OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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October 4, 2010

files/images/Blockbuster-Bankruptcy-Netflix.jpg, size: 20581 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
The Tale of Blockbuster: An Important Lesson for Education
Ken de Rosa, D-Ed Reckoning, October 4, 2010.

Ken de Rosa lands on a great graphic (above), which is why I'm posting this item, but of course draws exactly the wrong lesson from it. He argues that the reason Blockbuster Video failed was that it was a monopoly, and so was unable to adapt to meet a new competitive model. As the first commenter states, "Likening a single corporation to a public institution is ludicrous. There is a long history of "rich" corporations falling by the wayside because of advancing technology. Think of the US auto industry for a recent example. Netflex is now in the same position that Blockbuster was earlier." (The rest of the comment, a good drubbing over the nature of public services, is also worth reading).

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There's No Such Thing as "Cyberbullying"
Anil dash, Website, October 4, 2010.

I thought I might write something longer on this, and maybe I will one day, but I would like to underscore Anil Dash's argument that there is no such thing as cyber-bullying. It's just bullying, and the internet is just one more instrument used by the bully, no more a special form of bullying than is the locker door or the telephone used to harass the unfortunate in earlier years. And, importantly, "blaming technology for horrendous, violent displays of homophobia or racism or simple meanness lets adults like parents and teachers absolve themselves of the responsibility to raise kids free from these evils."

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AnythingSlider 1.4
Chris Coyier, CSS-Tricks, October 4, 2010.

files/images/anythingslider1point4.png, size: 80222 bytes, type:  image/png I like devices like this: the 'Anything Slider' will put basically anything - photos, movies, text - into a slider. You can set the slider to advance automatically or have the viewer click through. It's a fun trick but should be used appropriately - the slider format, for example, is not appropriate for this PC Magazine article on forgotten games. We don't want to slide from one screen shot to the next, we want to read about the games. And the information is there, if you scroll for it. But the slider format forces the author to select some of the 'forgotten games' based on theior visual appear, which means some of them are fairly recent and not forgotten at all. Meanwhile, classics like Nettrek and Adventure, the grandfathers of them all, are genuinely forgotten.

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This Isn't An Education Debate
Chris Lehman, Huffington Post, October 4, 2010.

Chris Lehman makes a good point about the nature of the education debate: specifically, that we should be having one. "We should have a great debate in this country about education. Educational ideas are -- and should be -- controversial. The space between people like Alfie Kohn and Robert Marzano, between Deborah Meier and Ed Hirsch, could fill volumes.... That's not the discussion we're having. What is going on right now has little to do with education. We are having a labor debate masquerading as an education debate."

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Stop Waiting: A New Day for Learning
Michael Levine, Huffington Post, October 4, 2010.

Michael Levine stakes out what seems to me to be a reasonable position in this column at the Huffington Post: "we are missing two key pieces of the puzzle: We are not committed to early childhood and family support needed to bathe children in a decent start, and we lack a strong commitment to use technology that can deepen and personalize learning in a digital age. Instead of preparing for new needs with modern technologies, national policy has unintentionally turned many of our schools into test prep academies that are focused on standardized skill sets in a world that demands higher-level thinking."

This is probably a good a time as any to let readers know I will be blogging in the Education Section at Huffington Post starting this month. The section, which was launched today, features quite a number of bloggers, including Karl Fisch, Chris Lehman, Margaret Spellings and Diane Ravitch, to name a few. This is, for me at least, an unpaid volunteer activity. My own first post will not display until mid-October, and as always, will also be posted here, with a link in OLDaily and archiving in my Articles page.

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Various Authors, National Research Council Canada, October 4, 2010.

The National Research Council's online magazine is fairly lightweight as science magazines go, and it is to me disappointing that the best columnist they could get is Jay Ingram (though in fairness, Ingram is a long-time CBC science reporter; it's just that his column on bias in the global warming 'debate' is a real disappointment). But, on the plus side, (a) it exists, and (b) it exists. This is issue 4. I look forward to the day they are capable of putting descriptions into the RSS feed and identifying the scientists involved in the articles.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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