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by Stephen Downes
May 7, 2007

Big Question - PowerPoint
Having produced something more than a hundred PowerPoint presentations, I suppose I owe some accounting, given that the most common word on PowerPoint slides is that presentations using them are somewhere between torture and death. Would I, knowing this, now abandon them? Not a chance - I'm already hard at work on the next presentation for my talk in London. Speaking of which - they're calling my flight. See you on the other coast. Tony karrer, Learning Circuits May 7, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Networked Proximity - Full PDF
Ulises Ali Mejias has posted the final draft of his dissertation, a long PDF that will make good airplane reading. From unauspicious beginnings he makes a somewhat audacious claim - "the network imposes a nodocentric filter on the social, and only elements that can be mapped onto the network (the nodes) are rendered as real. This model is then used to institute a paradigm of progress and development in which those elements outside the network can acquire value only by becoming part of the network. The social becomes subordinate to the economics of the network, and the network becomes a model of subjectivation that prepares individuals for entrance into this form of sociality." Certainly this is something I would want to assess before accepting (which I guess is the hallmark of a dissertation worth reading). Ulises Ali Mejias, ideant May 7, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

My Edupatents Talk at PESC
Talk, with slides and some post-talk comments on the subject of edupatents. I haven't listened to it (yes, it has been a busy kind of day). Michael Feldstein, e-Literate May 7, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Desire2Pod Cast 14: Ruth Clark
Haven't heard much from Ruth Clark lately, but she has a book out, and in our odd world, that means automatic publicity. Hence, this interveiw (which I haven't had a chance to listen to, but can recommend based on the name). Barry Dahl, Desire2Blog May 7, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Australia Hands Over Man to US Courts
Got this in my email: an Australian citizen who has never been anywhere near the United States has been extradited to face trial there for copyright violations. "he served as the leader of a group named Drink Or Die, which 'cracked' copy-protected software and media products and distributed them free of cost." He is facing up to ten years in prison. It's hard to imagine a Canadian court coughing up a Canadian citizen to face U.S. justice. Then again, we gave them Maher Arar. One wonders how Hew Griffiths will be treated in an American slammer. And meanwhile, there is a huge sovereignty issue here. Huge. Kenneth Nguyen, The Age May 7, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Predicting Large Scale Adoption of Technology
I do a lot of predicting in this newsletter and while I don't use this rubric (my definition of 'usefulness', for example, if very different) these are the sorts of things I do take into account. And I use something I saw somewhere once called the 'two advances' rule. Which is: any old technology can be an advance in one type of thing. But a new technology will take off only if it represents a major advance in two separate dimensions. The Wii, for example, not only uses wireless controllers (one advance) it also uses motion detection (two advances). Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog May 7, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

What'S Good About the May 4 NY Times Article About Laptops in Schools
So the New York Times make a flap last week with its article on why computers don't improve learning outcomes. What we learn is that if you don't change the way you teach - if you just leave the computers sitting there - you won't gain any benefit. And, as Dave Warlick points out here, while the students' test scores in traditional subjects do not change much, when they are given the opportunity to use the computer things that are not tested - like critical reasoning, information retrieval, collaboration and research - are greatly enhanced. Not sure why the testing agencies wouldn't care about that, though. Dave Warlick, 2 Cents Worth May 7, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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