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by Stephen Downes
September 17, 2008

Killed By Complexity
Brian Kelly writes. "'If this is the death of Wall Street as we know it, the tombstone will read: killed by complexity' it was suggested on the front page of the Guardian." I don't think it was complexity. I think it was greed. The problem wasn't that the markets were too complex to regulate, it's that they were largely unregulated. You can't leave essential public infrastructure in the hands of private enterprise; they will loot it, knowing the government cannot afford to let it fail. The same logic that governs the collapse and $85 billion bailout of AIG applies to schools. Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, September 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

61 Reforms to C-61 - Wrap-Up Post
In a series that lasted longer than the proposed legislation did (Bill C-61 died when the Conservatives called an election) Michael Geist offers this remarkable set of 61 ways to improve bill C-61. It is worth reviewing the specific impacts on education (especially since both the Conservative and opposition Liberals have a history of favoring such legislation):

Educational Harms
Day 46: Education Harms - Lesson Provisions Only Extend To Limited Exceptions
Day 47: Education Harms - Lessons Include Special Infringement Provision
Day 48: Education Harms - Lessons Must Be Destroyed After the Course
Day 49: Education Harms - Lessons May Require DRM
Day 50: Education Harms - Lessons Contain Limited Definition of Students
Education Internet Exception
Day 51: Education Internet Exception Is Unnecessary
Day 52: Education Internet Exception Is Harmful
Day 53: Education Internet Exception Easily Avoided
Library Issues
Day 54: E-Reserve Provisions Less Effective Than Fair Dealing
Day 55: E-Reserve Provisions Require DRM
Day 56: Interlibrary Digital Loans Must Self-Destruct In Five Days
Michael Geist, Weblog, September 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

eduFire Expands Live Tutoring Service to Offer Test Prep for Higher Ed
It's still very early days for this sort of market, which will go through a good deal of change before being consolidated. eduFire offers live video instruction and tutoring. You pick from a list of turots in a given category, say, ACT test prep, pay them anywhere between $10 and $40, and, well, learn. I guess. Paul Glazowski, Mashable, September 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

World Bank Developer Network!
Interesting. We'll see a lot more of this (and it will be hard to keep track): "The World Bank's first API offers 114 indicators from key data sources and 12,000 development photos... We are releasing this API because we believe this information can be mapped, visualized and mashed up in an unlimited number of ways that will help develop a better understanding of trends and patterns around key development issues." Via Mark Oehlert. Various Authors, World Bank, September 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Stephen Downes As Homework
Jay Cross reflects on reading my paper Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge as part of the CCK08 online course. To me, it feels off to be thought of as 'homework', even in my own course. Jay Cross, Learning Blog, September 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Thoughts On ALT-C 2008
Commentary on this year's Alt-C, recently concluded in Britain, with live-blogs of the keynote sessions and comments about F-Alt, the alternative 'fringe' version of Alt-C, and Crowdvine, the social networking service used to assist participant interaction. Andy Powell, eFoundations, September 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

OER Projects
A lengthy list of open educational resource projects. Rob Lucas, Website, September 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

EScience Dissemination Using Open Access
This book-length publication is a good overview of the open access movement in the sciences, offering an overview of the history and justification for the movement, the text of various declarations, and a look at open access journals and technologies. "This book aims to guide the scientific community on the requirements of Open Access, and the plethora of low-cost solutions available. A compendium of selected literature on Open Access is presented to increase the awareness of the potential of open publishing in general." Enrique Canessa and Marco Zennaro, ICTP - The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, September 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Can Second Life Be Used As a Reliable Corporate Training Tool?
The short answer, according to this post, is "no." Why? "If we were to use SL for training, we'd have to be sure that every time we held a training event, every student could log in and access the correct environment. Right now, there does not seem to be a reliable way to do that." Gina Minks, Adventures in Corporate Education, September 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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