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Archive for February, 2008

As indicated in earlier posts, I will continue to explore the topic of personal learning environments. Since this is at least my third post on this topic, the PLE tag in my blog tag cloud ought to be growing larger.

I found a great contrary opinion on PLEs, posted by Leigh Blackall of New Zealand. I can’t tell what his profession is for sure, but I suspect he’s in higher ed. At first glance of his blog post title (Die LMS, Die! You, too PLE!), I was thinking that Mr. Blackall was no great proponent of the new learning technologies or the existing eLearning products. Either that or he was not in favor of student-directed learning. I’m not entirely sure I’m wrong on the first part, but he is definitely all for student-directed learning. He just asks a great question about whether we need to invent something new called a PLE. His question has given me great pause and I’m inclined to agree with him. Particularly because things are changing so rapidly.

So what, we develop new carousel type portals. How much time in development costs, time spent integrating PLEs with existing software, and local campus technical support will be needed? I think moving to a PLE is already possible, but it’s a decision if not change in mindset the instructor has to make. I applaud Mr. Blackall’s gumption to question something that otherwise seemed so reasonable. Read on… or go directly to his blog post. 

I should note that the picture below is not a photo of Mr. Blackall.

dont-get-too-comforatble_rsp.png

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supporting-innovation.jpg

 T-shirt from The rSmart Group

In spite of everyone’s incredulity, the BB patent monster suit against D2L took hold, at least for now. This past Friday a Texas federal jury ruled in favor of Blackboard and awarded them $3 million in damages.

Jared M. Stein in his Flexknowlogy blog says it as well as anyone:

“Does this apparent magnanimity bolster my favor for Blackboard? Certainly not; the position is superficial at best, and Blackboard knows it. Anyway, it’s beside the point: though I personally lean towards open source software for educational technology, I am (a believer of) free market competition and consumer-driven innovation of services and products is important to me. Blackboard’s overblown patent claims are an affront to innovation and competition, taking advantage of systemic failures in U.S. Patent regulations.”

Ditto, and thank you Jared.

John Baker, Desire2Learn president and CEO, quickly prepared a statement and issued it to all of its clients, of which we are one: “We will work with you to ensure there are no future issues. We are financially sound and are confident of our ability to work through this matter. With your support and that of the entire educational community, we were able to present a strong case. While we are disappointed that the jury  did not agree with our position, we will continue to challenge the patent’s validity and Blackboard’s charges of infringement. We are currently evaluating our next steps.”

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Cool Tool! – RockYou.com

[rockyou id=101830955&w=426&h=319] 
Quick post, found great free site for file sharing, but more importantly you can add cool flash elements. It took me 3 minutes to create an account, upload 5 pics (cats are not mine, although I do have cats), and add both transition and background customizations. Then another minute to embed the link here.

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