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by Stephen Downes
December 4, 2007

Defining Citizenship
I'm in Colombia and jet-lagged (yes, I know it's only one time zone - getting up at 4:00 a.m. to catch the flight counts for something, though). OK, Vicki Davis may get mad, sure. But I echo Tom Hoffman's comment: I've probably said this before, but "literacy" + "safety " + "etiquette" + "learning strategies" + "networking" does not equal "citizenship." It may equal something, but "citizenship" isn't a good word for it. For me, this whole digital citizenship thing is old news - and as I said in 1997: "If a defining characteristic of a nation is that it embraces diversity of opinion, then you cannot define membership in that nation according to the opinions held by its citizens." Which means the whole notion of the responsibility of 'digital citizens' misses the point. The vile content - and it most certainly is vile - is neither new nor original. And it's not the kids that are creating it. Once again, it is worth noting, in the words of Natalie Maines: "our children are watching us, they put their trust in us, they're gonna be like us..." Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC December 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Springdoo, Wherefore Art Thou?
Ads in textbooks, targeted marketing in the library, promotions for escort services in the voice threads... and people wonder where my objections to commercializing educational content come from. Bob Sprankle, Bit By Bit December 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Canadians Ace Science Test
The release of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) science test results was front page news in El Tiempo here in Colombia today. The tests, organized by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) measure fifteen-year-olds against a set of educational standards determined by the testing agency. The 2006 test was written by 400,000 15-year-olds in 57 countries. The PISA tests are not a measure of a country's educational system (the questions are not aligned to curricular objectives) and have been criticized in the past for irregular process (participants are chosen by subject countries). Jill Mahoney, Globe and Mail December 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

MIT Extends OpenCourseWare to High Schools
MIT is repackaging some of its Open CourseWare (OCW) content in an effort to reach high school students. "The university estimated that, prior to the launch of Highlights for High School, some 10,000 teachers and 5,000 students were visiting MIT's OCW site each month." David Nagel, Campus Technology December 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Optimize Me: A Reporter's Journey Into the World of SEO and SEM
The story is ostensibly about advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) but in the end it comes down to a statement about identity. Specifically, the person who owns an identity on the internet is the person who optimizes it. Interestingly, social networks play a major role in that function. Good read, and delves into a relatively obscure area of the internet everyone should know. Matthew Creamer, Ad Age December 4, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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