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by Stephen Downes
July 20, 2010

Cloud Holes
Oh, this is a great idea: "With Backupify, you set up which services you want backed up, the list is growing, but right now, without me lifting a finger, I am getting regular backups of flickr, twitter, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Mail, delicious. I'm looking to add their plugin to my WordPress blogs too." Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, July 20, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Interview With Desire2Learn CEO John Baker
Michael Feldstein interviews Desire2Learn's CEO John Baker. Feldstein writes, "I do see a vision for the future of the LMS emerging from D2L's development work (although it's hard to convey a clear sense of it in the interview format). It's a vision that is significantly different in some ways from Sakai's, Moodle's, or Instructure's. My sense is that it's also different than Blackboard's... Desire2Learn is headed straight into the thicket of some thorny cultural change management problems at the university. Adopting and sharing learning objectives, sharing learning content, taking a systemic approach to ePorfolios, discovering metrics in student activity and performance data." Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, July 20, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Educational Games for the Classroom
Karl Kapp links to a bunch of educational games based on the work of Nibel Prize winners. The site says, "You don't have to be a genius to understand the work of the Nobel Laureates. These games and simulations, based on Nobel Prize-awarded achievements, will teach and inspire you while you're having FUN!" Karl Kapp, Kapp Notes, July 20, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Here's Why You Should Enter the Articulate Guru Awards
OK, I can understand why Articulate would want to promote its own product, but if you really wanted to prove you're an e-learning guru, would you really want a canned course to be your showcase? If I wanted to enter an e-learning guru contest (does that even make sense? but I digress) I would show something like this site and point to the legacy of ten years of posts (well, I'd fix the broken links and finish the site redesign first, but you know what I mean). Or maybe I'd show the blogs and networks and seminars that comprised one of the Connectivism courses, which wasn't canned at all. Other things I would find very worthy are things like Ed Tech Talk, or Second Life Educators (SLED), or Edublogs, or Webheads, or Learn Central, or WikiEducator... oh I could go on and on. None of them are canned courses. All of them are much more worthy of 'guru' status.

Maybe I should just be done with it and have my own award. Once a year, one winner. No categories or product requirements or conditions. Just one award, for the best in education, period. What do you think? Tom Kuhlmann, The Rapid E-Learning Blog, July 20, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

ACCC's Response to Industry Canada's Consultation on Improving Canada's Digital Advantage
The Association of Canadian Community Colleges is calling for research support, more liberal copyright legislation, college infrastructure and equipment fund, and resources for the disadvantaged. Overall, this seems like a fairly enlightened and well-thought-out submission to Canada's Digital Strategy consultations. Various Authors, Association of Canadian Community Colleges, July 20, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Overview of Google App Inventor Blocks

Very useful overview of Google's App Inventor Blocks. "From demos posted on the Google group, it looks like you can use this as a proxy for web content – e.g. allowing a web app to post stuff into the DB, and then the inventor app to pull the results (and maybe make additional requests) via the web database. The representation format used to support comms between the app and the web database seems to be JSON." But what does this remind you of? Oh yeah...

See also Google App Inventor – Can It Boost mLearning? by Yogesh Agarwal. Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, July 20, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Contextual Content Delivery on Higher Ed Websites Using Ad Servers
I agree with Tony Hirst that content delivery from libraries should be contextual. And from other content sources too (why do libraries always assume they are the only source of relevant content?). But I'm not convinced that ad servers have given us a useful model for that yet. Either that, or ad servers have reached some sort of understanding of my needs and interests that is deep and impenetrable to me. Really, AdWords is a fairly naive association of advertisements with keywords on a page. That's hardly what we expect from our libraries. Tony Hirst, OUseful Info, July 20, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

U of Phoenix Makes History
Interesting, and I'm not sure what to make of this: "the University of Phoenix became the first college in the history of the United States to take in more than a billion dollars worth of Pell Grants disbursements in a single academic year." More and more government money is pouring into private institutions. "The general growth in the proprietary sector is astounding," writes Ben Miller (who by 'proprietary' means 'private'). "For-profits received $7.34 billion in the 2009-10 academic year, or 70 percent more than they got the year prior. The sector took in $44 million less in 2009-10 than it did in the prior two years combined." Ben Miller, The Quick and the Ed, July 20, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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