August 21, 2006


Jay Cross[Edit][Delete]: MANAGEsmarter, Internet Time [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
[link: 7 Hits] Jay Cross introduces us to MANAGEsmarter and to their new blog, Training Day. The whole thing seems, well, so angry to me. Maybe it's the headline on the Training Magazine Cross has pictured on this post: Don't worry, be angry, which explains "why smiley sheets stink." Or the headline in MANAGEsmarter: Seven Steps to a Successful Murder Board. Even an article like Rebooting Hewlett-Packard sounds kind of nasty in this context. And it seems to me that if your training, as either trainer or trainee, makes you angry, then something has gone off the rails. Because training should be fun. Business should be fun. We are learning, growing, developing. These are good things, happy things! The hostility is a symptom of a disorder. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Julie Lindsay[Edit][Delete]: ELGG Spaces and PLEs, eLearning Blog [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
[link: Hits] Julie Lindsay ponders the role (and readiness) of ELGG Spaces and personal learning environments and, in that context, launches a new blog, In Touch With a Flat World. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Alan Levine[Edit][Delete]: We Can All Be Radio Stations, Cogdogblog [Edit][Delete]CogDogBlog [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] Another item on the theme of content consumers becoming content producers, this short item outlines the process with a useful and intuitive Gliffy diagram and, of course, links. "Limelight provides us a username, password, and server to send our audio streams to. We get a cryptic looking URL we can use to plug into iTunes to listen to a live stream, or attach in Second Life as an MP3 stream URL. To make it easier for people to connect, we embed this URL in a playlist file." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Christopher D. Sessums[Edit][Delete]: Stop Making Sense: Paradox as a Teaching Tool, Christopher D. Sessums : Weblog [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
[link: 14 Hits] Should I feel pleased to have solved a koan, or disappointed? Christopher D. Sessums observes, "Paradox provides an opportunity to explore the unconscious assumptions associated with much of reality. They allow us to play with notions of sense/nonsense, misconceptions, disequilibration, and other cognitive conflicts. This is where is where real learning, real action, begins." I like his writing, but I liked Seung Sahn's Twelve Gates more. Should I then have not read the Sessums article? [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Ian Delaney[Edit][Delete]: 10 Definitions of Web 2.0 and Their Shortcomings, twopointouch [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
[link: Hits] The correct answer is, of course, that Web 2.0 is a little of all of those definitions (as one commenter offers, the idea of trying for a definition at all may be misplaced, a la Wittgenstein). My own definition, if it could be called that, identifies the salient features of a network (like this) found in the new internet technologies and offers four standards of good practice: openness, diversity, autonomy, and connectivity. Of course, these are rough approximations too. Don't forget to read the comments; lots of great ideas. Via Assorted Stuff. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Ayo Kusamotu[Edit][Delete]: Professor Nicholas Negroponte's Technological Dance With the Developing World, The Vanguard [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
[link: Hits] Point by point refutation from a Nigerian writer of Indian economists' criticisms of the $100 laptop project (reprinted in OWL, the story is titled 'NIGERIA: A Response to India's Rejection of One Laptop Per Child'). Like Emma Duke-Williams, I too would buy one for $300 if it meant two were delivered to people who need them for free. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: ADL Releases SCORM 2004 3rd Edition Public Draft, ADL [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
[link: Hits] Yes, you read that headline correctly. ADL is making available the third edition of its 2004 Conformance Test Suite, Sample Run-Time Environment and documentation. After a 30-day review period the final specs will be released. And you'll be right up to date! Um, sort of. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Alfred Essa[Edit][Delete]: The Patent Crisis Widens with New Attacks, The NOSE [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
[link: Hits] As usual, you can obtain a full background on the Blackboard patent issue here.

And the issue, argues Alfred Essa, has widened into a full-blown crisis. "We are now in a full blown Hot War that threatens all software development, commercial and open source. Blackboard's offensive patent attack against Desire2Learn is only one among many emerging lawsuits that will soon rock the entire software industry. FireStar recently filed a lawsuit (also in East Texas) against Red Hat for the use of the principle of Object Relational Mapping in Hibernate (developed by JBoss), a popular component of Java applications.... In another patent case a small open source developer has been attacked for his model railroad software. Bob Jacobsen developed the JMRI model-railroad control software which he graciously distributes for free along with full souce code. Mr. Jacobsen was recently sent an invoice for $200,000 by Michael A. Katzer and his company, KAM."

He also reports that Desire2Learn has "selected Foley&Lardner, LLC s as their lead counsel in the patent litigation with Blackboard. According to John Baker( D2L CEO), 'Foley&Lardner is a highly regarded national firm that combines both the litigation experience and the technical knowledge to ensure a quality defense. In addition, we have secured an extension of time in which to file our first formal response to the suit, which is now due in September.'" Baker's full letter to clients is reprinted.

Meanwhile, a second company has jumped into the fray against Blackboard; I have no information other than this cut-off subscription article from the Washington Business Journal (which is really annoying). There was a comment in this site's discussion about a lawsuit taking place, but my Google searches turned up nothing.

e-LearningNow's Paul Justice calls the Blackboard patent and lawsuit a big gamble. "BlackBoard will have a difficult task in proving that they were indeed the inventors of the modern day LMS."

I am uncertain why the backers of the Washington Times feel it necessary to bolster Blackboard and hype its stock value. Perhaps the money behind Blackboard is feeling a bit of pressure.

Anyhow, the Times gushes: "It's a good growth company," said Kirsten Edwards, an analyst with ThinkEquity Partners LLC in San Francisco, which has no business relationship with Blackboard. Ms. Edwards said she rates the stock as a "buy" because the company's primary growth strategy -- selling more expensive and functional software upgrades to existing clients -- is "fairly low-risk."

Still, even the Times cannot hide the more sombre news hidden on (a very unnecessary) page 2 of the article. Chief Financial Officer Peter Repetti is stepping down, effective September 1, and as the Times notes, "In a research note, Merrill Lynch analyst Kash Rangan called Mr. Repetti's departure 'sudden, following just six months after the WebCT acquisition.'"

For the third quarter, the company expects a net loss of $5.4 million to $5 million on revenue between $48.4 and $49.3 million.

Desire2Blog comments on the Washington Times story (but as of this writing attributes it to the Washington Post).

Susan Smith Nash, minion of the E-Learning Queen, calls the Blackboard lawsuit today's equivalent to domain-squatting and argues, "if Blackboard prevails in their case against the Canadian learning management system developer, Desire 2 Learn (D2L), they may have killed courseware and learning management systems as we know [them]."

Alfred Essa asked Harold Jarche why he thinks ELGG is not affected by the Blackboard patent and Jarche responds in detail. "lgg is not a course-based system. There is no mention of courses in the interface, nor ability to create a course."

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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