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November 6, 2001

Reflecting on Liz Burge
Liz Burge addressed the topic of professional development by focusing on the tools a person needs in order to be successful - not tools like internet and technology, but tools like values and principles. A contradiction? Not really. By Stephen Downes

National Research Council For those of you who are curious about my new position - I am working at the National Research Council, Institute for Information Technology in the e-Learning Research Group By , , .[Refer]

What Does it Take to Break the Mold? Rhetoric and Reality in New American Schools While this essay looks at school reform in general, and the ATLAS project in particular, its lessons should not be lost on people - especially funders and administrators - working in online learning and new instructional media. It's hard to get at the lessons in a few quick sentences: the difficulties faced by the ATLAS project and multilayered - but all too familiar to anyone working on innovation. The desire for quick results, funding uncertainties, staff turnover caused by ambiguity: all these undermine what might be successful projects. Then there is a tendency to rest on the tried and true in such circumstances, to fail to innovate because the risks are so great. This is a really good analysis of the issues, and while the solutions remain murky, the four recommendations near the end of the paper form a good basis for dicussions aroun sustainability and innovation. Links to a 158K PDF file. By Thomas Hatch, Teachers College Record, Volume 102 Number 3, 2000.[Refer]

Texas Fines Distance-Learning Institution If you got a degree from Center of University Graduate Studies Graduate College, don't worry about using it to apply for any jobs. The institution was fined $213,000 by the Texas Commissioner of Higher Education because it lacks authority to grant degrees or to call itself a university. It was also ordered to rescind any degrees it granted and to refund tuition costs. OLDaily is happy to provide an alternative name for the institution: Toast. By Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 5, 2001.[Refer]

Ed Projects Use Web to Promote Understanding, Information-Sharing U.S. president George Bush announces two initiatives: an email exchange to foster communication between some schools in the United States and Egypt, and an Asia-Pacific program to create an international best practices database. Don't get me wrong: these are good ideas - but old. Email exchanges have been around forever, and - in an ironically funny twist - the site this story is on is advertising (at least when I looked at it (ads rotate, so you might miss it)) a 544 page school technologies best practices guide. By Cara Branigan, eSchool News, November 5, 2001.[Refer]


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