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by Stephen Downes
June 28, 2007

Vendor-Driven Misperceptions About Web 2.0 in Schools
"Educational technology staff are probably the greatest single enemy of Web 2.0 connectivity and collaborative tools in schools." So says The Education Bazaar, looking at the "misinformation" being spread about these technologies in publications such as Computerworld. Why such misinformation? Well, it could be the companies that profit by it - companies like IBM who want to sell proprietary versions of Web 2.0 technology ("the new Quickr 8, Lotus Connections and Info 2.0 products are part of IBM's new 'Web 2.0 Goes to Work' initiative) and need to scare organizations off the open source stuff available now. Or it could be the people quoted by these magazines, such as Vijay Sonty, not only "CIO for Broward County Public Schools in Sunrise, Fla." and "this year's Withrow Award for Educators" but is also "on the IBM Customer Advisory Panel" and who "says that Web 2.o tools are not ready for schools" - at least, not in comparison to the IBM tools.

"So how does the current vendor - media - district relationship work? Here is one quick example: Microsoft issues a press release touting their Project Management Office (PMO), and quotes Broward's Sonty extensively. This inspires the following Microsoft-centric 'news' article in eSchool News about the same product line. Educational technology leaders around the country read the article, and see that Sonty is an advocate, and that he is running a $100 million department. Orginal Microsoft Press Release - Blueprint for Success - eSchool News Article.

"So, although there is no valid reason to ban Web 2.0 tools from schools, the vendors continue to promote these ideas through careful campaigns of disinformation that influence decision makers in school districts."

Related: The Golden Calf - Commodification of ISTE, by Miguel Guhlin John Concilus, The Education Bazaar June 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Educational Technology and Related Educational Conferences for 2007 - 2008
Compiled once again by Clayton R. Wright, this list covers education technology and related conferences for 2007-2008. MS-Word document. Clayton R. Wright, Stephen's Web June 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Live Broadcast Streaming for Free (or Almost)
Got this in my email: "We are experimenting with Mogulus to push out live broadcasts from various educational events in the future... what does this mean for traditional broadcasters - well it's quite a big deal really. Now anyone can turn up to an event and with a laptop, portable broadband modem and a webcam can broadcast out a live streamed event on their own TV channel live and in real time." Agreed - I've been eying the possibility of doing something like that here - we are setting up a proper video conferencing and production studio, and I already have the Mac and video editing software to get started. Unattributed, Learn 4 Life June 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Framework for E-Learning Contents Evaluation
Three papers asking "1. How can we conceptualise and evaluate e-Learning contents? 2. What are the challenges regarding e-Learning contents standardization? 3. What are the wider learning needs that e-Learning content policies should address?" by Minna Lakkala, Claire Belisle, and Graham Attwell. "The project is based on the premises that learning is socially and culturally bounded and that the success of e-learning is highly related not just to the availability and the affordances of technology but also to the learning dispositions of the learners." Various Authors, E-Learning Europa June 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

What'S Wrong with the Patent System? Fuzzy Boundaries and the Patent Tax
Article that highlights the issues caused by the current patent system. The core of the article identifies four areas of fuzziness: patent claims are hard to interpret, the can be hidden, can be issued without an actual invention, and are flooding the marketplace. It's virtually impossible to avoid infringing on a patent these days - or at least, to be accused of an infringement - and so the cost of patent litigation is essentially a tax that has been imposed by lawyers on innovators. Also from the same issue: Bringing Peer Review to Patents, by Mario Biagioli; Issues in IP Management to Support Open Access in Collaborative Innovation Models, by Sara Boettiger; and Intellectual Property and Cyberinfrastructure, by Dan L. Burk. James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer, First Monday June 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Video Toolbox: 150+ Online Video Tools and Resources
This is a huge list of online video resources, including tools that support live video communications, online video how-tos, online video editors, video converters, video sharing sites, video hosting sites, video management, vidcat and vlogging tools, video mashup tools, mobile video, video search, video downloading services, and online television. Phew! Unattributed, Mashable June 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Modders: Bringing Games to Quirky New Levels
One of the ways computer games support learning is through the use of 'modding'. To mod a computer game is to change the programming in some way, creatung a new game out of the old game. Teachers can mod games to import learning objectives, while students can mode games to ry out difference scenarios. This article is a bit of an undeserved plug, at the end, for Sony (which will not "bring modding into the mainstream") but will give you some of the terminology and some good examples. Walaika Haskins, E-Commerce Times June 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Knowledge in the Workplace: Have It Your Way
Dave Pollard creates his own PLE diagram (though he doesn't label it as that) and thinks about the combination of learning and social networks. With McLuhan, he describes communications tools as extensions of our senses, then observes that we want to own, rather than share, such bodily extensions. "So perhaps it is not surprising that we want the information that we get in the workplace, our way, in our own space, organized in the way it makes sense to us. We resent getting sent information (e-mail and snail mail and by telemarketers) that we did not ask for and do not want." Interestingly, he says that blogs and wikis do not serve this need well (which, I guess, is why most OLDaily readers will see this post via email or RSS feed). Dave Pollard, How to Save the World June 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

My Google Tech Talk On OpenID
Video of a talk at Google by Simon Willison on OpenID. Good explanation, and the demos show you how it works. See also this page at 37 Signals explaining why they implemented OpenID. Simon Willison, Weblog June 28, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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