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by Stephen Downes
February 23, 2010

JorumOpen is available!
This is the sort of think I like to see, harvesting from open learning repositories. "JorumOpen is now available. For details, you may be interested in checking out the following: We are also happy to say that we have confirmed the harvesting service working with JorumOpen within Desire2Learn Learning Repository." Yvonne Monterroso, Nottingham Trent University, February 23, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Ebooks what ebooks?
What are ebooks, how are they used, and how will this impact higher learning? These questions are not asked at the basic intro level by Derek Morrison, but rather at the level of greater analysis - he poses such questions as whether 'sign-out' temporary online reading material counts as an ebook, and whether people will read these books or use them to look stuff up. Where they are read will also be important. "We perhaps need to recognise that mobile devices are now more important reading devices than laptop or desktops." As Ann Kirschner writes, "the most important thing is that the iPhone is always with you, or at least always with me … And, you know, the old Woody Allen line, 70 percent of success in life is just showing up? The iPhone showed up." Derek Morrison, Auricle, February 23, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Standardize This! 10 Technology Messes That Need Fixing
When I wrote Why the Semantic Web Will Fail, my argument was based on the inability of companies to agree on standards in technology. Yes, there was criticism, but I stand by my projection, based on the continuing and repeatedly demonstrated inability of business to cooperate on even the most basic technologies - device chargers, mobile phone networks, messaging standards, data formats, device remotes, avatars, and security software. Dan Tynan, PCWorld, February 23, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Geist: Technology giants defend Canada's copyright law
According to the Computer and Communications Industry, Canada's copyright law is just fine as it is. The the Computer and Communications Industry Association is made up of Microsoft, Google, T-Mobile, Fujitsu, AMD, eBay, Intuit, Oracle and Yahoo, among others. Michael Geist reports. "Rather than building on the tired narrative that the current law is an embarrassment, the message from the technology world was that Canada is actually doing just fine. The CCIA warned that including Canada on the list of countries that need reforms undermines the credibility of the process, adding 'Canada's current copyright law and practice clearly satisfy the statutory adequate and effective standard. Indeed, in a number respects, Canada's laws are more protective of creators than those of the United States.'" Michael Geist, The Toronto Star, February 23, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Resource Tracking for UKOER
CETIS has embarked on an interesting project, tracking open educational resources (OERs). "For the UKOER programme there are some requirements for reporting the total number of OERs released, evidence of their use and reuse, evidence of benefit and impact (if available) and indicators of quality such as value to the community and pedagogic value... More information on evaluating OERs is available from the UKOER synthesis evaluation project. See also OLNet Tracking OERs -- requirements and suggested solutions." Nick Frear, JISC CETIS, February 23, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up
The reason why diversity is important is that it helps us see the same problem from different angles. A novice, or a person working outside the field, will not be led by the prevailing assumptions of the field. "If Einstein had gotten tenure at an elite German university, he would have become just another physics professor with a vested interest in the space-time status quo." Daniel Lemire remarks, in an email, describing the same phenomenon, "I think that we all found that we learn through teaching... and we teach to people who are different from us... otherwise we could not teach them anything." Note that the Wired magazine article needs to come with a language warning, which is inappropriate and disappointing in what is supposed to be a professional publication. Via Sebastien Paquet. Jonah Lehrer, Wired Magazine, February 23, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Highlighting E-Readers
Making e-book readers more like books actually impairs their usefulness, according to a study. "'Because it was difficult to take notes on the Kindle, because PDF documents could not be annotated or highlighted at all, and because it was hard to look at more than one document at once, the Kindle was occasionally a tool that was counter-productive to scholarship,' Princeton researchers wrote in a summary of their study, released Monday." Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, February 23, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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