August 17, 2006


Mark Gerencser, Fernando Napolitano, and Reginald Van Lee: The Megacommunity Manifesto, Booz Allen Hamilton August 17, 2006
[link: 10 Hits] How do we solve the hard problems facing our communities? Poverty, for example, or environment, or employment? With a provincial election to be called Friday evening, this question is especially relevant here. Some say such matters are best left to the private sector; others place the responsibility on government. This paper argues that "the conventional managerial decision-making style - in which a boss exercises decision rights or delegates them to subordinates - is no longer adequate. Solutions require multi-organizational systems that are larger and more oriented to multilateral action than conventional cross-sector approaches are... a megacommunity is not strictly a business niche. Nor is it a public-private partnership, which is typically an alliance focused on a relatively narrow purpose. A megacommunity is a larger ongoing sphere of interest, where governments, corporations, NGOs, and others intersect over time." [Tags: ] [Comment]

Christian Long: Toymakers and Textbook Publishers In a Race to Keep Up with Those Pesky Astronomers, think:lab August 17, 2006
[link: 19 Hits] Within a few seconds of the IAU vote, Wikipedia will be up to date, recording the fact that we have 12 planets in the solar system. Newspapers and television will record the information some hours later, some course materials by this september, textbooks in a year or two. Encyclopedia Britannica? Maybe never. As for me, well, while I celebrate the addition of Ceres and Xena to the solar system, I question why Charon ought not be counted as a moon, and I will not rest until Sedna takes its place in the pantheon. [Tags: , ] [Comment]

StevenB: Google Jockeys For Conference Sessions, ACRLog August 17, 2006
[link: 10 Hits] Someone at the Masie Center must be reading blogs, as this items tells us that the next masie conference will use Google jockeys, people who search Google for resources (displayed on a large screen) while a presenter talks. The conference will also have someone developing mindmaps during presentations, a la e-learning forum. These are good developments: they increase participation and provide multiple streams of information to the attendee. [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Unattributed: MobiFilm Academy, Nokia August 17, 2006
[link: 16 Hits] Although the focus of this set of lessons is film-making using a mobile device, it nonetheless offers some excellent advice for video recoding in general. How to frame your shot, how to pan and zoom, and much more. Recommended if you're playing with video. [Tags: ] [Comment]

George Siemens: Michael Feldstein and Blackboard, Elearnspace ELearnSpace August 17, 2006
[link: 103 Hits] Alfred Essa raises concerns that IMS might have now that one of its partners has played the patent card. The next IMS meeting, to be hosted by Blackboard in September, should be a pretty interesting session. Essa wonders what a question and answer with Blackboard would look like.

The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) send an email advising "the patents are afforded no 'presumption of validity'" and that, as Michael Feldstein summarizes, "there is no patent in Europe yet, it will take a long time for there to be a patent in Europe, and in the event that there is a patent in Europe, the EUf¢xTMs patent law is much friendlier to challenging patents than current U.S. law."

Michael Feldstein also explains why Desire2Learn CEO John Baker is our hero, explaining that "Desire2Learn is doing an enormous public service." Of course, others have observed, D2L may have no choice - once you cave on something like this, you can count on the gravy train leading to your doorstep.

George Siemens agrees, Michael Feldstein will not be winning an "educator of the year" award from Blackboard. He adds, "Personally, I'm not convinced D2L is doing it out of altruistic reasons...but it does appear to be a side effect of their willingness to challenge Blackboard's boorish behaviour (that is officially my first use of "boorish" in five years fo blogging :))."

"It's almost too easy nowadays to make the case that government frequently makes bonehead plays," observes Lanny Arvan. "What about the private sector? And specifically, what about the Blackboard Patent and the D2L suit.... If¢xTMm not confident either way whether what wef¢xTMre seeing now is rational or a bonehead play by Blackboard. But I do know enough about economics to understand that goodwill is a non-tangible asset with real market value and it is not hard for me to see that under certain assumptions that Blackboard could take a hit in the goodwill department beyond what it ever might recover in royalties and deterrence benefits."

Via Liberal Education Today, we read that "A website urging people to boycott Blackboard has gathered hundreds of signatures in a petition drive."

Confused of Calcutta writes, "I am not sure whether open source information has been used as a defence before, but this becomes a case to watch and to learn from."

Project Open Source | Open Access writes, "BlackBoard's American patent is curious in that it purports to patent any kind of course-based multi-user system, particularly common features such as assigning roles and permissions to provide users with various levels of access. These are features which have been generalized in all kinds of software, and have a long history in educational technologies." [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [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