Riina Vuorikari: Anticipating Round 2: European Software Patents, FLOSSE Posse November 10, 2005
In 43 minutes I will get in a taxi and start my journey toward the Open Source for Education in Europe 2005 conference in Heerlen, The Netherlands. Consequently, the Weekly is being delivered a day early, and there will be no Daily on Friday. At the conference, issues such as software patents in Europe will once again be raised, along with questions about open content, patents, digital rights management, and more. These are of course all issues that have concerned me as we have faced over the last few years an ever-increasing encroachment of the private domain over what used to be a commons: our language, our culture and our ideas.

As I prepare to board my flight this time, I am thinking of Andy Carvin, who, after he returns from WSIS in Tunis, will be looking for a new job. "Funding for the activities of the Center for Media & Community will not be continued," he writes, "including support for the Digital Divide Network." It's sobering, and important to recoignize, that there is often very little reward, and very little security, in working for the common good. There has always been more money and prestige on the side of enclosure, more political points to score, more book deals (copyright surrendered, of course) to sign. And yet - still people create content and software, still fight legal battles, still put their jobs on the line, for open content and open source. Because there is a good to what they are doing - a good that should be recognized and supported. [Tags: Books and eBooks, Web Logs, Copyright and Patent Issues, European Union, Security Issues, Digital Rights Management (DRM), Open Source, Open Content] [Comment]

David Wiley: Structured Blogging for Learning Objects?, Opencontent November 10, 2005
David Wiley, who has been demonstrating structured blogging with a series of recent (and interesting) book reviews, ponders out loud about alternative authoring systems for learning objects. He should; there is a wave of new technologies approaching that will change the way we think about online reading and authoring. Tim Bray calls it lightweight authoring. Examples? Daily. Bill Ives talks about marketplace mashups. WikiCalc, for example, has just launched, "for creating and maintaining web pages that include data that is more than just unformatted prose, such as schedules, lists, and tables." Roland Tanglao observes that Drupal supports SuperGlu functionality. He also advises Microsoft to cannibalize everything, including office, to take advantage of these new authoring technologies. Meanwhile, on the aggregation side, we have PubSub lists to further personalize aggregation. I cannot emphasize how quickly this is moving forward. Your next authoring tool will be very different from your last one. [Tags: Books and eBooks, Learning Objects, Course Modules, Microsoft, Web Logs, Personalization, Portals, Ontologies, Open Content] [Comment]

Scott Wilson: Workflow, Power, and Negotiation, Scott's Workblog November 10, 2005
Some transactions need to be conducted without negotiation. Red lights at intersections automate what might otherwise be a dangerous intersection as drivers nodded, signaled or just ploughed through. The placement of a stamp on an envelop (you remember those, right?) automated the agreement to deliver a message around the world. But that said, Scott Wilson is correct to question the limits of automation in workflows. There needs to be a capacity to bypass the automated system, to allow human intervention to over-ride the default, if not to at reassure us of our freedom, then to at least allow us to derail a process that we believe will be counter-productive (the more I think of Locke, the more wisdom I see in some of his ideas). [Tags: None] [Comment]

Kelvin Tan and Cynthia Lim Ai Ming: No Subjects, No Teachers, No Schools, No Peers, Temasek Polytechnic November 10, 2005
It should be evident that subject-based teaching and project-based learning conflict with each other. "subjects or disciplines have their own agenda... [and] the retention of subject boundaries will inevitably compromise the design of authentic problems for PBL." So write Kelvin Tan and Cynthia Lim Ai Ming as they are for a subject-free approach to learning. They further argue against the imposition of group learning in a problem-based setting. "The worry is that too much time and energy is spent on resolving individual differences within a group, rather than tapping on the different strengths of individual members for learning." Teachers, schools: these too get in the way of learning. Good, hard-edged discussion that should be taken seriously. PDF. Via Waraku Education. [Tags: Web Logs, Project Based Learning, Schools] [Comment]

Joseph hart: UNESCO Virtual Conference--Lawrence Lessig on the Creative Commons, EduResources Weblog November 10, 2005
Discussion continues at the UNESCO Virtual Conference on open education, and bits and pieces are leaking into the blogosphere (thankfully). In this item Joseph Hart summarizes Lawrence Lessig's discussion of Science Commons and the role of Creative Commons. John Petroff, meanwhile, gives a good account of a debate regarding two different types of open educational resource - one, which is fully open, versus the second, which is an add-on to and requires the purchase of some other product or service. More on this here. David Wiley, meanwhile, relates a conversation between himself and Steve Carson about content as infrastructure. [Tags: Web Logs, Lawrence Lessig, UNESCO, Open Content] [Comment]

Jennifer Toomer-Cook: Teacher Gleans Federal Kudos for Bookless Classroom, Deseret Morning News November 10, 2005
Sign of the times. And while this teacher is getting the kudos, you can be sure there are many other teachers following the same path. The justification is in the experience: "It's night and day to what those kids will learn using my method or using a textbook.... Textbooks only get in the way." [Tags: Experience, Children and Child Learning] [Comment]

Associated Press: Jordan e-learning Plan May Go Global, Aljazeera November 10, 2005
Jordanians completing a pilot project in e-learning were sufficiently pleased to tell the World Economic Forum that the program could serve as a global template. The project, launched as a partnership with Microsoft, "forged partnerships between the global and local private sector, with Jordanian firms benefiting from international cooperation and investment." [Tags: Online Learning, Microsoft, Project Based Learning] [Comment]

Jay Cross: Jay's Eclectic Interests November 10, 2005
Jay Cross unrolls SuperGlu and unveils his new aggregation blog. It looks great and I love the content. ;) [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment]

Marlo Welshons, editor: The Draft Report of the American Council of Learned Societies' Commission on Cyberinfrastructure for Humanities and Social Sciences November 10, 2005
A lengthy document in which the authors cover a lot of ground. I get the sense that they are awed by the scale of the task that lies ahead. "If the promise of the digital library is to be realized, then humanists and social scientists need to contribute to the design and development of tools for digital humanities and social science, and support systems for that development effort will need to be built." Via Stuart Yeates, who comments, "I may be a techie to the core, but I'm not nearly as pessimistic as they appear to be." [Tags: Web Logs, United States, EDUCAUSE] [Comment]

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I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence.

This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward. - Stephen Downes