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by Stephen Downes
April 2, 2007

Bfree - Export Courses From Blackboard
Scott Leslie points to this product that lets you extract courses from a Blackboard archive file. "It allows you to open a Blackboard course export or archive file, select the files you want and then export these as an independent website." Scott Leslie, EdTechPost April 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Could Do Better: A Checklist for Participatory Communication for Development.
Probing questions, a list of dimensions of 'participatory communications' from G.A. Dragon, and even a citation from Illich's To Hell With Good Intentions: "By definition, you cannot help being ultimately vacationing salesmen for the middle-class 'American Way of Life,' since that is really the only life you know." Well, yeah, and I can't help being anything other than an opinionated Canadian with a healthy disrespect for power and control. And the Finns I've seen carry their Finnishness with them, and the Brits their Britishness, and so on. So what do we do when we reach out to another culture? I had to find my own way teaching in First Nations communities. And the main thing I decided was to not try to be something other than what I am. The place where I draw the line is in trying to make other people into images of me (though I have to say, it's really tempting). They have to find their own way - and me, well I'll just be maximally me and they can take whatever they want from that, or nothing, if that's what they want. But I'm not going to pull back, to be less of who I am. I don't see any kind of empowerment in that. Artichoke, Weblog April 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Java Programmers Aren't Born
How do you become an excellent Java programmer? You start young, you program for free, you get your education, and you eat, sleep and live Java. "Let's say, for example, that your official work day starts at 8:30, and ends at 17:00. It is what happens after those hours, that will determine your future as a programmer. i.e. what are you doing between 6:00 and 8:00, before you set off for work? You could be programming in Java." Now of course, I would never recommend that you study Java if you love programming. But that's just me. What I will say is that the author is right. It takes that kind of dedication to learn to program well - to learn to do anything well. Me, I started to program too late in life, at about 18. But writing and philosophy, I've been doing those, well, forever. I keep studying them. Via Adaptive Learning. Heinz M. Kabutz, Maximum Solutions April 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

EMI, Apple Strip DRM
The tide is beginning to turn, as EMI announces that it will release digital music via Apple's iTunes without DRM protection. Simon Avery, Globe and Mail April 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Learning by Design: Good Video Games As Learning Machines
I don't know whether this was written for Education Gazette or whether it's just a link, but it's a good article. James Paul Gee writes, "the designers of many good games have hit on profoundly good methods of getting people to learn and to enjoy learning." Quite so. That's why I spent 12 hours this weekend playing Civ and only one hour reading philosophy. This article lists thirteen 'principles', though you draw your own theme from the list. Games engage students by having them co-create, by having them build and do things, by allowing them to customize, and by letting them invest in an identity over time. PDF. James Paul Gee, Website April 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Experts: Ed Tech Must Change Its Message
Supporters of educational technology need to change their message when talking with stakeholders, and they need to advocate more forcefully for change in higher education." This according to Past Board members of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). The change, according to the article, is that educators should "shift the focus in the national dialogue about educational technology from the technology itself to the changes it enables in teaching and learning." Dennis Pierce, eSchool News April 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

eLearning Watch
This newsletter comes out once a month, and though it has been running since 2005, has previously escaped my notice - perhaps because it only comes out once a month. For people involved in the field, most of the monthly links will be date, but the frequency is good for people who want to keep up but who don't want to spend a lot of time doing it. The newsletter also carries conference announcements. Richard Elliott, eLearning Watch April 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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