Archive for September, 2005

Teach and Learn Online: Lawsuit forces Web2 learning strategies

Monday, September 26th, 2005

Leigh Blackall comments on the WebCT accessibility lawsuit and outlines some more open alternatives. But the overhead of learning the tools is substantial. Which is fine if that’s what the course is about – ie if the medium really is the message. But until we can expect universal facility with a standard set of tools (which I agree should definitely not be proprietary), it seems that the communication tools of e-learning will be useful primarily just in communications courses.

Non-accessible e-learning: lawsuit against an institution using WebCT – FLOSSE Posse

Monday, September 26th, 2005

I’m no fan of WebCT (or “vendor-lock-in” of any kind) but in their discussion of a lawsuit against an institution using WebCT (on the basis of non-accessible e-learning) FLOSSE Posse say:

“In WebCT they probably seriously think that learning happens by scanning content with your eyes and then saving it in your personal hard disk located in your head….”

Oh how second millenium of them! (sounds just like reading a book)

These bookish monks will never adapt to the new paradigm in which all information is instantly searchable and our sensory input will be filtered through a Google designed response generator which instantly feeds us with the cleverest response that has ever been generated – or could ever be imagined on the basis of past responses to related data. Of course there’ll be no need to vocalize that response, since everyone else will be simultaneously accessing the same facility and we’ll all think as one. No more arguments, no more war, eternal peace and harmony in the embrace of the universal Googlemind … gottaloveit!

But the folks at FlossePosse don’t want to hear from me – they keep telling me I’ve failed their “captcha” challenge test – maybe I‘ll sue them for making it inaccessible to me.

democracyarsenal.org: North Korea: Unravelling already?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

democracyarsenal.org: North Korea: Unravelling already?
I agree with Dan Kervick’s comment that “it doesn’t really matter who delivers first as long as the deliveries both take place”.

In fact the common statement makes no precise commitment as to the timing of either delivery except that they should both be incremental and effectively simultaneous.

First we have “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning at an early date to the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) and to IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards.”

Then a bit later “The DPRK stated that it has the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The other parties expressed their respect and agreed to discuss at an appropriate time the subject of the provision of light-water reactor to the DPRK.”

And near the end “The six parties agreed to take coordinated steps to implement the aforementioned consensus in a phased manner in line with the principle of ‘commitment for commitment, action for action.’ ”

So one of the deliveries will be “soon” and the other “at an appropriate time” and of course what is appropriate may depend on who is doing the judging. It is not inconsistent for the DPRK to say that an appropriate time is before soon, and the last bit quoted above makes it hard to argue that they are not intended to be effectively simultaneous.

While this certainly does not support the DPRK posturing, neither does it support the claim that “only once North Korea has verifiably abandoned its nuclear program and joined the NPT will discussions on the light-water reactor even begin”. The question of who is the idiot depends on who spoke first (and since the conversation may have been private we’ll never know the answer).

Also, I find Suzanne’s “A good-faith misunderstanding? Not likely. The Administration has, at least publicly, always been vehement that …” to be unconvincing. It basically amounts to claiming that the other’s interpretation of the agreement must be wrong because it doesn’t match the USA’s initial position … which is something many of us in the world have heard before in other contexts. For example, your characterization of others with whom you have negotiated as “slippery” begs the question of what adjective to apply to a nation which basically forces an agreement on a binding resolution mechanism for trade disputes and then refuses to honour it when someone at home doesn’t like the result.

The brains business | Economist.com

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

The brains business | Economist.com
is an article identified by Stephen Downes as “the plan for destroying” public university systems.

Main Page – ColLib

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

Must look and see if this ColLib thing is any use

Guardian Unlimited | Life | Don’t dumb me down

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Life | Don’t dumb me down is the article referred to in the previously referenced article by Styhphen Downes

Stephen’s Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ Don’t Dumb Me Down

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

actually, what I like most about this Stephen’s Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ Don’t Dumb Me Down posting, is Stephen’s “don’t be afraid to be obscure” – which I may end up taking as my motto!

Stephen’s Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ Web Site Link Checker

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

This Stephen’s Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ Web Site Link Checker might be useful for the MathWebResources project

AlterNet: Blogs: Peek: SPECIAL: What led to Katrina?

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

AlterNet: Blogs: Peek: SPECIAL: What led to Katrina?

AlterNet: How to Help

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

AlterNet: How to Help – at last something useful rather than sensational

A Neighbourhood of Infinity: The Sleeping Beauty Problem

Tuesday, September 6th, 2005

A Neighbourhood of Infinity: The Sleeping Beauty Problem

Writing for the Web: Hurricane Blogs

Tuesday, September 6th, 2005

Crawford Killian reports the advent of more Hurricane Blogs. My own sense is that blog references to Katrina have been slow to show up – at least within the edtech arena.

Writing for the Web: The World’s Greatest Online Journalism

Sunday, September 4th, 2005

Writing for the Web: The World’s Greatest Online Journalism

NOLA.com: Hurricane Katrina 2005

Saturday, September 3rd, 2005

NOLA.com: Hurricane Katrina 2005 coverage from the NewOrleans local newspaper