OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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October 12, 2010

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The World Is Full of Interesting Things
Various Authors, Google, October 12, 2010.

Don't miss this - it may take a bit to load, but it's 119 pages chock full of multimedia goodness. And it really puts an exclamation point on the whole concept of mash-ups, crowdsourced media, and rampant creativity!

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Manifesto For The Previous Century
Tim Stahmer, Assorted Stuff, October 12, 2010.

Tim Stahmer does probably the best job of summarizing the recommendations from last weekend's outrageous "manifesto" published in the (not-so-neutral) Washingtom Post:
- Merit pay.
- Eliminate teacher seniority.
- Increasing student achievement (aka test scores).
- More charter schools.
- Online classes
There has been a lot of reaction, including Stahmer's follow-up, linking to Kevin Welner's criticism, noting, "None – literally NONE – of these gimmicks is evidence-based." John Sener, meanwhile, calls it a manifesto of nonsense. And in Education Notes Online we read of the Corporate Reform Action Pack. And Wesley Fryer gives us a nice graphic. Diane Ravitch, meanwhile, takes dead aim at the proposition that charters are a silver bullet. The only voice I find in favour of the piece - complaining only that it is "tepid" - is Daniel Willingham. No surprise there.

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Improving Access to the Public Domain: the Public Domain Mark
Diane Peters, Creative Commons, October 12, 2010.

files/images/noc.png, size: 1142 bytes, type:  image/png Creative Commons has released a new 'public domain' mark, used to indicate that a work has been placed into the public domain and has no copyrights attached to it. That does not open up a free-for-all, however. As the associated deed notes, there may be patent or trademark rights associated with the work. That is the lesser concern. Of greater note is that, in some jurisdictions, there may be moral rights attached, which cannot be extinguished. "These rights may include the right to be identified as the author and the right to object to derogatory treatments." So even if you're using public domain works, take care to treat the work, and its author, with consideration and respect. Which should be a rule even in domains where moral rights do not apply. (Note that the use of the mark on this story is a representation only, and not an assignment of this story to the public domain.)

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The Future of the Canadian Council on Learning
Paul Cappon, Canadian Council on Learning, October 12, 2010.

files/images/ccl.jpg, size: 5978 bytes, type:  image/jpeg Canadian Council of Learning president Paul Cappon updated readers on the future of the learning research organization today. In a nutshell, because of continued funding difficulties, the organization will be mothballed. The voluntary board will continue, and Cappon will serve as president, but as a volunteer while working on an unnamed European project. Caroline Liguori will work out of a University of Ottawa office as full-time coordinator, and there will be reports, analyses and commentaries published on the website, but no new research will be undertaken. Existing funding will keep it alive in this fashion, writes Cappon, "sufficiently long to allow for a change in political and economic conditions that might make possible restoration of government funding." Um, heh.

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Are OERs just Re-usable Learning Objects with an open license?
John Robertson, John's JISC CETIS blog, October 12, 2010.

The short answer to the question in the title, according to John Robertson, is "no". Not that there isn't any overlap; certainly re-usable learning objects (RLOs) can be open educational resources (OERs). But the domain of OERs is much wider than just RLOs. "I'm not sure in the wider elearning community if this distinction is understood," writes Robertson. "In the context of educational content with open licenses I've heard the words used interchangeably. I think many RLOs are great but they come with an approach and history that is not essential to OERs and we make a mistake if we accidentally equate them." Via the 'top five posts for September' listing in the JISC CETIS newsletter.

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IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces "Write Once – Run Anywhere" is Readily Achievable
Press Release, IMS, October 12, 2010.

Well, this is a pretty heady claim. "The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) announces that the goal of being able to develop an application or digital content one way and then seamlessly integrating it with any course management system or educational portal has been achieved." The claim is a bit more limited than it sounds - basically, it involves compatibility with two of IMS's standards, Common Cartridge and Learning Tools Interoperability. And in this, the claim is certainly believable - and I think a big part of that is that the standards were developed hand-in-hand with implementations of the standards.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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