August 16, 2006


Press Release[Edit][Delete]: Statement Regarding Captain Copyright, Access Copyright [Edit][Delete] August 16, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] Today's issue has several of the longer posts I have been writing recently. This is unusual, but I do plan to occasionally include the longer posts. It would be useful to receive feedback on this - do people prefer the 100 word items exclusively, or is it preferable to get as much as 500 words on an item from time to time?

This item is a statement on the revisions proposed for the 'Captain Copyright' comic, an effort that was widely (and justly) criticized. The authors also say they were "saddened by the misconceptions" regardingb their linking policy (despite what the policy actually said). As for me, well, I am wondering whether they have permission to use the 'Canada' logo at the bottom of the page. The logo has strict use conditions and a display of the logo implies that the government endorses or is responsible for the content of the page. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

John Daniel, Asha Kanwar and Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic[Edit][Delete]: A Tectonic Shift in Global Higher Education, Change [Edit][Delete] August 16, 2006
[link: Hits] It would be tempting but wrong to swiftly dismiss this article. The heart of the argument is this: "Undoubtedly, tens of millions of young adults in the third world will be seeking postsecondary education in the coming years... By necessity, those nations are likely to seek a much greater role for private, for-profit institutions than is the case in the developed world. We predict that, seeing a massive market opening, for-profit institutions in the developed world will expand their cross-border provision of educational services, especially distance and e-learning. Establishing quality assurance mechanisms for such rapid expansion thus will be a major challenge for governments."

Leave aside the fact that this crisis was caused by the very people who will now purport to fix it - the World Bank, for example, actively discouraged investments in higher education. The solution being proposed is that governments charge tuition fees, thus "leveling the playing field" for private institutions, who can then attract grants to create scholarhips, thus creating the premise of the argument, a more equitable access than via a free tuition policy.

"The net result will be that within a decade or two, private, for-profit provision, already estimated at $350 billion worldwide, is likely to account for a larger proportion of higher education in the developing countries than it now does in the industrialized world." Maybe so. Keeping the flim-flam artists out will require a major effort, which explains the emphasis on quality. And that's where WTO and OECD are putting their efforts. For those interested in learning, however, open educational resources and internet access to communities of practice - a methodology barely discussed by the authors - will serve the genuine need. So long, that is, as we can ensure that these same trade regulations do not make open access - and freedom - illegal. [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Sonia Arrison[Edit][Delete]: A Laptop in Every Hut?, TechNewsWorld [Edit][Delete] August 16, 2006
[link: Hits] This opinion column argues that the $100 laptop initiative is a group of "open source zealots are looking to export their ideological crusade overseas, creating a need for their commercial services by tying a new generation of young consumers to laptops running on Linux software." The author is from the Pacific Research Institute, listed at SourceWatch. Via OWL. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: The Gong Project, August 16, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] More multimedia goodness. "Gong is a free system for voice communication on the Web. It allows groups of people such as students and teachers to participate in discussion groups using their computers, using both synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous chat. It is commonly used by schools and universities for providing a 'voice board' for teaching purposes." Via Scott Leslie. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Alan Levine[Edit][Delete]: Portals Redux, Cogdogblog [Edit][Delete]CogDogBlog [Edit][Delete] August 16, 2006
[link: Hits] RSS, feeds, web 2.0 - they're on your grandfather's portal now. So says Alan Levine. Correctly. Check out Sphere, a blog search engine with RSS feeds. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Mark Ahlness[Edit][Delete]: Arbor Heights - a Dozen Years on the Web!, WWWEDU [Edit][Delete] August 16, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] By looking in the right place, you sometimes find the right thing. The right place, in this instance, is this post by Mark Ahlness on WWWDEV. The right thing was found when I decided it was worth listing here in OLDaily, and is found below.

Ahlness writes (I have embedded links into the text), "Today is an important anniversary. Twelve years ago today, August 14, 1994, the Arbor Heights Elementary School web site appeared on the Internet. Below are a dozen items to remember and celebrate:
1) Our first page looked like this.
2) Ours was the 9th elementary school with a web site. It is the only one of those schools still at the same URL: - or these days, just head to
3) Take a virtual tour of the evolution of our home page
4) The Arbor Heights Elementary School web site was featured via screenshot in Bill Gates' "The Road Ahead".
5) The site hosts the complete archive of The Random Thoughts of Louis Schmier, a collection of the writings of one of the Internet's visionary educational philosophers for more than a decade.
6) The Arbor Heights web site originated, was the host for several years for, and is still the physical coordinating center for, the largest educational activity coordinated on the Internet, The Earth Day Groceries Project.
Not resting on its laurels, the school is pushing out into the world of web 2.0 with the last six:
7) a PTSA blog.
8) six rss feeds on its home page
9) a PTSA listserv>
10) a school wiki, just starting out
11) podcasts of and pdf versions of the Jr. Seahawk Newsletter, "The oldest continuously published elementary school student newspaper on the Internet" here and here
12) home of - a classroom of third graders helping to redefine 21st century literacy

[Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Louis Schmier[Edit][Delete]: Creating A Motivational Classroom, Random Thoughts [Edit][Delete] August 16, 2006
[link: Hits] Sometimes I wonder whether I'm right in my approach, philosophy and priorities when it comes to learning, and then out of the blue comes a well-respected source that confirms and crystalizes my thoughts on the issue. Hence, from Louis Schmier:

"Too many academics, ignoring the conclusions of Carl Rogers and Edward Deci and Teresa Amabile, if we know who they are and are familiar with their work, think we can "do" something to a student. That is, we can motivate or we can teach. And, too many of us believe we can do it by the pressure of enticement or threat, and control. We crack down, impose stringent discipline, lure and entice with bonuses, make students buckle down, threaten, and force students to behave through reward and punish with grades. Extra credit here, a point taken off a grade there. It doesn't work. We know it doesn't work...."

"The solution to these three problems is really, then, a matter of how to transform forced reluctant and fearful compliance into volunteered dedicated and excited commitment. You have to let students learn in a way so that they are in charge of their intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and moral growth.... Students' definition of success, what they really are seeking is not solely focused on getting the grade though they themselves think it is.... They seek self-approval, self-respect, physical and mental well-being, spiritual contentment, self-actualization, and an overall sense of meaning to their lives. In other words, they want a satisfying, meaningful, rewarding, and significant life, not just a grade or an honor or making a living."

Now: return to the art of complex problem solving I linked to yesterday and compare this to that, with the teacher in the role of 'client' and the students in the role of 'implementors'. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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

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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.

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