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by Stephen Downes
April 28, 2009

Apple "iPad" (or "MacbookMini") Is It *Finally* Coming?
One of my most cherished - and hoped for - predictions from The Future of Online Learning (1998) was the PAD - personal access device. I'm hoping I even got the name of the thing right. Steve Borsch, Connecting the Dots, April 28, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Teaching As Transparent Learning
George Siemens writes, "I can't speak for them, but from reading prominent educational technology bloggers - Will Richardson, Terry Anderson, Stephen Downes, Grainne Conole - I'm left with the impression that they too seek not to proclaim what they know, but rather to engage and share with others as they explore and come to understand technology and related trends. Watching others learn is an act of learning." That's accurate, at least for me. When I write, and even when I speak, I am basically thinking aloud - and readers and listeners are able to follow along. George nSiemens, Connectivism Blog, April 28, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Can Better Teachers Close the Achievement Gap?
Writes Diane Ravitch: "an editorial writer could read the McKinsey report and use it to argue for eradicating poverty, which is highly correlated with low educational performance. But Klein and Sharpton use it to say something that the report itself does not say, which is that the only reason that the gap exists is because of subpar teachers and principals... the political use of the McKinsey study just serves to divert attention from the need to improve the lives of poor children and their families." Diane Ravitch, Bridging Differences, April 28, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Does Apple Own The Copyright On A File You Create Via iTunes?
What do we own, what does the software vendor own? "The iTunes DB file, which is at the heart of this matter, is created by each user independently and is not encrypted. There are two interesting arguments here. First, since the file is not encrypted, there is no encryption to circumvent, thus no violation of the anti-circumvention clauses. Second, since the file is created by the user and his or her own interaction with the software, Apple has no claim on the copyright of the file. If there's any copyright at all, the argument goes, it belongs to the user, and thus they should have every right to do whatever they want with it." Mike Masnick, Techdirt, April 28, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

The Stratified Economics of Open Access
Good article that looks in some depth at the nature and history of open access, and challenges the conditions publishers set as preconditions to open access: sustainability and pricing levels. "Two things are troubling about this picture, despite the wonderfully promising aspect of universal access to research and scholarship. The publishers want to sustain a stratified economy that (a) has yet to be justified in any substantive way and (b) comes with a total price tag that the academic community has declared on more than one occasion to be 'unsustainable'." See more articles on open access from the journal Economic Analysis and Policy (a fully open access journal). John Willinsky, Economic Analysis and Policy, April 28, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

On the Move with the Mobile Web: Libraries and Mobile Technologies
This article starts off a bit weak (please, people do not want to use new technology to access your advertising) but overall the 60-page PDF document is a good introduction to mobil phone technology (with an emphasis on the 'introduction'). It covers hardware, providers, and software, then looks at library applications and finally offers some useful advice on how to set up mobile services. Ellyssa Kroski, Library Technology Reports, April 28, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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