By Stephen Downes
March 12, 2005

The Problem with Learning Objects in Courses for the Military
Even if they're not useful for universities, learning objects are good for the military, right? Well maybe not, according to this author, who raises the following concerns: "Hard to figure out how to use them; hard to find the 'object' you need; if they are a link to an object on someone's website, the link could be dead, if you're using it in CD-ROM or for PDA-delivery, they can be useless; not centrally housed. The repositories do not refer to each other and do not cross-catalogue; there is redundancy, inconsistency, and they are often out of date; no standardization." By Susan Smith Nash, XplanaZine, March 12, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Wealth of Knowledge Free to the World: JHSPH OpenCourseWare
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has announced the initial phase of its pilot OpenCourseWare (OCW) project. Good stuff. By Various Authors, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Networks of the Australian Flexible Learning Community 2005
By email today: "The [Australian Flexible Learning Community] Community website will be closing down on 31 March 2005 to mark the transition to the new Networks of the Australian Flexible Learning Community project which is part of the 2005 Australian Flexible Learning Framework." By Unknown, Australian Flexible Learning Network, February 22, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Microsoft to Buy Groove Networks
Groove had its problems but it was still far ahead of anything Microsoft ever produced. That makes Microsoft's acquisition a good move for both companies. If Microsoft is smart, they will integrate Groove's functionality into the Windows operating system (or at the very least, make it an integrated application, like Word or PowerPoint). Another category killer, if they can hold off the antitrust attorneys (and there's no reason to believe they couldn't). By Martin LaMonica, ZD Net, March 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Gnews2RSS at VoidStar.com
A PHP script that converts Google News to RSS. If Google complains, tell them to put it in one of the links Google Toolbar produces. By Julian Bond, VoidStar, March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A New Red Scare
I will have much more to say about this story line at a future date (there is the Wall Street Journal article to consider, the Chronicle article, and more) but probably not in this forum. But for now, this item is noted and logged. What I will say here is that this is a deliberate and organized political campaign targeted at higher education and that academics should be concerned. More here. By Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, March 7, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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