By Stephen Downes
April 11, 2003

Teaching in the Wireless Cloud
This article discusses the impact of wireless connectivity on teaching and learning in the classroom. I think the key point is this: "The notion of college as a separate space removed from the world, already weakened by the internet, is further sapped by mobile access to the world beyond the ivory tower. The campus becomes a different place when a student can connect with a content expert anywhere in the world from the steps of a gym, or compare notes with a student on another continent from a classroom doorway." By Bryan Alexander, The Feature, April 7, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Federal Judge Throws Out Harvard Law Student's Challenge to Digital-Copyright Law
*sigh* I'll just note this judge's decision to prohibit some types of research under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and move on to happier (and more sensible) things. By Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 10, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

D'Arcy Norman's Learning Commons Weblog
It's interesting to watch David Wiley reach out - as he has been the last few weeks - to the learning object community. This article is a summary of points covered in a conference call he had with a number of learning object developers today. Even more interesting is the fact that he seems to be saying the right things, mostly, from my perspective. D'Arcy Norma writes, "Online learning is different than traditional, conventional classroom-based learning. Not necessarily better or worse, but different, and we need to recognize that in order to do it properly. 'You can't just put a course online.' - Exactly. You can move teaching or instruction online, but it's a different thing than just save-as-online-course." Oh, and more. "Caller: BUT standardized testing goes completely against this strategy - students are trained to be rote memorization learners, and rebel against anything else. DW: They DO know how to do this - they just refuse to do that in the context - they freely go online to research tips for Grand Theft Auto or other games, but that doesn't carry over into the classroom." Yes, exactly. Now of course I argued about this with David Merrill last year. This - the point Wiley makes - is the hardest one for people to get. But now, watch for a lot of interesting stuff to be coming from Utah... and Calgary. By D'Arcy Norman, D'Arcy Norman's Learning Commons Weblog, April 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Students Put Their Own Spin on Downloading Music
The record industry hoped to capture students' attention with a recent series of huge lawsuits against file sheres. It did. The students are now up in arms and openly defiant. "I'm not scared," says UCLA history major Ean Plotkin, 21, who says he still downloads regularly. "The record labels will never be able to stop downloading. It's too widespread." In fact, he says, he doesn't see it as theft. "This is exactly like going to the library. Do I have to pay to check out a book? I'm just listening to the song, not selling it." By Jefferson Graham, USA Today, April 10, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Hot, Sweaty and Scandalous
There were several stupid patent claims this week - including one on storing and downloading video - but the kicker is this one filed by Bikram Choudhury who wants royalties to be paid by anyone who uses his style of teaching yoga. No word on whether he is, in turn, contemplating any compensation to the people and culture of India. This link is to one of those Salon articles with the silly ad feature, so be prepared to be satisfied with the first four paragraphs or to go get a coffee while the ad plays. By Nora Isaacs, Salon, April 4, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

RELOAD Releases Beta of Open Source Metadata Editor
OK, we (the learning object community) really needed this: an open source XML authoring tool that reads schema (XSD) files to allow the creation of both simle and complex metadata files. This article from CETIS is a review of the project, currently released as a beta version, called Reload. You can read the project documentation at the RELOAD (Re-usable eLearning Object Authoring and Delivery) website or hack the code directly by downloading the source from SourceForge. Written in Java, the product will run on most computer environments and is distributed under GPL. By Wilbert Kraan, CETIS, April 7, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Lou Rosenfeld and Steve Krug on the User Experience Consulting Experience
Is Usability Experience (UX) nothing more than a marketing campaign? Well, maybe, but the intent of the concept is to combine the aspects of usability and information architecture, to look at a user's total experience with a website. This article will give you a reasonably good overview of the field as the author interviews two of the major players, Lou Rosenfeld and Steve Krug. By Andy King, WebReference, April 10, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Apple reportedly pursuing purchase of Universal Music
What would happen were the company that coined the slogan "Rip, Mix, Burn" to acquire the largest music distribution in the world? Perhaps, suggests this article, sanity, as a lone voice of reason joins the RIAA. It's too early to say yet, but a blockbuster deal may be in the works as Apple might be about to pick up Vivendi's music division. How interesting could this get? Suppose, when you purchased a Mac, you received free access to music library? By Unknown, San Jose Mercury News, April 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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