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by Stephen Downes
February 26, 2008

This is a short 10 minute video I did for a workshop titled 'New Learners Need New Teaching' via Nico Baird in South Africa (he also sends photos from the eastern Free State). In it, I address the different meanings of the word 'reality' and ponder what reality means to us as virtual educators. Stephen Downes, Google Video February 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

A Personal View On the Blackboard-D2L Patent Case Resolution
Lanny Arvan expresses his anger at the Blackboard patent case, not from the perspective of technology or prior art or any of that stuff, but collegiality. "The Patent case following the merger and the earlier acquisition and then mothballing of Prometheus makes it pretty clear that Blackboard is pursuing a monopoly strategy and that is more important to them than collegiality with their customers. Having once felt that we mattered to the vendor, it is distasteful to feel otherwise." Worth a read because this typifies what formerly loyal customers are now thinking. Curtis J. Bonk, meanwhile, revives his 'Blackboard the Pirate' ditty. Desire2Learn shares the actual jury instructions (I wonder whether they can crowd-source some grounds for appeal). And Riina Vuorikari gets the European impact spot-on: this is exactly why they don't want software patents. Lanny Arvan, Lanny on Learning Technology February 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Another Big New Edublogs Feature - Forums
Edublogs now has forums. It will be interesting to see if these compete in any significant way with the EdNA groups (which have disappeared from my radar screen... wonder what happened there... interesting). James Farmer, incorporated subversion February 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Visualising Information for Advocacy
I encountered the Tactical Technology Collective twice today, from completely separate sources. This post points me to a PDF booklet offered by the Collective on how to take dry and incomprehensible charts and figures and make them interesting and accessible to readers. And earlier this morning, an email from a colleague here at NRC let me via a link to their Audio/Video Edition of NGO-in-a-box. I spent some time on it browsing through the open source offerings - great content, and your source for all those multimedia tools you couldn't find, for Windows, Mac and Linux. I quite like the approach taken by the Tactical Technology Collective, because they foster the idea of an NGO (non-governmental organization) as more than just a charity that raises money and gives it to specially selected recipients. Their view of NGO as activist community, and not just a donations channel, is one that appeals to me. (It turns out there's also a link today from Nancy White via Tony Karrer). Ron Lubensky, eLearning&Deliberative Moments February 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Experience the Flight Deck of the NASA Space Shuttle in Second Life
This is the sort of thing a 3D environment like Second Life does best. "This is a visual representation only - the controls don't work - but it is a compelling effect. The display uses a Virtual Reality Room (VRR), an immersive, photo-realistic environment..." Eventually, we'll see working versions of photo-realistic 3D environments, and we'll wonder why we liked the cartoons so much (and there will be, of course, hold-outs who say they prefer the cartoon...). Chris Clark, EDUCAUSE Connect February 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

What This Slow Learner Learned at Northern Voice - The 2008 Edition
The Northern Voice conference came and went last weekend in sunny Vancouver. Scott Leslie relates some of his lessons (and I appreciate the uncertainty in this blog post - and Leslie, far from being a slow learner, is one of the sharpest of the bunch). "Our job, then, as tool markers is in part to make tools that they can bend to their needs, that are useful because of the uses they can be put to and not only because of the intentions of their designer." Scott Leslie, EdTechPost February 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Second Brain As a PLE
We'll see a lot more along the lines of Second Brain - a site that aggregates your content on all your different (hosted) web 2.0 services. meanwhile, on the same theme, Jane Hart links to Cloudo (neat name) - "With Cloudo, every computer, in school, at work, at your friends' or even in the library becomes your own, free of charge computer." Raj Boora, EDITing in the Dark February 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Re-Thinking Language Instruction
Ken Carroll rethinks language instruction. "90% of my generation hated the mandatory Irish lessons. Hundreds of thousands of kids (aka language learning machines) failed to master even rudimentary communication" Language-learning 2.0 - as exemplified by, say, Chinese Pod - might be the way forward. Ken Carroll, Here Comes Everybody February 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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