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by Stephen Downes
March 13, 2009

Google Voice Set to Knock Web Conferencing Off
Google is spotting a weakness in the marketing and attacking it. "Skype still doesn't record! and conference calling is not reliable because Skype wants to use so much bandwidth.... Elluminate works on low bandwidth, but has never been very easy to use.... Flash Meeting, Dim Dim, Adobe Connect all use the Flash player to web conference, and while that makes it potentially user friendly, it also makes it bandwidth hungry." Well, let's see if they can solve this problem - it would make the web a lot more interesting. See the demo movies. Leigh Blackall, Learn Online, March 13, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Connectivism As a Knowledge Network
Frances Bell has posted the outline of a paper she has authored on the Connectivism course she was a part of last fall. Her argument was annealed in discussion during the course: " if connectivism is not willing to be mutable knowledge as it extends its network, then it is self-contradictory. In other words, it is not behaving like the knowledge and networks described in the theory of connectivism. I would recommend that it exploit its current weak and latent ties to Actor Network Theory (ANT) and other descriptive theories of change that have been used successfully in sociotechnical contexts." Meanwhile, Mike Cosgrave is working through the materials and offers his reflections. Frances Bell, Frances Bell's Blog, March 13, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Edupunk: Open Source Education
For those who can't find it, this is the panel I'll be on Sunday. And if you go to the cchat conference chat at that time (10:00 a.m. central = 11:00 a.m. Eastern) you can see our chat unfold. Also: Barbara Ganley reflects on the upcoming discussion. Jim Groom's take on the whole thing is a survivalist mentality, but I think my own approach (and probably Ganley's) is more along the lines of Survivorman. Various Authors, SXSW, March 13, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Social Media As the New Frontier for NGOs
The tactics being used by NGOs are being adopted by organizations across the board in order to foster community involvement. It's not exactly community-building; rather, organizations see a range of levels of involvement. While articles such as this talk about NGOs use of Facebook, we will begin to see more attention paid to cross-media network building, where community activism is organized much like our Connectivism course. Matt Puddister, Kelly Quance, Sylvia Squair and Salma Tarikh, Rabble, March 13, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Links From the Talk Open Education Around the World
This is a set of links associated with a talk on open education by Jim Slotta and Stian Haklev. The talk introduces (for me) the phrase "accidental OER", which seems to refer to thinks that are not 'repositories', properly so-called, and includes museum displays, digital libraries, open journals, and the like. The contrast is with "intentional OER", which includes initiatives such as OpenCourseWare. There's also discussion of open videos and open textbooks. Stian Haklev, Random Stuff That Matters, March 13, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

What to Learn: 'Core Knowledge' or '21st-Century Skills'?
OK, what I learn here is that the attacks on methods and process that I've been seeing recently are part of an organized movement. It wasn't just coincidence that, for example, Dan Willingham started with videos attacking learning styles or that Ken DeRosa began attacking critical thinking. Their target is the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, an organization seeking to foster critical thinking, information and communication skills, interpersonal and self-direction skills, financial and civic literacy. The attack is being mounted by the Core Knowledge Foundation, founded in 1986 to propose a common core of knowledge to be taught everywhere. You can find their blog here. Yes, I know, this is all old news to U.S. readers, probably. But the rest of us aren't always in on the politics that, very unfortunately, seems to drive so much work in our field. Greg Toppo, USA Today, March 13, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

'RiP: A Remix Manifesto' Baits Copyright Police with Envelope-Pushing Mash-Up
Released in Montreal last week, this film combines elements of copyright materials and, as the article suggests, "practically invites the lawsuits to fly." Clips from the film and remix projects can be found at the Open Source Cinema site. Via Media Awareness Network. Canadian Press, Google Hosted News, March 13, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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