November 27, 2006


Dave Cormier, Jeff Lebow, Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: Webcast Discussion with Stephen Downes and Mike King of IBM, Ed Tech Talk [Edit][Delete] November 27, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] I am right now as I post this talking with Mike King, the director of IBM Global Education, on Ed Tech Talk - if you are one of those who reads the newsletter the second it comes in, you can catch the converstaion talking place now. Later on this evening I will be visiting the Ohio Learning Network with Michael feldstein to talk about the Blackboard patent and lawsuit. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

: The Social Web, Zdnet [Edit][Delete]ZDNet [Edit][Delete] November 27, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] Steve O'Hear has a new job blogging about social software for ZDNet (one of my regular sources). Among the topics he has covered are Elgg Spaces, the new hosted service from Elgg, crime in Second Life, and the lawsuit wars involving YouTube and MySpace. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

David H. Freedman[Edit][Delete]: What's Next: The Idiocy of Crowds, [Edit][Delete] November 27, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] This article is getting some traction, but it would have been nice had the author taken the time to comprehend the theory he is criticizing. He writes, "The effectiveness of groups, teamwork, collaboration, and consensus is largely a myth. In many cases, individuals do much better on their own. Our bias toward groups is counterproductive." Well, I would certainly agree with him on groups. But that is not the structure Surowiecki describes, nor is it how social networks are characterized per Watts and others, a distinction I have tried to make clear (with indifferent success) in Groups and Networks. Via Seb Schmoller. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

David Rothman[Edit][Delete]: LibWorm: Search and Current Awareness for Libraryfolk, [Edit][Delete] November 27, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] Launched Saturday, this service resembles Edu_RSS in many respects, except that it covers libraries and librarianship feeds and podcasts. It's also much larger, culling from some 1100 sources. Can't say I like the name of the service, though - couldn't they think of some other animal? (Historical note: my very first aggregator, coded way back in 1999 or so, was called 'grasshopper'). They have also added it to the Firefox (my experience doing that with Edu_RSS: not worth the effort... YMMV). [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Matt McKenzie[Edit][Delete]: Vista and More: Piecing Together Microsoft's DRM Puzzle, Computer World [Edit][Delete] November 27, 2006
[link: 4 Hits] The eSchool News this week came out with a very uncritical look at the upcoming deployment of Windows Vista and the choices educational institutions will have to make. Perhaps a more appropriate read might be this article from Computer World in Vista's digital rights management (DRM) technology. But that's something, I guess, that the promotional pieces will overlook; as the article states, "it's hard to sing the praises of technology designed to make life harder for its users." Vista also realizes the ultimate triumph of DRM: forcing you to use Microsoft (or certified partner) hardware. "If it finds a noncompliant device, it can downgrade the content stream to deliver a lower-quality picture -- or it can even refuse to play the content at all." This is a detailed article - if you have anything at all to do with software purchases, you should make sure you read it. [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Robert A. Wisher[Edit][Delete]: ADL Advocate: Making the Vision of Learning Anytime, Anywhere, a Reality, Military Training Technology [Edit][Delete] November 27, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] I think that I think of "Learning Anytime, Anywhere" very differently than ADL's Robert Wisher. Because in my mind, the phrase includes necessarily "anyone" - but Wisher has a much smaller set of recipients in mind, beginning with the U.S. military, and then expanding through a network of its partners and friends. That is why access control - rather than enabling access - is at the heart of initiatives like CORDRA, and why Wisher envisions "a federation of registries on a global scale" rather than an open and sharable network of open educational resources. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe ADL is as concerned about providing access for a cattle-boy in Lesotho as for a soldier out somewhere fighting a war. But I doubt it. And I know for certain where my priorities lie. And I know which of those two scenarios ought to be guiding the architecture and development of learning technology. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Pres Release[Edit][Delete]: High Technology in the Sandpit, EdNA [Edit][Delete] November 27, 2006
[link: 10 Hits] Launching today to celebrate EdNA's 9th anniversary, the Sandpit will provide educators with a play to experiment with new technologies, including (to start) Moodle and ELGG. According to the press release, "The development is one component of a major technical and content revamp of the successful site that allows educators to learn and hone their skills the way students do. Also included are podcasting, interactive web forums incorporating instant messaging, and the provision of syndicated content and services to thousands of third party portals." [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Nancy White[Edit][Delete]: Blogs and Community - Launching a New Paradigm for Online Community?, The Knowledge Tree [Edit][Delete] November 27, 2006
[link: 14 Hits] Some overdue recognition for this article posted lasted September by Nancy White that explains how 'topic centric communities' formed by networks of bloggers are changing our understanding of online communities. White toured Australia through the month of October and is still posting slides and audio from the events on a blog specially created for the visit. [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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Stephen Downes

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Copyright 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