by Stephen Downes
May 27, 2009
A Flawed Report on the State of E-Learning in Canada
If case you thought it was just me, Gary Woodill weighs in on the CCL's report on the state of e-learning, adding a whole list of other initiatives that escaped the report authors' attention. And there are more - the WikiEducator project, for example, was completely overlooked, even though the Commonwealth of Learning (which itself rated only passing mention in the report) is based in Vancouver. Woodill writes, "Out of the 145 pages, 3 pages are devoted to training and development, and for the most part, they quote people from 2001 or 2003."
Terry Anderson, following up on his own post, writes, "To have a really large and effective impact I think we need the type of collaboration amongst multiple sectors we see in Canad's investments in nano-technology or some of the medical innovations." He has called for this sort of national initiative before. I would agree, but my problem with such an approach is that it would be run by the sort of people who produced this report, and would thus effectively eliminate what good is being done now. Gary Woodill, workplace learning today, May 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Online Learning, Canada, Project Based Learning] [Comment]
Leadership for a New Era
There is a relation that can be drawn between sustaining services and the shape or design of a network; today's newsletter points to this theme. Specifically,
" * Successful networks are not sustained they are unleashed.
* Remember that people are nodes in multiple networks.
* Bridging across boundaries increases the probability of innovation.
* Those on the periphery of a network offer pathways to new allies."
Bruce Hoppe, Connectedness, May 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Newsletters, Networks] [Comment]
Surrender! Foucault and Twitter
I want to endorse the argument presented by Ian Delaney in this post, with one caveat: it is descriptive of social media as it currently exists. He observes, "where is transgression in social media? It is simply not allowed to exist in many cases... Minority views are excluded by the machine - only the recommended and personalised is allowed through. The stuff that dulls and comforts the political imagination." If you don't believe this, go read Boing Boing, Gawker or Kottke for a while and report back. So - crucially - the liberal democracy model of social media is flawed. What we need, want and must have is something more like the community of communities model referenced the other day - a model where dark recesses of cabals and dissent can exist. And it also requires an attitude where people are encouraged to investigate and explore these recesses for themselves, rather than to sit passively like a television audience waiting for reality to be streamed into the home. Ian Delaney, twopointtouch, May 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Twitter, Personalization] [Comment]
The Future of OCW, and OCW 2.0
David Wiley presents this as a prediction, but I think that what he is really offering is a sustainability plan for Open Educational Resources: "These second generation projects are integrated with distance education offerings, where the public can use and reuse course materials for free (just like first generation OCWs) with the added option of paying to take the courses online for credit (there is no way to earn credit from the first generation OCWs)." Stephen Carson, though, comments, "suggesting that for-credit online learning is the solution might ultimately be tying more sandbags to the balloon." David Wiley, iterating toward openness, May 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Online Learning, Project Based Learning, OpenCourseWare] [Comment]
U.S. Department of Justice Launched Investigation of Blackboard Acquisition of ANGEL Learning May 14
It's not clear how long Blackboard has known about this investigation, but its disclosure should dissuade Matthew Small, Blackboard's chief business officer (and general counsel), from stating, "I don't think that there's any anti-trust concern with this combination." Press Release, Desire2Learn, May 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Blackboard Inc.] [Comment]
Dancing with My Space Monster
It's funny, as I read this I am also taking a couple of days to get my home office organized (it's time consuming, it doesn't feel like work because it's at home, but it's utterly necessary and it is definitely work). I like that Christine Martell has decided to keep her art supplies (this is akin to me deciding to keep my philosophy books). Even if you're not making money now with your chosen discipline, it is important to keep it alive, and even more, to keep working at it. You might never make a living at it, but it is what makes you unique and what defines that something special you bring to the table, no mattrer where you're working. Christine Martell, VisualsSpeak blog, May 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]
Conference Board Ignored Independent Study Commissioned For Digital Economy Report
In preparation for its report on copyright laws, the Conference Board of Canada hired University of Ottawa law professor Jeremy de Beer to conduct a study. While the Conference Board's report parroted American reports criticizing Canada's system, de Beer's report reached quite different conclusions. de Beer's report was not only ignored by the Conference Board, they prohibited publication for twelve months, a period that has just expired. de Beer's writes (PDF), "Canada's laws governing IPRs are internationally recognized to be very good... Some reports blacklist Canada for failing to live up to expected standards for IPRs. Such sources have been exposed as lacking credibility." (Via SSRN). (The acronym 'TPN', by the way (used but never defined) stands for 'Technical Protection Measure'. See here). Michael Geist, Weblog, May 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: United States, Canada, Copyrights, Patents] [Comment]
Yahoo Brings CC Filters to Image Search
For those who (like me) had forgotten that Yahoo is even a search engine, much less an image search engine. Image search is a weak point for Google, which lags in its indexing of images by many months. Nor does it have a mechanism to search for CC licensed images. Yahoo, which owns Flickr, is taking advantage of this. Fred Benenson, Creative Commons, May 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Google, Yahoo!, Flickr] [Comment]
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