12 juillet 2019

Is Prometheus a Big Problem for Blackboard?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Michael Feldstein[Edit][Delete]: Is Prometheus a Big Problem for Blackboard?, E-Literate [Edit][Delete] August 11, 2006
Michael Feldstein asks, is Promethius a big problem for Blackboard? "Almost none of the prior art listed in the Wikipedia entry was in Blackboard's patent filing. It's remarkable, really, since they are legally obligated to list any potential prior art of which they are aware at the time of filing."
Feldstein suggests that the flurry of anti-Blackboard patent posts will slow down, which is not surprising. This will be a slow business. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:52 - - Permalien [#]


Poverty, Attitude, and Complexity

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Charles Nelson[Edit][Delete]: Poverty, Attitude, and Complexity, Explorations in Learning [Edit][Delete] August 11, 2006
Charles Nelson responds to my comments on the consideration of the impact of attitude on student success. And of course I would be the first to agree that student success is a complex matter and which can include attitude, especially as (as Nelson points out) attitude can be linked to poverty. He asks, "in 'priming our children for success,' shouldn't we consider attitude?" Sure. But not in such a way as to disregard the effect of poverty. "Neither should we excuse ourselves from attending to poverty's effects on learning and life." True. But it's more. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:51 - - Permalien [#]

CMS: Sticking with the Tried and True

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. John Burton[Edit][Delete]: CMS: Sticking with the Tried and True, University Business [Edit][Delete] August 8, 2006
Contrary to reports, open source is not sweeping the educational community. "Its popularity may be broad, but it's not deep." So writes John Burton in this University Business article, arguing that university and college computer systems staff find open source too risky to deploy on campus systems. Also worth noting is the OSS Watch report which just came out in Britain. The report paints a very different story, showing that while proprietary software rules the univerity desktop (with the exception of the browser, which is 68 percent Firefox), open source rules on the server, with 56 percent using Moodle. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:50 - - Permalien [#]

The YDN Python Developer Center

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Simon Willison[Edit][Delete]: The YDN Python Developer Center, August 8, 2006
What I like about a resource like this is not simply that it is a useful guide to some Python trickery, but also that it speaks eloquently against those who believe you need hald-holding and direction in order to learn. Who knows how many people will learn from this resource? Good thing they didn't know it was impossible. In the same vein, Steve Lee writes about the InfoWorld review of FOSS Ajax toolkits. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:49 - - Permalien [#]

Community Forum on DOPA and the Blackboard Patent

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Dave Cormier and Jeff Lebow[Edit][Delete]: Community Forum on DOPA and the Blackboard Patent, Ed Tech Talk [Edit][Delete] August 7, 2006
For continuing coverage of the Blackboard patent story, be sure to check this special page.
Yesterday's major activity was a Community Forum on DOPA and the Blackboard Patent held on Ed Tech Talk (view the chat transcript, listen to the MP3 audio, part 1). Also read a summary of the meeting by Sharon Peters.
"Part 1 of our Community forum includes an overview of these two critical issues, presentation of a message sent by BlackBoard CEO, Michael Chasen, reaction from Desire2Learn Director of Marketing, John McLeod, and commentary from Michael Feldstein and Stephen Downes. More audio, including our break out discussions and a chat with Moodle founder, Martin Dougiamas, will be uploading soon."
The Blackboard message in particular attracted a lot of attention as Chasen says "We [Blackboard] certainly did not invent e-learning or course management systems."
Chasen may say this but the words of the patent claims themselves paint a different picture. Afred Essa offers that picture in pictures as he describes the patent claims in detail, commenting finally that "Once we cut through the pseudo-technical mumbo jumbo it's apparent that there is no there there. If Blackboard gets away with this it will be one of the great hoaxes of this century."
He argues "the patent grant is breathtaking in its sweep and goes well beyond what we normally associate with course management systems or virtual learning environments. In addition to the core technologies associated with a VLE, the Blackboard patent potentially covers any infrastructure and integration elements when used in the context of course delivery."
Also yesterday came the first sign that the case may hit the mainstream press as the Times of India filed a report titled Blackboard patent may hit e-learning in India. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:48 - - Permalien [#]


