By Stephen Downes
April 25, 2005

Campus Technology Article on the benefits of an integrated CMS
You'll probably find this article through your usual channels. But it's probably better to get it though the properly sceptical filter provided by Scott Leslie. By Ed Tech Post, Scott Leslie, April 25, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Continuous Environmental Scan: Where Do You Get All Your Ideas?
This article describes almost exactly the process I use in my own work, so (naturally) it is well worth passing along. What I like is the author's reference to skill and practice because it suggests (accurately) that with some work it can be done by anyone willing to put in the effort. One big difference: I rarely use internal sources as part of my information scan, partially because it's really inconvenient and partially because the content is inaccessible to readers at large. That said, the main thing to emphasize here is that there is no big secret to how this newsletter - or any other - gets created. By Dave Pollard, How To Save The World, April 25, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Why Some Social Network Services Work and Others Don't
I think this is right in an important way. "The social networking services that really work are the ones that are built around objects." I've said the same thing elsewhere, but this article makes it clear why this is the case: "social networks consist of people who are connected by a shared object." Now in my way of thinking, the object is itself a stand-in for shared meaning; that's why I call it a semantic social network rather than an object oriented social network. Either way, though, we need it. Via Kyle Johnson. By Jyri Engström, zengestrom.com, April 13, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Allez, Blogs! Allez!
This item speaks for itself. "We discovered blogs in the U.S. in 2001 and wanted to adapt this formidable means of expression for our rising generation," said Skyrock CEO Pierre Bellanger. "The classroom was formerly a closed place but, with mobile phones, it becomes a recordable, open place. The adults do not like it and are lost there." And, "The internet is the most important medium for school kids in France," said Six Apart's Le Meur. "The young people are not used yet to traditional media. They were already sharing everything on instant messaging, so blogs are just natural for them -- the problem is, nobody told them they could not criticize their teachers." By Will Richardson, Weblogg-Ed, April 25, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Corporate University Exchange
The Corporate University Exchange (CUX) got a nice email from me Friday after sending notice that it has reversed its long-standing policy of requiring user registrations and is now making content freely available on the web. This link is to the newsletter's home page; you can find other articles in the menu on the left of the page (it doesn't stand out, blue-on-blue not being the best colour combination for site navigation). CUX also recently signed an agreement with VNU, the publisher of Training Magazine. By Various Authors, Corporate University Exchange, April 22, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

For-profit Colleges Attracting More Students, Growing Revenue
Given the increasing demand for higher education and, more importantly, the growth and profits of existing private instutions in a market with limited access and stagnant competitors, how long can it be before the regulatory hold on accreditation is loosened and the floodgates are opened. A pro-budiness administration cannot be counted on to keep the doors to a $350 billion industry locked for long without antagonizing its base of support. Can it? Via ADL. By Kathleen Gallagher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, April 17, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Microsoft launches 64-bit Windows
Every few months I pass along the warning that 64-bit computing is coming soon and that administrators need to be preparing budgets to support the substantial hardware and software transition that will follow. This is yet another installment, prompted by the launch this week of Microsoft's 64-bit Windows. By Ina Fried, CNet News.com, April 25, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

We Can Help Bridge the Digital Divide
I agree with the Friends of Development coalition that "that global intellectual property rules must do a better job of meeting the interests of both the developed and developing world." My position is informed by the recognition, as Michael Geist summarizes in this column, that "Canada’s own intellectual property position is closer to the developing world that most might think." It's not simply that we are net importers of intellectual property. It is clear to me that small companies such as are found here cannot hope to compete against large enterprises when the tools of production - ideas and algorithms - are locked down under copyright and patent protection (even when they have not actually been developed, let alone released). Canada's digital economy, like that of Brazil's and India's, will thrive only if there is sufficient open content and open source to allow it to do so. By Michael Geist, April 25, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Where Have You Gone, Stanley Fish?
Stanley Fish retires and thus concludes his run of columns for the Chronicle of Higher Education. I spent the morning reading a series of remarkable items (a column like this is, after all, the way people used to blog). Among the highlights (in no particular order): The case for academic autonomy, Clueless in academe, Promises, promises, One university under God, and Minimalism. The Chronicle provides links to all his columns since 2001. My own reflections on the nature of retirement and the meaning of life, prompted by this morning's readings. By Stanley Fish, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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