By Stephen Downes
March 29, 2005

School Bans Blogs
Some days you think you're making progress. Others, less so. A high school principal "has banned access to Myspace.com, a blogging site. The reason? Well aside from legitimate concerns about kids publishing personal information, the prinicpal says blogging is not an educational use of computers." By Will Richardson, Weblogg-Ed, March 29, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Third CETIS/LIFE Codebash Goes Public
A Codebash, much like an ADL plugfest, is an event where vendors and developers meet and see whether their products actually interoperate. "Anything from various flavours of content packages, IMS QTI question items, metadata records and (web) services such as SRW, RSS and Atom were posted on a dedicated site and tested." Many files, links, summaries and even pictures. By Wilbert Kraan, CETIS, March 29, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Time For The Recording Industry To Face The Music
Comprehensive report (which should be forwarded to Canadian lawmakers, as my readership inside Parliament is minimal) on the history and nature of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. The author writes, "This report explains why public policy should embrace peer-to-peer technologies. It examines the history of technological innovation in communications and the piracy panics they cause among entrenched incumbents... The paper reminds policymakers of the historic lesson that technological innovation promotes political, cultural, and social development, and economic growth." PDF. By Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America / Stanford Law School, March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Yahoo 360
Yahoo takes a big step toward the semantic social network with a service that blends social networking with blogs. Yahoo 360 is now available in beta. You can connect to your instant messenger, post your photos (unlimited storage, says the web page), display your LaunchCast radio, and more. I've set up a page on the service. Access is by invitation - but if you send me an email, I'll send you an invite (please allow me a few hours to do this). By Various Authors, Yahoo, March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Computers Make Students Better Test Takers, Says Study
As the ADL news report summarizes, "Give a student an Apple, a new study says, and you will see a better grade on that next test. The more students used computers to write school papers, the better they performed on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Systems (MCAS) English/Language Arts exam, claim researchers at Boston College (BC) and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UML). But the more students used computers to play games, Web surf, chat with friends or create PowerPoint presentations, the worse they did on the non-computerized exam." By Mike Martin, Yahoo News / Newsfactor, March 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

International Journal of Education and Development using ICT
The first edition of the International Journal of Education and Development using ICT has launched, providing provides free and open access to all of its content using the Open Journal Systems software. No RSS feed, or none that I can find. By Stewart Marshall and Wal Taylor, eds., March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

What Can We Learn From This? A Request for Participation
I will let Albert Ip explain it in his own words: "I have written a post re: the process of how an independent web development fight against the litigation of a big corporate. This true story itself is a nice reading - but fairly long. You may like to allocate an afternoon to do this. After reading the story and BEFORE reading my lessons learnt, I would like you to post YOUR own lessons learnt in the comment section of my blog post. Then you read my lesson learnt. If sufficient people participate, then we would have a collection of different lessons learnt from the same true story. Hopefully, this would vividly demonstrate the fact that different people learnt from the same story differently." By Albert Ip, Random Walk in E-Learning, March 29, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Social Life of Students
You can't say this too many times: "What we need to do is rethink our curriculum in terms of interaction, create a consistent, generic toolset that supports the needs of the students and instructors, and instill community practices from end-to-end in the curriculum." Why? Because "it takes more than one class/quarter/semester to start becoming a proficient denizen of the socially networked community." Via James Farmer. By Chris Lott, Ruminate, March 28, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Identifying and Developing Learner-Centered Practices
When I was in school we did book reports. They weren't learner centered then, and so I am wondering how they become learner centered today. So also with some of the other learning activities listed in this document: drill and practice, field trip, test and quiz. Learner-centered, it seems to me, becomes something different when viewed through the lens of instruction. How, for example, is this a principle of learner-centred learning? "Explicit outcomes are given; the purpose of each activity is also made explicit, and clear instructions are provided for carrying out each activity." There are two ways of looking at this: learner-centered as attending to the needs of the student, but where the decisions are still made by the instructor; and learner-centered as being where the decisions are made by the student. I am in favour of the latter, and see the former more as paternalism than anything else. By Jean Kreis, Presented at NLII Meetings (2005), EDUCAUSE Resources, March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Balch Internet Research and Analysis Toolkit
Charlie Balch has created a public domain, open source, online survey system called BIRAT. By Charlie Balch, March 29, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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