Report: Public Schools Near Private Schools

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Charles Nelson[Edit][Delete]: Report: Public Schools Near Private Schools, Explorations in Learning [Edit][Delete] August 7, 2006
In case we forgot, "the strongest predictor of academic underperformance is poverty." Whe the reminder? Because the denial is so strong. As in this post, where the very next line is "I wonder how poverty is linked to attitude" and where the author then quotes William Raspberry saying "the gap has less and less to do with racism and more and more to do with the habits and attitudes we inculcate among our children." Except that it doesn't. This sort of attitude suggests that poor children would learn better if only their parents were better parents. But if this were the case, then parenting - and not poverty - would be the strongest indicator of academic underperformance. In the same way, the improvement of children in military families is far more likly to have to do with the regular paycheque, not the military discipline. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:47 - - Permalien [#]

A Lack of Transparency In the News Aggregator World

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Christian Long[Edit][Delete]: A Lack of Transparency In the News Aggregator World, think:lab [Edit][Delete] August 7, 2006
Christian Long struggles with aggregation, and in particular the work of Jym Brittain. In a comment, Brittain writes, "If you object to your content being syndicated, turn off the syndication function of your blog." It's an issue that occupies many people with RSS feeds (and for that matter Creative Commons licenses). It's something that I addressed recently. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:46 - - Permalien [#]

Work in Progress - Invitation to Comment

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Work in Progress - Invitation to Comment, Jisc [Edit][Delete]JISC [Edit][Delete] August 7, 2006
Page linking to a large collection of materials from the JISC Trust in Digital Repositories project, with an invitation to comment. Thus I spent my morning today.
Begin with The TrustDR Project: a plain-english description for project partners (all documents are in MS Word). It's a good overview with a nice set of references. See especially section 4. But readers should note some themes that permeate these discussions, themes that just don't ring right - the idea that computer scientists believe that "there is some 'magic bullet' type of solution to the task of running a repository," the assumption "that an institutional digital repository of learning objects is a form of digital library," and the idea that institutional top-down management is required to make repositories work. And it seems off that the athors would claim that "Google algorithms make extensive use of 'traditional' metadata to work their magic," which so far as I know is false (certainly the vast majority of web pages have no metadata). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:45 - - Permalien [#]

Truth In Advertising - Lies We Tell Our Students And Faculty

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. StevenB[Edit][Delete]: Truth In Advertising - Lies We Tell Our Students And Faculty, ACRLog [Edit][Delete] August 7, 2006
I reads this item as I was comtemplating a response to the next, and something about it bothered me. And it's this. The author tells us that librarians are misleading us when they say libraries can be like Google. "We will tell people it may take them longer than 60 seconds to find valuable information. We will tell them our library databases are not the same as Google..." And I want to know, why not? Why does it take so long to find stuff? Why isn't the stuff accessible through this collection? Why is it that what the library offers me is mostly a set of excuses and limitations, instead of what I really want, fast and easy and relevant access. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:44 - - Permalien [#]

Discussion: Stephen Downes

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. George Siemens and Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: Discussion: Stephen Downes, Elearnspace [Edit][Delete]ELearnSpace [Edit][Delete] August 7, 2006
George Siemens and I had a nice discussion this afternoon about the changing nature of knowledge. "We started by discussing the need for a new epistemology...explored artificial intelligence, democracy, wikipedia, new models of societal organization, knowledge as a product/process, the nature of learning today, neuroscientific view of cognition, and other light breezy subjects :)." 68 megabytes, but if you give me some time I'll have a lighter version here. Once I download the original. ;) [Tags: ]. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 07:43 - - Permalien [#]