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by Stephen Downes
December 11, 2007

What Makes A Message Compelling?
I have been thinking a bit more recently about the role of reason in society - perhaps as a result of some of the stuff Vicki Davis has been writing, perhaps as a consequence of reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Science in the Capital series. So this post stands out. "Videos critical of the official immunization program were more popular and more highly rated." The irrational and unreasonable, it appears, is more popular. And so I wonder why it is that people feel compelled to reject the reasonable, why they reject science, technology, knowledge and learning. Alec Couros, Open Thinking and Digital Pedagogy December 11, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

11 Suggestions for (Social) Network Heaven (From a Teacher's View)
This post wanders a bit, but it captures much of the discontent people have with social networks as they exist today - and not just teachers. Vicki A. Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog December 11, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Mining Group Gold: the Art of Learning
Interesting: "The arts discipline is emerging as a role model for business. Writing, reflecting, collaborating,'s an art and it can lead to great innovations." Not just business. This model also describes the Educamps we just held in Colombia. "Why pursue writing, reflection, and collaborative learning in the workplace?" asks Janet Clarey. "In a word: innovation." In a few other words: knowledge, learning and creativity. Janet Clarey, Brandon Hall December 11, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Federating Social Networks: Open-Source Project in the Making
The core of the post is here: "Pulling RSS feeds every 30 minutes is not going to cut it, ever. We need something that pushes, and XMPP is the way to do it." Well, is this true? It depends. If you want something real-time, like instant messaging, then you need something (selective) that pushes. Like, well, instant messaging. Like Twitter, for that matter. But if it's not time-sensitive, then you don't want to be bothered or interrupted by it. This is when pull works. Like, well, RSS. Or your newspaper. Robert Gaal, 53 Miles December 11, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Declaration On Libre Knowledge
Numerous worthwhile comments have followed from the release of the Cape Town Declaration a couple of weeks ago, and the criticisms - including my own, that followed. Much of the reaction has become embodied into an alternative proposal on what is for now being called 'libre knowledge'. This declaration responds to my concerns - so incomprehensible to people like David Wiley - regarding the Cape Town declaration. But it seems clear enough to the people on the unesco-oer discussion list (As Tuomi (see below) writes, "An important method of creating private goods from public goods is to make them excludable.").

"The term 'libre resources' refers to digital resources - files in a free file format containing (e.g.) text, an image, sound, multimedia, etc. accessible with free software, and released under a licence which grants the users the freedom to access, read, listen to, watch, or otherwise experience the resource; to learn with, copy, perform, adapt and use it for any purpose; and to contribute and share enhancements or derived works." This is exactly what is not provided by the Cape Town Declaration.

Also criticized in the Cape Town Declaration was its producer-centered bent. This reflects criticisms of the OECD paper Giving Knowledge for Free. It is worth reading Ilkka Tuomi on this, as he writes, open educational resources (among other things) "enable development of individual or social capabilities for understanding and acting" and "can be enjoyed without restricting the possibilities of others to enjoy them and which either." This is a very important and worthwhile paper. See also this web site on Libre Communities and this site at worldcampus, which contains Kim Tucker's lengthy and very useful contribution.

Finally, for the hosts of the Cape Town Declaration to host only a private feedback form as their venue of communication is, in my mind, reprehensible. There is no excuse for not providing some sort of public discussion of this document, rather than a private address where contributions disappear from view. Wayne Macintosh, Wikieducator December 11, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Late Night Learning With John Krutsch
A fun video looking at academic chating. This is one of a trend of inventive ways of using online video to make a point. See also this video of Richard Dreyfus on reason. And check out this Anti-Kant Attack Ad, for example, or the equally inspired defense in Rules are for a Reason. This is great stuff - now you wouldn't feed people a steady diet of these things; rather, you'd encourage people to make them and share them. The key to using video, in my view, is the creativity. John Krutsch, Website December 11, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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