Dave Winer writes, "I’ve written about it so many times, but that’s how it goes with loops.... At issue is this: Control. For whatever reason, the people who run the tech companies want it. But eventually the users take it." And so, he says, we are entering the look again, this time with microblogging services like Tumblr and tablets like iPad. It's funny - doing a follow-up to find other views, all I find are copies of the Winer post, with nothing else added. More...
I'm highlighting this item just to scratch my head in public. What we have here is a study (reported via Seb Schmoller) where "students using Khan Academy content in a blended learning model showed, on average, a 6.4% gain compared to a 5.2% gain in the control group. The two groups scored roughly the same overall, each showing better results in some areas compared to the other group." Well, OK, typical if uninformative. More...
Jonathan Livengood calls this "philosophy only a philosopher could love," and while I don't actually stand as a counterexample, I think there might be wider love for Clark Glymour's manifesto than the author suggests. His point of view, in a nutshell, is that for all the criticisms logical positivists receive, they contributed much of value to society, including not only computational logic and artificial intelligence, but a better and more moral view of the world than, say, Heidegger, Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. I have said many times that "my morality is based on my science; my science isn't based on my morality." Though Hume famously said you cannot derive an "ought" from an "is" I take it as foundational to ethics that you can't simply argue your way out of what is a transparently flawed morality. More...
In a year that was very good for educational technology, Tony Bates says this was one of the best educational technology stories. It's hard to disagree. More...
The 2012 Downes Prize is awarded to:
Clayton R. Wright, for his series of posts annotating educational technology conferences.
Since 2007, I have been posting the list of conferences compiled by Clayton R. Wright here on this website. It has been annually one of the most popular resources on the site, and elsewhere (as the list is posted on a variety of blogs). In 2012 he posted the 27th and 28th editions of the list. He is a fitting recipient of the prize who exemplifies the best traditions of our community.
Some other notable posts from the last year include (in no particular order):
- Clint Lalonde, So, here’s the thing about the video in my Coursera course (Sept 14)
- Brian Lamb, No Content (July 26)
- Howard Knopf, The Big Fat Canadian Wedding Tax - Pay Three Pipers and Double for Dancing (June 4)
- Jennifer Shoop, Case Study 15: The Saylor.org Model (Dec 13)
- Ethan Allen, e-Learning...as Easy as Pie (Nov 21)
- Steve Kolowich, Into the Fray (July 17)
- D'Arcy Norman, on commercial silo-ification of online discourse (Aug 13)
- Charles Leadbeater, Welcome to We-think: mass innovation, not mass production (Aug 10)
- Tony Vincent, Guide to Using Free Apps to Support Higher Order Thinking Skills (Feb 24)
- Sebastian Thrun, University 2.0 - Sebastian Thrun (Jan 25)
- Lisa Marie Blashke, Heutagogy and Lifelong Learning: A Review of Heutagogical Practice and Self-Determined Learning (Feb 1)
Through 2012, downes.ca welcomed 334,364 unique visitors (not counting search engines) who visited 774,792 times, viewing 2,212,286 pages for a total of 12,669,823 hits. Thank you for your support over the last year and the best to all in 2013.
Can-Spam Act a Failure
There are some important lessons in this item. "The U.S. Can-Spam Act is a failure... of the 547,685 messages examined, only 71 - 0.013 per cent - complied with Can-Spam." When the internet was first unfolding, advocates argued that it transcended national borders and legal restrictions. More...
Managing the Connected Organization
Good article on internet-age organization, which begins with an observation from Shapiro and Varian: "There is a central difference between the old and new economies: the old industrial economy was driven by economies of scale; the new information economy is driven by the economics of networks..." (from Information Rules - if you haven't read this book I do recommend it). More...
Canadian Supreme Court Rules Cached Music Files Not Copyright Infringement
It's an obvious ruling, but in today's environment it is still nice (and a bit of a relief) to see the court set a precedent. if you're wondering what it was about - internet service providers, who connect you to the internet at home, often save copies of frequently requested files so they do not have to retrieve them from the web every time they are requested. More...
Capturing the Value of "Generation Tech" Employees
It's yet another explanation of "digital natives," the young people who have grown up with computers, and consequently, a new way of thinking and learning. But this bit is interesting: "Have you ever noticed that digital natives, unlike digital immigrants, don’t talk about 'information overload'? Rather, they crave more information." The lesson here is that many of the concerns being expressed about online learning - I just heard someone talk about the 'fear of IT' - are concerns expressed by a generation, the last generation, of a pre-computer world. More...