By Stephen Downes
August 5, 2005

Understanding the CC License Selection Behavior of Flickr Users
David Wiley advances and supports an interesting theory about Creative Commons license selection by Flickr users: "Proportion of creators choosing the license ∝ Proportion of rights reserved in the license." In other words, the more rights are given away, the fewer people will opt for the license. The data don't support that hypothesis, and Wiley suggests that "it may be that the best explanation for selection behavior has more to do with sentiments that resonate with the terms 'noncommercial' and 'sharing' than with complicated theoretical structures regarding the proportion of rights reserved by a given license." More evidentary support is needed, but I suspect it would be found. By David Wiley, iterating toward openness, August 5, 2005 5:10 p.m. [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Six Degrees of Who Cares?
Yeah, OK, we know that LinkedIn (and Friendster, and Orkut - one wonders why the author has it in for LinkedIn) doesn't really deliver the social nirvana advertised. But does this? "The connections we remember the most are the ones we've made in person where we've exchanged cards and conversation - possibly even emotions and ideas." Cards? I lose cards by the dozen - and always seem to forget my own. Conversations? Maybe, but depending on my dim memory for faces and names is just asking for trouble. "If a good friend or business associate introduces me, in person, to someone, I'll probably pay attention to that second degree of connectivity." Doesn't work that way for me. What are my connections? They are the people I read, and even more importantly, the people I link to. My social network is my content network - something none of the social networking sites, save perhaps Flickr (and maybe Yahoo), seems to have caught on to. Every time you see the word 'via' on my site - that's my social network software working. Via elearnspace. By Lance Ulanoff, PC Magazine, August 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ten Things That Will Be Free
- Free the Encyclopedia!
- Free the Dictionary!
- Free the Curriculum!
- Free the Music!
- Free the Art!
- Free the File Formats!
- Free the Maps!
- Free the Product Identifiers!
- Free the TV Listings!
- Free the Communities
Related: Wikipedia as a learning community, by Cormac Lawler. Via Ross Mayfield. By Jimbo Wales, Lessig Blog, August 1, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

What Can Schools Do? Knowledge, Social Identities and the Changing World
The author takes note of two enquiries launched by the Australian government. "One is an inquiry into what quality research in universities looks like, and how that can best be measured every year. The second is an inquiry into teacher education and whether it is sufficiently 'evidence-based' and producing competent classroom-ready teachers." And she provides the appropriate cautions: "People who think that the only issues for people who work in university education faculties are how to produce a good teacher in their first week on the job, and who think the only good research should look like a classic experiment or a randomised controlled trial, have got it wrong." Good talk; a second part is forthcoming. Via Central Ranges. By Lyn Yates, Curriculum Leadership, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

New Glossary of Australian Education Terms
EdNA reports, "The Government Education Portal has published a glossary of Australian education and training terms. This glossary contains definitions of major terms used on the Government Education Portal." By Unattributed, Education Portal, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Interview: Jerry Wennstrom on Learning
I will say quite frankly that I don't believe most of what is written in this article, though it is interesting and worth a link. The author is trying to explain the source of learning and creativity, and finds it in the removal of the self from society and in the listening to the inner voice, surrendering ourselves to the mystery of the self and the world.

Well maybe. I do think we have to trust in ourselves and our abilities, and I am all in favour of getting away to the forest for some quiet reflection. But I don't see anything mystical in this. Creativity and learning require, most of all, dedication and hard work. To seek out and be reflectively aware of a wide range of experiences. To aquire the tools (of reason, of pattern recognition, of synthesis, to name a few) to comprehend that experience, to have the skills (literacy, tonality, numeracy) to reform that experience, to have the means (courage, will, honesty) to pass it forward.

We are not born with any of these, but we can acquire them, develop them in ourselves, each and every one of us. If ceremonial drumming can help people with this, great, but for me, I can hear the same tune in the stillness of the woods, the purity of a parsing algorithm, the warmth of a late-night crowd at the local pub. Living life to its fullest, with purpose and desire, and the conviction that one voice can make a difference. By Brian Alger, The Experience Design Network, July 31, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Two New Developments Point to Loss of OMA DRM Momentum
This story is more about Microsoft expansion into the mobile phone and mobile computing industry than it is about digital rights management, though the expansion is enabled by a mapping from OMA DRM to XrML (aka MPEG REL). I'm quite sure people in the industry realize that if Microsoft's standard (MPEG REL) becomes ascendant they will have as much freedom in the market as, say, competitors to Microsoft Word. By Bill Rosenblatt, DRM Watch, August 4, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Merger To Create Major E-Learning Player
More on the SumTotal - Pathlore merger. "Combined, Pathlore and SumTotal--which itself was created by the merger of E-learning vendors Docent and Click2Learn in 2004--have combined revenue of about $100 million and 1,500 customers, including several large health-care companies, financial-services firms, manufacturers, and government agencies." Also very much worth looking at is this chart of e-learning acquisitions posted by Clark Aldrich to the Learning Circuits blog. By Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, InformationWeek, August 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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