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by Stephen Downes
January 5, 2009

2008 Access Statistics

Late December, 2007, I set up an access log function. And then forgot about it. It is now 5.5 million lines long and more than 500 megabytes. I have to delete it. But not before parsing it to find out what people were reading last year. Note that this list under-reports hits on posts, because most reads from OLDaily are directly to the article in question, and not via the website.

Top 10 Articles

How to Create an RSS Feed With Notepad, a Web Server, and a Beer (46420)
An Introduction to Connective Knowledge (20777)
Resource Profiles (12995)
E-Learning 2.0 (9973)
Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources (9533)
Principles for Evaluating Websites (8168)
Things You Really Need to Learn (7860)
How to Write Articles and Essays Quickly and Expertly (7567)
How To Be Heard (6954)
Seven Habits of Highly Connected People (5223)
The Semantic Social Network (5195)

Top 20 Posts

The Blue Book: A Consumer Guide to Virtual Worlds (32145) Unattributed, Association of Virtual Worlds
Cuil (17035) Various Authors, Website
Google Chrome (10474) Scott McLeod, Google
Introducing Edupunk (8749) Leslie Madsen Brooks, BlogHer
2009 Predictions (8472) Raj Boora, EDITing in the Dark
Download YouTube Videos As MP4 Files (4396) Ionut Alex Chitu, Google Operating System
Stockhouse (4155) Jennifer Griffin, Website
Travian (2757) Various Authors, Website
SeeqPod (2695) Various Authors, Website
Creepy Treehouse (2126) Barbara Fister, ACRLog
Should Teachers Adjust Their Teaching to Individual Students' Learning Styles? (2022) eduwonkette, Weblog
Blackboard Awarded Patent on e-Learning Technology (2017) Press Release, Blackboard
Robert F. Kennedy (1811) Various Authors, Wikipedia
Vixy (1786) Various Authors, Farside Inc.
Human History Is Additive NOT Subtractive! (1773) Wayne Hodgins, Off Course-On Target
EduSpaces Shutting Down (1643) Unattributed, EduSpaces
gRSShopper (1643) Stephen Downes, gRSShopper
2008 Beijing Olympics (1581) Various Athletes, Olympics
Professor Pans 'Learning Style' Teaching Method (1502) Julie Henry, The Telegraph
Wikipedia & Edupunk (1502) Dave Warlick, 2 cents worth
Quick Quiz: What New Web Tool Can You Use and Get an ASUS? (1465) Alan Levine, CogDogBlog

Total: 5568035 posts read

What Not To Build
Longer article posted in my Half an Hour blog. My sort of environmental scan is a bit different from what you'll get from consultants and venture capitalists. Don't ask me what companies are developing what products, how industry stocks are performing, or where all the 'smart money' is going. I don't know and I don't care. What I can tell you, though, is what technologies are working, what technologies are flopping, and what technologies are fads. So, here is my advice on what not to build. Actually, it's a bit more than that: it's a list of what not to build, a list of some things that people are working on now, some fads to avoid, and some indication of what's out there for the taking, if you can get your act together in a hurry. And what lies beyond that? The domain of real innovation and progress. Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, January 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

A Quickly Created Chatroom...
Neat. No login, no muss, no fuss. Create a chatroom by clicking on a button, share the resulting URL with your friends. The chatroom disappears a few hours after you've finished using it. Doug Dickinson, Dougmuses, January 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Should Higher Education Course Materials Be Free to All? Leo Pollak in the IPPR's Public Policy Research
Seb Schmoller links to Leo Pollak, who argues in favour of open education. "Without intellectual property, a significant amount of innovation still occurs and welfare may actually be higher than with intellectual property." Schmoller, though, also cites Michael Feldstein, who argues that "access to course materials is not the same as access to education." Maybe not, but is this enough to make us open education sceptics, as Feldstein suggests? I take up the case in the comments, and Feldstein replies. Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing, January 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Cobalt - Edusim (Downloadable Software)
This - and not closed worlds like Second Life - is the way forward for 3D software: "Cobalt is a free and open source metaverse browser and construction toolkit for accessing, creating, and publishing hyperlinked multi-user virtual worlds. Powered by Croquet technology, Cobalt uses peer-based messaging to eliminate the need for virtual world servers and makes it very simple to create and securely share deeply collaborative virtual worlds that run on all major software operating systems." Paul Hamilton, Free Resources from the Net for (Special) Education, January 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

12 Steps to Economic Recovery
The very first sentence in the very first step in this Forbes article is, "Admit our mistakes." The author then proceeds to recommend exactly the same sort of thinking that led to the downturn in the first place (a far more sobering - and sober - reflection can be found in the New York Times article by Michael Lewis and David Einhorn, as well as this column from Paul Krugman). After a paean to tax breaks, cuts to medicare and welfare, drill baby drill, and xenophobia, Rich Karlgaard addresses education: "we'll have to break the teachers unions." As though underpaying teachers will really solve any sort of economic (or educational) problem. Isn't this sort of vindictive, partisan, narrow-minded thinking not thoroughly discredited yet? They have wrecked the world's economic system. Why is anyone listening to these people? Why is anyone publishing them? Rich Karlgaard, Forbes, January 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

So Many People, So Little Time
Valdis Krebs, on why he follows so few people on Twitter: "or the time invested, I want maximum return. I use the redundancy of connections, between the many social circles I am interested in, to my advantage. I follow a select group of people that give me the same access as following someone in every group. Follow the few to reach the many!" Valdis Krebs, T N T - The Network Thinker, January 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Taiwan OCW (TOCW) Launches, Provides Interesting Credit Option
Part of what I did when I visited Taiwan in 2007 was to tour with a group of international representatives organized by Lucifer Chu to some local universities, introducing their administrations to the concept of open courseware. Luc Chu's work has been paying off, and in some interesting ways: "if high school graduates who apply to enter the school can pass the September exam on the subject they have been self-learning when their freshman semester begins, they will be eligible to apply for advanced credit standing." Mike Caulfield, OpenCourseWare Blog, January 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

The Latest Doomed Pedagogical Fad: 21st-Century Skills
The core of Jay Matthews's objection to "21st Centruty Skills" is actually found in a previous column: "it never explained how teachers are going to find the time to introduce all these skills to students who, at the moment, are still struggling with plain old reading, writing and math." But it never occurs to him that the reason students are struggling with reading, writing and math is that they don't have these "21st century skills." We should stop trying to cram facts into students' heads, and instead give them the means and motivations to learn through practice and reflection. But the crank from the Post isn't interested in that. Related: Will Richardson responds to Matthews. And Darren Kuropatwa shows why the '21st century' approach is important: "Mathematics is the science of patterns. It's not the particular facts that are so interesting, it's the patterns." Jay Mathews, Washington Post, January 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Crystal Ball Gazing at the Coming Year in Tech Law
Michael Geist offers one of the best forecasts I've seen as his month by month report for 2009 combines stone-sober forecasting with an imaginative flair. What to expect? Secret agreements, government reports, hearings, protests, and a November election. See also Phil Muncaster with some additional thoughts on the coming year, including e-discovery, social computing, and mobile ECM. Michael Geist, Weblog, January 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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