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by Stephen Downes
January 22, 2008

Physical Spaces for Learning
You know, when I read about "classrooms of the future", I think of the sort of discussion that must have taken place a century ago about "reading rooms of the future". It never occurred to people that reading was something that could be done everywhere, by anyone. Can you imagine? Reading while traveling 100 kilometers an hour? How could anyone concentrate long enough? Or reading in a grocery store? What would they want to read about in there? No (they may have argued) proper reading takes place only in a room specially designed for the task, where you are no distracted, and where the books you want to read are close at hand. makes you think a bit differently about textbooks, doesn't it? Janet Clarey, Brandon Hall Research January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

EduPatent Busted! (But Not the One You're Thinking Of...)
This is nice to see. "Back in 1999, patented for-fee testing over the Internet and has since approached a number of publishers and universities seeking licensing fees. The patent was reexamined last year and now the PTO has officially rejected all of the claims." Michael Feldstein, e-Literate January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Solving for Pattern
Interesting take on the epistemology of pattern recognition. Harold Jarche cites Paul Hawken, "The term solving for pattern was coined by Wendall Berry, and refers to a solution that addresses multiple problems instead of one. Solving for pattern arises naturally when one perceives problems as symptoms of systemic failure, rather than random errors requiring anodynes." Tom Haskins remarks, "When we have one thing on our mind, we cannot solve for pattern. The challenge is too complex, panoramic and overwhelming. We can, however, take pride in how focused, determined and clear we are with one thing on our mind."I'd like to say that a lot of the things that I look at that "aren't practical" or "don't make a difference in the classroom" are instances where I am 'solving for pattern' rather than addressing more narrowly defined issues. Tom Haskins, growing changing learning creating January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Introducing Edublogs Campus
James Farmer takes another step forward with edublogs, launching what amounts to an enterprise edition. Well, that's where the money is. James Farmer, incorporated subversion January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

7 (Outrageous) Predictions in Education
Alexander Russo's tongue is obviously in cheek, but Britannica must be hurting in the 'we have the experts' sweeps against the Economist to run this piece. Russo hits pretty much every negative stereotype about educators and education writers. I especially resemble this remark: "thousands of over-educated education researchers, reformers, advocates, analysts, journalists, bloggers and pundits will suddenly realize that what they're doing isn't really making a difference." Fortunately, I do not subscribe to the logical positivist school of punditry. So anyhow, where was this published? Britannica, you say? Via Joanne Jacobs. Alexander Russo, Britannica Blog January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Open Source Game Development: Partnering with Whom?
Tom Hoffman writes, and I agree, "At some point, the foundations have to realize that it is a bad deal for them to underwrite projects based on proprietary software, even though corporations are willing to pick up some of the up front cost." Of course, that would depend on whose interests the foundations are serving. Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Bunfight at the Athens/Shibboleth Gateway
My own take on this is that it shows the danger of relying on a 'solution' for identity management, whether proprietary or otherwise. The people involved in the transition from Athens to Shibboleth, meanwhile, are scrambling ways to find funding for gateways between the systems. Andy Powell, eFoundations January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The Cape Town Open Declaration
The Cape Town Declaration on Open Educational Resources has now been officially released. It has 458 signatures. Some interesting personalities have been promoted to the 'front page' list of signatories; in addition to those who wrote the document at the Cape Town conference, Lawrence Lessig's name appears. David Wiley provides script for a banner to advertise the initiative. Commentary from Philipp Schmidt. Various Authors, Shuttleworth Foundation January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Learning Industry Leaders Agree to Be Initial Investors in Testing Platform for Open Standards-Based Digital Learning Materials
'Community Source' is a euphemism for 'closed source' or 'source available only to our community'. As for the 'open' Common Cartridge standards, you still have to be a member of the community to view them too. PDF press release. The main thing to take note of here is that the Common Cartridge standard - which is intended to allow learning resources to play (properly) on many different learning management systems - is moving forward. Press Release, IMS January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

It'S a Mac! It'S a PC! It'S ... Both?
Dual-boot is one option. On my MacBook I have been running software called Parallels which allows me to run a full version of Windows XP inside my Apple environment. I prefer Parallels because I can share the same files back and forth - import with an OS X application, edit with a Windows application. Parallels also supports Linux but I haven't installed that yet - my recent experiments with video have been straining my 150 gig hard drive. Anyhow, the Windows environment runs as well under Parallels as anywhere else, which is to say, more slowly than I would like, but well enough that it will do for the applications I really like. Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed January 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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