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by Stephen Downes
February 14, 2007

One More Unworkable Idea From Those in the Know?
"Personalised learning is yet another plan dreamed up by those with no experience of the chalkface, says Rosemary Clark." And next week, the same author will argue that another pipe dream, the search engine, could never work because nobody could afford to pay enough people to read all those books. Oh, and after that, that instant messaging will be a flop because the pigeons would get stuck in the letterbox. Via Doug Belshaw. Rosemary Clark, Education Guardian February 14, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Creative Commons Vs MIT OCW: Interpreting the Noncommercial Clause
Well this is interesting: "CC (Creative Commons) and MIT OCW (OpenCourseWare) have diametrically opposed interpretations of the meaning of the NC clause of CC's own licenses." Creative Commons defines it accoding to the nature of the user, while OCW defines it according to the nature of the use (I have always, in my own thinking, thought of it as the latter). It's not exactly p = ~p (both could be true at the same time). But it's certainly enough to cause confusion (= money for lawyers). "If a user who was thoroughly familiar with CC licenses came to MIT OCW and saw "By-NC-SA" at the bottom of the page, they would assume a certain set of rights had been granted when MIT OCW is really trying to grant a different set." Ack. David Wiley, iterating toward openness February 14, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

All or Nothing
So anyhow, Jay Cross wrote this article a few days ago, offering a mixer analogy to highlight some of the ways informal learning differs from traditional learning. That prompted me to comment and, well, once I got going I didn't stop until I laid out a fairly comprehensive objection to the metaphor - and to the characterization of informal learning in general. Some people - like Mark Berthelemy - think that instead of the clarity and accuracy I am looking for, "Most managers, executives, whatever you want to call them, don't read academic arguments - they respond to marketing messages: simple, clear pictures that they can understand and relate to." If that's true then they deserve to have their business fail; I have no sympathy for someone who cannot be bothered to learn about the business they are supposedly managing. But in a post titled Politcally radical - perfectly natural Tom Haskins gets to the source of the disagreement. "The premise of formal learning is not learning, but control. Informal learning is not different enough to change the underlying premise of control." Jay Cross, Informal Learning February 14, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

IMS Report On Learning Technology Satisfaction and Trends
I'd like to know why IMS is forcing people to register before allowing them to see this document? What are they doing with the data? Has IMS become the AdDoubleClick of the education world? Anyhow, Michael Feldstein provides us with an informed summary. Of note: "The amount of money spent on content and content authoring tools dwarfs everything else... it becomes crystal clear that making high-quality, free, re-usable content available (and findable) is absolutely imperative from an institutional cost perspective." David Wiley also summarizes the report and notes, "the two top-rated sources of digital content, including all commercial and other sources, were Google Search and Wikipedia." Michael Feldstein, E-Literate February 14, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Blackboard Is Coming to Patent You!
It bears repeating: "Anybody doing the math and figuring out that while bb weakly pledges that they aren't coming after open source, they are still filing this bucket load of patent apps? These claims above were FILED in 2006..not granted, FILED...that means at the same time that all of this stuff is breaking and bb is getting hit with all the bad pub, they plunge ahead with more and more filings." Mark Oehlert, E-Clippings February 14, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

I Am the Canadian Poster Boy of High-Tech Attention Deficit
This would be pretty funny if it weren't such a sad commentary on out media, not merely for using a photo of Brian Lamb and his laptop out of context, but in pandering to a resurgent anti-computer and anti-networking sentiment. Lamb links to another story: "wireless network might be used by terrorists," the headline screams. Well, yeah. But "Terrorists might also use our bus service to move about the city undetected." What is with these scare stories? Are the authorities really losing control? And (given the ease with which they peddle these blatant fabrications) is that such a bad thing? Brian Lamb, Abject Learning February 14, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Dark Side of Web 2.0 and Kids
OK, I admit that I laughed out loud when I heard the description of fence plowing: "youths taking a running start and hurling themselves into a fence, sending slats flying." Other than that, I'm wondering what the fuss is. Do people lose their memories when they become teachers and principals? Do they think that fighting and bullying began with YouTube? I have a traumatic childhood that says otherwise. Sheesh. The bullies were never punished in my day; if they're now getting caught in the act because of video, great. As for the fence-plowing, well, if they're stupid enough to post it on the internet, they can pay for the repairs. Chris Lehmann, Practical Theory February 14, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Social Media Collective - Where the Enterprise 2.0 Action Is Taking Place!
Luis Suarez points us to Social Media Today, a group blog that appears to cross Web 2.0 and marketing. As the site says, "Social Media Today is a collection of the best writing from the Social Media Collective, a diverse group of bloggers, consultants, investors, journalists, and analysts who represent the web's best thinking on social media, marketing and Web 2.0." Luis Suarez, ELSUA ~ A KM Blog February 14, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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