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August 24, 2011

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James Taylor Gives Free Acoustic Guitar Lessons Online
Dan Colman, Open Culture, August 24, 2011.

So, will this work at all? Are online guitar lessons, even if they're offered by James Taylor, a good idea? I guess my view on this is, they can't hurt, and they may help some people to learn how to play. Which, on balance, is a plus. Dan Colman writes, "Now let’s get this out of the way: The jury is still out on whether these video lessons will offer serious guidance or not. The first video offers a somewhat detailed primer on … caring for your fingernails. And it comes coupled with a short lesson, “Little Wheel” in e minor, that is decidedly short on pedagogy. More lessons will be coming soon though. Sign up for JT’s email list, and they’ll ping you when new videos are posted online."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]

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Mozilla’s WebAPI Wants to Replace Native Apps With HTML5
Scott Gilbertson, WebMonkey, August 24, 2011.

This is good news. "Mozilla has launched an ambitious new project aimed at breaking down the proprietary app systems on today’s mobile devices. The project, dubbed WebAPI, is Mozilla’s effort to provide a consistent, cross-platform, web-based API for mobile app developers." Of course, how willing proprietary companies, like Google and Facebook, will be to work with Mozilla instead of their own APIs is yet to be seen.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Google]

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HP Kills TouchPad, Support for webOS Devices
Chloe Albanesius, PC mag, August 24, 2011.

files/images/01425i29029400.jpg, size: 7155 bytes, type:  image/jpeg This one impact me personally because I have a Palm Pre smartphone: HP has killed the Pre, the TouchPad, and other Web OS devices. The loss of the hardware is trivial, but the loss of the operating system, which was in many ways innovative, is more significant. When it acquired it with palm, "HP said Palm's webOS would allow it to take advantage of features such as true multitasking and always up-to-date information sharing across applications." Too bad, really. More from Wired. Interestingly, when HP slashed the prce of the TouchPad to $100 as a fire-sale price, it became the hottest thing on the web. "The meteoric rise in TouchPad demand after the big price cut tells us a couple things — 1.) The public saw value in the TouchPad, just not at the same price as the iPad, and 2.) There’s still a wide open opportunity for a low-cost tablet maker to sneak in with a viable product and grab a lot of market share."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Operating Systems]

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Open Badges and Assessment
Various Authors, P2PU, August 24, 2011.

Suggested as a result of some of my recent posts is this site, Open Badges and assessment, on P2PU. The project is based on the Mozilla Badges initiative, an open platform that will enable anyone to issue, collect and display badges (p)roviding learners with new ways to get public recognition for their skills and achievements." According to the Mozilla site, "Our system will make it easy for education providers, web sites and other organizations to issue badges that give public recognition and validation for specific skills and achievements (a)nd provide an easy way for learners tomanage and display those badges across the web -- on their personal web site or resume, social networking profiles, job sites or just about anywhere."
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[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Networks, Assessment]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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