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by Stephen Downes
May 18, 2007

Ready for Prime Time: Open Source Programs for the K-12 Desktop
Another one of those lists - which are worth running from time to time because the software changes. Anyhow, I mostly agree witht he items posted here - I swear by Audacity and have no trouble recommending Moodle and Ubuntu. Others - such as Open Office - are a bit rougher. And I simply cannot use gimp for image editing, the interface is just too user-hostile. Steve Hargadon, Weblog May 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Intersting E-Learning Tools From Arts ISIT
Some nifty tools distributed by the University of British Columbia. I like the discussion extractor, which will liberate discussion threads from WebCT for use elsewhere. Also interesting is the image annotation tool and language pronunciation platform. And the Multimedia Learning Object Authoring Tool bears closer examination. Jorge Goncalves, Learning Online Info May 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Measuring Blog Success
My post yesterday on measuring your blog's success had generated some reaction, from the comments to Tony Karrer to Beth Kanter, who says I "missed the point' - "Whether you want to make money or educate people or just deepened your own learning -- setting some realistic benchmarks or goals, figuring out a way to determine if you reached them, and reflecting on why or why not - can lead to continuous improvements in the quality of your blog writing." One of my posts from earlier today constitutes part of a response - but also I want to point to Karrer's reasons for blogging - personal learning and network building. My point is that there is no quantitative indicator of successful personal learning or of a valuable network contact, and that any attempt at such will misrepresent what it is we actually value in learning or network contacts. Tony Karrer, eLearning Technology May 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

OpenID: Decentralised Single Sign-On for the Web
OpenID is of use to educational applications because it allows for them to interact with the many Web 2.0 applications in wide use today. Many educational institutions adopted a federated approach - such as Shibboleth - which leaves identity management in the hands of the institutions (and which, pointedly, does not operate outside the federation, that is, not outside the institutions in question). I argued at the time that the federated approach was the wrong one, and the reason was that a distributed system such as OpenID would enable much greater interoperability. We are seeing the proof of that argument today. See also Simon Willison on the impact of OpenID. Andy Powell and David Recordon, Ariadne May 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Scores and Grades: Let'S All Pretend They'Re Rational and Helpful
The author's point is that "We like to pretend that academic scores/grades are instructional and Pedagogical, but really they are motivational/game elements. The reason to work hard is to get a good score." Also, "We also like to pretend that scores are scientific, when instead they represent a staggering editorializing of what is important, and by how much." This is why quantifying my blog's success is ridiculous. It's not that you can't count anything about my blog. You can. But in so doing, you misrepresent the reason why I am creating the blog and misrepresenting what's important about it. The same for business blogs. If you are quantifying the blog's ROI, I content you have misunderstood the point of the blog and its value to your business - your desire to measure its effectiveness will ensure that you minimize it. Clark Aldrich, Weblog May 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

De-Briefing the Symposium - Running a Blended Real Life/Second Life Event
Longish debriefing of the Eduserv event on virtual worlds recently held in London. It would be interesting to see more of this from conference organizers. Andy Powell, eFoundations May 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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