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by Stephen Downes
March 14, 2008

Options and Opportunities
In this article published in Cable in the Classroom's Threshold Magazine I look at how new technologies and demand from students and parents are spurring schools around the world to offer an increasingly diverse range of learning opportunities. PDF. Other articles from the current issue of Threshold, which focuses on 'new directions', are also online. Stephen Downes, Threshold March 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Facebook 2.0
Good article on the future of Facebook in learning. Tracy Mitrano writes, "What challenges remain with this killer app? I suggest three: (1) user education, especially for adolescents and their parents; (2) new features connecting higher education's missions to the popular site; and (3) legal and policy considerations on a global scale." I think that the idea that the rise of Facebook will lead (finally) to some sort of widespread media literacy program is an intriguing one. Tracy Mitrano, EDUCAUSE Review March 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Conference Connections:
The current issue of EDUCAUSE Review is out and features this article on the future of conferences. "Technology as a tool for transforming practice in conferences is largely our focus here," write the authors. "Computers, mobile phones, podcasts, blogs, Second Life, RSS, Google Reader, and many similar tools afford new ways of interacting before, during, and after conferences." Much of what follows will sound familiar from an e-learning perspective: augmented conferences, blended conferences, simultaneous conferences, online conferences. The authors nod toward more radical adaptations, like unconferences and barcamps. The article is OK so far as it goes, but it tends toward how technology supports what people are already doing. I would have like to have seen how technology could change the conference dynamic entirely, as I have discussed in the past. George Siemens, Peter Tittenberger, and Terry Anderson, EDUCAUSE Review March 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Seeking Clarity About D2L Work-Around
Barry Dahl effectively summarizes the issues in the post-trial period of the Blackboard patent lawsuit. A lot will rest on Desire2Learn's ability to effectively work around Blckboard's patent. Barry Dahl, Desire2Blog March 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing
Review of Miranda Fricker's Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. This book raises some very interesting (and useful) insights. Fricker's project is to "look at the negative space that is epistemic injustice." How is that manifest? "Structurally, members of some social groups are ill-understood, marginalized, reduced to unintelligibility through patterns of testimonial and hermeneutic injustice that often seem to be everyone's and no one's responsibility." Now, of course, epistemic injustice isn't something that needs only attach to groups we can see how it can characterize relations between individuals as well. And it helps us to understand that to "impose a point of view" isn't simply to dictate a certain set of facts, but rather to impose a way of seeing - which includes the way one seeing one's own experiences and even one's own self. Lorraine Code, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews March 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Free Culture Clash
If a university decides to post its students' theses online, is it theft? This is what some students are alleging as they say that the publication of their dissertations makes it impossible to publish books based on their contents. Barbara Fister, ACRLog March 14, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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