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Associate Press covers open courseware movement


Posted on 30th December 2007 by Judy Breck in Open Content

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A report titled Internet Opens Elite Colleges to All by Associated Press education writer Justin Pope describes the open courseware movement. This AP story appears in this link to the New York Times and was carried this weekend by numerous other print and online publications. The scope that open courseware has achieved is described in this paragraph from the story:

“MIT’s initiative is the largest, but the trend is spreading. More than 100 universities worldwide, including Johns Hopkins, Tufts and Notre Dame, have joined MIT in a consortium of schools promoting their own open courseware. You no longer need a Princeton ID to hear the prominent guests who speak regularly on campus, just an Internet connection. This month, Yale announced it would make material from seven popular courses available online, with 30 more to follow. . . .”

Justin Pope does an excellent job of highlighting the impact of open courseware on different kinds of learners: college students, teachers, online learners outside of the United States (with crucial implications in developing countries) and self-learners. The facts and implications described in this report demonstrate that what was begun at MIT as an Internet experiment has morphed into a fundamental movement within 21st century education.

The new GoldenSwamp


Posted on 27th December 2007 by Judy Breck in Golden Age of Learning

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WordPress for Dummies
As 2008 arrives, has a new digital design. It was done by Lisa Sabin-Wilson of Lisa is also author of the brand new edition of WordPress for Dummies.

My goal in enlisting a top web designer and WordPress expert is to take advantage of the networking power of WordPress features. Over the next few weeks, the web of ideas here at GoldenSwamp will thicken, so to say, as the ideas about open education content are interconnected in increasing ways. GoldenSwamp will remain true to the theme for which it was created in 2004: blogging about the opening of learning resources causing the gold of knowledge to flow into the swamp that is the Internet.

We are learning more and more about how the networking that occurs in the open digital swamp is emerging and elevating global learning in rich and beautiful ways. That story is the subject of the writing on

Carnival of the Mobilists #103


Posted on 9th December 2007 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

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Welcome all to the Carnival!! is proud to host #103 of the weekly showcase of the best about mobile from the blogosphere. We do the hosting during the closing days of our old WordPress visual theme ‘ and invite you to come back soon to see the NEW sister blogs and But now, you are invited to wander down the midway of mobile that follows.

We begin with a blog feature written by Roland Piquepaille that has been going strong nearly twice as long as our Carnival. It is SmartMobs’ Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #192. Headlining is the remarkable fact that half of the top selling books in Japan are written on mobile phones.

If you think they are only writing books in Japanese on and for mobiles, drop by Pat B. Doyle where she will tell you the skinny on: Publish an Ebook in Amazon’s Kindle Book Store! Pat did it, and tells you how you can.

These strong examples of minds meeting mobiles give me background for pointing you to my recent post at Golden Swamp: Education by Mouse Clicks.

- Playing with the new Google Maps is described by Bernardo Carvalho at
- Paul Ruppert at Mobile Point of View writes about Mobile Payments: Top 10 Issues between Banks and Mobile Operators.
- Dennis at WAP Review plies his analytical skills in a Mobile Webmail Comparison.
- At Communities Dominate Brands Tomi Ahonen’s post is titled What is Mobile TV? More than TV, beyond just a phone.
- Ajit Jaokar at Open Gardens describes and analyzes Mobile Ajax, Google Gears on mobile and offline browsing.
- In an introductory post on Mobile Messaging 2.0 called What is a Mobile Message? Debi Jones tells us that over the next week MM2 will consider this question and invite readers to join in.

- Jason Devitt on the Skydeck opines that Cell phone plans are too complicated for cell phone companies.
- At wpf blog, Monte Silver explores why people do and don’t adopt mobile applications in a post called You Pull. I’ll Push.
- Why The Mobile Web Had Such A Terrible Start is the title of Martin Sauter’s perceptive essay on Martin’s Mobile Technology Page.

- Mobile Myths is the subject of Morten Hjerde’s post at Sender 11.
- John Puterbaugh at Mobile 2.0 and Emerging Mobile Media Services looks down the road in Reviewing 2007 Mobile Predictions.
- Future of Indian Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS) is explained by Chetan Sharma at Always On Real-Time Access.
- Al stillong with the doubts, myths and predictions, Steve Ives is able to report from Taptu that mobile is huge as he writes the post called Mobile Penetration Hits 50% Globally: The lure of big numbers,
- And Mike at Cell Phone Guru can describe 6 Reasons Why an Apple is the Ultimate Temptation,
- And finally, Andreas Constantinou of Vision Mobile can tell us in Nokia’s Ovi equals S60 squared of strategy beyond mobile and acrossFinally, tall types of connected devices, and mediums.

