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by Stephen Downes
January 28, 2010

Knowledge and me
I can't resist linking to Luc Belliveau's first-ever blog post. Luc is our programmer extraordinaire and a master of all things technical here at NRC in Moncton. He's a key member of the PLE project. Describing how he has come to learn over the years, he poses the challenge to the PLE quite effectively: "Is there a better way? How will the PLE make this journey more informative? Less painful? Why would I use the PLE to learn? Why would I even install it? If the answer is simply 'because my school will make me'... I think we can do better." Luc Belliveau, Plearn Blog, January 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

My School site crashes one hour after launch
Australia's My School website was sufficiently popular (or insufficiently powered) to crash an hour after launch. Either way, the site is an instant success. "The controversial website publishes and compares the performance of 10,000 school based on facts such as the number of staff and students, the socio-economic status of the students, school attendance rates and year 12 attainment rates." Darren Pauli, Network World, January 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

GoogleApps in Education - Prince George's County Public Schools
Useful flowchart detailing the steps required for a school to migrate from Outlook to GMail. From Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland, USA, says Guhlin, "the transition of such a large district--the 18th largest in the United States with 129,000 students, over 28,000 staff--puts to rest any concerns that GoogleApps for Education will NOT work for large districts in Texas." Miguel Guhlin , Around the Corner, January 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom
A new open-access journal on academic freedom has launched. It is published by the American Association of University Professors and will publish online. The focus is on "scholarship on academic freedom-and on its relation to shared governance, tenure, and collective bargaining." Various Authors, AAUP, January 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

New Animations Take You Flying Over Mars

I love these fly-over animations made from Mars photos. That is all. Alexis Madrigal, Wired News, January 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Regarding the iPad, I am Dr. Buzzkill
Now that I've gloated a bit, it's time to take serious stock of the iPad's shortcomings. Of which there are many:
- everything - all content, all software, comes through the proprietary iTunes (or iBook) portal; even web content comes through Apple's Safari - no Firefox on the iPad
- no multitasking - when you are watching a video on the iPoad, you will not be checking your email or in any other way distracting yourself from the advertising
- no Flash, so the greatest source of (free) videos is not available; if you want the video experience, you need to be prepared to pay for it
- no USB ports, so you cannot plug in any potentially subversive devices like a printer or external disk storage or a mouse
- no camera, which means no Skype videophone (or movie-making, or any other subversive activity involving creativity or communication).
So - Apple has left the field wide open for the product that will eventually dominate this niche. Content vendors, meanwhile, are salivating at the prospect of owning the market (at least in the U.S.). Meranwhile, numerous writers have made the same points: Techdirt, the Chronicle, Mashable, Doc Searles, Mashable (again), Gizmodo. Steve Yelvington, Weblog, January 28, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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