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by Stephen Downes
March 11, 2009

Music for and by the YouTube Generation
Today's big hit is this set of videos from a musician named Kutiman who has "has taken hundreds of YouTube samples - often non-musical ones - and turned them into an album that's awesome on so many levels that it leaves you stunned." Stan Schroeder, Mashable, March 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Google's Behavioral Ads: The Users Are in Control
Google has announced that it will begin a new targeted advertising system. There are the predictable concerns about privacy, and I share at least some of that caution. But I cannot consistently require that both (a) advertising that I view be useful and relevant to me , and (b) advertisers know nothing about my interests and preferences. Since I don't actually mind useful ads (it's half the reason I read tech journals) then I don't allowing advertisers to watch a bit as I go about my work. Provided, as is suggested here, that I am in control of that interaction. More from the Google Operating System blog. Stan Schroeder, Mashable, March 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

How To Convert PowerPoint To SCORM Compliant Course
That you can convert PowerPoint to SCORM has been a point of criticism of both PowerPoint and SCORM, from various quarters. That notwithstanding, if you ever need a number of SCORM packages for anything, here's how to get them quickly and easily. William Peterson, Eduforge, March 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

10 Most Popular JavaScript Frameworks
If you're not familiar with the world of Javascript frameworks, and you're involved in development or design, then now's the time. These are becoming mainstream and to be just as important as the web browser, database engine or web server environment. Frameworks do the heavy lifting for today's web 2.0 page - things like drag-and-drop boxes, forms input, mouse events, and more. Unattributed, AjaxLine, March 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

SmartPen As Digital Ethnography Tool
The idea of the smart pen is that you can record your handwritten notes as images or even video. Livescribe allows you to record corresponding audio, so you see notes being written in a Flash video as the audio is being played. Nifty. I'd prefer to see better handwriting, though (I'm sure that's the pen, not the author). And what I really want is for all of these modalities - pen, slides, video, audio, back-channel - to mash up into one single multi-channel presentation. Like the Kutiman video. Michael Wesch, Digital Ethnography, March 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Berkman MediaCloud Tracks Feeds 'N' Memes
The Berkman Media Center has invented Edu_RSS, complete with topics. they call it MediaCloud. "Media Cloud automatically builds an archive of news stories and blog posts from the web, applies language processing, and gives you ways to analyze and visualize the data." Some neat visualizations of the aggregated data, but the rest has been, you know, done. David Weinberger, Joho the Blog, March 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Creativity Is the New Technology
Rob Wall writes, "I think that the 21st century will be a century of creativity in the same way that the 20th was of technology.... Consider this video, brought to my attention by Alec Couros: World Builder from Bruce Branit on Vimeo.... what touched me as I watched this was the story and the people in it. It is a beautifully crafted short film, and I thank Bruce Branit for sharing it." The other thing worth saying is that creativity has been a constant through history (don't miss this exhibit shared by Albert Ip, Along the River During the Ching- ing Festival) and there are some features - these days supported by technology - that allow it to flourish: portability, diversity, sharing, and expression. Rob Wall, Open Monologue, March 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Hacking Education
More commentary on the Hacking Education conference as my dialogue with Alex Reid continues. Mike Caulfield writes, "I think one can make the point that we are conflating the supposed efficiencies of consumer-driven education with a new network pedagogy, and that they are not the same thing at all. One does not necessarily follow from the other." I don't think I'm confusing that point. But I do sometimes think that defenders of public education also see it as being necessary to defend educational institutions as they (more or less) are - and that I don't agree with at all. Mike Caulfield, Tran|script, March 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Experience Induces Global Reorganization of Brain Circuitry
The story is in the headline, and the details revolve around a mechanism called long-term potentiation (LTP) which supports Hebbian learning. "We now know that this is not the case: rather than setting like a piece of clay placed in a mould, the brain remains instead like a piece of putty, on which each new experience makes a lasting impression. This phenomenon, referred to as synaptic (or neural) plasticity, involves reorganization of the connections between nerve cells, and is arguably the most important discovery in modern neuroscience." Mo, Neurophilosophy, March 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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