This week’s Best Post nod goes to Katrina Verclas at MobileActive. All the features and services described in other posts are worth the creative effort when we see mobile functioning as social positive like this post describes: SMS support Network: Connecting People with HIV/AIDS in Mexico.

Next week’s host is C. Enrique Ortiz at About Mobility – The Mobility Weblog. There will then be a two week break for the Holidays before the 2008 Carnival of the Mobilists comes rolling back online in January.

Education by mouse clicks

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Posted on 7th December 2007 by Judy Breck in Schools We Have Now

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The Army’s $200 Billion Makeover: March to Modernize Proves Ambitious and Controversial. That is the title of an article today in the Washington Post. Here from the article is a sketch of the scope of the ambitious effort the Army has underway to maximize its effectiveness:

In the Army’s vision, the war of the future is increasingly combat by mouse clicks. It’s as networked as the Internet, as mobile as a cellphone, as intuitive as a video game. The Army has a name for this vision: Future Combat Systems, or FCS. The project involves creating a family of 14 weapons, drones, robots, sensors and hybrid-electric combat vehicles connected by a wireless network. It has turned into the most ambitious modernization of the Army since World War II and the most expensive Army weapons program ever, military officials say.

Whatever you may think of what the Army is doing, I believe you will agree that the education industry has thus far done nothing similar. The potential for learning by mouse click is held at arms length, and often the wireless, mobile devices students carry for social. safety and entertainment purposes have been forbidden inside schools.

The Army is hardly being avant guard in its move toward interfacing with the connected world. It follows major commerce, entertainment/media industries and other sectors. The education sector will, I believe, inevitably turn its creativity and resources toward making learning “as networked as the Internet, as mobile as a cellphone, as intuitive as a video game.”

I am very hopeful the swing toward connecting education digitally is already happening. The march of established education toward modernization will almost certainly be less expensive than maintaining the analog status quo delivery of learning resources. I cannot imagine how making over learning to interface our times could be controversial.

Toddler tech demand


Posted on 3rd December 2007 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge

A parameter-adjusting posting on the Wikinomics blog today is titled Thanks for the doll but I want your mobile phone. It is not the parents who need to read what Wikinomics reports: the parents are getting it from their own toddlers. Everyone who expects to have a role in future education needs to know what this post tells us about the children who are now starting school and even those too young for pre-school. Here is a sample, though I recommend you read it all by clicking the title above:

A mother of one year old twins who purchased toy cell phones had to return them a few days later. “They know what a real cellphone is, and they don’t want a fake one,” she says. Another exasperated mother who refused her 6 year old’s wish to own a real laptop conceded that she might have to give in next year. A parent of a two year old says “We have a toy laptop for him, and he knows it’s a fake.” He prefers to play on the real one. . . .

At this pace of adoption today’s kids will upstage the Net Generation as the true tech experts. . . .

Carnival of the Mobilists #102 from Cairo


Posted on 3rd December 2007 by Judy Breck in Carnival of the Mobilists

cairo louve pyramid carnival mobilists
Coming to you from Cairo, Egypt, this handsome midway webpage with provocative invitations to click on links to the week’s best mobilist blogging is hosted and authored by Tarek Ghazali at

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FreeRice is a glimpse of global open learning

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Posted on 2nd December 2007 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge

free rich wall street journal quote
Here are some awesome numbers from the FreeRice project:

On 8 October 830 grains of rice were donated.
On 15 October 6,403,920 grains were donated.
On 31 October rice grains donations totalled 59,167,790.
On 10 November the first million grain donation day happened: 122,377,240.
On 26 November the donations in one day totalled 188,457,808
And the total (as of December 2) from the day the project started, on 8 October, is 5,306,133,170 grains of rice donated to the world’s hungry people.

This rice was all donated by a mechanism completely beyond imagining without the online commons: it’s a website called ‘FreeRice‘, which is a function of the open Internet that gives rice to hungry people, stimulates vocabulary learning practice and is paid for out of advertising budgets, making the rice and the learning essentially free.

My strong interest in the potential of the online commons for learning turns my thoughts to the educational value of FreeRice. There is, of course, the vocabulary practice it is providing for a large number of people. That practice is most certainly useful education. But the education potential sketched here is much, much bigger. I believe that the potential for a global learning activity has been activated as the FreeRice story unfolds. For example, each person who interacts with FreeRice is part of a global-scale learning process that is switched on every time anyone participates in this global learning project. Visionary educators should look at FreeRice and study how it works. FreeRice is multiplying learning using a completely open and spontaneous global venue. That is a beautiful thing – and I believe it is a glimpse of the global golden age of learning that is now dawning. (more…)