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by Stephen Downes
April 7, 2010

Opportunity, Not Threat
If there's a lesson, it's this: "Either we do this ourselves, or it will not happen." This is Marc Pesce: "We have to look to ourselves, build the networks between ourselves, reach out and connect from ourselves, if we expect to be able to resist a culture which wants to turn the entire human world into candy.... In that sense, this connected educational field mirrors and is a reflection of our human social networks, the ones we form from our first moments of awareness. But unlike that more ad-hoc network, this one has a specific intent: to bring the child into knowledge." Speaking of the world as candy: Disney sponsors a learning challenge. Will Richardson, Weblogg-ed, April 7, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

VERY slow progress towards open scholarship in the US
Terry Anderson points to some research suggesting that open publishing is moving at a glacial pace. "Likely the constraints and attitudes from tenure and promotion committees, coupled with the growing access to 'closed' publications through high priced (to the libraries, not the academics) journal databases,serve to decrease the value of participation (for these academics) in open publication," he writes. Terry Anderson, Virtual Canuck, April 7, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Unschooling Rules
This is a very nice project from Clark Aldrich as he describes 'rules' for unschooling. Of course, since it's unschooling, these are more like guidelines or suggestions. Or maybe even ideals, such as the first rule, 'Children should be raised by people who love them'. Yes, that would be a good start. The remainder of the rules are more or less practical, including a reaffirmation of an old favorite ("The core curriculum for academic style content for most children is simply reading, writing, and arithmetic") or a declaration of academic independence ("There are only two reasons to learn something. Either because you need it or because you love it.") If you start with the first rule, click on the 'Newer Post' link at the bottom left of the page to move from rule to rule. It's a journey well worth taking. Clark Aldrich, Unschooling Rules, April 7, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Facial paralysis makes me a really good judge of character
Think about the way we communicate with each other by means of facial expressions. One way is to mimic the other person's expression and so induce the feeling that corresponds with the expression. Another way is to 'read' the expression, as though it were a text. People with Moebius Syndrome cannot create facial expressions, so they cannot induce feelings, but must instead read faces and decrypt the expressions. Does it work? According to this study (quick read, worth the ten minutes), it does. But is it necessary, and do most people do it this way? It's not clear. Interesting, and related to my transmission versus induction discussion from the weekend. Dave Ferguson, Dave's Whiteboard, April 7, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Cronk of Higher Education
The Cronk of Higher Education - good satire of a most deserving subject. Stories worth laughing at include Forward-Thinking College Admits New Students Via Evite, Consultant Woos Student Life Staff with Big Words, ACPA Employer Accidentally Reveals E-Portfolios As Annoyance Test, and Coeds Sue When College Doesn't Activate Dorm Webcams. Via Mike Petroff, who features an interview with a Cronk author. various Authors, Website, April 7, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

How to Turn an iPhone Into a Wireless iPad Camera
The iPad doesn't have a camera, which is a problem - but the solution is connect to an iPhone. By networking wirelessly with the iPhone, the iPad can piggyback on the iPhone's camera. Some people may find this a somewhat expensive way to add a camera to an iPad, but hey, it's an Apple. Rosa Golijan, Gizmodo, April 7, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The graders are in Bangalore
One inevitable result of technology is the exporting of information work, including grading. This has some American educators tied up in knots, and the not so subtle disparaging remarks have started to come out, such as this post, which tells us that in India "educated people speak English - though not American English." One wonders what this magical 'American English' is. As I state in the comments, "the major difference seems to be only that Asians spell correctly and use correct grammar." English is an international language, which means Asians can mark papers (and especially standards-based tests) quite as well as Americans, and at considerably lower wages. Joanne Jacobs, Weblog, April 7, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Launching Public Discussion of CC Patent Tools
It will be interesting to see where Creative Commons goes with these new patent tools. There are two major components: a Research Non-Assertion Pledge, "to be used
by patent owners who wish to promote basic research by committing not to
enforce patents against users engaged in basic non-profit research," and a Model Patent License, to be used by patent owners who wish to make a public offer to license their patents on standard terms." Public discussion is invited. Via Open Web Foundation mailing list. Thinh Nguyen, Science Commons Blog, April 7, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Bruce Sterling rambles as Bruce Sterling does, but his speeches remain required reading. Not for sense and narrative; Sterling has moved beyond that. This transcript of his talk at SXSW in March offers up a number of gems. Like: "If we had it to do over the first thing we should have demonitized was food and shelter. Imagine if the world had open source food, and shelter." And "I know everything, I just don't know how to say it in a way the boss can hear." Hm. Transcribed by Brian Fitzgerald. Bruce Sterling, SXSW, April 7, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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