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by Stephen Downes
March 5, 2010

Me focus skews journal ratings
I'm shocked! shocked! to find academics rank journals that publish their articles more highly. "We found that (academics) rated the quality of journals more favourably when they had personally published more papers in that journal, when they were a member of the journal's board, when the journal reflected their disciplinary affiliation and when it reflected their geographic affiliation. In summary, expert academics show strong, and predictable, self-favouring biases in their ratings of journal quality." Hannah Fearn, Times Higher Education, March 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Educational Games are a BIG SCAM!
It's supposed to be an educational game, but the trailer makes it look more like propaganda. Eric A. Tremblay writes an enthusiatic post in support, though. So we'll see. Evoke bills itself as a crash course on saving the world. It's sponsored by the World Bank, created by Alchemy, and run on Ning. Eric A. Tremblay, e-Learning Acupuncture, March 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Jeopardy Labs: Make Your Own Online Jeopardy Game
Cool: make your own web-based jeopardy game on any subject you care to pick, then play it in class. Build your game in Jeopardy Labs or browse the Jeopardy templates created by others. Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers, March 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Getting Credit (or, perhaps, Loosely Coupled Credit)
Mike Caulfield clarifies, helpfully, that it is not Jon Mott that Leigh Blackall and I criticize. It is rather the system of academic publishing, which as a matter of routine devalues the contributions of people who publish elsewhere. "If you want to get something published, you have to choose to source stuff to peer reviewed journals, not blogs. This results in a sort of idea laundering that serves to hide the fact these ideas are coming from those crazy bloggers that everyone derides. And because these articles don't redirect people into the conversation that produced the ideas in the first place, it keeps the people dependent on EDUCAUSE reports dependent on EDUCAUSE reports. Which is, of course, the entire point of the current conventions." Mike Caulfield, Tran|Script, March 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

A Pair of Cartoons Reveals DRM Frustrations
Two cartoons explaining the problem with DRM are making the rounds; this page links to both. Glenn Fleishman explains, "In both cases, the examples aren't, 'Hey, go steal stuff and rip off the copyright holder who is entitled to exploit his or her creation!' Rather, the humor lies in how hard companies make it to access stuff we have permission to. Media firms seem to delete in making it hard, all of which contributes to 'piracy' as a form of civil disobedience." Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS, March 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Standards and interoperability: Thematic synthesis report
"The most successful repository initiatives have not heavily engaged with educational technology standards." This is from the first sentence of the conclusion from this report from EdReNe, the educational Repositories Network. The authors argue, "Community based approaches would by nature tend to focus on solving user needs with already available tools – i.e. a focus on iterative 'good enough' approaches instead of relying on implementation of specific standards." And this, write the authors, "leads to the question of whether current standardization bodies and organisations are in sync with actual user needs – a concern also raised previously by others." Many, many others. This is a great report; don't just read the conclusion, read at the very least to the appendices (which start about half way through). There are great diagrams and links (like this) throughout. Via CEN.
Tommy Byskov Lund, EdReNe, March 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]
Via CEN, here's a link to scientific video lectures online. Actually, the topics are more wide ranging, including such disciplines as philosophy and economics. The collection is a bit uneven, but that is only because the service is new; it is clear that the design is to create a significant video resource. If you are developing connectivist-style open courses, this will be a good source of primary material. Various Authors, Website, March 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Welcome to the Planet Kodu, Kodu Game Lab course
Can the connectivist course design model work on courses other than connectivism? The designers of this game design course think so. "This course is will take you through many aspects of game design using Kodu Game Lab, a programming platform developed by Microsoft." The designers were influenced, they say, by the model developed by George Siemens and myself. From the look of the comments, the course is off to a good start. M.N. Jorgensen, Website, March 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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