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by Stephen Downes
September 26, 2007

New Media Literacies in Learning Landscapes
I am still in San Jose for the Brandon Hall conference. I fly out of here first thing tomorrow morning, get home very late at night, recover for a day, then head to Prince Edward Island for the New Media Literacies in Learning Landscapes Institute conference being organized by Dave Cormier of Ed Tech Talk fame. If you're in the Maritimes this is one you don't want to miss, I think. More from Harold Jarche. Dave Cormier, Website September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

France Telecom Announce Support for OpenID
I'm going to stop running the 'so-and-so supports OpenID' posts pretty soon, though I agree with Andy Powell that this one is pretty big news. Andy Powell, eFoundations September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

HTTP Client Error Codes in Cartoon Form
You just know I have to add these to my site some time. The HTTP 4xx status codes are by Adam Koford and are available in poster form from Jesse Friedman. Pete Johnston, eFoundations September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

10 More Future Web Trends
What I like is that this is a good example of how sharing multiplies. After posting a '10 future web trends' post last week on the Read/Write blog, Richard MacManus got enough suggestions to post another ten - including one from the list that I posted. Richard MacManus, Read/Write Web September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

IEEE Trial-Use Recommended Practice for Digital Rights Expression Languages (DRELs) Suitable for eLearning Technologies
IEEE Std 1484.4-2007 published on 14 September 2007. This standard is the result of work by the Digital Rights Expression Language subcommittee. Neither ODRL nor XrML became 'the standard'; rather, what you'll see is a mapping of 'best practices' to three digital rights expression languages. My own view is that it is too early in the game to propose any standard at all. But as I have commented in the past, these standards committees are heavily biased towards passage of proposed standards, so I think that a non-specific mapping might have been the best the committee could do under the scope set out by the rules. As is the practice of IEEE, the standard is unavailable for download; you have to buy it from them. But you may be able to find somebody who was on the committee who might email you a copy, as they have been given copies of the standard for personal noncommercial use. Various Authors, IEEE September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

We Can't Teach the New Literacies Soon Enough
We really need to take a different perspective on the typical 'posed on Facebook' story. Let me explain. Suppose I robbed a bank. Then suppose I took pictures and video, and posted them on Facebook. Time passes. Then, one day, I am denied a job because an employer saw my Facebook page. Now, the question. Where did I go wrong? Should I have been advised, "If you rob a bank, don't put it on Facebook?" Of course not. The advice should be, "Don't rob a bank." Well and good. But you may argue, the kids that went out drinking did nothing wrong. Quite so. Then why are they being punished for it? Should we be telling them, "What you did is perfectly legal and appropriate, but you could be fired for it?" What kind of message is that? I think we need to take Facebook out of the equation and to stop recommending Facebook hypocrisy. If the action is wrong, then we should people to not do it. If the action is not wrong, then we should not fire them for it. And companies that fire people from perfectly innocent and legal behaviour should be prohibited from doing so. Ewan McIntosh, edublogs September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Why We Need National Testing
The title for this post is quite misleading. A good part of the discussion concerns the nature of testing, and in particular comparing test results against "the norm". As Ravitch points out, these results are routinely misinterpreted, as newspaper headlines scream that half of all students are testing below "the norm". Testing against the norm - doing pretty much anything against the norm (and here I address all those people who want to follow the 'middle path') - is in error, as the 'norm' can shift. "If everyone is grossly overweight, then the 'norm' is to be overweight." But it doesn't follow, and I don't agree, that there is some absolute standard against which people can be tested. The selection of such standard becomes a political process. And while Ravitch may talk about those standards as "shared culture" the fact is testing becomes in such an environment not an evaluation of achievement but rather a measurement of conformity. Not necessarily bad - if you don't mind your children being tested for conformance to a particular political agenda. Diane Ravitch, Education Week September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Putting More Social Into Our Social Software
Post outlining the addition of new social software features to Blackboard. Interesting because of the discussion of the terminology. The term 'social software' is apparently new to Blackboard users, but 'resource sharing' is something they can identify with. Meanwhile, on the Desire2Learn front, Barry Dahl has been writing a series on embedding web 2.0 applications inside D2L. Greg Ritter, Blackboard September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

How They Do Surprise Us, These People We Call Students
Interesting story about an exercise where students read a poem into MP3 as part of a class assignment - and discover more in the poem than they thought, and more than their teacher expected. No deep lessons here, but it's part of an overall pattern of perception and meaning as being composed of more than just words. Clay Burell, Beyond School September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

U.S. Sets the Standard for Filtering
This post seems appropriate to mention as I sit here in the ballroom listening to a speaker from Walmart admit that not only does the company filter web access, they also capture and view (she gets a list every morning) all the emails sent and sites viewed by staff. While people criticize China, as this article points out, it turns out that more sites are filtered in American schools than Chinese. More on blog-banning in schools. Miguel Guhlin, Around the Corner v2 September 26, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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