By Stephen Downes
August 15, 2005

Snowmass, Colorado
Well, we're into the dog days of August and as I drag myself to the mostly empty office and motivate myself to sort of work the mist outside melts into steam and a persistent ennui settles over the city. Over the weekend I put my Snowmass photos online, which I hope you'll enjoy. I, meanwhile, am going to find a comfortable chair in a shady spot and relax for a while with a tall tale and a cool drink. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, August 15, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Publishers Loosen Rules on E-textbooks
I guess the criticisms stung, as publishers have eased printing restrictions and extended the expiry date on the e-textbooks being sold at Princeton and elsewhere. Too little, too late. Students should be under no illusion that, should the ebooks become popular, the restrictions won't return. By John Borland, CNet News.com, August 15, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Under Pressure
Happily, I can ignore the critics. ;) Still, "Pressure groups are gaining power over the media in this age of distrust. The Internet, in particular, is helping them orchestrate intricate campaigns that make them much harder to ignore. Like HRC, these groups often reflect only one side of a complex issue." What you should note (because the article is a bit misleading) is that organizations with a lot of money or backing - such as the Canadian Recording Industry Association or the Fraser Institute (both named in the article) - can buy much more media clout. Or - in an age of privatized learning - pedagogical clout. By Shlomit Kriger, Ryerson Review of Journalism, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Teaching with Games
Mostly a short item with links to resources, but I couldn't resist citing the opening bit: "Parent: How can I get my child to stop playing video games? Me: That's simple. Make "video games" a required subject in school. Give the kids homework, make them write essays and sit exams on video games. They'll stop in an instant!" By Mark Federman, What is the (Next) Message?, August 13, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Eduforge Blogs
As Josie Fraser summarizes, "Eduforge has recently undergone a transformation, with the help of the eXe Editor Project. It's now full of read/write web goodness - including fully featured blogs, Planet Eduforge - a feed aggregator, wikis, and a new teaching tools showcase." I spent some time looking at eXe Editor, which looks like it will have a wide range of uses. By Josie Fraser, EdTechUK, August 14, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Four Reasons Why the Blogsphere Might Make a Better Professional Collaborative Environment than Discussion Forums
This proposal outlines how teachers could use blogging as a conversation and collaboration tool. I think it's a bit complex (for now). But read it and judge for yourself. By Dave Warlick, 2 Cents Worth, August 15, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

DTV Free Internet TV
It's only available for Apple computers now, but a Windows download is expected shortly. DTV is essentially a video podcasting system, and like podcasting, will allow anyone to launch their own television channel. I would like to say that they such amateur productions would be no competition for professional broadcasters, but then I notice that on tonight's television the choices are and Fear Factor and I realize that broadcast television is in deep trouble. By Randy Decker, eGram@sd40.bc.ca, August 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Academic Commons
While I was flying home from Snowmass on Friday this site was launching. "Academic Commons offers a forum for investigating and defining the role that technology can play in liberal arts education... Academic Commons aims to share knowledge, develop collaborations, and evaluate and disseminate digital tools and innovative practices for teaching and learning with technology." More coverage at KairosNews, CogDogBlog and EDUCAUSE blogs. By Various Authors, August 12, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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