December 4, 2006


Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: The Form of Informal, Half an Hour [Edit][Delete] December 4, 2006
[link: Hits] I have a couple of recent items. In The Form of Informal, I argue that critics of informal l;earning equivocate between two senses of the word 'form', and that 'informal' does not mean 'without structure'. Also, in Virtues Education I look at the argument offered by Paul Tough in a recent New York Times article. The methods described by Tough may appear to work, I write, but they are not scalable, and even if they were, the sort of cultural subversion he describes creates far more harm than he imagines. "Indoctrination, however much it appears to work in the short term and on a small scale, is not the answer. Empowerment is, and only ever has been." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

: 10 Reasons to Go Short on Second Life, This is going to be BIG [Edit][Delete] December 4, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] I have been less than enthusiastic about Second Life, and this article captures some of the reasons why. In fairness, here are some responses to O'Donnell's criticisms. To me, though, there are two major problems with Second Life. First, it's a single company, which means there's no democracy, no user rights, and therefore, none of the freedoms people online have come to expect. Corporations like it, sure, so it gets a lot of press. But it ends there. Second, though it appears because it is a visual web (as opposed to the more mainstream text-based web) it is only one way a visual web could work, and a rather boring one at that. There will be a visual and multidimensional environment that goes mainstream, but it won't be owned by some company and it won't simply be an online version of the real world. Think about it - all the ways people could learn in a multidimensional visual world and they recreate a lecture theatre? Sheesh. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Seb Schmoller[Edit][Delete]: Educational Change and ICT, Fortnightly Mailing [Edit][Delete] December 4, 2006
[link: 26 Hits] A new report from Becta says "concentrate on people not technology," reposts Seb Schmoller in this item summarizing the e-Strategy Implementation Review" (eSIR), a 106 page, 2 MB PDF. According to Schmoller, the report "probably adds fuel and water in roughly equal measure to the new Chair of Becta Andrew Pinder's call to organise industrially," though the go-slow attitude it seems to recommend "does read rather as a throwback to the era before Becta had been given the challice of actually implementing the e-Strategy." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

: Digital Identity Mapping, heyjude [Edit][Delete] December 4, 2006
[link: Hits] Nice diagram dividing Web 2.0 enterprises into a set of useful categories. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Martin LaMonica[Edit][Delete]: Futurist: To Fix Education, Think Web 2.0, CNet News.Com [Edit][Delete]CNET [Edit][Delete]CNet [Edit][Delete]CNet news.Com [Edit][Delete] December 4, 2006
[link: Hits] Well, web 2.0 in learning has been anointed. John Seely Brown: "Rather than treat pedagogy as the transfer of knowledge from teachers who are experts to students who are receptacles, educators should consider more hands-on and informal types of learning. These methods are closer to an apprenticeship, a farther-reaching, more multilayered approach than traditional formal education, he said." Will Richardson responds:, pointing to "the ability to connect to others who are passionate about whatever it is that you want to learn." Related: Ross Dawson's overview of Web 2.0. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Masaki Kondo[Edit][Delete]: Nintendo's Wii Selling Out in Japan, E-Commerce Times [Edit][Delete]E-Commerce Times [Edit][Delete] December 4, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] I think the deployment of Nintendo's Wii (pronounced 'wee') has many more implications for online learning than does Second Life (though I can imagine an interesting sub theme around the idea of Wii-enabled SL interaction). What makes the Wii revolutionary is that its wireless controllers send input to the program based on its location and movement, and not merely what buttons have been pushed. I've been watching people play with the Wii in the local tech shops. The interaction with the game is a much more bodily interaction, much more analogue. I think (based on what I've seen) that it will be especially popular with women and girls. I think the marketing has been pretty good. But this video will really give you a feel for the product (ignore the offensive title and comments). The Wii is the first of the gaming consoles that I actually want - now that's saying something, I think. (p.s. the two-handed controllers are called nunchuks.) [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Ryan Paul[Edit][Delete]: Open Source Projects Threatened by e-learning Patent, Ars Technica [Edit][Delete] December 4, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] There has been much more discussion about the Blackboard patent case following the filing of two separate appeals to the U.S. patent board last week - in addition to the one filed by the open source LMS organizations, as Seb Schmoller reports in detail, Desire2Learn files it's own appeal with the U.S. Patent Bureau. Ars Technica focuses on the open source application. Coverage from Inside Higher Education. The Chronicle, meanwhile, remains the one source of coverage you can't read (don't know why they even bother, really). Sakai's statement and FAQ. . Michael Feldstein argues that the challenges have less to dfo with open source than with the fact that it's Blackboard's customers that are taking this action. Feldstein also explains in detail the distinction between ex parte and inter partes patent re-examinations. [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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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