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by Stephen Downes
December 27, 2007

Democratizing Innovation
It was only five or six years ago I saw a prototype 3D printer in the National Research Council's offices in Ottawa. I wanted to create a bust of myself, but it wasn't in the cards. Now this type of technology seems ready to reach out to the home market. Alec Couros, Couros Blog December 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

An Argument for Knols Over Wikipedia and Citizendium
When I posted by refutation of the Kirschner Sweller and Clark paper a few days ago it was not long before I received the anonymous hate mail. One thing is certain in all this: the opposition to constructivism and similar pedagogies seems to be more political than it is educational or scientific. A case in point: why would someone go out of his way to ensure that every article in Wikipedia that deals with constructivism and related themes included, as a highlight, a 'refutation' of constructivism and copious cites of the Kirschner Sweller and Clark paper? I don't agree that this is an argument in favour of 'Knols' or some other authority-driven system, though. The anti-egalitarian position advocated by the anti-constructivists tends to hold sway in authority-driven systems (which explains the persistence of 'colonial' educational systems despite decades of successful experience with their alternatives. Doug Holton, EdTechDev December 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Keeping Life Simple
The Zombu is a very interesting device - a computer preloaded with a Linux operating system that is 'locked in' - it will update, but you can't mess around with it or break it. It has 4 gigabytes of flash memory - no hard drive. You can store more online. The computer has 20 applications pre-installed. Total cost, including shipping, taxes and duty? $140 (Canadian dollars). Outstanding. Harold Jarche, Weblog December 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

OLPC As Constructivist Education Reform
The neat thing about OLPC is that it works, we can see it working, and the people who insist time after time "it doesn't work" really have nothing else to say. And what is key to this is, as this post says, it is the end of the 'colonial' educational system (OK, maybe not, not completely, and a lot of water has to pass under the bridge, but you get the idea). "We don't even know what would be suitable for free peoples. Not for lack of trying, but because those who have investigated the issues have been effectively marginalized and largely go unheard. Until now. Now their work is embodied in the OLPC XO-1 laptop. Children won't need to hear the theory when they have the thing itself in their hot little hands." Not completely - but closely enough to be worth watching. Edward Cherlin, One Laptop Per Child News December 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Revisiting Content Is Not King. Connectivity Is Priority.
I get what Leigh Blackall is saying in this post, but even with full connectivity content would not be 'king' - at least, not the sort of content that is ordinarily supposed hen we talk of things like learning objects (or newspaper articles). The point is, more learning happens through conversation and content creation than by mere passive receptivity. And what Illich (and Friere, and others, know) is that when you take control of the production of your own learning, you give yourself the power to learn, which is something no content provider can even give to you. Broadband connectivity helps, to be sure - but the important part of the broadband connection is the ploading part. After all, we've had broadband downloading for a very long time. It was called television. Leigh Blackall, Learn Online December 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Top 5 Blog Posts I'Ve Read in 2007
These are totally not the five posts I would choose for the year, but that says more about differences in taste and perspective than it does about the quality of the posts. Many people would prefer Dean Shareski's selections over mine, I'm sure. Dean Shareski, Ideas and thoughts from an EdTech December 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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