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by Stephen Downes
April 24, 2009

Government to Introduce Anti-Spam Legislation
Finally. Legislation addressing a real internet problem, not the fake problems about (so-called) piracy lobbyists from south of the border keep bringing to government committees. As of right now I have 3077 spam messages in my email reader, which I very much don't want, and which are filled with hoaxes, scams, phishing attempts, and some vile vile content. And I do not have even one illegal download on my computer. And that's typical of the vast majority of Canadians. And it is that reality that Canadian legislation should reflect. Michael Geist, Weblog, April 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Beyond Blocking: Embracing the Social Web
John Connell links to a nice slide presentation from Melanie McBride on the best approach school boards (and similar organizations) can take to web 2.0. I especially like the summary of approaches (slide 41) and the Howard Rheingold pic (slide 48) should be blown up and made into a poster. Melanie McBride, Slideshare, April 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Problem-Based Learning - York Law School's Guide for Students
Another nice find from Seb Schmoller: "This Guide to problem-based learning, which draws heavily on a similar guide written by students at Hull York Medical School, provides an impressive and comprehensive overview of an approach to (HE) course design and delivery that is used throughout the undergraduate law course at York University. Via Hull Work Medical School I came across this long list of probably a bit dated links to resources about Problem Based Learning maintained (?) by the University of Maastricht." Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing, April 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Blackboard Files Complaint With U.S. International Trade Commission Seeking to Block Sales of a Competitor's Products
Would the last developer to leave Blackboard please turn out the lights? A company that is trying to use trade legislation to block sales from Canada on the basis of invalidated patents is a stretch only an American lawyer (or an East Texas judge) could appreciate. The rest of us, meanwhile, have lost all respect. Michael Feldstein credits (accurately, I think) Jeff Bohrer with the find. Seb Schmoller's coverage is updated, and he notes, first, that "Blackboard's [patent] pledge does not mention its patent applications 11/298,091 (for a 3D learning environment) or 11/145,531 (for a media database)..." and that "the latter one struck me as very reminiscent of the Stanford University DIVER system, described by Roy Pea and Robb Lindgren." Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Universities Will Be Relevant
This is the best defense the Deseret News could muster for universities following David Wiley's opinion piece: "Chances are, a Utah State University graduate probably would fare better in a job interview if the CEO was a fellow Aggie. It helps to speak a common language." Yeah, let's take that old diversity argument, contradict it, stomp on it, and bury it in the ground. Sameness: that's what universities are defending. P.S. thanks to the writers at the p2p-research mailing list for copying me on their interesting discussion of the article. Related, in an ironic sense: what will successful universities look like in 2020? Editorial, Deseret News, April 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Videos From Education.Au
It's a small beginning - six videos - but it's a beginning. the test, of course, will be to see whether the YouTube videos can be viewed in schools and public buildings. Kerrie Smith, You are Never Alone, April 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Are You Open Enough for OpenEd 2009? Take This Handy Quiz.
OK, perhaps I should reword it to say "are you open enough for OLDaily?" Which isn't really, fair, because I do report on some closed stuff. But I don't link to stuff you can't get to without a subscription, and I admit a definite bias for free and open learning. With that in mind, Brian Lamb's quiz is a pretty good guide to inclusion in OLDaily:
* Is your stuff readily available online, indexed by search engines?
* Do you make your stuff openly licensed, specifying terms of re-use? (Most commonly through Creative Commons?) If someone reuses your stuff with attribution, you're not going to be a jerk about it, right?
* If someone wants to reuse your stuff, is it in a format that can be revised or remixed? Or at least embedded or directly linked?
* Do you think developments in new media and the internet fundamentally challenge notions of accessibility, engagement and the practices of teaching and learning?
If you're hitting these points, and you're writing (or coding, or orchestrating) something that's new, fresh, innovative, and creative (and it's more or less in the field of online learning, new media, or cat photos) you're a pretty good candidate for inclusion in OLDaily.
Brian Lamb, Abject Learning, April 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Our Class On How We Run Our Class
OK, I'm not going to criticize the work Michael Wesch does (because I quite like the student-directedness of it), but seeing this picture of this class evokes in me the same sort of feeling I got at SXSW (and this pic, too, a bit) - a websphere of bastion of right and privilege. There are several ways to do web 2.0 education - one way is to use web 2.0 applications in your already advantaged environment, the other way is to use web 2.0 to open up the world of learning to those without the background, time or dollars to attend a digital ethnography class. My challenge to Wesch's class is, therefore, to open up, and let the world in. Study - and involve - something a bit more diverse than yourselves. Michael Wesch, Digital Ethnography, April 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Hello, Washington Post: Dolllars Per Facebook Donor Is Not the Right Metric for Success
For the record, I'd rather have ten people donating $10 than one person donating $100. I know the latter is more "efficient", but the former speaks much more of community interest and participation. Bean-counters don't get that. See also this follow-up. Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog, April 24, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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