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by Stephen Downes
April 9, 2008

Alas, Poor Yorik

At the Advanced Learning Technology conference in Fredericton. Stephen Downes, Flickr, April 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

I'm at a conference now - not really the time to download and install new software. But Pencil is totally on my list - it addresses a huge need for the Mac user, a decent drawing tool. There are also versions for Windows and Linux, and you can use it to create animations as well. Via Jane Hart. Various Authors, Website, April 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Digital Identity and ePortfolios
Helen Barrett responds to a post by Eifel's Serge Ravet entitled The ePortfolio is dead? Long life to Digital Identity! She responds, "I'm not sure I like the word identity in the context of the Working Portfolio, because it will be further misunderstood... perhaps a better term to use would be 'digital archive'." Helen Barrett, E-Portfolios for Learning, April 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

What the Sakai Announcement Means
Michael Feldstein reinterprets the Sakai announcement on the Blackboard patent. "The Sakai Foundation apparently believes that the odds are against the Blackboard patent surviving the challenge process in any enforceable form. I tend to agree." And "there is always a danger of having too many cooks in the legal kitchen." Fair enough. And I should also underline this as well: "D2L's behavior has been more altruistic than many people realize. A business that fights to invalidate a patent gives its competitors a free ride at considerable expense. Had D2L been less concerned with what's right for higher education in general, they almost certainly would have settled this out of court." Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, April 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Changing How We Teach Copyright Pt 2
The second part of the series (at this rate I'll cover every installment) with another good catchphrase: "When there is doubt, err on the side of the user." Again, I agree with this. Despite the warnings placed on books and multimedia, we do have the right to use copyright material for certain purposes, including citation and criticism, satire, and educational purposes. Pretty much every case of use we're likely to run across in the educational domain is what one might call a 'good faith use' - there's no intention to violate copyright, there's no internt to make a business out of someone else's content, they just want to make, as they say, fair use of the content. In such cases, the user is probably in the right, and there are no good ground to assume, a priori, that violations are occurring. Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog, April 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Cheaper by the .Pdf, but Still . . .
There has been some press coverage recently of the SUNY Press initiative to sell PDFs of expensive textbooks for much less than the hardcover price, for example, Academic Newswire, which calls it groundbreaking. Barbara Fister comments, "if this is the revolution, wake me up later, would you?" Agreed. Barbara Fister, ACRLog, April 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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