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by Stephen Downes
June 5, 2009

Brian Lamb's The Urgency of Open Education
Brian Lamb's presentation is smooth, polished and informed. Culture, he says, is something that historically we have participated in by creating and not merely consuming. And we are returning to those days, where we can create content for ourselves that we used to pay for and merely consume. Indeed, for any content company, placing a barrier - such as price - between the content and readers is a fatal mistake. Culture is something that is ours - it's not simply the creation of the best, it's an act that is a part of being there (like the million people who have photographed Barack Obama). And when each person records his or her own presence, we can create something larger than life, something real. Knowing that you are making a significant contribution to public discourse is motivation to create and contribute. There's this and a lot more in this presentation. And I love the example of his time in Barcelona he gives near the end of his talk - I completely missed it when it happened, but it's a great story. And a great lesson. Brian Lamb, MetaMedia, June 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Judge Dismisses Software-Licensing Case Against George Mason U.
George Mason University has successfully defended Zotero, a free Firefox extension that manages your references, against incursions from Thomson Reuters, which alleged that it infringes on EndNote citation software. Marc Beja, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

OECD Report Finds Canadian Broadband Slow, Expensive
Canada has always had a good internet system, and I always find it frustratingly slow when I visit other countries. But this is changing, as the OECD reports that Canada's internet is getting comparitively slower and more expensive. "When price and speed are combined, Canada sinks toward the very bottom of the OECD rankings. As measured by price per megabyte - effectively the price for speed - Canada ranks 28th out of 30 countries, ahead of only Mexico and Poland." This trend, if it continues, will, impair our ability to research and develop. This may be deliberate. Harold Jarche comments, "Canadians are being set up by music/movie lobby groups & our politicians in a rather cozy relationship it seems … Is there a connection between crappy broadband and minimal use of open source in Canada?" Michael Geist, Weblog, June 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Emergent forms of TIMN

Clever, very clever. But can we rename 'tribes' (which has all kinds of connotations I don't like) to 'community', which is probably more accurate? Because we want to observe that the 'community' of the first row evolves into a community of communities in the fourth row. Tom Haskins, growing changing learning creating, June 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Competencies Over Courses in Medical Education
This is reflective of trends I have seen elsewhere: a shift from the organization of learning into courses into an organization via the demonstration of competencies. The AAMC report, scientific foundations for future physicians, outlines a total of sixteen foundational competencies.

From the report: "In a seminal article (PDF) in 2002, Hundert and Epstein reviewed work done on achieving competency and established a definition of competency that is widely accepted in medical education: 'Competency is the habitual and judicious use of communication, knowledge, technical skills, clinical reasoning, emotions, values, and reflection in daily practice for the benefit of the individual and the community being served.' Competence develops over time, and as competence is nurtured by reflection on experiences, it becomes a habit." Ben Eisen, Inside Higher Ed, June 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Home Dissection Kits and More
This item reminds me of things like Heathkits and Crystal Radio kits that were popular when I was a kid - mail-order do-it-yourself science. It also reminds me of the idea that online learning isn't about sitting in front of a computer, it's about using the computer to support a variety of learning experiences in one's own home or community. David Moltz, Inside Higher Ed, June 5, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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