August 9, 2006


Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Virtual and Immersive Learning, Campus Technology [Edit][Delete] August 9, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] I really have mixed feelings about this. I remember looking at ActiveWorlds years ago, long before Second Life came to the fore. Neat, I thought, but rendering problems and a distinct lack of any applications spoke against further investigation. Now people are looking at these virtual environments in more detail, and even building life-sized virtual environments, as at Purdue, and though I still suppose they're a good idea, I am still hard-pressed to get excited about them. I mean - I have this image of a student rushing to school, rushing to her VR studio, opening the door - only to find herself in a (virtual) classroom. Yes, I like immersive environments - but the environments I've tried cost millions of dollars and are available only to the military and millionaire students. And they have no shortage of researchers interested in their needs. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Charles Nelson[Edit][Delete]: Plagiarism: Another Perspective, Explorations in Learning [Edit][Delete] August 9, 2006
[link: Hits] Interesting take on what may be called "institutional plagiarism," including "ghostwriting, honorary authorship, political speechwriting and beauracratic documents." Certainly I have seen no shortage of presentations written by staff for some executive member or officer who will present it (it's always sad to see them flip through slides knowing nothing about their content). For that matter, what would we call a news article that reprints a press release? An editorial that reprints a campaign circular? Let's face it - plagiarism is rampant in our society. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Scott Leslie[Edit][Delete]: The Future of... - Three Contrasting Views, EdTechPost [Edit][Delete] August 9, 2006
[link: Hits] I received an email recently that prompted me to look at my essay, The Future of Online Learning, written almost exactly eight years ago. Games, multimedia, conferencing - it's all there, as well as online communities, facilitators, even the emphasis on testing and personalization. I talk about instructional management systems, of course, but also talk about what happens when class and course based models are abandoned. How does my article compare to the three futures described here? Well, in addition to being the most detailed, I would still argue that it remains the most accurate - and I have eights years of trends now to support the contentions made in that original paper. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

J. Ritchie Boyd[Edit][Delete]: Cyberbullying on the Rise, Digital Latchkey [Edit][Delete] August 9, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] Cyberbullying isn't that new, though it is a recent arrival in the newly DOPA-aware political environment. All the statistics I have ever seen indicate that cyber-bullying is a bigger problem than on line predation. So will shutting down access to MySpace help? No, because then the bullies will just go back to good old-fashioned schoolyard bullying. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jay Rosen[Edit][Delete]: The Pros Gonna Blog You Under the Table, PressThink [Edit][Delete] August 9, 2006
[link: 12 Hits] Could a professional reporter replace me? Of course one could. I have a lot of distractions; a professional could blog full-time (and would probably have spell-checking software). But here's the question: what is the market for a professional blogger who specializes in online learning? Pretty slim, I would say. And would such a blogger feel comfortable opposing the recent patent of potentially the largest advertiser on the site? Not so likely. So, maybe I can't be replaced by a professional. Sobering thought, isn't it? [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Clarence Fisher[Edit][Delete]: Blogging Productivity Study, Remote Access [Edit][Delete] August 9, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] Interesting item showing that the advantage of elite universities is being eroded by the internet. "In the past, simply moving to a top end university would double the output of a professor simply by having access to the top minds in his fields and by being able to interact with a powerful faculty. This advantage is true no longer. The Internet has made these ideas open to all and the geography of the ideas no longer matters." Also interesting is that the Economist's take seems to be that universities ought to shut this down. "With professors spending so much time blogging for no payment, universities might wonder whether this detracts from their value." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Scott McLemee[Edit][Delete]: Divided Mind, Inside Higher Ed [Edit][Delete] August 9, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] Interesting review of a collection of essays by George Scialabba published (but just barely distributed) by Arrowhead Press. What caught my attention was the description of Scialabba as a 'public intellectual' and, of course, the utter disinterest he has shown in writing a book. Also, "He writes in what William Hazlitt - the patron saint of generalist essayists - called the 'the familiar style,' and he is sometimes disarmingly explicit about the difficulties, even the pain, he experiences in trying to resolve cultural contradictions." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michael Feldstein[Edit][Delete]: Grounds for Challenging a U.S. Patent, e-Listerate [Edit][Delete] August 9, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] Scott Leslie points to the inaugural winner of the new Educause 'Catalyst' award, 'Course Management Systems'. Yes, that's right - not a single product, but the entire field, created, as Educause notes, "in pockets of innovation throughout the world."

Michael Feldstein contributes grounds for challenging a U.S. patent.

Michael Feldstein, in an Open Letter to eCollege, calls that company to task for its own patents. While not equating it with Blackboard, Feldstein still seeks assurances that the patents are merely defensive and suggests that eCollege donate them to the OSDL patent common.

Joseph Hart shares his personal history with Blackboard at Eastern Oregon University (EOU). "Blackboard abandoned their base of small institutions to go after the big money large institutions, but many of the most prestigious large institutions are operating within consortia to push forward open source efforts; therefore Blackboard is in danger of losing both the big plums and the little plums."

Alfred Essa contributes a fictitious conversation between Blackboard's CEO and Blackboard's Spinmeister.

Ken Reimer, founder of the e-learning comopany Learnstream, says it "seems that BlackBoard wants to take over the world, with claims that most Learning Management Systems contain proprietary inventions." How to stop them? It's all about money, he says. "If we could band together, we could make an economic impact, and demonstrate some real strength to fight these LMS patent claims."

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