27 septembre 2019

Buying Vista? Get a Guarantee

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Buying Vista? Get a Guarantee
Microsoft Vista comes out tomorrow but I would certainly not recommend that you run out and buy it. And not simply because of the very dodgy licensing, as outlined by Michael Geist (including "extensive provisions granting Microsoft the right to regularly check the legitimacy of the software and holds the prospect of deleting certain programs without the user's knowledge"). No, because you can't even know it will run on your computer. "Cherry recommends against modifications and says consumers should instead purchase a new machine." And that's the thing, isn't it. You just can't buy a new computer without buying Vista. All that talk, all those court cases, and you still can't buy a computer without buying Vista. And our anti-trust laws? Waste paper. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:49 - - Permalien [#]


Innovating E-Learning Conference 2006

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Innovating E-Learning Conference 2006
JISC announced, on Friday, that "The proceedings of all three themes of the 2006 JISC Online Conference Innovating e-Learning 2006: Transforming Learning Experiences are now available as downloadable e-books." The books are mixtures of presentations and summaries, with links to multimedia (such as Flash video of the presentations). The three themes are: "Designing for Learning, Learner Experiences of e-Learning and Innovating e-Learning Practice."
I read through the Learner Experiences text and found the discussion frustrating. There is much talk of the need for greater learner control, and much reluctance to give them any. A lot of this is a matter of perspective. The discussion starts by acknowledging that the learner's voice is drowned by all the special interests, and so this book will give a voice to... the teachers. Then in Chapter 3 we see the students' words being asterisked out. And then there's the obligatory description of lack of motivation - why those self-managing students are doing their mandatory work instead of the student-led stuff (am I the only one who sees how absurd this is?). Then we get conflicting views of the wiki - teachers love it, students, less so. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:48 - - Permalien [#]

State of Learning in Canada: No Time for Complacency

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. State of Learning in Canada: No Time for Complacency
OK, I'll give them their concerns about literacy - I've seen enough evidence myself to believe the assertion that literacy rates are not what they should be in Canada (and probably elsewhere). Sure, people can read, but - as the announcement says - literacy is not an on-off switch. People need to be able to read more than a McDonald's advertisement. But this assertion puzzles me: "One in four children enters kindergarten with a learning or behavioural problem." How can this be? Are they all malnourished? We need to look at the full report (hint to CLC: if you're going to distribute 4.3 megabyte PDF files, your website needs to support better than dial-up speeds).
OK, they get this bit right (and it's really important, and a lot of people don't get this): "Human development is not a matter of nature versus nurture, but of nature and nurture working together. In response to stimuli from the environment, the nerve cells of the brain form physical connections and pathways. This brain wiring process, which begins before birth and continues through life, is most intensive during the first three years of development." yep. I'm rewiring my brain as I read. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:48 - - Permalien [#]

A Smarter Mind Than Mine Takes On NCLB

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. A Smarter Mind Than Mine Takes On NCLB

There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or
for many years, or stretching cycles of years.

I don't like the title of this post - people should not regard other people as "smarter" but rather as people who had more opportunities - but the content is worth reading, consisting mostly of the text of a talk given to the School Law Institute by Thomas Sobol on the subject of the No Child Left Behind act. It is worth reading not because of the political position it takes - who cares, really? - but because it grasps, where so few grasp, the subtlty of what we are trying to accomplish with an educational system.
"Schools are places where children come together to learn, and it turns out that the coming together is as important as the learning. Or rather, the coming together enables learning of a different kind - establishing an identity among peers, taking responsibility for one's actions, learning to tolerate and maybe appreciate diversity, balancing one's own interests and desires with a sense of the common good. A good education helps children become competent, wise, and just. Competence alone is not enough."
It does link together, you know. Crime in the street, hooliganism during the national celebrations, incompetence in the professions, criminal intent in the boardrooms - all of that tracks back to learning. And learning is not just school and our children are not just products, not just recipients of "competence". And, as they say, smarter people than me should know that. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:47 - - Permalien [#]

DSpace: the Next Generation

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. DSpace: the Next Generation
Some changes are coming in the world of DSpace. Based on the original Open Archives Initiative, DSpace was developed at MIT and open sourced in 2002. After four years, the code needs a trim - "code is mushrooming, preservation needs growing, ad-hoc development is tough." But there are also changes coming to DSpace governance. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:46 - - Permalien [#]


Truthiness in Publishing

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Truthiness in Publishing
You just have to wonder what sort of ethical standard governs the publishing industry, if any. As reported in Nature, and carried elsewhere, Brian Crawford, of the American Chemical Society, following the advice of a "pit bull public relations specialist", said that "he believes that when a government agency insists the results of its publicly funded research be made public, it's engaging in censorship." Huh? The publishers were also advised to "attempt to equate traditional publishing models with peer review." What about the fact that these claims are transparently false? Explains the public relations specialist, Eric Dezenhall, "if the other side is on the defensive, it doesn't matter if they can discredit your statements... Media massaging is not the same as intellectual debate." Yes, a pox on the intellectuals and their fact-based agenda. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:45 - - Permalien [#]

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Conference

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Conference
Nice coverage of the ELI conference: Day One, Day Two, . I liked reading the fresh perspective of a Masters Student (her regular blog, Immerse Yourself, was started in September). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:45 - - Permalien [#]

Do You Want to Remember EVERYTHING? (Memex)

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Do You Want to Remember EVERYTHING? (Memex)
For Daniel Lemire, who has been talking about this: "Memex is a device that records everything to do... literally EVERYTHNG. Video, audio, temperature, weather, what programs you are using on your computer... EVERYTHING." Yeah, I want one of those. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:44 - - Permalien [#]

Never Discussed

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Never Discussed
This is exactly right: "I am simply pointing out that school is a place of indoctrination and that points of view that support the standard orthodoxy are never discussed. We readily accept that these points of view, and many others, should never be mentioned in school because no one really sees school as a place where children learn to think for themselves." I agree with Schank's examples, would add that there are numerous additional things that are never discussed, and find myself in wonderment that people who question them are considered radicals. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:43 - - Permalien [#]

Paolo's View of the Future of School

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Paolo's View of the Future of School
The link is broken right now - it's Java code, so I'm not surprised, it probably couldn't handle the traffic - so I'll link to Christian Long's links to this video conversation between Paolo Friere and Seymour Papert. One for the ages, I would say. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:43 - - Permalien [#]