By Stephen Downes
June 22, 2005

Skype Recordings as Learning Resources?
Skype would be just great for creating learning resources, but Skype doesn't have a recording tool. So how to so it? The winner, according to Derek Morrison, is SAM - "Alex Rosenbaum's SAM (Skype Answering Machine) is a brilliantly simple but, neverthelss, very useful tool which becomes a 'listener' for incoming Skype calls and intercepts them." This article explains all. By Derek Morrison, Auricle, June 21, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Microsoft works on own BitTorrent
I don't know, I just find it ironic when I read items like this to think of how much Microsoft complains about piracy and digital rights and all that other stuff intended to protect the creators of ideas and innovation. BitTorrent, of course, is intended to be crushed like a bug under Microsoft's, um, innovative foot. By Unattributed, BBC News, June 20, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Wide Open: Open Mource Methods and Their Future Potential
Worth a look is this article on open source and open publishing, which while it covers well trodden ground, writes Scott Leslie, "it's great to see it taken up by 'think tanks' such as this which hopefully have an influence on government and other policy." Quite so, and readers may find a number of interesting and surprising examples of open methods in the substantial third appendix. By Geoff Mulgan, Omar Salem and Tom Steinberg , Demos, June, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Playing to Learn
Doug levin sends in this link from the latest issue of Cable in the Classroom, now available. Some good insight into how games should be supported. Games require media literacy, for example - they are not real, should not be taken as real, and players need to be able to recognize that. Games can also require support - they may require background knowledge or experience, and players may need to be pointed in the right direction (or designers should make it available inside the game itself). By Eric Klopfer, Cable in the Classroom, July/August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Where Now for Collaborative Journalism?
I'll give them credit for trying. The Los Angeles Times attempted to include readers in their online content by setting up a wiki where readers could rewrite the day's editorial. The experiment lasted one day, and then was pulled, as they said, "due to defacement." This analysis summarizes pretty well what happened. First, when they introduced the wiki, "the focus was on the Times and The Law, not the readers and contributors." Second, "editors seeded the wiki -- a tool designed for collaboration -- with one of the most divisive 'news' topic possible (the Iraq war)." Third, "wikis need a community of passionate and involved netizens" and the Times didn't have such a committee nor did they try to create one. Fourth, perhaps they should have required logins. And finally, why use a wiki to "reply" at all - comments can do that. By Kathy Gill, About.com, June 21, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Building a Community of Practice
It may look like just another blog, but check out the list of links in the lower right hand column, where you will find transcripts of numerous conversations and interviews, including one with Graham Stanley introducing podcasting. By Numerous Authors, June, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Digital Debacle
Students at the University of Maryland write, "The university's decision to extend Cdigix's trial does not offer students a genuine alternative to illegally pirated media." The system works only on Internet Explorer. It won't allow downloads to, say, iPods. People aren't using it. "With few Cdigix supporters, it seems like a shameful waste of money." By Editorial, Digital Diamondback, June 16, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Publishers' Group Asks Google to Stop Scanning Copyrighted Works for 6 Months
As this article describes it, "The Association of American Publishers has asked Google to stop scanning copyrighted books published by the association's members for at least six months while the company answers questions about whether its plan to scan millions of volumes in five major research libraries complies with copyright law." While they're at it, why don't they ask the public to stop buying and reading their books too, in case our having a permanent and portable copy of their work - a sharable technology - is somehow also in contravention. By Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 21, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

WebCT Campus Edition 6: Frequently Asked Questions
Karen Gage, Senior VP of Marketing for WebCT writes (this is the full email, not edited in any way, except to place the link provided under the heading instead of in the text): "I wanted to alert you to some inaccurate or misleading information that you passed on in OLDaily yesterday in your piece on 'WebCT Price Increases'. WebCT customers who license our Campus Edition product are entitled to upgrade from v.4 to CE 6.0 without additional WebCT license fees. We don't license our product by the version. We sell an annual license for Campus Edition, and it is the customer's choice about which version they choose to implement. It is the same price whether they run CE 4 or upgrade to CE 6. I don't know the situations of the unnamed institutions that reported price changes to you. Perhaps they are expanding the number of licensed users? We have an FAQ about upgrading to CE 6 that might be a more useful link than to the CE homepage. License fees are such an important issue. Will you be able to provide an update to your readers?" By Karen Gage, WebCT, June 22, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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