February 24, 2006


Graham Attwell[Edit][Delete]: JISC publishes Guidelines on Open Source, The Wales-Wide Web [Edit][Delete] February 24, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] Greetings from Anchorage, Alaska, where the sun is shining and the air is crisp. Today finds me pensive, reflective and hopeful, thinking about the Spirit Sands in Manitoba, about birch trees and the beaches of Fremantle, about community and culture, about reaching out and living within. And about how, maybe, things are getting better.

"JISC sees open source software as an important component in developing a sustainable ICT infrastructure for UK higher and further education. This briefing paper sets out JISC's position clearly, providing institutions with the information they need to make informed choices. JISC also emphasizes the separate but complementary role of open standards which is key to enabling institutions to integrate both open source and commercial products in their ICT infrastructure according to their priorities, needs and available budgets." [Tags: Open Standards, Open Source, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

David Wiley[Edit][Delete]: On Distributed Tools and Mashups, Iterating Toward Openness [Edit][Delete]Iterating toward openness [Edit][Delete] February 24, 2006
[link: Hits] David Wiley writes: "if we fully distribute data and go searching around for it whenever we need it, it doesn't take that many users before the query traffic eats up all available bandwidth." We should not have to go aound searching. Nor should we need a centralized repository. It is clear to me that I really need to draw out and articulate the idea of the self-organizing network. [Tags: Learning Object Repositories, Bandwidth, Networks] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michael Feldstein[Edit][Delete]: In Defense of Walled Gardens, E-Literate [Edit][Delete] February 24, 2006
[link: 7 Hits] After an Orwellian opening, Michael Feldstein gets down to it in defense of walls. First, "Sometimes privacy is appropriate... If you want your students to take risks, you have to create an environment that is safe for them to do so." Fair enough, but I would observe, there is a big difference between the case where you build your own walls and lock your own doors, and where the government does it for you, whether you want it or not. And second, "faculty should have the ability to use copyrighted material legally with their classes at their discretion." Maybe, but this special case should not be allowed to define the general case (it would be equally absurd to say that because some people want to lock their front doors we ought to install locks and gates on freeway entrances). In fairness, Feldstein wants the decision to be in the hands of users (professors as opposed to students, but let's leave that for now): "Solving this problem--while enabling teachers to make all kinds of choices about their gardens, including whether to have walls--is exactly the goal of the LMOS." OK. But it's not all gardens - there has to be a commons, and the rules that apply to gardens cannot apply to the commons. [Tags: Copyright and Patent Issues, Privacy Issues] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Christopher D. Sessums[Edit][Delete]: Competing Paradigms and Educational Reform, Christopher D. Sessums : Weblog [Edit][Delete] February 24, 2006
[link: Hits] I believe in human freedom and human dignity, and that pretty much puts me into the 'alternate paradigm' described in this article. [Tags: Paradigm Shift] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Boris Mann[Edit][Delete]: Identity 2.0: We Must Federate and Cooperate, B.Mann Consulting [Edit][Delete] February 24, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] A general observation I have. People who have sites or destinations - things they want people to come to - want to federate. People who are more interested in what other people have to offer, and not focused on their own site or service, want something much more open, not just a federation but a democracy, where anyone can proclaim their identity. We hear a lot from the service providers. Who speaks for the people? [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Dave Warlick[Edit][Delete]: Richard Florida Presentation, 2 cents Worth [Edit][Delete]2 Cents Worth [Edit][Delete] February 24, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] Coverage of a recent talk by Richard Florida, the author who argues that creative people need specific types of environments in order to flourish. "Creativity knows no boundaries. Sex, color, nationality. It's universal. This is why, the places that are seeing their economies growing are places that are open and tolerant." This is something I believe, but mostly, I think, because this is what I, as a creative person, am seeking. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

John Lorinc[Edit][Delete]: The Bottom Line on Open Access, University Affairs [Edit][Delete] February 24, 2006
[link: Hits] Longish article on open access with a specific focus on Canadian issues, which I enjoyed. Good coverage, including reporting on lobbying against open access in the U.S., coverage of SSHRC deliberations on the issue, and accounts of some specific cases, such as IRRODL's attempt to get funding while functioning as an open access journal. The trend toward open access is well represented, and according to the author, the major barrier lies in academic itself - Canadian academics do not yet understand open access and are more focused on publication rather than distribution. [Tags: Canada, Academics and Academia] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Andy Carvin[Edit][Delete]: Open Content vs. Closed Doors (Or Closed Minds?), February 24, 2006
[link: Hits] Audio and slides from Andy Carvin's recent talk on a subject close to me. Haven't had a chance to listen to it (I may save it for the flight home) but certainly want to pass it along. More coverage, from the same conference, of talks by Nancy Davenport and Anne Margulies. [Tags: Podcasting] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Stephen Downes

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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


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