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September 5, 2001

Faculty Club Mailing List Just launched (it has no archives yet), Faculty Club is a teachers' mailing list based out of the Schoolnet India education portal. It is intended to be an initial step to connect teachers electronically and to build a community of educators looking at education and technology in India. [Refer]

Metacrap: Putting the Torch to Seven Straw-men of the Meta-utopia This article ends rather suddenly, but if you ignore some of the language you get a pretty good discussion of the hurdles involved in constructing a good metadata search and retrieval system. The first three hurdles are especially telling: people lie, people are lazy, and people are stupid. Blunt, but an accurate description of the problem. By Cory Doctorow, August 26, 2001. [Refer]

Distance Learning Yet to Hit Home The point of this article by Wired is to emphasize the cost and difficulty of providing a quality online education. It's a theory that explains why startups are failing and why online learning has been slow to take hold. But there's more: Wired argues that the theory also explains why there will never be free online edcuation. It's an argument that sounds so reasonable and is so well (if implicitly) stated. But hasn't Wired heard of government funding? Or charitable foundations? Or economies of scale? There's another side to this story, so don't be too easily swept down the path toward high-priced learning as being the only option. By Kendra Mayfield, Wired News, September 5, 2001. [Refer]

Professional Development for Teaching Online Discussion of the need for professional development for online teachers. Describes the Carolina On-Line Teachers (COLT) program, which is a response to that need. Links to a list of COLT courses and technical competencies as defined by COLT. Good article, good model. By Wallace Hannum, The Technology Source, September/October, 2001. [Refer]

The Distance Learning Playing Field: Do We Need Different Hash Marks? Proposal for a new metric to describe distance learning: the tech-touch metric (as in, 'high-tech, high-touch' from Naisbitt's Megatrends). Leaving aside the fact that I didn't like Naisbitt a lot, and leaving aside the pervasive football analogy in this essay (that will be opaque to non-American readers), I personally disfavour metrics that focus on process over outcomes. But that's just me; a lot of people will find this simple style of analysis useful. By Stephen Ruth and Jiwan Giri, The Technology Source, September/October, 2001. [Refer]

Computers and K-12 Education: A Different View I am in agreement with the basic thrust of this article: if you simply add computers to the typical eductaional environment, nothing much happens. It has to do with interaction: if the primary form of interaction in the class remains the teacher-student interaction, then the computer is no help (it's actually a distraction). The author's solution is both radical and sensible: make the computer the primary source of interaction on a full-time basis in the schools. But are teachers willing to let go enough to stand back and let students learn? By Frederick Bennett, The Technology Source, September/October, 2001. [Refer]

An Invitation to Build an Open Source Professional Development Environment An appeal to help launch an effort to build an open source professional development environment by sending URLs that describe open source professional development resource, that is, those where the originator(s) encourage others to help modify, improve, or add to the resources. By Steven W. Gilbert, The Technology Source, September/October, 2001. [Refer]

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