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by Stephen Downes
February 22, 2008

Blackboard Vs Desire2Learn Patent Suit - Update
In the Blackboard patent case, "the jury handed down its verdict that the patent is valid and that Blackboard should be awarded damages of approximately $3 million." John Baker, Desire2Learn February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

eLearning Technology: PWLE Not PLE - Knowledge Work Not Separate From Learning
I mentioned this in my talk yesterday - "Knowledge work is not separate from learning... it does not make sense to look at using one environment (an LMS or PLE) as part of learning and another environment as part of knowledge work. That's the reason I call these: Personal Work and Learning Environment (PWLE - pronounce p-whale)." Tony Karrer, eLearning Technology February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Innovation Award Winners
This list of award winners is nice set of innovative and interesting online learning projects. They tend to be networks, marketplaces and simulations, which is in line with trends elsewhere in the field, though they are all niche-specific. I picked this up from a McArthur Fund blog entry which provides links to the process and an overview of what the field looks like from there. The competition was limited to entries from the United States, but maybe the funding agencies to take this to heart: "One message of the Competition: Learning's Gone Global." Various Authors, Hastac February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

12 Screencasting Tools For Creating Video Tutorials
Screencasting has become big news recently, and this list of tools (many of which are free) is a great starting point for people looking to experiment with this technology. Sean P. Aune, Mashable February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Smoke and Mirrors: Microsoft Pledges Four Interoperability Prinicples
It's worth comparing these principles with the set of four principles enunciated by Tim Berners-Lee, as discussed yesterday:
1. Ensuring open connections
2. Promoting data portability
3. Enhancing support for industry standards, and
4. fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities
It's like they're in two completely different worlds. Michael Calore, Monkey Bites February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Top Accenture Scientist Patents Offshoring US Jobs
Fortunately, the article doesn't seem to mention off-shoring Canadian jobs, or off-shoring to Canada, so I think we're OK. Other than that slight relief, I pause only to note the absurdity of such a patent, and how hopelessly broken is the system we have for managing intellectual property. Mike Masnick, TechDirt February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Collective or Connective Intelligence?
Following some of the discusssions of the two concepts recently, George Siemens tries his hand at drawing the distinction. And he does pretty well, using an example I - and every other Canadian - have used since childhood: "Essentially, as defined by common use (not the definitions provided above), the collective presents a 'melting pot' of ideas. The connective represents a "mosaic" of ideas." Probably my own deepest exploration of this is my essay My Canada, which concludes with the slogan, "In diversity, harmony." Which should strike a chord with the people who have listened to be try to explain the way Boltzmann mechanisms create connections in neural network. Anyhow, there's a lot more to say on this, and I'm sure this topic will occupy these pages in the future. George Siemens, Connectivism Blog February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Getting Started with Connectivism/Networked Learning...
George Siemen offers a dozen practical suggestions - the sort of things people always want to hear about - to implement connectivism in the classroom. Me, I think 'connectivism in the classroom' is a bit of a contradiction, but I'm not stuffy about it (not always, anyways) and suspect that people will find these tips to be useful and practical. George Siemens, Connectivism Blog February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Opening the Box...
An intern from wrote me (and probably everybody else who covered the story) to inform me that now supports iPaper. This, of course, is a nice development, and part of the rapid change and convergence that's happening in the document space. Tony Hirst comments that he runs a number of the web 2.0 services he uses off - Zoho, iPaper, Scribd, and picnik. I am finding - as my presentation from yesterday suggested - that I am using a lot of these services as well, though I am storing my data all over the place. It's interesting to watch - and I'm sure that at least part of Microsoft's interest in Yahoo! is that they have nothing up their sleeves to answer this. Tony Hirst, OUseful Info February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Journalism 2.0 - How to Survive and Thrive
This one's for a friend who wants to become a journalist. It covers internet basics, Web 2.0, tools and toys, reporting methods, blogging, news reporting, digital audio and podcasting, digital photography, and video editing. Great stuff. Via Dgroups. Mark Briggs, J-Lab and Knight Ridder February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

What Happens When 10 Laptops Show Up
It's amazing how much the use of computers changes one's experience of e-learning. I know that sounds a bit trite - but so many initiatives that have delivered dubious results have tried to do so in the almost complete absence of computers. Give every student a computer, and give every computer something like reasonable access to the internet, and e-learning becomes a thing of beauty. Clarence Fisher, Remote Access February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Zero Sign On - 1 Better or Infinitely Better Than Single Sign On?
One of the reasons why I prefered my own mIDm over OpenID is that my system put a token into the web browser, meaning that you never actually had to sign in. Recognition would be automatic, and if you wanted to change identities, you would just select your new identity from a drop-down. This idea still has legs, and I suspect that this is where single sign-on will eventually land. Thus we see this post, which is another attempt to try the same sort of thing. I can't wait until it's 'invented' (ie., Wired writes about it, or someone from Google or Yahoo decides to adopt it). Nic Williams, Dr Nic February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Adobe Cripples Flash Video with DRM
More on Adobe's decision to wreck Flash. Cory Doctorow writes, "Adobe seems to have entirely missed the fact that the reason that the Flash video format has taken off is that it's so fluid, versatile and remixable -- not because they sucked up to some Hollysaurs and crippled their technology." Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Nature of Canadian Science
The British science journal Nature complains about the state of science in Canada. And as the Globe and Mail reports, "In a rebuttal letter to Nature, Industry Minister Jim Prentice writes that the government is committed to 'supporting world-leading research.'" All I can say (while Ackerman expresses no opinion whatsoever) is that the Canadian government funds me - and, with the provincial governments, virtually every other scientist in the country - and that can't be bad, can it? Richard Ackerman, Science Library Pad February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Blackboard's Use and Abuse of Standards Bodies
Reporting on the Blackboard patent trial, Alfred Essa writes, "Compare the concepts described in the quotes above with a description of Blackboard's 'purported' invention. I think it's obvious that the IMS specification is describing the very thing that Blackboard claims to have invented, namely the notion of multiple user roles and differential access to resources based on those roles." Meanwhile, as the jury deliberates D2L is pressing its 'inequitable conduct' case against Blackboard. Alfred Essa, The Nose February 22, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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