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by Stephen Downes
March 31, 2008

Diigo User Communities
It was like a tidal wave over the weekend as large segments of the edublogosphere discovered the social networking and resource sharing site Diigo. The site has been around for a few months; I flagged a resource in my aggregator from Beth Kanter last September on the site. But the flood came over the weekend. Vicki Davis tried blogging directly from it on Thursday. Christy Tucker picked up on that and compared Diigo to and Doug Noon talked about migrating to Diigo from Miguel Guhlin hailed the "invasion of the bookmark snatchers." Dave Warlick chimed in, "I'm getting Diigo. Ed Tech Weekly, on Sunday, was all "Diigo, Diigo, Diigo." Clay Burrell offers three uses of diigo in the classroom. Late last night Miguel Guhlin (again) began to find flaws in Diigo. Christy Tucker, meanwhile, weighed in today with a post on Diigo user communities. Yes, I have an account (userid: Downes), which I created over the weekend. But I'm not endorsing it - I've barely looked at it (but I sure have read a lot about it). I'm not sure exactly what triggered this rush but it was something to see - the instantiation of a criticism of the edublogosphere I read last week, that it's "all about who is using the latest technology" (sorry, I don't have the link handy). There may have been, I think, a point to that remark. Christy Tucker, Experiencing E-Learning, March 31, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Maybe We All Own the MLE After All
The invalidation of the Blackboard patent riday caught the attention of numerous writers over the week-end. The Chronicle's coverage, which added no new information, was linked by many. Meanwhile, Michael feldstein catches Blackboard playing fast and loose with statistics. Barry Dahl writes, "Blackbeard is toast – let's watch them sink." Seb Schmoller provides a flowchart of the process and warns it will be a while before this is resolved. Alfred Essa also interjects a note of caution. Blackboard, meanwhile, highlights user centered design on its blog. John Connell, Weblog, March 31, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

The End of Religion and the End of School
The parallel between religion and education, at least historically, is clear. I once commented, "Defenders of the faith have to show why a laying of the hands is essential to their art - an impossible challenge, because it amounts to quantifying the aethereal." Which applies equally to the church and to the school. Dean Shareski writes, "I need to see that learning is the goal. Okay so this may seem obvious but in the daily grind it's easy to become the Pharisees of modern education." Dean Shareski, Ideas and Thoughts From An Ed Tech, March 31, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Apple
Via WikiEducator, a link to yet another educational community, The Apple. Cap Capozzoli writes, "I have joined recently and find that I am only discussing topics with other educators from around the world. Take a look at it if you are interested in joining a network specifically geared towards teachers and education. Some great resources and people!!!" More spreading of the meme, maybe - but it's still worth a look. Note that the site has great difficulties with non-U.S. signups, and watch out for the screen that attempts to grab your email contacts. The Apple is part of Monster Worldwide. Various Authors, Website, March 31, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Designing and Developing E-Learning Projects: A Three-Tiered Approach
Saul Carliner excerts from his forthcoming book, The E-learning Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Online Learning , in eLearn magazine, identifying three major types of projects, from small (bronze) to huge (gold). I guess Heathrow would have counted as gold, hm? Saul Carliner, eLearn Magazine, March 31, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Learning 2.0: A Study On the Impact of Web 2.0 Innovations On Education and Training in Europe
From the newsletter: "IPTS will set up a database comprising examples of initiatives that use social computing for learning. We invite all learning stakeholders in Europe to submit information on as many innovative Learning 2.0 projects as possible to our database." I see no reason why people with learning 2.0 projects outside Europe should also submit information! If they don't want them, send them to me, and I'll collect them! Christine Redecker and Kirsti Ala-Mutka, European Commission, March 31, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

When Information and Interaction Change
I listened to this presentation from George Siemens this afternoon. He associates our attitude toward information with progress in society. "The more broadly we are connected to individuals of diverse viewpoints... the better we understand that subject area." What I like is the relation between the idea of associative trails between people and associative trails between bits of information. Best phrase of the talk: 'grunt cognition' - information that makes it easier to do, or avoid, 'grunt work'. George Siemens, elearnspace, March 31, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Viral Antimarketing in Politically Conservative Talk Radio
I talked a bit last week about some of the techniques of association used by advertisers and political organizations. Susan Smith Nash offers an extended entry on a similar theme, looking at the technique of "antimarketing" on conservative talk radio in the U.S., "when there is deliberate misinformation, or when the buzz is negative." It's not just political; Nash notes, "Viral antimarketing is a technique aggressively employed by the marketers of movies, music, cosmetics, computers, fashion labels, cell phones, and other items used by people who form opinions about a product based on information found on the Internet." Susan Smith Nash, E-Learning Queen, March 31, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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