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by Stephen Downes
July 6, 2009

Gag Me with a Freeconomics
Hear hear. "Institutions the size of our major grantmaking foundations, states, and the federal government can and should (and will, eventually) pay people to write freely licensed content for schools." Yes. Exactly. Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Re-Thinking E-Learning Research
I looked at the new issue of IRRODL over the weekend and found this item to recommend, a slide and audio presentation from Norm Friesen (I wonder whether Terry Anderson will let me publish in IRRODL that way). Friesen advances his now-familiar argument against technological determinism and the inevitability of progress, framing this discussion within Habermas's three types of knowledge: technical, practical and emancipatory. Educators will seize upon the link between Habermas and Paulo Friere, while technologists will reflect on the social impact of technology. Norm Friesen, International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Paul Feyerabend
If you are not familiar with Paul Feyerabend, it is well worth reading this recently revised summary article in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. In sum: "Against Method explicitly drew the 'epistemological anarchist' conclusion that there are no useful and exceptionless methodological rules governing the progress of science or the growth of knowledge. The history of science is so complex that if we insist on a general methodology which will not inhibit progress the only "rule" it will contain will be the useless suggestion: 'anything goes'." There is much more there is a rich and fruitful investigation, and if you get the time this summer, I do recommend Against Method. Via Stephen Hsu. Unattributed, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Collaboration and Community
Good article defining and describing collaboration. Of interest to me: "Collaboration, then, involves articulating a shared purpose and direction and working toward joint decisions. This distinguishes it from other forms of cooperation which may involve common interests but are not based on a collectively articulated goal or vision. Ann Austin and Roger Baldwin note that while there are obvious similarities between cooperation and collaboration, the former involves preestablished interests while the latter involves collectively defined goals." Related article: Collaboration in Action: A Survey of Community Collaboratives. Via elearningpost. Scott London, Wesite, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Should Learning be Free and Open?
Well, my answer to the question is a short, curt, "yes." Bonk takes a more in-depth look. Here he focuses on three videos (and one pay-per-view journal article) touching on the subject. Curtis J. Bonk, TravelinEdMan, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2009
Well, here we go again. George Siemens and I are reprising the CCK08 course as CCK09. In this article, Siemens outlines some of our early thoughts on the course. If you are interested in course information, subscribe here. Even if you were signed up last year, you'll need to sign up again. It's a new course, after all. The course starts in earnest September 14. George Siemens, CCK09, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

What Makes a Good Fourth-Grade Reader? Knowledge
This post refers to a new study (which is locked in a pay-per-view journal site, the real reason Britannica runs this piece) analyzing results from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2006. These were comparative literacy studies conducted of grade 4 students in 2001 and 2006. Willingham writes, "Hong Kong ranked 14th among 35 participating countries in the 2001 administration of the test. In 2006, Hong Kong students ranked second among 44 nations." In case you are wondering, the top-rated country according to the report was Russia. Not only that, Russia climbed from 528 in 2001 - the same place as Hong Kong - all the way to 565, one better than Hong Kong (see page 7). Why not focus on Russia? Or maybe some other top-scoring jurisdictions, like Alberta and Ontario, Canada. That makes up your top four. But Willingham can't use that (or other countries, like Hungary, Luxembourg and Sweden, all of which fare better than the U.S.) as his sample, because they don't support his hypothesis. Quite the opposite. What unites these countries - and differentiates them from the U.S. and other lower scoring countries - is social and economic equity (see figure 6 on page 14 where this correlation is very clearly established). Daniel Willingham, Britannica Blog, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Social Media Recap from NMC 2009
Alan Levine guests on Beth Kanter's blog and offers up this excellent summary of the use of new media at the New Media Consortium conference held mid-June at Monterey Bay. They experimented with Pathable, a company that provides social networking for conferences, as well as a Twitter tag, conference blogging, and more. Alan Levine, Beth's Blog, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Open Educational Resources Presentations at CETIS08
From the website: "The Open Educational Resources session at CETIS08 was a little different from the other conference session in that it aimed to provided participants with some background to the forthcoming JISC / HEFCE OER programme while at the same time giving them an opportunity to comment and provide input. Further information on this call is available." Unattributed, JISC CETIS News, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

This is interesting. CoFFEE is a set of open source applications intended to be installed on a network server in order to facilitate communication and pedagogical activities. "Its main components are a series of tools for collaboration, shared work, individual work and communication. Around these core tools, several other components make it possible to plan, run or participate in a CoFFEE lesson (or session)." CoFFEE was created by the LEAD software project, part of the European Sixth Framework. LEAD ceased operations last November, but work on CoFFEE continues. Via Diigo. Various Authors, Website, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Next Open Source Movement
Open source software in academia is moving into domains tradi9tionally held by commercial software, financial administration systems. "Colorado State University and San Joaquin Delta College both went live with the first large-scale installations of full financial systems produced by the Kuali Foundation, a consortium of colleges that have pooled resources to create open source systems that could compete with corporate offerings." Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, July 6, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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