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by Stephen Downes
March 19, 2007

Questions and Answers On Personal Learning Environments
The concept has been dragging its heels a bit recently but continues to be (in my view) interesting. "There is always a space for innovative, well thought out experiments in developing new applications. And who knows, PLEX may turn out to be a great tool. I suspect, though, it is more a proof of concept and research tool, than an application designed for mass use." Graham Attwell, Wales Wide Web March 19, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

An Unanticipated Consequence of the $100 Laptop
Well. "One NJ computer coordinator told me that a local school board heard about the $100 laptop and has decided not to buy any new computer hardware until laptops cost $100 in the United States. Now that should really scare the domestic computer industry!" Probably apocryphal. But still causes pause for thought. Rocher Schank, The Pulse March 19, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

BBC Jam... Good News for... Who?
The closure of BBC Jam continues to reverberate. John Connell writes sarcastically, citing publisher glee at the announcement, "Good news for British educational publishers' - but sod the kids who will benefit from BBC Jam. Good to know where your priorities lie!" Seb Schmoller wants more usage data... "To see Jam at all you needed to register, so not much can be read into the fact that 170,000 user accounts on Jam had been created." And Connell again looks at the actions that might be taken. "The main players behind the campaign against BBC Jam should be reminded how shameful their behaviour has been, and is, in this issue." John Connell, Weblog March 19, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

JISC Conference
Update on a "pleasant day" at a JISC conference (how about that!) with a link to a slide show about the Open Athens project. "End-user needs will push us down a user-centric identity management road... institutions will need to operate across multiple access management federation." Andy Powell, eFoundations March 19, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Flash Games
Just in case you have some free time: hundreds and hundreds of Flash games. Clip and save for that slow day. Via A Teacher's Life. Various Authors, FlashChild March 19, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Inspiration Lane
Another ESL blog, but I liked the way this one made use of the free daily updates from Free Dictionary and Free Library (sometimes these are called 'widgets' but I tend to reserve the term for specialized desktop applications). These are pretty easy to do and you just use a simple Javascript to add them to your blog; if anybody wants free daily content on something, let me know. Susan Alyn, Inspiration Lane March 19, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Davidson Eliminates All Loans
When I was a student demonstrating in the streets for accessible education the call was for "grants not loans." All I got were loans, which left me with decades of debt and which have never been paid off to this day. While education is the great equalizer, I reckoned, the burden of debt was the tax I paid for being poor. It was the way the rich made sure I never really gained equality. So it makes me happy to see some colleges eliminating loans from their financial package entirely. What a surprise it must be for them to see poor people applying again. Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed March 19, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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