By Stephen Downes
April 6, 2004

L'état, C'est Moi
A system of public education should have as its primary objective the teaching of means and mechanisms of interaction with others in a maximally harmonious network of distinct and autonomous individuals. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, April 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Pulitzer Prizes Show Strength of Big Journalism
The Pulitizers are announced and Dan Gillmor points to the winners - all from major newspapers - as evidence that traditional journalism is better than blogs, asking whether readers think bloggers "could pull off" the sort of work demonstrated by the winners. I don't know. But the Pulitizers don't answer the question. I don't really think that pointing to the winners of a competition that requires that the entries be published in a newspaper constitutes any sort of evidence that non-published content, as in blogs, is of lower quality. When bloggers (and Canadians) are eligible for the Pulitizers, then we'll talk. By Dan Gillmor, April 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogs Put Developers in Microsoft 'Cockpit'
When I flew back from Phoenix last least I was able to listen to 'Channel 9' on the internal sound system. Instead of music or business programming, the staples of in-flight fare (remember: your tax dollars subsidize business class passengers), I got to listen to all cockpit communications. I listened to it the entire way; great entertainment. Anyhow, Microsoft has, according to this CNet article, "quietly" launched a website called 'Channel 9', a site that allows you to read the thoughts of Microsoft developers, "to listen in to the cockpit at Microsoft, an opportunity to learn how we fly, a chance to get to know our pilots." It's an outstanding idea, easily the best initiative I've seen come from Redmond in a long time. I wholeheartedly endorse the credo: "Channel 9 is all about the conversation. Channel 9 should inspire Microsoft and our customers to talk in an honest and human voice. Channel 9 is not a marketing tool, not a PR tool, not a lead generation tool." Now, if only we could get the business side of Microsoft to do the same thing, and we'd really have something here. By David Becker, CNet News.com, April 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Degussa AG Will Work on USC 'House-Printing' Project
This is pretty interesting: a system that will 'print out' an entire house in hours (furniture and house pets extra). Very cool. Via Syllabus. By Press Release, Information Sciences Institute, April 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Project-based Distrubuted Learning and Adult Learners
I have always been partial to project based learning - some of my most cherished memories in education are of the elaborate projects I put together while in school. This paper describes project based learning, outlining briefly some founding literature, and considers the application of project based learning in a distributed environment. The results from this study are mixed, as I would think they should be in a population more used to directed learning. By Erkan Tekinarslan, Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Distance Education in Turkey
Good survey article that shouldn't contain any surprises for readers but manages to back up intuitions with solid data. The Turkish distance education has focused traditionally on mass instruction with one-way broadcasting. Distance education is being slowly accepted. But new technologies and methodologies are allowing for an increasingly interactive mode of instruction. By Nursel Selver Ruzgar, Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Humanoid Robot Conducts Beethoven Symphony
We may not have robot teachers yet, but we have robotic conductors. "The 58-centimetre-tall humanoid robot led the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in a unique rendition of Beethoven's 5th symphony during a concert held at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo on 15 March." Via ArtsJournal. By Will Knight, New Scientist, April 4, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Updated OFAC Ruling Removes Government Restrictions
The U.S. government has relented; IEEE publications are no longer under the embargo rule, which means papers from authors in such countries as Cuba and Iran may now again be edited for publication. More. By Press Release, IEEE, April 5, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright © 2004 Stephen Downes
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