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by Stephen Downes
July 24, 2008

Should the Web Be Nationalized?
It's just a moot discussion, because it's not going to happen. Still, I think this post makes a good response to the people who deride all forms of government intervention in the marketplace: "There are not modern markets without government regulation. Let me throw some 'P' words at you: private property, police, prisons. The market without governments is the one where I don't pay my mortgage and I walk into the supermarket and take whatever I want. A sizable chunk of our economy is founded on copyright and patents. Try doing that without a government." Exactly. The libertarian 'no government' stance really means 'no government that doesn't benefit my personal interests.' Which reduces the position to absurdity. Alex Reid, Digital Digs, July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

My Response to Does Flat Fall Flat?
OK, I still think the whole concept of 'flat earth' is just a way to make people comfortable ignoring the very serious inequalities that exist globally. That said, and in a different way, I question this: ""Global collaboration works keeping one vital factor in mind. Teacher engagement PRECEDES student engagement." Um, how so? You suppose kids aren't connected globally unless a teacher is involved? No, that doesn't hold up empirically. I continue to wonder what 'flat classroom' means, because it's obviously not just about global community, because a strong and vibrant global community already exists. Perhaps my opening remark wasn't such an aside? Vicki A. Davis, Cool Cat Tecaher Blog, July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

A Year of Neurophilosophy
Also from Dave Snowden: "One of the best of the science blogs in my RSS feed is Neurophilosophy who has just published a summary of the last year.  All worth following through, especially his wonderful handling of the left/right brain nonsense: the notion that someone is "left-brained" or "right-brained" is absolute nonsense. Don't miss." Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge, July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Social Constructivism
Dave Snowden writes: "It is surely illogical for someone to walk out on you because you suggest that Social Constructivists should wake up the fact that reality exists. Surely if you think everything is socially constructed then someone saying it doesn't is their own reality and equally valid?" I won't defend the social constructivist, or the walking out, but I've had variations of this conversation too many times. Simply: saying "reality exists" is just empty rhetoric until you start saying what exists, and it is on the question of what that our agreement - social or otherwise - founders. Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge, July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

My New Job with the OpenCourseWare Consortium
Mike Caulfied gets a new job. An edupunk makes good. Does that mean edupunk is legit now? Mike Caulfielf, Weblog, July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

How to Successfully Moderate a Conference Panel, A Comprehensive Guide
Found this one via Beth Kanter. It was relevant because of my recent experience on a panel, as the de facto moderator (something that was the result of happenstance, not planning). As I have on previous occasions, I found it was an activity of choreography rather than moderation, and the light touch was best. As for the back channel - well, I preferred having it on the big screen for all to see. Related: Ten Commandments of panel discussions. Jeremiah Owyang, Web Strategy, July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Building the Capacity for Empathy
I have read thousands and thousands of science fiction novels - much more science fiction that the philosophy and technology and educational theory that I have read. And, yes, I do think I empathize well. And I certainly think empathy is something everyone needs to learn. "Understanding the needs and desires of others is critical for leaders, salesmen, politicians, lotharios, preachers, CEOs, writers, teachers, consultants..." Um... lotharios? Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog, July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Working Towards Agency-Building Practice
Interesting post about teaching with Teachers Without Borders in South Africa. "Such a simple, yet powerful realization. "Education is key." This is why I'm here. This is why I signed up... It's also an answer to the question that's been troubling me ever since my brief encounter this morning with that five-year-old girl: In the grand scheme of things, how much can we really do to help? As many of the people I have met since I arrived here last week have emphasized, the answer is quite clear: Education is key." Konrad Glogowski, blog of proximal development, July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Sad Summer Laughs From the Just Kill Me Files
OK, I wouldn't even mention this at all (I got 10 out of 12 on the news quiz, not bad U.S. political knowledge for a non-American) but in the last 24 hours (a) several of us heard someone insist that Bolivia was not in South America, and (b) I was asked at the ball game where Portland is. Portland! But I will admit, none of this beats the reference to the Iraq-Pakistan border. Heh. Symptoms of a deeper malaise, though. Felated: Why history isn't learned. Clay Burell, Beyond School, July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Glogster - Faces of Edupunk
This is Sean FitzGerald's glog, in all its glory (scaled manually to 50 percent, but embedded in this post because this isn't WordPress ;) ). Try clicking on and mousing over it:

"Glogster lets you create multimedia posters with embedded text, graphics, photos, videos and music. It's sort of a multimedia scrapbooking application." Pretty cool. It should hyperlink, as he says. Sean FitzGerald, Sean's Emerging..., July 24, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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