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by Stephen Downes
December 29, 2009

Singularity Proponent Ray Kurzweil Reinvents the Book, Again
It's still vapourware, but Ray Kurzweil's Blio my offer a better alternative to proprietary ebook readers. "With apps planned soon for the iPhone and PCs, Blio's cross-platform functionality makes it a natural fit for something like the Apple iSlate, which along with other tablet devices should be perfect for reading cookbooks, children's books, and any other illustrated tome." More from Wired. Brian Barrett, Gizmodo, December 29, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

How to Destroy the Book
A copyright regime where you can only rent, but not own, a book will mean the end of the book. So argues Cory Doctorow in this awkwardly argued but nonetheless convincing analysis of the future of the book. What makes a book, properly so called, something we value and want to but is the relationship we build with it, over time, as something we can refer back to again and again. Make ownership of the book temporary, and our dependence on it will disappear, and so, therefore, will the utility of the format itself.
Cory Doctorow, The Varsity, December 29, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Co-operation: from soft skill to hard skill

Collaboration is good for complicated tasks, but where things are complex, you need cooperation. "Collaboration requires a common goal while co-operation is sharing without any specific objectives. Teams, groups and markets collaborate. Online social networks and communities of practice co-operate. " This - the nature of group work - is but one dimension of change as we move from a simple to a complicated to a complex society. Harold Jarche captures these nicely in the table above.
Harold Jarche, Weblog, December 29, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Willingham: No evidence exists for learning style theories
Daniel Willingham offers a very light response to blog criticisms of his attack on learning styles. "One can never prove a negative," he writes. "Learning styles might exist. So might the Loch Ness monster and the Yeti." Of course this is not true. You can prove negatives: no number less than zero is greater than four; no person currently in New York City is currently in France; there are no dogs in my living room. In response to another criticism, he writes, "Shouldn't it be obvious whether or not people have learning styles?" My response: yes. They do. That's why you don't teach blind people with printed text. Finally, he says, "If you can't write down on a piece of paper, 'under conditions X with person Y, Z ought to happen,' it's not a scientific theory it [learning styles] is not a scientific theory." Fair enough. But you don't use an MRI to recommend bloodletting strategies, and you shouldn't use learning styles to recommend direct instruction strategies. Daniel Willingham, Washington Post, December 29, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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