by Stephen Downes
September 25, 2009
FCC: We Want Net Neutrality
Probably the biggest news last week was the FCC's pronouncement in favour of net neutrality. This is important for educators because it means that small companies would be able to compete on a level playing field with software and telecommunications giants (who would otherwise receive almost free bandwidth, subsidized by higher rates charged to smaller producers) and small institutions, individuals (like me!) and agencies will have the same network speeds as large institutions in 'strategic agreements' with the aforementioned telcos.
Coverage has been widespread. Columbia Journalism Review links to the speech by FCC chair Julius Genachowski and highlights two major aspects of the proposal: that "broadband providers cannot discriminate against particular Internet content or applications" and that "network operators cannot prevent users from accessing the lawful Internet content, applications, and services of their choice." Wired describes it as 'net neutrality and then some, and criticizes it (to which David Weinberger responds).' And Michael Geist draws parallels with the U.S. action and Canadian discussions on similar issues (here too).
More from Educause (here too, and here), Mashable, TechDirt again (taking the Wall Street Journal to task for suggesting that Google freeloads on bandwidth (how is it, and why is it, that the WSJ always ends up on exactly the wrong side of these issues, and so often on such ridiculous grounds?)), Skype Blogs (calling for an open internet in Europe). CBC covers it, Republicans oppose it, and, well, you get the picture. Michael Masnick, TechDirt, September 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Audio Chat and Conferencing, Skype, Google, Canada, RSS, Voice Over IP, Networks, Bandwidth, EDUCAUSE, European Union] [Comment]
14 Ways K-12 Librarians Can Teach Social Media
"New fun with intellectual property," "moving beyond one-trick, single-search mode," "ushing information and working with widgets," and a whole lot more. This is a great (and greatly detailed) article on the intersection of the library and learning technology. I particularly like Reading 2.0: "I've worked with our classroom teachers to move our literature circles into blogs and wikis and Nings. Our students promote our reading-list books by creating book trailers. (You can find similar student-created trailers, reviews, and book talks inspired by librarians all over the world on YouTube, TeacherTube, TeacherLibrarianNing, VoiceThread, Animoto, and Glogster. We've had students blog as characters in plays and novels. Last year our students' experience (and enjoyment) of Shakespeare was enhanced by their presenting and sharing soliloquies using VoiceThread in our Hamlet Remixed research project." Via Miguel Guhlin's Diijo notes. Joyce Valenza, School Library Journal, September 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Experience, Research, Project Based Learning, YouTube, Web Logs, Patents, Patents, Books, Video, Copyrights] [Comment]
Special Regional Issue of IRRODL on Africa
Some light reading for the weekend. Terry Anderson writes, "This special issue presents 9 peer reviewed research articles- each focusing on distance education in Africa. Thanks to Special Issue editors Rashid Aderinoye, Richard Siaciwena, Clayton R Wright for help with this issue. The issue also contains 3 book reviews and a technical report." Tony Bates also comments and summarizes the special issue. Terry Anderson, Virtual Canuck, September 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Online Learning, Books, Africa, Research] [Comment]
Don't Fear Open Content, Eduwonk
It's kind of funny watching the U.S. education policy bloggers discover open learning and open educational resources, and struggle with it, as we see in Eduwonk. "The risk here is quality. There is something to be said for a formal editorial process in news-reporting and in education publishing and media." Maybe they'll connect the promise of free and open learning with the 225,444 borrowers from the current cohort defaulting on their student loans in a two-year window. Bill Tucker, The Quick and the Ed, September 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Books, Web Logs] [Comment]
Oh! I haven't seen this before. "AcaWiki is a 'Wikipedia for academic research' designed to collect summaries and literature reviews of peer-reviewed academic research, and make them available to the general public. All content on the site is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license so you can download, re-post, and reuse what you find here as long as give proper attribution." Still new; there's only 47 summaries posted. It would be interesting to integrate the summaries with search results for the papers. Via Jane Park. Various Authors, Website, September 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Wikipedia, Research, Academia, Web Logs] [Comment]
It Took A Year, But Fitness Gadget Fitbit Will Finally Launch
"What does Fitbit do? The sleek little device clips onto your clothing and tracks your movement, sleep and calorie burn throughout the day and night. Fitbit, which costs $99, uses the information it gathers about your movement to help you determine how much exercise you've been getting and how many calories you've burnt." I'm sure the learning implications of such a gadget are apparent. Leena Rao, TechCrunch, September 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: Online Learning] [Comment]
Computer Program Self-Discovers Laws of Physics
Obviously this is an early prototype, and we shouldn't infer too much from it, but it demonstrates that it is at least possible to infer higher level hypotheses from simple principles and observation. Brandon Keim, Wired, September 25, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]
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