This was nothing the opponents of DRM didn't predict, but that doesn't take away the sting. "While a handful of incidents have brought that reality into sharp relief over the years, none has quite the punch of Microsoft disappearing every single ebook from every one of its customers." You read that right. If you ever bought an ebook from Microsoft, your purchase is about to vanish into the ether. "Starting as soon as this week, it’s going to remove all purchased books from the libraries of those who bought them." If ever there was a good argument for breaking the digital lock and saving the ebook you bought, this is it. “This is why we call DRM media and devices defective by design, or broken from the beginning. There’s self-destruction built into the whole concept.”
This article looks at the Blackboard Open LMS (BOLMS) (formerly Moodlerooms) roadmap which was released in June. There are "no exciting new features, only a diligent couple of ideas," writes Cristian Duque. The 'secret' for BOLMS, says Duque, is that "the online community that surrounds Blackboard is a wealthy and effective environment of collegial help and support that barely gets any recognition." On the other hand, Blackboard has tended to drop good ideas as quickly as it acquires them. "A pattern of good ideas that somehow stops mid-sentence starts to emerge," says Duque. Still, there's a rich range of services available in BOLMS, and this article is a good summary of them.
According to the article, "The initiative, called Common Microcredentials Framework, is spearheaded by the European MOOC Consortium, which comprises Europe’s largest MOOC providers:
It would be interesting to see wider adoption of the microcredetnials framework by other MOOC providers, but I think it is unlikely companies like Coursera or Udacity want to cooperate with others.
According to this article, "Carnegie Mellon is working with open educational resources company Lumen Learning to provide delivery and support for courseware from the university's Open Learning Initiative (OLI)." The materials aren't exactly open: "Lumen's pricing for the course materials will match the cost of adopting them through OLI directly."
You won't be seeing this as an app any time soon, but this development shows where the future of computer interfaces is headed (and in my eyes, also sheds some light on the nature of human consciousness). “Once the Sender makes a decision about whether to rotate the block, they send ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the Receiver’s brain by concentrating on the corresponding light... (For the receivers) we essentially ‘trick’ the neurons in the back of the brain to spread around the message that they have received signals from the eyes." Of course, I see a great future for systems like this for communication... with pets.
You will probably never read this book - as Tony Bates writes, "readers will see the irony of a book on open and distance education which costs US$45 for an electronic version and US$30 to download a single chapter, especially since the authors get no payment from the publisher." But do read this review, which makes an important point (and one I have observed myself): "I am seeing an increasing divergence between the ‘old’ field of open and distance education, and the newly emergent field of digital learning." The book was edited by Insung Jung.
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