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by Stephen Downes
October 27, 2009

Become independent of peer review
There's a lot of discussion going back and forth on daniel Lemire's website about the merits (or lack of same) regarding peer review. My own view echoes those started here, that peer review encourages (or at least allows) "clusters of incompetence." This is perpetuated when reviewers require that new writers cite, and adhere to, work authored by (who else?) the reviewers. The closed nature of peer review, in my mind, encourages this sort of double-dealing. For my tastes, a selection of articles 'for publication' ought to occur from an open pool of candidate submissions, where anyone can see what was contributed, and comment on the selection. Daniel Lemire, Weblog, October 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

E-Learning's 'Third Phase'
Competition from enterprise software vendors is heating up in the LMS market, according to this report. "Meanwhile, data from other Campus Computing Project surveys indicate that Blackboard has seen its market share fall from 80 percent following its acquisition of WebCT in 2005 to 56 percent last year." Finally, open source is cutting into the market from the other direction. Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, October 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

News 2.0: The Future of News in an Age of Social Media
The CBC has a special online report on the future of news media. As the authors note, "What is now called the 'mainstream media' has lost its control over the tools of its trade, and its importance as a centre of social and political influence. The business and philosophical model both appear to be broken, perhaps irrevocably." Of course, as I have often said, it's not just new media that's killing the traditional press; it's the press's own practices. Look at their choice of 'experts' for their series - three people who write books (including the laughable Andrew Keen) and four people from traditional media. And nobody with genuine new media credentials at all. This is typical - and a big part of the reason nobody takes the traditional news seriously any more. Ira Basen, CBC News, October 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

I Like Being on the Same Side of an Argument as Diane Ravitch
I like being on the same side too. And the point is - if you have to have private schools, pay for them yourselves. Ravitch writes, "I have a simple principle to propose: Public money for public schools, private money for private schools. That way, entrepreneurs would stop picking the public's pocket for their enrichment, and philanthropists would be encouraged to support effective and worthy religious schools." Tom Hoffman adds, "All the private money that's going into policy debates, prizes, etc. could have simply gone into private schools serving low-income populations." Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC, October 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Twinning Canadian and Kenyan Schools with Solar Power
Obviously, there are not enough schools in Canada to twin with every school in Africa, but at least it's a start (there are enough schools in the U.S. and Europe, though). And the learning happens in both places. Derek Chan, One Laptop Per Child News, October 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

The Cost of the Blackboard Patent Suit (and Who Pays It)
Well, I think we know who pays it. It's interesting, though, to see qwho benefitted. "The amount [that Blackboard will have to pay Desire2Learn, including the original award plus interest] will probably be over $3.8M USD from my rough estimates which is higher than the expected writedown Blackboard took. ... What's also interesting is that Blackboard's top execs made record bonuses before this writedown." Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, October 27, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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