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by Stephen Downes
December 19, 2007

CC Launches Two New Licensing Projects
Creative Commons is reloeasing two new types of license, CC+ ("a protocol to enable a simple way for users to get rights beyond the rights granted by a CC license" such as commercial licensing), and CC0 (a more robust waiving of rights a way to place your work unambiguously into the public domain). Both remain sort of under development. Meanwhile, an organization called Talis is cooperating with Creative Commons to create the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and Licence, which will address the legalities of sharing data. Peter Suber, Open Access News December 19, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Access Copyright Claims Copyright Reforms May Be On Hold Indefinitely
With some luck, the proposed copyright legislation - that would introduce Draconian DMCA-style restrictions on Canadians - may be postponed indefinitely. In the meantime, proponents of the legislation - mostly non-Canadian publishing interests - are ramping up their lobbying efforts. So it's important to keep up the effort to keep Canadian copyright laws sane and reasonable. Michael Geist, Weblog December 19, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

In the interests of putting Tom Hoffman even more on the hook, I'm going to link, front and center, to his initiative to set up 'XO Chat', "a community Jabber server for XO users." Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC December 19, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Future School: Reshaping Learning From the Ground Up
I read Future Shock and (more importantly) The Third Wave when I was a lot younger, and consequently, Alvin Toffler was an important intellectual influence on my thinking. I still have notes from those days I refer to. So it is of interest to see Toffler's recommendations regarding the American school system (and presumably, his remarks would apply elsewhere as well): "Shut down the public education system." Well and good, but I don't agree that we should, instead, ramp up the charter school system. We will not move forward simply by replacing the current school administration with unqualified and politically motivated alternative administrations. This is the thing about charter schools: they are not 'fundamental radical changes'. They're the same old thing, except run by people who don't know what they're doing. The system needs to be reshaped, yes, but as a system, not by creating new kinds of schools. James Daly, Edutopia December 19, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Open Educational Resources Declaration and Info
To judge from the email I received today from OER Commons, the focus for the Cape Town Declaration is marketing, not discussion. Yes, the push is on to collect signatures and (in my view) to preempt actual community-wide consultation. Meanwhile, Ignatia asks the organizers, "Where is the diversity? I was surprised that the initiative did not include more diversity in the platform of people?" And, "why not open up the declaration to learners around the world to add their remarks to make it stronger? The fact that feedback is possible is already great, it would be nice if this feedback would be open as a public discussion forum." Indeed, instead of the marketing push, why not back off the PR program for a bit and ask whether this is something the community actually wants? Ignatia, Weblog December 19, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Six Reasons People Aren't Commenting On Your Blog
The six reasons offered in this article are all variation on the theme "you don't encourage comments". For myself, while I encourage people to comment, my preference is always to see them express their views in their own space. The intent of this website isn't to create a 'community' around the author, it is to share knowledge and foster learning, including the development of a mature network of self-sufficient individual online resources. More commentary on this topic from the Bamboo Project. Michele Martin, The Bamboo Project December 19, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Mark Cuban Joins the 5000 Club
So. I guess Facebook isn't a scale-free network after all. There's a 5000-friend limit. Me, what I wonder is, how the dynamics of Facebook would change were there a 50-friend limit. Mark Hopkins, Mashable December 19, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

What I've Learned: Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox is just a couple of years younger than I am, and in a sense, we grew up together, both the same generation of Canadian kids. Except that, he became famous, and then he contracted Parkinson's, which will rob him of his senior years. This is a collection of semi-related thoughts entitled "What I've learned." It's part of a series, though I can't say I recommend the rest of it. Anyhow, I talk about teaching by modeling what we've learned. You could do a lot worse than Michael J. Fox. Language warning. Via Kottke. Scott Raab, Esquire December 19, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Stupid Strategic Commenting V. Smart Engagement
I comment on numerous websites and, of course, many peopl comment on my own. In my own case, my commenting is motivated by a desire to add to the discussion of the topic. I very often think by means of writing on a topic, and commenting gets my brain flowing. These comments often result in blog posts. But as Amy Gahran notes, nt every comment is motivated by discussion. A significant number of them are intended only to attract business or website traffic. Though not technically the vile weblog comment spam, these comments are still unwelcome. "As if my blog only existed as a springboard for his marketing!" Amy Gahran, Contentious December 19, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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