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by Stephen Downes
August 24, 2010

Learning Beyond Walls: 21 Skype Resources
I'd rather read more about the resources than the people contacted via Skype, but the list is probably useful for those getting ready for fall online classes and it's always nice to read about new people online. Shelly Terrell, Teacher Reboot Camp, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Reflections on open courses
This is a really nice reflection on open courses and it's great to get George Siemens's perspective on the subject, especially as I am partnering with him on one. His history and mine are intermingled, both on the subject of open courses and on the subject of networks. But what makes it interesting is that though we see and experience many of the same things, and draw many of the same conclusions, our interpretations are in some places remarkably different. This isn't the place to do a detailed critique of his post, though.

Still, a tantalizing bit of interpretation, just to give you a sense of the sort of thought that goes through my mind when I read George on these subjects. He writes, for example, "Whatever can be easily duplicated cannot serve as the foundation for economic value. Integration and connectedness are economic value points." Well, let's even admit that this is true. To me, in some important sense, it's irrelevant. I'm not interested, in a way George is, in "economic value." Because I'm not interested in deriving advantage out of scarcity. To me, this is a catering to a set of values that we ought to replace. George Siemens, Connectivism, August 22, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Hacks/Hackers and Mozilla want to know: How should we structure an online curriculum for journalists and technologists to learn together?
I'm not certain of all the details (this isn't the clearest post in the world) but "Hacks/Hackers, Mozilla, the Medill School of Journalism, The Media Consortium, and others are teaming up to develop a solid six-week online curriculum that will benefit both "hacks" and hackers." I think it's an open course, but I'm not sure. Here's the outline. Looks good. Phillip Smith, Help by Hacks / Hackers, August 22, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Abandoning an Experiment
Rice University closes its online journal and academics are searching for explanations. "Like a conventional university press, RUP would, through the work of its publisher, continue to seek out and recruit internal and external projects that live up to its mission of modeling the future of scholarship. A traditional peer review process would be applied to the evaluation of these projects, however unconventional their form (a multimedia publication, geo-spatially organized repository, a print/digital hybrid 'augmented' book). But RUP would also serve as the completion and publication site for the most innovative locally produced (via Rice's research centers and institutes) projects, subject to precisely the same peer review controls." Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, August 22, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Love free Web 2.0 sites? Then pay for them
Here's my confession: I do pay for some online services. The biggie is my web hosting, where I store this newsletter and all my personal sites, for with I pay $120 a month. Yes, a lot - but I need the bandwidth, and NRC won't pay. But I also pay for some other things. Flickr, for example, has been a regular recipient of my $25 or so a year for the last several years. I also pay Major League baseball for audio feeds of all its baseball games (though I am sad to report that this feed - and especially the iPod edition - is very unreliable). I've also sent money to various musical artists for 'free' content, because I wanted to encourage them to post more. I've supported publications like Rabble in the past (though my current subscription is lapsed, sorry guys). So, OK, I get paying for stuff. But what content providers have to realize is that my discretionary spend - like everyone else's - is very limited. You can't all get $100 a year, or even $6.00 a month. There's too many of you. Steve Dembo, Teach 42, August 18, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Adam Sherk: Top News Sites on the New Digg
There's a polite fiction out there that you can select resources by having people vote for them. But in recommendation systems, as in politics, entrenched interests are able to game the system, adding extra votes for their resources at the expense of small-timers who don't have the money or influence to pull in thousands of votes. We see this pattern happening in the new (post-neocon takeover) Digg. I never Digg my own stuff, even though I have an account. But modesty doesn't prevent Time from voting for itself more than 6,000 times, or Bloomberg almost the same. The solution? To my eyes, it's to count votes only from my friends. Ah, but because you can't game such a system there's no money in it. Adam Sherk, SocialTimes, August 12, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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