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by Stephen Downes
January 17, 2007

Petition for Guaranteed Public Access to Publicly-Funded Research Results
What is remarkable about this position is the high profile of its sponsors, including JISC. The petition urges support for a recent recommendation to "Establish a European policy mandating published articles arising from EC-funded research to be available after a given time period in open access archives." Various Authors, SPARC January 18, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

How to Do Research At the MIT AI Lab
From this guide, and as good a way as any to start today's newsletter: "At the same time, science is a conversation. An awful lot of good people have done their best and they're written about it. They've accomplished a great deal and they've completely screwed up. They've had deep insights and they've been unbelievably blind. They've been heros and cowards. And all of this at the same time. Your work will be manageable and comprehensible if it is framed as a conversation with these others. It has to speak to their problems and their questions, even if it's to explain what's wrong with them. A thesis topic that doesn't participate in a conversation with the literature will be too big or too vague, or nobody will be able to understand it." Via Scott Wilson. David Chapman, Editor, MIT January 17, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Walled Gardens and Mobile Learning
The other shoe drops. Leonard Low, a longtime advocate of mobile learning (see his Ten Reasons Why Mobile Learning Matters), learns of this: "We define everything that is on the phone," he [Steve Jobs] said. "You don't want your phone to be like a PC. The last thing you want is to have loaded three apps on your phone and then you go to make a call and it doesn't work anymore. These are more like iPods than they are like computers.' " Low's reaction? "This definitely dampens my enthusiasm for the iPhone." Thing is, people should expect this sort of attitude to be limited to Apple (though I do admin, the company has almost cornered the market on it). Leonard Low, Mobile Learning January 17, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

More From BETT 07
Rambling coverage of the BETT conference (Previous post here). A bit about Shibboleth and this observation: "those who can afford the stand space at BETT are still in the business of selling hardware, commercial software and professional content - web 2.0 tools are very much on the periphery of this market." Miles Berry, Miles Berry : Weblog January 17, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Quality Vs. Speed - We've Created a Monster!
The Learning Circuits blog posted a question that didn't really capture my interest: "What are the trade offs between quality learning programs and rapid e-learning and how do you decide?" This post summarizes some of the responses. My attitude is best characterized by Clark Quinn: "we need to be looking at a broader space of solutions than just elearning courses." The "fast versus good" debate treats e-learning as a product, as something static you build and then deliver - exactly what I've been saying it isn't (or at least, shouldn't be) all these years. Dave Lee, ee learning January 17, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Blog of Clark Aldrich (and Henry Jenkins)
Mark Wagner does us a service, introducing us to the new blog by Clark Aldrich (Aldrich has been around for a while, though) and the revived RSS feed of Henry Jenkins. Mark Wagner, Educational Technology and Life January 17, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Making of a New WordPress Powered Site
A good post, and don't mind the length. Alan Levine describes the steps involved in setting up a new WordPress blog from scratch. As with anything, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes, and while the site is fairly straightforward, the development can get complex. Not so complex, though, that it defies explanation, and Levine's guide will offer valuable assistance to those going down the same path. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog January 17, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

MySpace to Offer Spyware for Parents
MySpace has been declining in popularity among teens recently and this won't help. According to the Wall Street Journal report, "Parents who install the monitoring software on their home computers would be able to find out what name, age and location their children are using to represent themselves on MySpace." Steve O'Hear, ZD Net January 17, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The New Assessment Market
Coverage of Blackboard's move into assessment software and the reactions by the companies that are already in the space: Nuventive, that offers and an assessment program called TracDat; and WEAVEonline, a spinoff from Virginia Commonwealth University. Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed January 17, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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