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by Stephen Downes
February 9, 2007

Best of Elearning Awards 2006
Very commercially focused - it's like the world of open source (and, for that matter, the world of teachers) doesn't even exist. It seems a bit weird to see 'best leadership training' as a category, but nothing like 'best chemistry training'. It goes without saying that this website was completely shut out - there's no category for the kind of e-learning we do here. Yet. Catherine Upton, ELearning Magazine February 9, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Digital Notepads - Ordinary Paper, Handwriting Recognition
Cool. I want one of these. "Digital notepads allow you to write on ordinary paper, but have your handwriting automatically recognised and converted into data later. Also, any diagrams you draw are faithfully reproduced as electronic copies and can be sent around as email, attached to discussion boards etc." When people think of mobile computing they usually think of mobile phones, but thinks like this are, to my mind, much more practical implementations. And they have the advantage of having nothing to do with the phone company. Leonard Low, Mobile Learning February 9, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

An Open Letter to Google Founders
Isaac Mao posts an open letter (which will be read by Google execs) proposing a plan to end internet censorship in China. "You can imagine how eager they are to have a complete Internet instead of a shrunken one." Quite right. Parts of the plan escape me, though. He calls for, first, a billion dollar venture capital fund in China, second, the development of anti-censorship tools and services, and third, increased incentives for adsense users. Me, I would add widely available Chinese-English translation. OLDaily, for example, is laboriously translated by hand for Chinese readers. It would be so much better - and would lead to a closer connection between the English and Chinese worlds - were it possible to directly communicate back and forth. Isaac Mao, Meta February 9, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Can You Plagiarize A Photograph?
You stand in the same place as someone did once before, point your camera in the same direction - usually at something obvious, like the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Opera House - and you take what amounts to the same picture as your predecessor. Is it plagiarism? The answer is not so obvious as you might think. Certainly, there is a premium for originality - I was really pleased in 2004, for example, to have been able to take this photo of the opera house from a different angle than the thousands of shots taken before mine. But there are other cases where you - and all those thousands before you who have worn the same trail to the same pinnacle - have to settle for the one obvious angle. Mike, TechDirt February 9, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The News From Second Life: An Interview with Peter Ludlow
Interesting set of interviews with Peter Ludlow (Part One, Part Two), who is both "muckraking journalist in Second Life [and] a professor in the department of Philosophy and Linquistics at the University of Michigan." The conversation is both fascinating and infuriating. I nod with agreement when Ludlow says, of the Avastar (a PDF-based Second Life newspaper), "They had an opportunity to come to this strange and fantastic new place where all the rules can be rewritten, and the only thing they could think of doing was coming up with a product that mimics meat space newspapers as much as possible." But I dislike the combative response to criticisms of Second Life. "Clay came along with some true, but very obvious and not so interesting observations about the 'Second Life residents' number... the interest of Second Life has nothing to do with the number of eyeballs it is delivering." Henry Jenkins, JournalConfessions of an Aca/Fan February 9, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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