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by Stephen Downes
January 24, 2008

Vale Marie
Janine Bowes links to a number of things Marie Jasinski posted online, as well as some responses to her passing. She also writes to note that there will be an online tribute at 5:00 Eastern Standard Summer Time (GMT +11) on Elluminate - this link should work - and that a Flexible Learning Leaders tribute wiki page has been established. Janine Bowes, Weblog January 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Who Should Own The Social Networks?
The debate surrounding Facebook continues. Josie Fraser notes that while "Facebook is bankrolled and directed by the Machiavellian neo-con Pay-Pal guy Peter Thiel, and others who can be regarded as ideologically dubious," the same thing could be said of the Simpsons, which makes money for Fox. Perhaps, but what are we to make of Facebook banning a union organizer for using Facebook to organize? I still think weneed a distributed social network, that is not owned by anybody, the way we have a distributed World Wide Web, that is, again, not owned by anybody. Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus January 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Innovative Teachers Network
Microsoft has started an 'Innovative Teachers Network'. It looks a lot like Ning or the EdNA Communities in that you can create your own subcommunity. There are also resources (PowerPoint slide presentations) and a section that supports 'peer coaching'. I think they'll need to keep up an ongoing communication with members in order to prompt activity in the community, as right now it seems pretty static. Via Helge Scherlund. Various Authors, Microsoft January 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

The Biology of the Language Faculty: Its Perfection, Past and Future
I have always respected Chomsky though I must say I continue to disagree with his theory of language acquisition. In this video - well worth viewing - he gives a contemporary treatment of his views. A wonderful listen! But to characterize my objection: he argues that we need some sort of innate linguistic capacity (that is computational) in order to explain why his daughter acquires language while a fish or a chimp, shown exactly the same stimulus, does not. But this capacity can be explained by size. His argument is like arguing that an ocean must have some special property that generates tides because an ocean has tides while rivers and lakes - made of the same thing and exposed to the same phenomena - do not. Noam Chomsky, MIT World January 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Educating Our Children
Forbes is doing a special issue on education. What strikes me after reading the articles - authored by business executives and founders of private schools like KIPP and Edson - is the dearth ideas. It's like they have no expertise (or insight) in education at all! And as George Siemens says, "Missing, however, are the views and opinions of teachers, parents, and students." Various Authors, Forbes January 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

And Now for Something Completely Different......
I like music made from vegetables as much as the next person, but is it too much to ask of a carrot that it provide some melody? Julie Lindsay, eLearning Blog January 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Friends: Social Networking Sites for Engaged Library Services
Publishing since 2007 but still new to me, this blog looks at online social networks from an academic library perspective. I found out about it via an announcement on DEOS for a new mailing list, Online Social Networks. I've signed up for the list, but what I dfound interesting was the note that this blog would cover items of importance from that list. I think this is a good idea - lists contain a lot of chatter, but if each list - DEOS, TRDEV, WWW-EDU, etc. - has a blog associated with it, this could help people keep up with a much wider range of discussion. Gerry McKiernan, Weblog January 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

The MPAA Says Oops
This got wide coverage yesterday, but I may as well mention it for completeness: the MPAA originally said that students were responsible for 44 percent of its rvenue losses, and now admits the real figure was only 15 percent. Personally, I think 15 percent is still high, and like Jack kapica, I'm more than a little nonplussed that it took them more than two years to fess up to the results of this 2005 study. Jack Kapica, Globe and Mail January 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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