December 20, 2005


Paul Gray and David E. Drew: What They Don't Teach You in Graduate School, Inside Higher Ed December 20, 2005
A cynical though probably accurate guide for students hoping to complete their PhD. My assessment is more or less in line with that of one of the commentators: "A thoroughly depressing guide through the system as it is, with no mention that real live students will then be exposed to these calculating Texas Hold'em careerist operators, with predictable results for education." My advice for aspiring scholars is and always has been very simple: follow your passion. A lifetime doing someone else's work is no way for a scholar to live, and destitution is better than such servitude. [Tags: Assessment] [Comment]

Unattributed: The Power of One-to-One Computing, Edutopia December 20, 2005
As Judy Breck reports, "Edutopia has a small round-up here of school programs in which students are using computers one-to-one (one computer to one student). Hopefully this is a peek over the horizon at what will be routine in the future." [Tags: Schools] [Comment]

Sabine Graf and Beate List: An Evaluation of Open Source E-Learning Platforms Stressing Adaptation Issues, ICALT December 20, 2005
This paper aims "to identify the most suitable open source e-learning platform for extending to an adaptive one," measured as "adaptability, personalization, extensibility, and adaptivity very well by a documented API, detailed guidelines, and adaptivity." Employing a multi-factored comparison, they select Moodle as having the most potential to adapt. Another system doing well, especially in student management and administration, was ILIAS. PDF. Via Scott Leslie. [Tags: Online Learning, Personalization, Open Source] [Comment]

Dave Munger: Video Games: Are the Myths True?, Cognitive Daily December 20, 2005
Good discussion of an essay by Henry Jenkins intended to dispel the myths about the role of video games in causing aggression and violence. What I like is not so much the thrust of the argument - because I think that the relation between games and anti-social behaviour is misrepresented and overblown - but in the rigor applied to the reasoning. Bad argumentation helps nobody, whether or not it supports your point of view. And I think the authors of Cognitive Daily have come to reach the sort of nuanced view on games that accords very much with my own. After all, as they write, "You can't have it both ways - if video games are good for teaching good stuff, they're also good for teaching bad stuff... Video games are a powerful influence on society, for both good and bad." Via ACRLog. [Tags: Paradigm Shift, Web Logs, Games and Gaming] [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