Stephen's Web

[Chat] [Discuss] [Search] [About] [Options]


by Stephen Downes
March 22, 2007

Global Governance Open Meeting
More coverage of the LETSI meeting and the keynotes from the (increasingly irrelevant) standards bodies. Worth noting: "The meeting had the worse conference website ever. It's plastered with logos and wears the user out pretty quickly. It would be advisable for the standard gurus to read Jacob Nielsen's guidelines on good web design." Wolfgang Greller, Wolfie's e-blog March 22, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Iron Cage of Copyright
Longtime readers will know that I have always been a reluctant supporter of Creative Commons (it shouldn't be necessary; the default should be non-commercial sharing, while commercial ownership and use constitute exceptions) and have expressed a vocal dislike for the legalese that comes with it (for example, the recent kerfuffle over the definition of 'commercial'). I agree with this sentiment: "If there is an "iron cage of copyright" clamping down culture, as the criticism goes, then schemes like Creative Commons, piggy-backing on top of the copyright system, are inadvertently helping to build that cage." Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog March 22, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

PLE As Retreat Versus Productivity Suite
Interesting take on personal learning environments (PLEs). "Personally, I want to keep some distance between my own PLE and things like my personal calendar ('let's see is it my turn to pick-up our son from pre-school?'), 'to do' list ('I really do need to get that oil changed on the car'), stock portfolio, general email, etc." Right. Look at the image in this post. It shows, clearly, the strength of the PLE - personal learning. Ray Sims, Sims Learning Connections March 22, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Interesting link to a widget that lets you post all your different identities in one place. When I look at it, I just see what a mess the web's personal sign-on system is. And, of course, if you are one of the selected vendors, you can't be listed by this widget (forget portable identities - there's a business model there if it gets popular). meanwhile, I have people over on the other blog insisting that companies work together. Who do they think they're kidding? Jane Hart, Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day March 22, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Blogs, Wikis and Knowledge
Some back and forth on whether blogs and wikis can contribute to conversations, scaffold educational experiences, and the like. I will have more to say on this in "'Contribute to knowledge building from personal space' is a bit like saying that someone is 'contributing to the world peace from their own territory'. With missiles?" Teemu Leinonen, FLOSSE Posse March 22, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Digital Learning Apartheid
George Siemens links to this very badly titled article focusing on the need to provide educational opportunities for the poor in the United States. "If the country's Digital Educational Apartheid is to be eliminated... then as a country, we must develop and test innovative systemic solutions." First, I don't think it's appropriate to use the term 'apartheid' in this way - it has a very specific meaning and is not merely a substitute for 'poor'. I can't believe they've actually trademarked the term. Second, I would much rather see initiatives aimed at helping all the world's poor, not just those in the world's richest nation. I have always supported online learning precisely because I believe it is the best hope to provide learning for everyone. But my interest in this does not end at the border, and never will. This webite may cite George Siemens - but George Siemens should know not to uncritically give them a plug in return. George Siemens, elearnspace March 22, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

PearsonEd Accepts the Edugator Challenge
Pearson Education, the largest U.S. textbook publisher, is publishing (and selling) videos of academic lectures through Google (Here's one). Yes, it's a bad idea - after all, it costs, what, ten cents to produce one? Yes, other people can (and will) produce equivalent quality videos. Link, say, at VideoLectures (link via George Siemens). But no doubt Pearson (and Google, if they're actually partnering) will do everything they can to make sure nobody can find them. What's next, music theory from Idol Critic, ten dollars for high rez? Interestingly, the same site has a post about the collapse of CD sales, drawing the analogy with a concordant drop in textbook sales. "Textbook publishers, the oligarchs sitting in their comfy thrones atop the multi-billion dollar industry, are in much the same position as the RIAA or MPAA. Unlike the major film studios and music labels, however, there is little sign that they have woken up and smelled their fate." see also Scott Karp, who asks whether content is even a business. Unattributed, March 22, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

GReader Help Through Trailfire
Scott Leslie has been experimenting with a program called Trailfire, which, as he explains, creates lists of web pages so other people can follow your trail through a series of web pages. He says, "It's the kind of thing I thought the connectivist and open education crowd would be quite excited about." I can't see the images he's linking to (because of my ongoing standoff with Yahoo-Flickr, I get a bit notice anytime I go to Flickr, instead of the photo I was expecting to see). Scott Leslie, EdTechPost March 22, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Might-Work Clearinghouse
Doug Noon is quite right and my own observation confirms what he says (and supports, with some interesting reading) in this post: "Nobody in their right mind would conduct real science experiments on kids without also planning on going to prison. The government calls the studies they're doing scientific, but they're really just statistical analyses. Education research isn't science. It's social science. But, of course, social science doesn't have quite enough of an authoritative ring to justify massively disruptive policy decisions. As a sales pitch, calling these government reports scientifically-based research does seem to be working. As a means of improving educational outcomes, though, it's all snake oil." Doug Noon, Borderland March 22, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.