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by Stephen Downes
August 26, 2010

Free Tool Tracks Student and Class Benchmark Progress
According to this article, "Benchmark Grading has launched a free online tool for student grading and progress analysis toward state and core benchmarks. The Web service provides a teacher gradebook with extended features including comments and reports to keep parents informed." I'd be more interested in a standard way of representing benchmarks (something like a Benchmark XML), a tool that would let you create Bemchmark sets, and a tool that would allow you to select a Benchmark set and use this to map out your online learning. Evan Tassistro, T.H.E. Journal, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

J. Biebz - U Smile 800% Slower
This is the most amazing thing - Justin Bieber slowed down 800 times creates the most fantastic music. Also worth a look - the Soundcloud application where this is being shared. Nick Pittsinger, Soundcloud, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Ning's New Deadline for Pay-Only: Aug. 30
I'm wondering whether Ning isn't beginning to regret the move to pay-only sites. All the Nings with which I am associated have decided to move to other platforms; not one has opted to pay. That may not be surprising. But now I read that Ning is extending its 'select an option' period before shuttering non-compliant sites. And reading between the lines they seem to be drawing a lot of criticism on the Ning Creators Ning, leading to threads like Trialpay issue – still NOT fixed! and Ning accidentally killed my network, won't repair the mistake. Claude Almansi, educational technology & change, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

How Many Lines of Computer Code are Required to Simulate the Human Brain?
I think that the human brain could be modelled with relatively few lines of computer code (certainly far fewer than a million) but that the resulting program would have to be run in a stimulating environment in order to learn as humans do. Richard Nantel links to the goods: "Dr. Kurzweil's original post is here. Dr. Myer's response is here. Dr. Kurzweil's reply to Dr. Myer's response is here." Richard Nantel, Workplace Learning Today, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Cyberbullying - Damage in a Digital Age
Good stats and pretty graphical content, but this cyberbullying resource is a bit light on advice. Still, it makes sense to promote awareness and suggest both regulations and responses. Still, I'd like to see some awareness that bullying does not occur in isolation, that it is an overall environment of tolerance for bullying than makes bullying appear possible and permissible to the bullies. Via Helge Scherlund.

Unattributed, Common Sense Media, August 23, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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