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by Stephen Downes
February 7, 2008

E-Learning Initiatives That Did Not Reach Targeted Goals
This is only a book review, but I just love the concept. That said, I'm not sure I agree with the (book) authors' analysis. Looking at failures is a great idea, but one wonders whether the range of examples studied. For example, they say "Hard-nosed market research is essential for the success of any e-learning initiative." Well, this depends a lot on what you mean by success. I consider this newsletter, for example, to have been wildly successful. But I did not do any hard-nosed market research (the whole concept is anathema to me). Another is, "Choice of courses and its accreditation is crucial." One wonders whether courses should be chosen at all! Related: Scott Leslie, Megatrends in e-learning provision. Review by Ingrid Schonwald, elearning reviews February 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Tips for Diversifying Your Blog Subscriptions
Sue Waters picks up on "the need to ensure we don't limit our learning by getting sucked into group thinking - by restricting our blog reading and interactions to people who think the same way that we do." This post describes some ways to diversify our reading. Take the time too to visit Claire Thomposon's blog from Penticton, B.C. Sue Waters, Mobile Technology in TAFE February 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Spin the Blac Circle
Addicting - I really like the way it forces you to move in the opposite direction your intuitions want to move. I personally think this game teaches you a lot - though it would probably never show up in the test results. AlejandroG, Kongregate February 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

In Their Own Words
Just what I'm trying to say here, nicely expressed: "Learners are individuals and want to have control over how and when they learn, including which technologies they use. What they don't want are organisations - educational or otherwise - telling them how it should be done." Yes! Why is that so hard to fathom? Clive Shepherd, Clive on Learning February 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Discussing Digital Citizenship: Rights and Responsibilities
Digital citizenship is, for Wesly Fryer, "a way of tangibly moving beyond the fear factor." That's a good thing, and so his UStream video is worth a listen. But I still think that the definition of 'digital citizenship' as "being an ethical and responsible citizen of the infoverse" is grounded in a certain view of society, which I don't share. The "team" analogy he uses is pure Hobbes. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity February 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Open-Access Is the Future: Boycott Locked-Down Academic Journals
Danah boyd publishes an article in a locked-down journal and then experiences a sense of regret. The result is this article, in which she advocates an academic boycott of lock-down journals. Not all agree, including Anne Galloway, who finds boyd's post "naive at best, and offensive at worst." For my own part, I agree with boyd, and thus find myself at odds with the research blogging movement. I don't link to lock-down journals in this newsletter, and for the most part don't deal with them at all. I don't link to things people can't access. And I don't think they're very useful - the papers, in general, aren't very good and the selection system is not reliable. And - to take it a bit further - I question whether those who mostly publish in lock-down journals really 'get' what the web is all about. But that's all personal. People can make their own decisions. I welcome danah boyd over here to the good side, but caution, don't expect a rush. Most academics (in my experience) simply don't care. danah boyd, apophenia February 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Confucius Meets Web 2.0
We have a Confucius Institute (CI) here in Moncton and are very please to have it. CIs are created by the Chinese government to foster the teaching of Chinese langauge and culture. Now according to this announcement an online Confucius Institute is being built. "The Chinese government gets web 2.0?" Maybe. Perhaps they read OLDaily! They certainly get the idea that the best place to spread language and culture is the web. Ken Carroll, Here Comes Everybody February 7, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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