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Leigh Blackall: AU$695 for a Blogging, Wiki, and RSS Workshop!!, September 19, 2005
Leigh Blackall describes, and rightly roasts, this workshop. Looking at this, I've gotta figure I'm as qualified as this guy. And if I ran one with ten people once a month, I could pretty well forget about working the rest of the time. But I suspect the real skill here lies in finding people who will spend $695 a pop to pay for learning that is widely available for free on the internet. [Comment]

Unattributed: It's A Whole New Web, Business Week September 19, 2005
The commercial media is beginning to notice that there's something happening on the web. "A whole new Web is emerging from the wilds of cyberspace. It's no longer all about idly surfing and passively reading, listening, or watching. It's about doing: sharing, socializing, collaborating, and, most of all, creating." By the same token, though, Roland Tanglao warns us to not be fooled again. "The leaders of the Web 2.0 make broad promises of empowerment for their supporters. But history shows time and time again that dust clears and the dirty battles washed away, it is the leaders, the insiders, that are by far the most empowered." Via elearnspace. [Comment]

Associated Press: Firefighter Site Collects Stories, Wired News September 19, 2005
I actually suggested something like this when I spoke to the Canadian Association of Police Educators last June. I cited the experience of military personnel trading stories in online forums rather than relying on mission briefings. Now they have a template to work from. I also suggested that such a site would become wildly popular with the non-police public as well. Now we'll see if there's empirical support for my prediction. [Comment]

Charles L. Slater: What Does It Mean To Be an Educated Person?, September 19, 2005
Is this list right? I mean, it sounds like part Rudyard Kipling and part Robert A. Heinlein. And while those authors resonate with me, I will nonetheless probably never be a musician or an althlete, my poetry is best kept private, and I will certainly never subscribe to the simple moral theory suggested by the author. And it seems to me that an educated person not only knows how to lead, but also how and when and why to follow as well. Perhaps there is something like a definition of an educated person that can be found - but I think it's more likely to be something defined more inwardly, something like, a person who lives a reflective life, and lives and acts according to the light afforded by that reflection. The rest is optional. Via PEN. [Comment]

Kuropatwa: My Wife is Brilliant!, A Difference September 19, 2005
The author's wife gets one line at the end of this short article, but as the title suggests, it's a good one. And, moreoever, one that shows that she understands what e-learning is all about. He does too now, I guess. [Comment]

Jonathan Maybaum: When Blogging Isn't Enough..., September 19, 2005
There is no doubt that blogging is a great way to have students create online content. But there may be cases where, as the title suggests, blogging is not enough. What then? You're probably looking at some sort of online database (this is in a sense what programs like Drupal and Moodle do, though it's a very structured database). This article describes one such project, UM.SiteMaker based at the University of Michigan and offers suggestions to others who would go down the same path. PDF. [Comment]

Dave Taylor: Mailing List Discussions Are Not Free Content For Your Blog, The Intuitive Life Business Blog September 19, 2005
Dave Taylor discusses the ethics of quoting discussion board and mailing list posts. I employ a very simple criterion when deciding whether it's OK to quote someone from an online discussion: Can I link to the original of that discussion such that the reader can, without requiring a password-protected account, read that quote for him or her self? In other words - if it's already public, it's fair game for quotation. If, however, an effort has been made to keep it from being public, then permission ought to be sought. [Comment]

Margaret Haughey and Bill Muirhead: Evaluating Learning Objects for Schools, E-Jist September 19, 2005
Interesting essay on the evaluation of learning objects. After looking at three well-known schemes (LORI, MERLOT and CLOE) the authors draft a 12-point evaluation scheme, which they then try to implement to assess a total of 36 learning objects obtained from The Le@rning Federation. As the authors report, "Attempts to review learning objects are fraught with complexities not found in assessing other non-digital educational content." They use multiple media, employ different design methodologies, and are found at different granularities. Though the authors draw no definitive conclusions, they report that three areas stand out: the accessibility criterion, the student interface and pedagogical issues. From where I stand, I can hardly see how there could be a single set of criteria for assessing learning objects, not only because of variability in design, but additionally, because of widely varying contexts of use. [Comment]

Thomas R. Ramage: A System-Level Comparison of Cost-Efficiency and Return on Investment Related to Online Course Delivery, E-Jist September 19, 2005
Report on a study conducted at 34 community colleges in Illinois on the cost and returns oon online learning. According to the author, "online programs at 83% of the community colleges participating in the study were not cost efficient and did not provide a positive return on investment." As he notes, "These findings are not consistent with the literature." Surprisingly, development costs were not found to be the major issue: "cost of instruction was found to be the most significant cost factor." Moreover, "larger enrollments would have created conditions in which technology-mediated delivery would be less expensive and that continued effort must be made to identify those conditions." These results are not surprising, since most online learning efforts to date amount to online versions of offline classes. That said, one wonders what the ROI would have looked like had student costs and returns been included in the calculation. [Comment]

Morten Andreas Meyer: eNorway 2009, September 19, 2005
The government of Norway has released a policy paper on internet access and services. Called eNorway 2009, the paper calls for access for all Norweigans and promotes open standards in the public sector. It's nice to see a document such as this directed toward the needs of the people rather than of content or software vendors. PDF, and worth opening even if only for the illustrations. Via school-discuss. [Comment]

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