-brow. ;) Anyhow, Groom comments, "YouTube is the most powerful example of how these small pieces can be so easily and effectively joined for a teaching and learning context." Jim Groom, bavatuesdays November 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

This Whole Syndication Thing Is Sucking Me Down the Drain...
Brian Lamb ponders the place of syndication in the world. "I blog merrily along, talking about the power of syndication to anyone who will listen... and I'm still trying to achieve what seemed to be just around the corner four years ago... I've had remarkably good luck the past few years with grant applications and conference proposals. But so far, each submission that's focused on RSS or syndication in any way has been rejected -- come to think of it, these have been my only failures." My own work on syndication is similarly unfunded. People want web services and digital rights management and competencies, but few people - few funders, at least - want to see open resource sharing. But what this tells me is this: that while the short term money is being bet on roadblocks, the long term money is still best bet on roads. Brian Lamb, abject learning November 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Can You Say Convergence?
Jeff Whipple writes, "The new Livescribe paper-based computing platform is due out at early in the next year. Complete with a 'smartpen', e-paper, applications, etc, this system will allow users to write, much like on traditional paper. The difference is that content is digitally translated, stored and is sharable via email or other tools like blogs. Imagine a whole class full of students making notes and connections." Via Dave Warlick. Jeff Whipple, Whip Blog November 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Amazon Kindle: Books You Can Never Share
How Amazon (and presumably its publishing partners) views the world of books: "You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content. In addition, you may not, and you will not encourage, assist or authorize any other person to, bypass, modify, defeat or circumvent security features that protect the Digital Content." I hope they enjoy their Kindle, while the rest of us go about the work of creating a free society. Richard Akerman, Science Library Pad November 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Leslie Carr of RepositoryMan is asking whether anyone has a list of blogs relevant to repositories. I know of no such list, and there probably isn't one - Technorati reveals four blogs (of course, Technorati has been very sick recently). If you know of a repository blog, or run one yourself, why not drop a comment onto his blog; I'm sure he'd appreciate that. Leslie Carr, RepositoryMan November 20, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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