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by Stephen Downes
March 20, 2008

Futurology Is Fun.. Top Ten Emerging Techologies
These lists are always fun. This list summarizes the projections in Technology Review. They touch on things like the open iPhone and nano radio - but I saw on YouTube the other day a demonstration of a telephone that transmits thoughts, not voice (it basically maps neural impulses being sent to your vocal cords to a vocabulary of pre-recorded audio). Implant micro-receivers, and you have completely unobtrusive telephony - your students could be chattering with each other, and you can't do a thing - they are thinking at each other. Of course, by that time, the idea of forcing students into a classroom to sit down and shut up will seem quaint (or so I hope). tellio, Text2All March 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

On Open Source, Open Standards, and Lock-In
D'Arcy Norman and Michael Feldstein point to a major criticism of Moodle: it doesn't export SCORM or IMS content packages. Feldstein writes, "in general, universities should insist on support for some standard export capability in any platform they adopt." Related: Case study on moving from Web CT to Moodle. Also, D'Arcy Norman and Brian Lamb bisit Alec Couros's class to talk about open repositories. Michael Feldstein, e-Literate March 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

More Twitter Types
Looking at the different ways people use Twitter. I like this approach - because it does not presuppose that there is a 'best practice' or 'right' way to employ a tool like Twitter. Each person adapt it to his or her own mosaic of tools. Martin Weller, The Ed Techie March 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Raising Expectations for Learning and Assessment
My view as well: "Dr. Richard H. Hersh makes the case that in our era of high-stakes testing, in many schools expectations for student learning have been LOWERED to a lowest common denominator." The problem with testing is not that it's testing - we need ways to be able to assess qualifications or competence, for a variety of reasons - we make these sorts of decisions every day, from deciding which restaurant to eat at to which mechanic to use to which person to hire to which politician to trust. The problem with testing is that it is not a very good way to do this. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity March 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Open Learning
More free online resources. First, the Intute science, engineering and technology collections are now available in HTML (these point to other sites). Second, the Openlearning community for the professional community of faculties and researchers in China is now open. various Authors, Website March 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Pan-Canadian Research Agenda
I have mixed feelings about a pan-Canadian e-learning research agenda. I am supportive of research in e-learning. But I am wary of attempts to 'organize' that research or to 'manage' it. So there needs to be a way to engender support for a wider research effort while at the same time ensuring researchers are able to pursue different avenues. Terry Anderson, Virtual Canuck March 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

100s of Podcasts That Will Make You Smarter: Our Recession Special
You could basically spend the rest of your life listening to free educational materials. Related: the island nation of Antigua says it will begin ignoring U.S. copyrights, as it has been allowed to do by the WTO. This after the U.S. has refused to obey WTO rulings on offshore gambling. What we are all discovering about trademarks, patents and copyright, is that there are different sets of rules, depending on who you are (and how big you are). Dan Colman, openculture March 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Adobe Releases DRM for Flash Video Downloads
Adobe has released DRM for Flash. Although pundits are saying this is a response to Microsoft's Silverlight, the DRM has probably been in the works since the merger with Macromedia. The release was met with a collective sigh of exasperation. And no doubt, efforts are under way to develop a crack (which will be more popular than the original system). Bill Rosenblatt, DRM Watch March 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

First, Do No Harm
I have long thought that there ought to be some sort of hippocratic oath in education, one containing the clause, "First, do no harm." Because I think that the phrase "works with many students" often causes educators forget that it "hurts others". So I am sypathetic with the views expressed in this post, which asserts essentially that, because education is involuntary, we have an even greater obligation to 'do no harm'. Deborah Meier, Bridging Differences March 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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