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by Stephen Downes
March 24, 2008

In response to the Facebook flap at Ryerson, another website,, has launched, to allow students to exchange answers anonymously. Raj Boora, EDITing in the Dark March 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

A Plea to Liberate Educational Content
This is one of the odder things I've seen. Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia and founder of the new 'expert-driven' Citizendium online encyclopedia, is making a call on philanthropists to "liberate" educational content by buying it from publishers and posting it for free online. Why? "My main complaint is that there simply is not very much really excellent content online, period. I, like most parents, want the best available materials for my little boy. Most of what I find for free online is simply not nearly as high quality as what some publishers sell." Me, I think it would be a waste of philanthropists' money paying publishers to continue to inflate prices and underpay authors. The money would be better spent helping volunteers make their free content better. Larry Sanger, Citizendium Blog March 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Forget E-Mail: New Messaging Service Has Students and Professors Atwitter
The Chronicle of Higher Education covers Twitter, a 'new' messaging system. "some professors, librarians, and administrators have begun using Twitter, a service that can blast very short notes (up to 140 characters) to select users' cellphones or computer screens." The story mention that Blackboard will add a Twitter like messaging service to its LMS. Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education March 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Bad News for Blackboard, Good News for Moodle
Blackboard's share of the LMS market continues to fall, with Angel, Desire2Learn, and especially Moodle gaining a greater share. "Moodle doubled its market share in the past 12 months and now has the highest market share after Blackboard/WebCT in this market segment." Michael Feldsetin, e-Literate March 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Centralized Student Center for ALL Students in SL
Well it's an interesting concept. But I wonder what flag will fly outside the front door. Anyhow, there's a meeting to discuss the idea tomorrow (Tuesday). Sarah Robbins, SLED Blog March 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Turnitin Wins Important Victory in Fight to Combat Plagiarism (and the Bloat of Copyright)
Turnitin has won its court case. Students had argued that the company's use of their papers to test for plagiarism was a violation of copyright. Students, however, had to agree to a 'click-wrap' agreement, submitting their papers, in order to earn a grade. According to the judge, this constituted enough of an agreement. Georgia Harper, Collectanea March 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Home-Schooling and Child Abuse
I am only part way through my more detailed discussion of home schooling, talking so far only about abuse and qualifications, but John Connell points to where I will be headed with some future discussion. In another post, Charles Nelson compares the effectiveness of using a video, as opposed to text, to respond to critics. John Connell, Weblog March 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Working/Learning Blog Carnival
The role of the blog carnival is well established, and in the past I have linked to the carnival of the mobilists and the carnival of education. They play a role similar to this weblog, but are less frequent, are hosted by rotating websites, and contain posts nominated by contributors. Now, courtesy of Dave Ferguson, here is the first working/learning blog carnival. Participants include Michele Martin, Cathy Moore, Harold Jarche and Janet Clarey. Dave Ferguson, Dave's Whiteboard March 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Dave's Top 10 Musings On the Encouragement of Community in Multi-User Virtual Environments.
This is an interesting list. The first thing I noticed is that it contains elements of both autonomy and conformity, which it seems to me creates a bit of a tension. But then it seemed to me to have a very particular type of community in mine. Consider things like "there has to be frequent opportunities to generate and exchange capital" and "There should be a combination of structured and 'free' activities." This means that things like IRC and Yahoo Groups cannot create communities. But that seems wrong. Via George Roberts. David White, Weblog March 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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