by Stephen Downes
February 14, 2008
More Than 100 Free Places to Learn Online - and Counting
This is a very small percentage of the sites where free online learning is available. Which is why I raised questions about the need for large institution-based open education projects. I think it would make a lot more sese to try to access what is being produced now, rather than to fund a large 'free content' infrastructure that will be highly centralized, expensive, and unsustainable. Jeff Thomas Cobb, Mission to Learn February 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: Online Learning, Project Based Learning] [Comment]
Be Yourself - Stand Out with Edutagger
Judy O'Connell points today to edutagger, a social bookmarking service intended for K-12 teachers. She doesn't cite her source (tsk tsk) but it could be Marian Thacher or Tech4Teachers, which cites from an unreferenced announcement by founder Mark Schumann from the MITIE usergroup (the MITIE links provided here are unresponsive). But I didn't know this when I read the O'Connell post; it sends me only to the edutagger site itself, which aroused my curiosity by not containing any information about the site's owners or motivations.
A whois lookup led me to Mark Schumann, which in turn led me to the other sites. It also led me to Schumann's extensive campaign to publicize the site, which included announcements at the Moodle Forum, TeacherFocus, and Academic Commons, as well as word-of-mouth on 4teachers, Jaiku and Twitter.
Of course, sites like this for educators have been launched before, such as edbloggernews, which essentially collapsed into a pit of irrelevance. Another recent initiative is edtags, which is a Harvard research project. You can follow the edtags blog to keep up. More here.
The difficulty with such sites is that it's very hard to keep them focused on education. They are quickly overwhelmed by advertising or politics or whatever. And so I discovered as I tried to track down Mark Schumann. His home page is a set of recent edutagger links, but these are links to some very questionable search topics (content warning!!). I think that if edutagger wants to serve the K-12 market, it needs to keep a much closer watch on its own content and to be much more forthcoming about its ownership and intentions. Judy O'Connell, Hey Jude February 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: Twitter, Marketing, Research, Project Based Learning, Academia, Web Logs] [Comment]
Real Android Powered Phone Demo and Hands-On!!!!
Video of Google's new mobile platform, Android, running on "existing hardware, an E2831 quadband phone that features Wi-Fi, a 2.2" touchscreen and 1.3 megapixel camera." The software is based on open source and is obviously a major competitor to other mobile phone platforms. The video is pretty impressive, showing quite a bit of responsiveness on a limited platform with conference-grade wifi. Via Baseline. Vincent Nguyen, YouTube February 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: Video, Google, Open Source] [Comment]
Business Coalition Opposes Harsh Copyright Reform
A huge coalition of Canadian businesses has banded together to oppose the harsh copyright reforms being considered by the government. The CBC calls it "A who's who of powerful companies and business associations." The coalition includes "Google, Yahoo, Rogers, Telus, the Canadian Alliance of Broadcasters and the Retail Council of Canada." As others have pointed out, this move completely undermines the idea that businesses are in favour of the copyright reforms in Canada.
Michael Geist, meanwhile, says the legislation may be on hold. "It is impossible to pinpoint any one reason for the delay - the public outcry through Facebook, the treaty issue, the opposition from education, the impact of copyright on some MPs electoral chances, the privacy concerns, the outcry from artists groups, the op-eds, and the creation of a powerful business coalition calling for balanced copyright may have all played a role." Oh, and hey, maybe the opposition from this place. Unattributed, CBC February 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: Google, Canada, Yahoo!, Copyrights, Patents] [Comment]
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