The University of Hamburg is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year by launching the initiative ‘Science City Hamburg’, which aligns with the city’s goal of making Hamburg a leading science hub by 2040. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Seb Schmoller[Edit][Delete]: Automatic Metadata Collection. Humans Not Obsolete. For the Foreseeable Future., Fortnightly Mailing [Edit][Delete] August 22, 2006
I like the way Seb Schmoller introduced this item in his newsletter: "humans are not obsolete. For the foreseeable future. But they can still create useless metadata." Hence we see the proposal that some metadata needs to be based on subjective interpretation highlighted with a reference to Clay Shirkey's metacrap paper. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Christopher D. Sessums[Edit][Delete]: Stop Making Sense: Paradox as a Teaching Tool, Christopher D. Sessums : Weblog [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
Should I feel pleased to have solved a koan, or disappointed? Christopher D. Sessums observes, "Paradox provides an opportunity to explore the unconscious assumptions associated with much of reality. They allow us to play with notions of sense/nonsense, misconceptions, disequilibration, and other cognitive conflicts. This is where is where real learning, real action, begins". More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Jay Cross[Edit][Delete]: MANAGEsmarter, Internet Time [Edit][Delete] August 21, 2006
Jay Cross introduces us to MANAGEsmarter and to their new blog, Training Day. The whole thing seems, well, so angry to me. Maybe it's the headline on the Training Magazine Cross has pictured on this post: Don't worry, be angry, which explains "why smiley sheets stink." Or the headline in MANAGEsmarter: Seven Steps to a Successful Murder Board. Even an article like Rebooting Hewlett-Packard sounds kind of nasty in this context. And it seems to me that if your training, as either trainer or trainee, makes you angry, then something has gone off the rails. Because training should be fun. Business should be fun. We are learning, growing, developing. These are good things, happy things. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Michael Feldstein[Edit][Delete]: Eben Moglen Weighs in on Blackboard, E-Literate [Edit][Delete] August 18, 2006
The Sakai Foundation has retained has retained the Software Freedom Law Center to evaluate the recent Blackboard patent. The SFLC, an organization directed by Eben Moglen, provides advice and legal services in support of free and open source software. Michael Feldstein remarks, "Eben Moglen is a pretty big deal. In addition to chairing the Software Freedom Law Center, he has affiliations with the Free Software Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation."
Feldstein also notes that eCollege has panted the gradebook, though it hasn't sued anyone yet. Which is good. But, he argues, "the best solution would be for Blackboard, eCollege, and other firms that may be holding relevant patents to all offer royalty-free licenses, guaranteeing that the patents will only be used defensively." I think an even better solution would be to donate the patents to an open source project, thus ensuring that the technologies remain accessible to everyone.
The Motley Fool looks at Blackboard and discusses the patent case (no idea how long this link will stay active). The Fool likes companies like Blackboard, but isn't thrilled about the lawsuit. More...
Although the focus of this set of lessons is film-making using a mobile device, it nonetheless offers some excellent advice for video recoding in general. How to frame your shot, how to pan and zoom, and much more. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Mark Gerencser, Fernando Napolitano, and Reginald Van Lee: The Megacommunity Manifesto, Booz Allen Hamilton August 17, 2006
How do we solve the hard problems facing our communities? Poverty, for example, or environment, or employment? With a provincial election to be called Friday evening, this question is especially relevant here. Some say such matters are best left to the private sector; others place the responsibility on government. This paper argues that "the conventional managerial decision-making style - in which a boss exercises decision rights or delegates them to subordinates - is no longer adequate. Solutions require multi-organizational systems that are larger and more oriented to multilateral action than conventional cross-sector approaches are... a megacommunity is not strictly a business niche. Nor is it a public-private partnership, which is typically an alliance focused on a relatively narrow purpose. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Louis Schmier[Edit][Delete]: Creating A Motivational Classroom, Random Thoughts [Edit][Delete] August 16, 2006
Sometimes I wonder whether I'm right in my approach, philosophy and priorities when it comes to learning, and then out of the blue comes a well-respected source that confirms and crystalizes my thoughts on the issue. Hence, from Louis Schmier:
"Too many academics, ignoring the conclusions of Carl Rogers and Edward Deci and Teresa Amabile, if we know who they are and are familiar with their work, think we can "do" something to a student. That is, we can motivate or we can teach. And, too many of us believe we can do it by the pressure of enticement or threat, and control. We crack down, impose stringent discipline, lure and entice with bonuses, make students buckle down, threaten, and force students to behave through reward and punish with grades. Extra credit here, a point taken off a grade there. It doesn't work. We know it doesn't work...." More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Mark Ahlness[Edit][Delete]: Arbor Heights - a Dozen Years on the Web!, WWWEDU [Edit][Delete] August 16, 2006
By looking in the right place, you sometimes find the right thing. The right place, in this instance, is this post by Mark Ahlness on WWWDEV. The right thing was found when I decided it was worth listing here in OLDaily, and is found below.
Ahlness writes (I have embedded links into the text), "Today is an important anniversary. Twelve years ago today, August 14, 1994, the Arbor Heights Elementary School web site appeared on the Internet. Below are a dozen items to remember and celebrate:
1) Our first page looked like this.
2) Ours was the 9th elementary school with a web site. It is the only one of those schools still at the same URL: - or these days, just head to www.arborheights.com
3) Take a virtual tour of the evolution of our home page
4) The Arbor Heights Elementary School web site was featured via screenshot in Bill Gates' "The Road Ahead".
5) The site hosts the complete archive of The Random Thoughts of Louis Schmier, a collection of the writings of one of the Internet's visionary educational philosophers for more than a decade.
6) The Arbor Heights web site originated, was the host for several years for, and is still the physical coordinating center for, the largest educational activity coordinated on the Internet, The Earth Day Groceries Project.
Not resting on its laurels, the school is pushing out into the world of web 2.0 with the last six:
7) a PTSA blog.
8) six rss feeds on its home page
9) a PTSA listserv>
10) a school wiki, just starting out
11) podcasts of and pdf versions of the Jr. Seahawk Newsletter, "The oldest continuously published elementary school student newspaper on the Internet" here and here
12) home of http://roomtwelve.com - a classroom of third graders helping to redefine 21st century literacy. More...
By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. John Daniel, Asha Kanwar and Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic[Edit][Delete]: A Tectonic Shift in Global Higher Education, Change [Edit][Delete] August 16, 2006
It would be tempting but wrong to swiftly dismiss this article. The heart of the argument is this: "Undoubtedly, tens of millions of young adults in the third world will be seeking postsecondary education in the coming years... By necessity, those nations are likely to seek a much greater role for private, for-profit institutions than is the case in the developed world. We predict that, seeing a massive market opening, for-profit institutions in the developed world will expand their cross-border provision of educational services, especially distance and e-learning. Establishing quality assurance mechanisms for such rapid expansion thus will be a major challenge for governments."
Leave aside the fact that this crisis was caused by the very people who will now purport to fix it - the World Bank, for example, actively discouraged investments in higher education. More...