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by Stephen Downes
March 5, 2009

Free and Voluntary Reading
When I was in public school, I was able to select and review my own reading choices. Then, when I went to high school, it was back to the required reading and chapter tests. That's when the rebellion began. Doug Noon, Borderland, March 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

When the Foundation Says "Jump!" the Grantees Ask "How High?"
Hoffman says, and I agree: "It is that simple. High expectations! No excuses! Quit coddling MIT developers!" Specifically, foundation grants ought to be conditional: "Require any software written under your grants be released as free and open source software." Personally, I think foundation money should be used to purchase goods and services from people, oh, Ghana, not MIT. But that's just me. Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC, March 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Time to Shrink the University
It's an interesting argument - abolish tuition, cap university funding, reduce the number of students (but limit them to the most qualified, not the best able to pay) and free the various 'craft' disciplines from degree status. It would work if universities were only about education and degrees. But they're also social clubs for the well-off, and it is these people who are well-off who would be best able to qualify for the now-free universities. So we need a different approach. But I agree with the free tuition thing. Heather Mallick, CBC, March 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The Black Cat On This iPhone Is Not an App
Somebody - in this case, Judy Breck - makes the oddly necessary point that it isn't actually necessary to use an app, Kindle or other, to read a book on the iPhone. Which means that what you're installing when you're installing a Kindle app isn't the ability to read books, but rather, the ability to be blocked from reading books unless you pay. Not something I'd go out of my way for. Which makes me wonder why all of a sudden we read such adulation for the technology. And it is worth keeping in mind that good press is usually paid for with good money. Judy Breck, Golden Swamp, March 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Edu!Edu!, or, Living in the Antechamber of Hope
Gardner Campbell writes, of edupunk, "The bottom line for me is that any ideology, any movement, any slogan or fashion that crowds other worthy things off the stage is just not worth it." And finds his balance. "If you'll sway to 'Eyes of the World' with me, I promise I'll pogo when you turn up 'God Save The Queen.' And we'll meet at 'London Calling.'" The Clash are on my iPod, all right, but when I suggested tracks for our edupunk rumble at SXSW, I sent in a track from Luba. The secret to edupunk, for me, is that there isn't a stage. It isn't one or the other. It isn't that someone gets to be a star and the other one goes home. Gardner Campbell, Gardner Writes, March 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Information (Sensemaking) Tools Are Pathetic
I agree with George Siemens here, and I think I have a handle on why the 'sensemaking' tools are, as he says, pathetic, but it's a bit of a difficult thing to pin down with words. Sensemaking is, or me, pattern recognition. But patterns - beyond the obvious (repetition of word forms, etc) are difficult to recognize, at least mechanically. So why not just have computers do what humans do? Ah - but what do humans do? Therein lies the basic difficulty. George Siemens, elearnspace, March 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Student Introductions in Online Courses
I'm not so keen on the playlist intro (I really don't like the idea of defining oneself through reference to popular culture) but the comic intro is pretty cool. Barry Dahl, Desire2Blog, March 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

New Repository Software From U. Rochester
According to this item, "The University of Rochester has released an alpha version of its new repository software, irplus." It supports personal and collaborative authoring, publishing, versioning, search and more. Gavin Baker, Open Access News, March 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Oh Say Can You See The Way I Play "In C"?
Just for the record, our cats absolutely hate this piece of music, Terry Riley's 'In C'. I can't say it does a lot for me either. But with the variations sprouting up in and around YouTube, it's too interesting not to pass along, as a paradigm instance of internet culture. jonp72, Metafilter, March 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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