December 6, 2006


George Siemens[Edit][Delete]: College Education Without Prospects, Elearnspace [Edit][Delete]ELearnSpace [Edit][Delete] December 6, 2006
[link: 7 Hits] George Siemens links to this unencouraging article from the New York Times (so it will disappear from view shortly) about schools in India. "A lack of communications skills may be the most obvious shortcoming, but it is not the only one. A deeper problem, specialists say, is a classroom environment that treats students like children even if they are in their mid-20's. Teaching emphasizes silent note-taking and discipline at the expense of analysis and debate." Of course, I take note of the source, and wonder just how accurate this account is, and whether it depends more on stereotypes than data. Not every school in India is perfect, to be sure, but I find it very hard to believe that the schools of an entire nation - especially one as resurgent as India - leaves its graduates unprepared for work. I am much less concerned than the Times, for example, about students being educated in languages other than English. And what are the sources for the article? A former Harvard professor, a couple of tech company execs, and some 'buy 'em by the dozen' student quotes. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Leonard Low[Edit][Delete]: Carnival of the Mobilists, Edition 56, Mobile Learning [Edit][Delete] December 6, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] The Carnival of the Mobilists is well known, having been bouncing around the ether for some time now. What caught my eye in this edition was Leonard Low's remark, "My fellow edubloggers may also be interested in my preparation for launching a Carnival of the Edublogs early next year (so that the lull of the holidays doesn't slow the momentum of the event getting going). I've already set up a blog for tracking each week's installment at" Good stuff. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Fred Stutzman[Edit][Delete]: Social Networking: Five Sites You Need to Know, Unit Structures [Edit][Delete] December 6, 2006
[link: 10 Hits] Some social networking buzz. The five sites aren't what you might expect. "In my opinion," writes the author, " these trends are really telling. Social networking is absolutely here to stay - this is not simply a 'phenomenon'." I agree - the phenomeonon may be refined, but the idea of creating systems that help people connect with each other will not go away. Via Partnering for Professionalism. Related: see also Let's be Friends for some discussion of different types of online friendship, from twopointouch by Ian Delaney. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jeff Jarvis[Edit][Delete]: Bad Guys Winning, Buzznet [Edit][Delete] December 6, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] I have also noticed the increase in spam propelled through our (no doubt very expensive) spam filtering system, and therefore agree with Jeff Jarvis when he says, "Anyone who thinks that spam is a problem that has been or will be solved with technology alone is wrong." Now I have also noted that there is also no legal solution to the problem either. There is, in my view, only one way around spam: change our current 'push' technologies to 'pull' technologies. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Anne Smith[Edit][Delete]: Skype v. Blogger: The Battle of the Fishbowl, Learning and Laptops [Edit][Delete] December 6, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] Tom Hoffman criticizes the use of Skype to facilitate in-class discussion (they're just within a few feet of each other, he notes. Why don't they use Jabber, or something that doesn't involve using a global network. My respose: why not? And as Hoffman notes: it works. Nuff said.) [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michael Geist[Edit][Delete]: Canadian Documentary Film Makers Speak Out on Copyright, [Edit][Delete] December 6, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] Harold Jarche and Michael Geist report on a letter submitted by Canada's documentary film makers (if you are not from Canada, then you should know that documentaries are the major type of film made in Canada). "The letter notes the growing concern with the effect of copyright on documentary film makers, citing the survey results which found that 85 percent of film makers find copyright more harmful than beneficial and 82 percent find that the law is more likely to discourage them from making new films." More. [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