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by Stephen Downes
July 24, 2007

CEGSA Reflection - VISION for School of the Future
I've been on the road all day today, so I'll keep the newsletter a little short (and a little odd and opinionated, but sometimes it comes out like that) and catch up tomorrow. Anyhow, in this item, Mike Seyfang reflects on the CEGSA conference. Which reminds me that I've seen more than a few people comment on the most recent Harry Potter movie, which is pretty clearly a (caustic) commentary on educational reform. So of course our local media depicts the film as being opposed to fascism, which is a nice way to pretend the film is not criticizing what it's criticizing, but which is revealing in its own way. Mike Seyfang, Learning with the Fang July 24, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

When You're the Village Idiot in Zeitgeist
I've been rereading Bruce Sterling's novel Zeitgeist this past week. It actually ages quite well for a pre-millennium novel that addresses the millennium. I haven't seen Zeitgeist the movie yet, but it's on my list, Maybe tomorrow. I haven't been reading the Talo list for months, not since someone on the list took to carping about 'gurus and experts' for no good reason. I haven't read Bill Kerr at all, but judging from his post, he hasn't read me either - otherwise he wouldn't be complaining that Web 2.0 people are not willing to deepen their analysis (by contrast, people tell me to return to the surface for air from time to time). Kay writes, "The 1000 monkeys hammering on the typewriter is a real part of web 2.0." All I can say is, "ook ook ook." Leigh Blackall, Teach and Learn Online July 24, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

A Life Lived in Fear Is a Life Half Lived
Good observation. "As we talk about blogs and wikis and podcasting, a shared sentiment seems is that many of us go home to our institutions and facing a culture of fear. Lots of Eduweb attendees seem to understand that in order for our campus web experiences to be dynamic and engaging we need to stop controlling the message.... We need a new life for our web presence and it should be vibrant and rich and not a life that is half lived because we fear a loss of control." Susan Miltenberger, EDUCAUSE Connect July 24, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

We will be watching with interest the work being described in this post, "the interoperability between social networks gathering that Marc Canter has arranged in San Francisco." Dave Tosh, Weblog July 24, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Edublogosphere Is Being Criticized for Twittering
I thought about writing a reply to the Gary Stager post on the Pulse, but the site wanted me to register for an account. Who has time for that? Anyhow, the criticism is that educators are spending valuable time on foolish things, like Twitter, instead of important things, like the war zone in Chicago, graduation rates in Detroit, the curriculum in Britain, and literacy rates. Vicki Davis responds, essentially, "I care about these issues that you talk about, however, they are not in my typical sphere of operation," which is a perfectly acceptable response. We can't all solve all of the world's problems. We could equally turn around and ask Gary Stager, why doesn't he solve the problem of warfare in Iraq, genocide in Darfur, poverty in Malawi? Why does he focus only on the U.S. and Britain, two of the richest nations in the world. Yes, let's huff ourselves up and be sanctimonious here.

And that said, let me say that I see much more in the way of solutions coming from the educational community - including the Twittering part of the educational community, even if I have my criticisms of School 2.0 - than I do from many other communities. Educators, for example, say things like "feed all the children in the world" and it is people like politicians and businessmen and professionals who make sure it doesn't happen. Educators say things like "make knowledge freely available to everyone" and it is people like politicians and businessmen and professionals who make sure it doesn't happen. If Gary Stager has a problem with the war zone in Chicago, I would say, perhaps he should look to those politicians and businessmen and professionals whose pandering to petty prejudices and narrow short term interests created the problem in the first place, and whose mismanagement and petty brokering block the efforts of educators even today.

The educators who are twittering are doing nothing but good. There's few enough of them. Vicki Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog July 24, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Slideshare, Now Slidecasts, with Sound!
A few people wrote to me to let me know that Slideshares (on which I have more than a hundred presentations) now allows you to add a soundtrack to the slide presentation. Which is really nice, but I may have my work cut out for me if I want to convert everything. Meanwhile, I have three contacts on Slidehare and dozens and dozens on Facebook (and they keep coming in). Why are my slides on one site and my contacts on another? It's so silly. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog July 24, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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