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by Stephen Downes
June 18, 2008

Are You One of the 16%?
According to a 16-page Nortel Whitepaper, "16% of people are 'hyperconnected' [and] that 16% is expected to balloon to over 40% in the coming years." Such people "use many more devices, channels, and tools then 'regular' people" and "they are generally always on, always connected and see this as a good thing." And it is, overall - provided you keep in mind that you control the technology and that you control the interaction (and sometimes this may mean unplugging for a bit, just to reassert yourself). Clarence Fisher, Remote Access, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Revised PLE Images Collection&My Own PLE Illustration
Scott Leslie tends to his ever expanding collection of PLE images, and adds another one of his own "to visualize my PLE in a way that captured not just the tools, but the uses and the trust relationships as well." It's not a bad diagram, but I would suggest that there are many more uses and relationships than those listed on the diagram. Also, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the ever expanding 'circle of friends' concept, as seen in the full sized version of the diagram. I don't think of people as 'near' or 'far' from me - I don't think friendship is analagous to spatial relationships (cf. Tversky on similarity, which is sometimes also represented geometrically - people become linked to me by virtue of various features that we share, where particular features are more or less slaient in any given context of interaction. Scott Leslie, EdTechPost, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Attacks On Ed Tech Are Increasing
Tim Holt sent along a link to this article. He notes, "it occurred to me that there is a trend developing AGAINST educational technology. It is very subtle, it is pretty quiet, but it's there and we need to begin to take notice." I don't think it's that subtle. Tim Holt, Intended Conseuqneces, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

There has been an explosion of free or cheap online learning opportunities online recently. For example: JohnLocker. "The Smartest Free Documentaries Online. Educate Yourself on History, Science, Music, War, Religions, Politics, Conspiracies, and more!" But also, in my email, EduFire, which offers individual language lessons, or free flash cards. Or Spanish Pod, which advertised a 'guided subscription' for $29 a month. Jane Hart, Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

OLPC: The Educational Philosophy Controversy
Generally cogent discussion of the issues surrounding the One Laptop Per Child and the constructivist software it shipped with, Sugar. It's a bit ironic to see them say that the deployment of a constructivist system is a form of colonialism when the alternative is to load Windows on the system. I would also say that it's not exactly true, as implied by the author, that constructivism has not been tested in practice. It certainly has, I would say, with good results. Via OLPC News, which discusses the article at length. Steve Hamm, Business Week, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Secret Society Maybe Not So Secret
Michael Feldstein reports, "Chuck Severence, who now works part-time for the IMS, has a public test site up for people who want to test against a subset of the forthcoming Learning Tool Interoperability specification. Now, the full specification drafts are still non-public (to the extent that they even exist-LTI is still under active development) but, to be honest, hardly anybody reads the full spec anyway. What Chuck has done is much more useful because he's providing sufficient documentation and tools for people to actually start building and testing." Well, I read the full spec. Or, would, if I could. Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Copyright Follies Redux; Can We Afford to Treat Openness As a Luxury?
More on the pending copyright legislation in Canada. But in the end, "Those of us who work in education and public research have no choice but to embrace open distribution and licensing models. I don't see how we can continue to hand over control of our work to entities that profit from selling it back to us." Brian Lamb, Abject Learning, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

E-Events Exemplars
Carol McCulloch is live-blogging sessions at this AFLF's 'online mini-conference', e-Exemplars: exciting developments in e-learning. The conference looks interesting enough, but you will want to have a look at the live-blogging system being used - click on the big arrow to 'play' (it simply displays the text) the live blogging. The entire site on which this live-blogging is happening is worth a look. It's a Wetpaint wiki, an online service that allows you to create a collaborative community network. Via Ken Johnson. Carol McCulloch, Network of Champions, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

New Waves in Epistemology
Review of a book summarizing recent trends in epistemology (the philosophy of knowledge). Even if you don't read the book, which is composed of new papers describing mainstream, formal, and programmatic approaches to epistemology, the review will give you an outline. It's heady reading, though, so prepare to spend some time with it. What interests me most is the discussion of coherence and reliabilist theories of knowledge. These theories have been dominating the literature recently. The most extended discussion is of the last two papers, which together constitute a description of 'teleological naturalism': "cognitive systems have goal-states in the very same way other bodily systems (such as the digestive system) have goal-states." All very well, but what are the goal-states of cognitive systems, and how do we evaluate between differences in goal states (you love cheese, I hate it) and maladaptive goal-states (I love bacon and food cooked in trans-fats). See also: Philosophical Knowledge: Its Possibility and Scope. Reviewed by Dennis Whitcomb, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Blackboard Accuses Desire2Learn of Contempt
As expected, Blackboard has rejected Desire2Learn's fix of its system to comply with the judge's ruling in the Blackboard patent case, claiming that the fix is just cosmetic and doesn't satisfy the verdict at all. Of course, it would have been nice had Blackboard examined the fix before the expiration of the period for making the change, but they didn't do that. Not that Blackboard is interested in the facts of the matter; they will continue no mater what. "Blackboard's chief legal officer, Matthew Small, said that if the judge doesn't find Desire2Learn in contempt of the injunction, litigation would still continue." Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed, June 18, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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