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by Stephen Downes
May 20, 2009

BbPlusAngel - Reaction to Blackboard's Acquisition of AngelAngel
Hannah Waley weighs in on her new blog with what Seb Schmoller calls a "cogent" contribution. "Maybe they have learnt nothing at all from the WebCT merger, but I don't believe that could be the case. However, learning is not enough alone, and they must act on what they have learnt." Yeah, well, when we see it, we'll post. Hannah Whaley, Weblog, May 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Are Noncollege Youth Sidelined?
Short answer: yes. Which is why I am not so enthused about innovations in learning that serve only existing student populations. What is alarming is that this marginalization begins even before they leave school. Related: The Quality of Education for Low-income Families. "It costs money to be poor." Naomi Thiers, ASCD Inservice, May 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Dam Just Broke: Facebook Opens Up to OpenID
Well, we`ll see whether this represents the breaking of the dam, but it`s still a welcome development. Many sites have been happy to provide OpenIDs, but not to accept them from other providers. But now Facebook will accept your login from other services. The advantage for Facebook (as others, I hope, will realize) is that it helps them stitch together connections among its members. Marshall Kirkpatrick, ReadWriteWeb, May 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Why Journalists Deserve Low Pay
The argument, in a nutshell: "journalists deserve low pay. Wages are compensation for value creation. And journalists simply aren't creating much value these days." Now while I'm inclined to agree with the proposition, it nonetheless commits a common fallacy - that of associating payment with value. What something costs is not a function of value, it is a function of willingness to pay. Often, this may seem to be associated with value, but when you look at the prices scalpers can command for scarce tickets, or hospitals can demand for minor treatments of a person who is gravely ill, you can see that ability to control the marketplace counts for much more than the value of the good. Journalists have lost control of the marketplace. The work they do is being replicated (better) by people willing to do it for free. And that is why the bottom is dropping out of the market. (The same logic exists in education as well, so there`s no point defending the cost of an education based on its value.) Robert G. Picard, Christian Science Monitor, May 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Facilitating Online
From the website: "Facilitating Online is a course intended for training educators as online facilitators... The guide contains the course model, week-by-week learning activities, general guidance to the course leader on how to implement and customise the course and specific guidelines on each learning activity." People facilitating online courses would do well to read through the manual, and those that are new to the field should attempt the activities proposed. The course guide is a 115 page PDF. It arose from the Emerge 2008 conference (papers and presentations are available online; don't miss this). Tony Carr, Shaheeda Jaffer and Jeanne Smuts, Centre for Educational Technology, May 20, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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