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by Stephen Downes
March 12, 2008

Judge Bans Sales of Software Found to Violate Blackboard'S Patent
So, the judge in the Blackboard Patent case has awarded Blackboard its injunction against Desire2Learn, prohibiting it from making new sales in the United States, but then stayed that order in order to allow D2L to create a workaround. This all (to me) seems to suggest that the judge is buying into the "it's a very narrow invention" interpretation of the patent. Good coverage in the Chronicle article. Desire2Learn has also posted a statement. Michael Feldstein also links to a Chronicle article covering the other edupatent suit highlighted by Alfred Essa (and covered here) a few days ago. Essa also comments on the injunction. BlackBoard has also posted a community letter on the court case and injunction, soft-pedaling the impact. Not so soft-spoken is Barry Dahl, who slams the injunction and BlackBoard's commentary. Finally, as a weird ironic twist, an article outlining B;ackBoard's plans to enter the video surveillance market. Me, I thought their posting of a photo of what resembles a prison work crew was ironic enough. Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education March 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

The Facebook Experiment Continues (Still)
Wendy Wickham summarizes the results of her experimentation with facebook. Her friends are slowly trickling onto the site, but "my attempts to use Facebook as a personal toolkit haven't worked all that well." As for me, well, the torrent of friend requests has slowed to a trickle - but that is probably because pretty much all of my friends (and loose acquaintances) have already logged on. I've had a few exchanges over it, but it is mostly now a place for professional contacts. If it hadn't started actually putting the content of the messages in the emails it sends me, I might have started blocking them by now - there's nothing more irritating than an email that tells you that you have a message on a website that you just now click on to go and see. My daily use of facebook? Almost nil. Wendy Wickham, In the Middle of the Curve March 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The Current State of Instructional Technology
This article doesn't describe the current state of educational technology, but it is (currently) a pretty good list of the educational theories related to the use of educational technology. No, connectivism is not included, but one wonders how close distributed cognition fits the description. George? Anyhow, I'm linking to this because I found it in the partially completed Foundations of Educational Technology, currently housed on a wiki at the University of Georgia. This, in turn, is one of four online collections or books edited by Mike Orey, as listed in an interview posted by Susan Smith Nash. And once again, I observe that I never fail to be impressed by the work that one finds in every corner of our field. Orey may not blog, but interviewing him and posting all this information is a good idea, because it makes his work accessible to a wider audience. Peter Rich, The Foundations of Educational Technology March 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

E-Learning Trends 2008
The statistics - which I would say probably represent corporate e-learning, thoiugh we're given no demographics with which to assess the representativeness of the 293 responses - are interesting, but represent more of a snapshot than any indication of trends. Unattributed, Learning Circuits March 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Pedagogic Koans
Grasshopper... what is the sound of one person learning? Alex Reid, digital digs March 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Social Media: How Much Is Too Much?
I have an answer to that question: two. Brandon hall has, for example, "a Ning Network, a Blog, a Hitchhikr listing, a Facebook Group, a Twitter stream, a Flickr group, a Slideshare group, and a YouTube group." Why does it need all these things. Because it cannot share its one network of clients and friends among all those sites. It has to set up a separate group on each one of them. It's silly. Tagging is one way around this - use a common tag, and in that way unite the groups on all these different networks. But not everything supports tagging, and tags don't always leverage other services, like member lists. Janet Clarey, Brandon Hall Research March 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Ryerson Student Cheered at Expulsion Hearing
The Ryerson student accused of academic misconduct was cheered by a large group of supporters as he emerged from a hearing yesterday. He will learn his fate within five days. James Bradshaw, Globe and Mail March 12, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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