By Stephen Downes
July 13, 2004

Assessing Discursive Writing
What I have tried to do in this paper is mostly to describe the way I mark papers (and these days, criticize blog posts - and of course I wonder what sort of mark I would give my own paper...). But as in everything, I do it this way because I think it ought to be done this way. And though I have kept the argumentation in this work to a minimum, I believe that what I offer here provides a greater degree of precision - and fairness - in the marking of papers. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, July 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Copyright Battle Kills an Anthology of Essays About the Composer Rebecca Clarke
The logic of withdrawing work from circulation iin the face of lawsuits - in this case, the withdrawal of an anthology of essays about the composer Rebecca Clarke - is summed in this one observation: "No one has $11-million to test the gray areas." So long as there is justice only for those who can afford it, there is no justice. By Richard Byrne, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Wiki for Free Culture
Creative Commons has started a wiki looking at the idea of how to provide access to Creative Commons materials. By Various Authors, Creative Commons, July, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

What is Social About "Social Tools"?
Worth a cite, if only for this quote: "Personal ownership of content creation is critical: in our work with school children, parents, members of the local community, University students, corporate sponsors, and research colleagues, we find over and over again that empowering users to create their own content is the key to fostering engagement, creativity, and problem solving skills." By George Por, Blog of Collective Intelligence, George Por [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Household Internet Use Survey
Margot Chiasson (she's still out there - yay!) summarizes this nicely: The Household Internet Survey results for 2003 were released by Stats Canada on July 8. Use of high speed Internet from home increased from 56% last year to 65% in 2003. An increase is reported in most provinces but the biggest proportional increase is reported in the Atlantic provinces. "The gain in New Brunswick was from 37% to nearly 43%. The third most popular use of the Internet is for searching for medical or health-related information, after e-mail and general browsing. "Almost two-thirds (65%) of households had at least one member who used the Internet to search for medical or health-related information, compared with 61% in 2001." By Unknown, Statistics Canada, July 8, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Levels of Technology Implementation (LoTi) Breakdown
This taxonomy of technology integration is designed specifically for the instructional context and provides examples and links. Very teacher-centered. Oh, if I could only reword the highest level. It reads: "Technology is perceived as a process, product (e.g., invention, patent, new software design)." I want to reword it slight to read: "Technology is perceived only as the process or product (e.g., reading, writing, design). In other words, technology use is at its highest point when it disappears. People don't want to invent and patent a better phone; they simply want to call their friends. Don't like this taxonomy? Here's another. By Christopher Moersch, Undated [Refer][Research][Reflect]

DMCA Hammer Comes Down on Tech Service Vendor
The question you need to ask when you read this short is item is this: are you willing to buy a product from a provider who uses the Digitral Millenium Copyright Act to enforce a monopoly on servicing your hardware? "The court found that third party service techs who used the key without StorageTek's permission "circumvented" to gain access to the copyrighted code in violation of the DMCA, even though they had the explicit permission of the purchasers to fix their machines." By Jason Schultz, LawGeek, July 9, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Interactive Unit Planner
This is interesting. This planner steps you through the process of setting outcomes and learning objectives, selecting readings and identifying assessments. There's a bit more cut-and-paste than I would like (it would be nice to just insert the suggested outcomes into the text box, for example) but it's nonetheless a ncie step along the road. Of course, for me, the ideal is reached when most of this happens behind the scenes and when the student can generate his or her own lesson plan using a tool such as this. But, one step at a time. People interested in this item would probably be interested in a similar project hosted by the Tisdale School Division in Saskatchewan. iSchool's Saskatchewan Teacher's Webportal System is a '"teacher's portal" that assists in the creation of units, lessons or webquests. By Various Authors, Unitec Institute of Technology, July, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ethnography and Anthropology in the Media
Now, if somebody searches for 'anhropology' on my site, they'll get a positive result. Heh. In all seriousness, there is a current of new thought linking anthropology and online social networking, as typified by Jame's Surowiecki's The Wisdon of Crowds (an interesting read, but the paen to capitalism in the middle seems to go on forever). Some of this has made it into the mainstream, and this page cites links from the New York Times and Fast Company, among others. By Maish Nichani, Ideas Bazaar, July 8, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Platform for Online Deliberation
This is an interesting effort. The Platform for Online Deliberation (POD) "is a freely available, open-source web tool for conducting asynchronous meetings that include discussions, document collaboration, polls and voting among small to medium sized groups of people." So the project is worth doing, but I think that the authors would have done well to look at some of the more popular open source community applications such as Drupal or PostNuke. These applications provide much the same functionality with a much better user interface. POD is interesting, though, because it raises the question: what more does a an online deliberation site require over and above discussion, document collaboration and polling? By Various Authors, Partnership for Internet Equity and Community Engagement (PIECE) , July, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]

Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.