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by Stephen Downes
September 14, 2009

Come for the Content, Stay for the Community
This is quite a good post on taking the concept of the academic repository to the next level. "we describe the process and product of our collaboration to build this community through a series of lessons that we've learned. We approached this process as Randall Bass describes by merging 'a culture of inquiry into teaching and learning with a culture of experimentation around new media technologies.' Through our work together, we have experienced both successes and challenges that may be informative to others considering a similar endeavor in their own fields." Ethan Benatan,, Academic Commons, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

We are told repeatedly - most recently by President Obama - that we should watch out what we put in Facebook, because future employers may be looking. My own advice - that we should refrain from actually doing stupid things - doesn't get any airplay; people are far more concerned about the recording of stupid things than the doing of them. But this approach does suggest, as Alan Levine demonstrates, an effective strategy. Create a fake Facebook page, where we blatantly lie about our past. After all, since employers will be looking at these uncritically, this tactic is guaranteed to be successful. isn't it? "Who in their right mind will weigh your current achievements with the same consideration as what you were doing 20 years ago?" asks Levine. "It makes no sense to me." Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Heal for America?
I suppose it is proposed seriously, but it is not hard to understand the objections to the idea of hiring unqualified people out of university to work as doctors and nurses, paying them substandard wages, and making them work extra hours and to take additional motivational sessions in the evenings. But perhaps medicine is too complex, and really, such a plan would only work for simple tasks, like teaching. But what about other simple tasks. How about 'Plumbers for America' where we send unqualified, underpaid and overworked plumbers into the homes of poor people nationwide? Or 'Farmers for America', where we get a bunch of city folk to take over the task of feeding the nation? Or how about 'Pilots for America', where we replace those annoying unionized pilots with people who have seen nothing of an airplane except business class (and, of course, the airport lounge)? Joanne Jacobs, Weblog, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

The Best Ever Instructional Design Model List
I think I've run across this list before, but it is worth linking to it again. It is, says Ellen Wagner, the best ID models list ever. "Everything you ever wanted to know about instructional design models theories, frameworks, you name it." Clip and save. Ellen Wagner, eLearning Roadtrip, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Reporter's Guide to Multimedia Proficiency
Mindy McAdams has a history of being, as the article says, "very gifted, very tech savvy and very generous." And this guide to multimedia proficiency is recommended not just for journalists but also for teachers and students. It takes you step by step through essential skills - such as reading RSS feeds, creating a blog or subscribing to podcasts - that plug you into the conversation happening online now. Mindy McAdams, J-Source, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Google Wave (continued): The Conversation Becomes the Process, and Even the Product
I haven't yet had the chance to play with Google Wave (*grumble* *grumble*) and as a result have only been half-following the enthused pronouncements of people about how it will change the game. But still, Dave Pollard's comments are worth noting. "instead of the communications and conversations about a new project being widely dispersed and unconnected, the entire set of conversations on a project can be captured and disseminated as a single wave, allowing far more participation, self-organization, information and idea exchange and assessment, project coordination, and collaboration to occur, involving a much broader set of interested, creative and knowledgeable people." Oh, but wait. Don't we want our conversations to be distributed? Dave Pollard, How To Save The World, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

RSS never blocks you or goes down: why social networks need to be decentralized
This one comes recommended and I certainly agree with the core argument. "Like Google, Twitter and the other leading commercial Internet sites have made tremendous contributions to the functionality of the Internet and have earned both their popularity and (where it exists) their revenue. But the end-to-end principle and the reliability of distributed processing must have their day again, whenever some use of the Internet becomes too important to leave up to any single entity." Andy Oram, O'Reilly Radar, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Wall Street Journal Continues Quest to Write Bad Editorials About Student Loans
This deconstruction of what appears to be an erroneous and misleading editorial in the Wall Street Journal (certainly wouldn't be the first time!) is not to be missed. "Just like its last foray into federal student loan policy, the Sept. 12 editorial distorts facts, omits details, and misuses anecdotal evidence with the best of them." The WSJ is opposed to the proposed plan to end the bank-based program and replace it with a government-based program, its main argument being that it will only save $47 billion. Ben Miller, The Quick and the Ed, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Colleges Will Be Torn Apart by Internet, Law Professor Predicts
It's another "end of the university" prediction, this one written by Zephyr Teachout (an associate professor of law at Fordham University) and published in the Washington Post. "Colleges, like newspapers, will be torn apart by new ways of sharing information enabled by the Internet. The business model that sustained private U.S. colleges cannot survive." Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Still Time To Speak Out: Government Grants 48 Hour Extension For Submissions
According to Michael Geist, a 48 hour extension has been granted for submissions to the Canadian copyright consultation. " If you missed last night's deadline, there is still time to craft your own submission, use a form letter, or send out a quick email." Michael Geist, Weblog, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Defining Noncommercial report published
Since the subject of the meaning of the 'non-commercial' clause in Creative Commons licenses has come up fairly frequently in these pages, this study is a useful addition to the discussion. "Overall, our NC licenses appear to be working rather well - they are our most popular licenses and we are not aware of a large number of disputes between licensors and licensees over the meaning of the term." David Wiley comments on the report. Netpop Research, Creative Commons, September 14, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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