August 18, 2006


Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Webcasts a Boon to School Sports, ESchool News [Edit][Delete] August 18, 2006
[link: 4 Hits] This article looks at "the little Ivy League" sports team, but from my perspective, where webcasting will be just huge is in the broadcasting and recording of high school and minor league sports. Oh sure, the production values (especially at first) will be awful, but as students develop expertise at a younger and younger age, the broadcasts will become more slick and more popular - at least, with their friends and family. Oh, and the television networks discussed in this article? Who needs them? Forget the Ivy league. Forget ESPN. Think local high school on YouTube or Google Video, or a live version of the same thing. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Maish Nichani[Edit][Delete]: The Changing Face of University Websites, pebbleRoad [Edit][Delete] August 18, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] Maish Nichani looks at recent design trends on university websites, explaining their changing use (or non-use) of web standards, different organization schemes, navigation and utility navigation, home pages, news. RSS and branding. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: In The Online Realm, It's Good to Share, News.Com [Edit][Delete] August 18, 2006
[link: Hits] I have been saying this for years, and people have responded by saying that I'm just an idealist. Quite a surprise, then, for them to discover that it's a good business model. Anyhow, if you're still not sure, have a look at this series of articles from For example, VideoJug: "The site, which launched in beta version a few days ago, aims to be the ultimate source of video instruction on just about anything imaginable, from identifying cancer to cooking pasta. "We are building a living encyclopedia of life, on video," the site proclaims. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Survey Reports Canadian Tech Transfer, University Affairs [Edit][Delete] August 18, 2006
[link: Hits] This accords with my own observations. "The data shows that, far from there being an academic venture capital complex that pounces on the results of taxpayer-funded research and reaps enormous profits from products that are ready for the marketplace," the report said, "the initial steps on the road from lab to market are fraught with difficulties." [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

William H. Rice IV[Edit][Delete]: Moodle E-Learning Course Development (Book), SchoolForge [Edit][Delete] August 18, 2006
[link: Hits] The book Moodle E-Learning Course Development, by William H. Rice IV, has been posted as a PDF link to Schoolforge. The 73 page book is a free download. David M. Bucknell writes, "I think and others of you might want to consider putting the e-book on your sites for download. Personally, I see a downside to moodle for primary/elementary schoolers (mainly that it's too complicated visually vs. say, Manhattan, which hasn't taken off the same way), but I can't nay-say what Steve points out about the positive force the software has been for getting people interested in OSS. So, you can download the pdf form Open Source Schools and put it on yours. If you want." [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Steve Hargadon[Edit][Delete]: Interview with Michelle Moore, EdTechLive [Edit][Delete] August 18, 2006
[link: Hits] The 'Steve' in the previous post is Steve Hargadon, who reports on an interview with Michelle Moore about Moodle on EdTechLive, his new weekly podcast of interviews. Moore conducted three sessions about Moodle at the Open Source Lab at NECC 2006, and as Hargadon reports, all three were packed. Hargadon writes, "As we talked, I was reminded of the impact that Moodle is having in introducing free and open source software to the education market. Michelle tells the story of her husband, as a district technology director, saw Moodle change the whole story with regard to the use of open source software--previously, he had met resistance in implementing open source solutions, but with Moodle there was a huge push from the users to make it available." [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

David Tosh and Ben Werdmuller[Edit][Delete]: edufilter, [Edit][Delete] August 18, 2006
[link: Hits] David Tosh and Ben Werdmuller, better known for ELGG, have started a new service, edufilter, that reviews interesting (and dare I say remarkable?) online educational services and interviews their operators. They began a couple days ago with a discussion of Ed Tech Talk and today gave their readers a look at OLDaily - yes, this here very newsletter. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michael Feldstein[Edit][Delete]: Eben Moglen Weighs in on Blackboard, E-Literate [Edit][Delete] August 18, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] The Sakai Foundation has retained has retained the Software Freedom Law Center to evaluate the recent Blackboard patent. The SFLC, an organization directed by Eben Moglen, provides advice and legal services in support of free and open source software. Michael Feldstein remarks, "Eben Moglen is a pretty big deal. In addition to chairing the Software Freedom Law Center, he has affiliations with the Free Software Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

Feldstein also notes that eCollege has panted the gradebook, though it hasn't sued anyone yet. Which is good. But, he argues, "the best solution would be for Blackboard, eCollege, and other firms that may be holding relevant patents to all offer royalty-free licenses, guaranteeing that the patents will only be used defensively." I think an even better solution would be to donate the patents to an open source project, thus ensuring that the technologies remain accessible to everyone.

The Motley Fool looks at Blackboard and discusses the patent case (no idea how long this link will stay active). The Fool likes companies like Blackboard, but isn't thrilled about the lawsuit.

The author writes, "My problem is that the patent in question is so broad that it even scares operators of bulletin boards and chat rooms that have little to do with educational markets. There have been calls to boycott Blackboard, and e-learning online communities are abuzz with indignation over the temerity of this lawsuit and the underlying patent. That's not a good way to build a fan base.

"Blackboard is an exciting company with a lot going for it, but until we see how its customers respond to the lawsuit situation, I wouldn't dare touch the stock with a 10-foot laser pointer. The fears might be overblown, but you just never know."

An article in Inside Higher Ed, Blackboard: Bully or Misunderstood, drew a lot of criticism for misrepresenting the opposition to the Blackboard patent and for giving Blackboard‚xTMs general counsel, Matthew Small, an easy ride. Small, quoted throughout the article, said, "This is not a patent on e-learning. We are not bullying anyone. We are not looking to put anyone out of business. We are looking to obtain a reasonable royalty for use of our intellectual property."

If you want to help Desire2Learn, send them your "hard copy users guides from June 1998 and earlier... documentation, release notes, even brochures."

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Copyright √ff√,¬Į√f,√,¬Ņ√f,√,¬Ĺ 2006 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