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by Stephen Downes
June 13, 2008

The Big Contest
How would you like to write OLDaily? Stephen Downes, June 13, 2008 [Link] [Comment]

The Canadian DMCA: A Betrayal
The proposed copyright legislation has been tabled by Industry Minister Jim Prentice, and while its getting a pretty easy ride in Canada's news media (big surprise) it has been greeted with dismay by the rest of us. Michael Geist sums it up: "in a country whose Supreme Court of Canada has emphasized the importance of balance between creators rights and user rights, the Canadian DMCA eviscerates user rights in the digital environment by virtually eliminating fair dealing. Under this bill, the right to copy for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, and news reporting virtually disappears if the underlying content is digitally locked." There's a lot more - and a lot more coverage that I just don't have the will to cover just now (read the spin in your local paper). Sigh. Michael Geist, Weblog, June 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

D2L Resolves Current Patent Burdens
Blackboard is moving from the offensive to the defensive. First of all, Desire2Learn managed the lawsuit nicely. "D2L has paid the court judgment plus post-judgment interest in full and has also migrated all customers to version 8.3 of their software, which they claim does not infringe on the patent. There's been some FUD flying around about whether D2L could handle the financial impact of the judgment. Well, they just did handle it. End of discussion." And now Blackboard is facing a lawsuit of its own while, at the same time, its patent is under challenge. Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, June 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Dear Middle School...
Every time I meet students I ask them whether school is still like this. Because, you know, things change. Except, in schools, they don't. This A student writes, "After punishing me for being a good dancer, a good student, locking me in the school one time while I was trying to do make up one of YOUR tests, and not even trusting me to get a book out of my backpack at lunch time - their exact words were, 'I'm watching you.' I have some of these teachers for years and you still call me Abby, or Nicole. Jeez, is it really so hard for my PE teacher to remember my name when it's written on my shirt???" It's the same experience Alex Couros had (of a type, anyways, that made him an edupunk) some years ago. Via Karoli. Irishdancr, Weblog, June 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Technology Support Providers for Adult Basic Education
The final report on the concept and feasibility of the Canadian Consortium of Technology Support Providers for Adult Basic Education has been released. I participated in a meeting with the group in Toronto a few months ago. Basically they recommend forming a network (as described by a few of us during the meeting - nice work by those involved) and would include a staff to support and facilitate the distributed network. David Sheridan, Canadian Consortium of Technology Support Providers for Adult Basic Education, June 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Building a Collaborative Workplace
This white paper on collaborative workplaces perhaps covers familiar ground but may still be work circulating around the office email, especially for the quiz part way through and the selection of techniques to improve collaboration. The authors identify three types of collaborative environment: team, community and network. George Siemens criticizes this by saying "all forms of interaction are network based. Groups, collectives, teams, communities, etc. The underpinning structure is a network." I would take exactly the same tack, though I'm also a little uncomfortable with the way they divide up the world (not that the taxonomy matters - what is important are the mechanisms and the structures). Shawn Callahan, Mark Schenk and Nancy White, Anecdote, June 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Connectivism Course
I may as well let George Siemens say it: "Stephen Downes and I will be offering an online course starting September through University of Manitoba on Connectivism and Connective Knowledge. The course is available for credit (enrollment is required) or for personal interest (no fee). All discussions and learning resources will be freely available. More information on how the course is run, weekly topics, etc., is available on the course wiki. If you are interested, you can sign up here in order to receive more information on participating or enrolling." George Siemens, Connectivism Blog, June 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Reading the Future
I'm not really sure what to make of the CCL's report on literacy, the one released this week with the catchy assertion that Canada's literacy rate will not improve in the years ahead. Some bits are just odd. For example: literacy in old people is lower than literacy in young people. OK, that makes sense. But (p.4) these rates haven't changed in a decade. Well, how does that happen - do we knock off literate people as they turn 66? Or is there something about the testing that represents older people as more illiterate than they used to be? And what about the testing (pp. 24-25) that requires people to read random letters, read pseudo-words, repeat words and repeat digits, all as quickly as possible? The presumption seems to be that testing the putative components of reading constitutes testing reading - a questionable assumption at best. Are we as Canadians really as bad as the report suggests? Unattributed, Canadian Council on Learning, June 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

31 Out of 95 E-Learning Ideas Ain'T Bad
Personally I'd rather see the 64 ideas he rejected (and to know why) rather than 16 of the 35 accepted (a part two to the article is promised). Still, this review of Patti Shank's The Online Learning Idea Book: 95 Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning is worth a look. Jared Stein, flexknowlogy, June 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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