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April 10, 2002

Full-time Grads Have an Edge When Firms Hire Evidence that distance and online learning still suffer from a credibility gap: "Half of the 214 employers who responded to a Straits Times survey prefer to hire graduates who have taken full-time courses. Only 4 per cent of them favour those who did distance learning." The reasons for their scepticism include "doubts about the admission and examination standards of distance-learning programmes." By Jane Lee, Straits Times, December 31, 200-31.[Refer]

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani Addresses Thousands of Delegates at e-learning Conference & Expo Most of us subjected to the email marketing barrage over the last few weeks had but one question on our mind: what does Rudolph Giuliani know about online learning anyway? The answer, following this morning's anticlimactic keynote at the 12th annual e-learning Conference Expo 2002 is: not much. The former New York mayor outlined instead five principles of leadership and his experiences in running many different size organizations. The main impact of this item: now (at last!) the relentless advertising will stop. By Press Release, Advanstar Technology Group, December 31, 200-31.[Refer]

Comparing Palestinian and Israeli Textbooks Politics and education: how could anyone believe that they are completely separate disciplines? This article is an interesting read. It is worth keeping in mind that the textbooks of any nation would reveal a similar bias; this is nothing unique to Palestinians and Israelis. By RuthFirer and SamiAdwan, Arabic Media Internet Network, December 31, 200-31.[Refer]

Nebraska Researchers Measure the Extent of Link Rot in Distance Education Link rot is what happens when somebody moves a website, thus invalidating every link pointing to that site. I must admit that I have been an unwitting culprit - I wonder how many error 404s Assiniboine generates from people looking for me, all because someone there wouldn't run a simply three-line redirect script. Nobody has solved link rot, not even Google (which still lists my entire Assiniboine site from three years ago). No surprise, then, is the effect of link rot on online courses (more surprising, though, is the speed with which it occurs). By Vincent Kiernan, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 31, 200-31.[Refer]

Online Sales of Used Books Draw Protest Suppose you were prohibited from selling your vehicle as a used car because your sale would cut into the earnings of those who build new cars. That argument seems pretty ridiculous, but it is essentially the same one being advanced by authors opposed to Amazon selling used books. "Amazon's practice does damage to the publishing industry, decreasing royalty payments to authors and profits to publishers," the guild wrote in its message. "There's no good reason for authors to be complicit in undermining their own sales." You know, days like this, I think that a lot of the lobbying is being done by people who have no idea how commerce works. Take me, for example. I pick up a book by John Brunner for a quarter in a used book shop (the real investment, of course, is the time it will take to read the book). I read it, I like it, I pick up a few more used Brunner books, then I start scouring Chapter's for his latest release. That's how it works. Cut off used book sales and it's like you've cut off the oxygen. The same logic applies to most content, online or offline. The software I buy is the software I've been using for free for a while. The NY Times when I'm south of the border I buy because I've become used to reading it for free online. The text I recommend for my class is the one a colleague loaned me over the summer. I don't know what authors and publishers think will replace the churn of ideas that constitutes a free information exchange, but I can tell you this: if you kill off that churn, as today's copyright commandos advocate, you kill off the fuel that drives the information economy. By David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, December 31, 200-31.[Refer]

The Keyboard Campus I think that one of the most telling arguments in favour of electronic publishing is the fact that the reviews of this book - portions of which appeard on the web five years ago - are just starting to come out. The fact that it is David Noble's book just makes the argument all the more delicious. Written for people who are likely to be supportive of Noble's hypothesis (that technology and commodification are ruining education), this review accurately taps into the weaknesses of Noble's presentation: the mischaracterization of online learning, the broad-brush generalizations. By Stephen Brier and Roy Rosenzweig, The Nation, December 31, 200-31.[Refer]

Recognizing the Champions From yesterday, with a working link this time. By Elsa Schelin and Gene Smarte, E-Learning Magazine, December 31, 200-31.[Refer]


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