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by Stephen Downes
March 19, 2010

Ontario universities to adopt e-learning
It's a blast from 1999: Ontario will be adopting e-learning, a new and untried technology with much promise but great risk! That is the basic tenor of this gee-whiz article by CBC complete with the obligatory sceptic there to close it out: "If I had a brain surgeon who took his degree online, I probably wouldn't want that guy anywhere near me." Are you kidding me? Canadian Press, CBC, March 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Pad – Trends, drivers and a scenario from 1998
Dave Cormier and George Siemens are mounting a course on the future of technology and education. This will result in great fun here later on, but for now what we have - as Dave prepares to travel to Singapore next week to deliver the first version of it - is this post and discussion of one of my predictions, the Pad. At the heart of it is a ten minute interview by Dave of me in which I describe what I was thinking - what I was really thinking - when I came up with the prediction. They've also asked for contributions from other people, and so we are beginning to see things like Martin Weller's slide show on the subject. Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog, March 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Browser-Based IDEs (programming environments)
Integrated development environments (IDEs) have been around for a while, but browser based IDEs has the promise of making them a lot more widely accessible. "These are websites where you can edit code, run your application, and sometimes even instantly share your application for others to try. This is much more convenient than the typical process of downloading and installing a huge IDE such as Eclipse or Netbeans, and then compiling and packaging and distributing/hosting an application on your own." Yes, they're not full-fledged systems like the desktop equivalents, but they may well be working their way to primetime. Doug Holton links to a bunch here (including, interestingly, Yahoo Pipes, which only sort of qualifies). Doug Holton, EdTechDev, March 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Steal It and Other Internal YouTube Emails from Viacom's Copyright Suit
Now that information is becoming public we're seeing a nasty fight between Google and Viacom over YouTube. In a nutshell, Viacom is saying that Google is practicing piracy on a massive scale, while Google is responding that requiring it to police user-uploaded content as it comes in would destroy the user-generated internet. This Fast Company article has excepts from a bunch of emails between YouTube founders during the website's early days. Also worth reading is Google's response to Viacom arguing that Viacom is suing it, in part, over video Viacom uploaded itself! "Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site... there is no way YouTube could ever have known which Viacom content was and was not authorized to be on the site." Related: TechDirt, on how these lawsuits may have slowed down internet video. Kit Eaton, Fast Company, March 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

You Have to Break Connections to Get Your Ideas to Spread
While there is no doubt that connections break as well as form, there is something wrong here. Part of it, no doubt, resonates from the unstated assumption that ownership (of, say, a car) constitutes a connection. This leaves me uneasy. Another part of it is that the author confuses mass-media marketing - getting your ideas to spread - with network formation. Basically, the author is using network terminology to talk about the well-known phenomenon of vendor lock-in. And in this way it confuses personal habits with social connections. "Even if you're introducing a simple new way of doing things, you have to get people to disconnect from the old ways too." Tim Kastelle and John Steen, Innovation Leadership Network, March 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Our iPhone for Moodle web application aks for your feedback
Moodle developers who have released a prototype iPhone app for the LMS are looking for feedback. Also worth noting in this post is the description of the five steps involved in the development of the product. Inge de Waard, Ignatia, March 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

The iPad and the LMS
In a breathless endorsement of the iPad for learning Joshua Kim looks at how LMSs will adapt. The take-off point is Blackboard's purchase of TerriblyClever, an e-learning app company, for the surprisingly low price of $4 million. "I'm betting that we will quickly see amazing LMS apps for the iPad," writes Kim. "Our rate limiting step will not be the companies that produce the LMS platforms, or Apple and their control over the app store and the device, but rather the content polices of higher ed." Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, March 19, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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