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Planet 2.0 meets the USA

This has been a quiet blogging week due to FLACSO México‘s visit to the University of Minnesota. The visit has been very busy, and highly productive.

This morning, Education Futures contributor Dr. Cristóbal Cobo (read his blog) presented his ideas at a University of Minnesota’s Institute for New Media Studies and Digital Technology Center research breakfast on his new book, Planet Web 2.0: Collective Intelligence or Fast Food Media (English translation). The event was also webcast by the University’s Supercomputing Institute. (A link to the recorded video will be posted when it becomes available.)

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A debate followed the presentation on the roles and values of online technologies. Most puzzling for academicians in the audience was how might reconcile the need for producing peer-reviewed, “academic” publications with freely available, open material. Whereas a journal article might solicit a handful of readers, an open document might bring in thousands more (for example, Planet 2.0, which was issued under a Creative Commons license, has already registered over 61,000 downloads in the first few weeks since its release). Our promotion and tenure process, however, recognizes only publications that appear in traditional print media. Why?

At the end of the event, Dr. Cobo was approached regarding an open sourced effort toward translating the book from Spanish to English by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies. Planeta 2.0 approaches…!

Planet Web 2.0

Cristóbal Cobo writes that his book, co-authored with Hugo Pardo, “Planeta Web 2.0, ¿Inteligencia colectiva o medios fast food?” (Planet Web 2.0: Collective intelligence or fast food?) is available for download under a Creative Commons license. In this volume, Cobo and Pardo reflect on whether the Web 2.0 trend is a creative phase, based on collective intelligence, or if the phenomena is simply another manifestation of fast food culture –or, if the trend is characteristic of a new evolutionary stage.

Cobo will discuss his book at an event sponsored by the Institute for New Media Studies at the University of Minnesota on October 3. I’ll post more details when they emerge…

A question on linking open courseware to faculties

The Online Education Database published their list of “Top 100 open courseware projects.” This list demonstrates that there is a lot of content available, encompassing in the fields of agriculture, arts, architecture, archeology, audio & video, biology, botany, chemistry, civil engineering, economics, electronic engineering, general engineering, Earth sciences, geography & geology, history, languages & linguistics, law, literature, mechanical engineering, paleontology, physics, political Science, psychology, and the social sciences.

Quality among open courses vary significantly, and most open courseware do not plug into the Web 2.0 “wisdom of crowds” that can enhance quality and provide avenues for new knowledge production. Furthermore, most faculty distance themselves from online publishing and knowledge dissemination. Even worse, few faculty (at the undergraduate level, at least) as concerned about generating new knowledge with students.

My question is, how can open courseware and academics/professionals be retooled jointly to create open, new knowledge-producing spaces for students and life-long learners?

Blidget: Blog meets widget

Education Futures BlidgetThis seems like a good idea. From Crunch Gear:

Widgetbox, a marketplace for Web widgets, now lets you quickly and easily build a widget for your blog.

Called Blidgets, they combine the power of RSS feeds with the “easy page integration of widgets.” The Blidget Maker auto-discovers RSS feeds, images and descriptions for the blog and then lets you customize the look and feel.

Once created, a one-click integration feature easily installs it and a “Get Widget” button onto the blog. Plus, all widgets registered with Widgetbox receive Widgetbox Syndication Metrics, showing you information about the use and adoption of the Blidget.

Feeling inspired, I made a Blidget for Education Futures: Get this widget from Widgetbox

Will it catch on?

Solution Watch: Comment tracking with coComment

Solution Watch writes about coComment:

The way it works is very simple. When you signup to coComment, you are given a bookmarklet that you are asked to add to your browser. Then, the next time you come across a blog post that you want to comment on, click on the bookmarklet before commenting. You will then see coComment logo and your username come up next to the submit button of the comment form to show that it has been enabled (clicking on it will show information about coComment). Click on submit and you will see a message saying that coComment has processed the comment and added it to your conversation page.

Once you have used coComment to track comments on a blog, you will then be able to track it in the “Your Conversations” section. The conversations section will show a list of every post that you have used coComment on.

“Web2.0” lives!

FCW: Government 2.0

From FCW.com: Eggers: Government 2.0

Students can now get personally tailored education without attending special schools or classes. It’s even possible to eliminate much of the guesswork involved in deciding which learning approach works best for each student. Using artificial intelligence, the computer can adapt to the pace, complexity and direction of the learning experience according to each child’s learning style and attention span. Children in the same classroom could learn different things in different ways at the same time.

Eggers writes that governments need to look to technology to transform their structures to operate more competitively and efficiently. Markets can change overnight, but governments, by design, cannot. Should they?