December 7, 2005


Various authors: Teaching Australia December 7, 2005
Teaching Australia launches. "Teaching Australia is the national body for the teaching profession, promoting quality teaching and school leadership for the benefit of all Australians. Teaching Australia was launched as an independent body on 5 December 2005. Formerly the National Institute for Quality Teaching and School leadership, the Institute has been established with funding from the Australian Government, to be operated by and for the teaching profession." [Tags: Schools, Leadership, Quality] [Comment]

Teemu Leinonen: The $100 Laptop: Manna-vaporware, FLOSSE Posse December 7, 2005
In an airport conversation in Calgary recently I commented - cynically - that MIT had gotten a lot of publicity over a product that does not exist. The topic was the $100 computer, which had been introduced at WSIS. Such scepticism, it seems, is not limited to my suspicious mind. Teemu Leinonen poses two questions that defy easy answers: "Why the only use case the MIT people talk about is delivering school books with the $100 Laptop?" and "Why didn't MIT decide to contribute to the Indian Simputer project that has been around already for five years?" Don't get me wrong - I am very much in favour of a project like the $100 computer. But I think it would not hurt anyone to see MIT tone down the publicity mill for a while. [Tags: Web Logs, Project Based Learning, Schools] [Comment]

Konrad Glogowski: Tools Interiorized, Blog of Proximal Development December 7, 2005
This is pretty interesting - what happens when students used to blogging suddenly lose their environment. It turns out, they miss it. "My students didn't really miss writing itself. Had that been the case, they wouldn't have complained about writing in notebooks. What they missed was situated writing, a cognitive activity situated within a specific space that fosters cognitive engagement. They missed interactions, interactions with texts and with each other through texts. They missed the sense of participation and their audience." [Tags: Web Logs, Interaction] [Comment]

Various authors: Reinventing College Media December 7, 2005
Site newly launched that focuses on college media and especially student media. Sample content: "I don't know about your campus, but at our campus, three words can describe the hottest thing in student media use: Xanga, MySpace, and Facebook." Hm, OK. Via Poynter. [Tags: ] [Comment]

Kristine Peters: Learning on the Move, Mobile Technologies in Business and Education, Australian Flexible Learning Framework December 7, 2005
Pointing out that mobile technology is already embedded in our lives, this report argues that mobile learning is not merely traditional teaching on small devices. "The interactivity of mobile technologies creates new teaching and learning opportunities more suited to a constructivist approach where the device is a tool for information and direction, but the structure of the learning is created by the learner." But the report also notes that "The difference in device between teacher and student is marked and reinforces the concerns expressed earlier in this report about the lack teacher preparedness for the digital world." Summary (PDF, 103k) and full report (PDF, 459k). [Tags: Online Learning, Project Based Learning, Constructivism, Interaction] [Comment]

Michael Ashburner, Open Letter from Fellows of the Royal Society December 7, 2005
Members of the Royal Society write to express their "disappointment with the Society's recent position statement on open access to published research." The Royal Society recently released a statement essentially opposing open access. The members write, "The move towards open access to research literature builds on the tradition of making research data openly available, a standard that is well established within the scientific community." [Tags: Academic Publications, Research] [Comment]

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Stephen Downes

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada


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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