September 6, 2006


Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: My Work, My Freedom, Half an Hour [Edit][Delete] September 6, 2006
[link: Hits] I'm sitting on the porch at the guest house here in Bloem, about to leave for a Free State Braii. Today's keynote - skypecas was a wild frenzy of multitasking on stage, but it was all really interesting. This column, which I wrote this afternoon, has nothing to do with the conference here. No newsletter tomorrow - I'm going to Lesotho. And I'm gathering an incredible array of video, photos, audio and more, about life, learning, the internet, and more. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Steve Hargadon[Edit][Delete]: Audio Webcast Interview, September 6, 2006
[link: Hits] Interview with Larry Cuban, emeritus professor of education at Stanford, and author of "Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom," to be posted on Thursday (I kind of have to link ahead of time, since my sechedule is tight - in the mean time, see Steve Hargadon's interviews with Victoria Davis and Adam Frey on wikis, Michelle Moore on Moodle, and David Thornburg on OSS in education, all accessible from the same page. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Diigo, September 6, 2006
[link: 10 Hits] "Seamless integration of social bookmarking, web highlighter, Sticky-note and clipping." Via Soobrosa, who writes, "Big up, wiser than most LMSes." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tim Stahmer[Edit][Delete]: Kindergarten Gulag, Assorted Stuff [Edit][Delete] September 6, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] The headline says it all, doesn't it? "Instead of story time, finger painting, tracing letters and snack, first graders are spending hours doing math work sheets and sounding out words in reading groups. In some places, recess, music, art and even social studies are being replaced by writing exercises and spelling quizzes." Related: soobrosa on motivation and feedback.

I would add as well that a fundamental purpose of recess, arts and social studies is to promote freedom by enabling it - and so I wonder about this unfree generation of children now being raised. Remember, how we used to hear, that freedom and democracy may have flaws, but they are much better than any other form of government? I wonder when people stopped believing this, and how it is that they feel that a command economy is somehow better. Remember - the lessons we teach our children are based, not on the content we teach, but on how we act, how we behave. Authoritarian teachers raise dictators, even if they teach Rousseau. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Dave Warlick[Edit][Delete]: Am I Getting This Wrong?, 2 cents Worth [Edit][Delete]2 Cents Worth [Edit][Delete] September 6, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] Dave Warlick looks at a study found through the National Center or Education Statistics, Computer and Internet Use by Students in 2003, dated September 5, 2006, that appears to use 6 year-old data. And he asks, is he wrong to think there's something wrong with this? "How many members were there of MySpace in 2003?" (I think that would be none, Dave, and the current figure is 86 million). Read the comments, not only for my response, but also for a link to "cartoon-style drawings of the DOE's vision of 'School 2.0.'"

(p.s. I am noticing that, because feeds are ordered alphabetically in Bloglines, I tend to favour some over others when I am in a rush - I wonder whether Dave planned to be at the top of the list his his title, '2 Cents Worth' (I wonder about everything) - anyhow, for people like 'Teachable Moment' or 'TechSmith Blog' note that I am aware of the bias and am working to redress it). [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Carl DiOrio[Edit][Delete]: Unions Seek Higher Residuals for New Media, BackStage [Edit][Delete] September 6, 2006
[link: Hits] The studios and publishers are suing people and campaigning even for even tighter copyright laws because they believe that artists should be supported. Right? Remember that? How do these same people feel the people who actually produce that same content should be paid? These people "are now being asked to accept even slimmer payments for ad-supported streaming of TV shows. And that's slimmer as in nada." Right. Nothing. That's what the publishers really want to pay artists. Just like in academia. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

StevenB[Edit][Delete]: Gaining The Trust Of Students, ACRLog [Edit][Delete] September 6, 2006
[link: Hits] Authority figures - even librarians, as this article notes - are becoming less and less trusted, as people are beginning to favour "people like me." As Gerry McGovern states, "The Web gives customers the power to talk back and be heard by other customers like them. The Web strips away authority from the establishment. In fact, the Web is leading a backlash against traditional authority figures." So, how to fix this? Easy. Stop being an authority figure. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Scott Jaschik[Edit][Delete]: You May Have Been YouTubed, Inside Higher Ed [Edit][Delete] September 6, 2006
[link: Hits] Too funny - students are secretly recording videos of their professors and posting them on YouTube. This is a practice I encourage. Oh, I know, there will be much righteous objections on the part of professors. But really, if you are not willing to have your words posted for the whole world to see, you shouldn't really be saying them, now should you?

The objection, of course, is as Ann Springer says. "The professor's presentation in class is the professor's intellectual property, and to submit it to a Web site is a violation of those rights -- and a concern to the university and the professor." Well, you see, this is just a mistaken view of what is happening in a classroom. A class is the production of the class, not the professor, and as a participant in the class, the student has as much right to the recording as anyone else. The professor does not "own" the class - to say so is to summarily, without process, deprive students of possession of something they have not only helped create but also paid for the privilege. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Scott Jaschik[Edit][Delete]: Momentum for Open Access Research, Inside Higher Ed [Edit][Delete] September 6, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] The scholarly societies have been opposing open access to academic content, but as this article notes, it is increasingly apparent that they represent only their own interests, and not those of the academics they purport to represent. I haven't covered every iteration of the increasingly show of support by academics for open access, but this increment, the most recentl, in which the provosts of 25 research universities came out in favor of open access, is typical. The support for open access is there, as people become aware of the issue. And with that support, open access publishing beomes inevitable (and it will be really nice to be able to retire this issue - which, really, is nothing more than a battle against self-interested greed - and move on to the next challenge). [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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Stephen Downes

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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.

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