Saturday, November 13, 2004

Microsoft claims it owns the internet

Well, ok, so Microsoft is only claiming to own part of the internet. But it's still pretty funny! Read more here about how "Microsoft is claiming intellectual property rights on over 130 Internet protocols that make up the very core of the Internet infrastructure."

What an awful thought! Can you imagine the wall we'd hit if Microsoft could control any part of the internet? Honestly, Microsoft has created some wonderful tools, but what could be any more damaging to the progress of educational technologies than Microsoft-style monopolistic practices? The beauty of the internet is how open, accessible, and consumer-friendly it is.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Fuzzy instructional objectives

The debate sometimes rages about the value of stated objectives in instructional design, but I think we can all agree that fuzzy and poorly defined objectives are worthless! To back this up, get a chuckle from Dilbert:

Friday, November 05, 2004

Scary, real scary

I was shocked to read on James Farmer's blog that his university adminstration has banned him from using weblogs and wikis and required him to use a standard CMS. This is awful for two reasons:

1) How is a university supposed to be able to progress in knowledge if they do not allow faculty to research and experiment with new innovations?
2) Anytime you standardize something, quality is lost.

I think blockbuster CMS systems like Blackboard and WebCT provide a great service, but anytime you standardize a system, you lose the quality that comes from being able to adapt to unique instructional and learning needs. That's why for my classes, I'm using more weblogs and wikis, and hope to use a portal system like Xoops, Drupal, or Plone in the future. You may not like the technologies I have chosen, but then you don't have to use them. They work for me, for what I am trying to do in my classes. Blackboard doesn't. Standardization can impede adaptability and quality, and it's a real tragedy when institutions don't realize that.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The safest operating system ... is it any surprise?

Well, a recent study vindicated what Macaphobics have known ever since OS X came out: The Apple operating system is simply the best out there. The mi2G Intelligence unit concluded that the safest and most secure operating system are the open source BSD (who?) and Apple's OS. And what about Windows? Need you ask ... near the bottom with Linux.