Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Random Rants

I was on the road for much of the day with my family. We're in San Antonio now. Very hot here and I'm still getting acclimated. So this will be an atypical post about my quick surfing for today.

Scott Leslie has a nice post about XML authoring tools. This seems to me to be quite important, perhaps less so for the content they produce than for making students aware of XML. HTML editors are ok, sure, (Blogger supplies one to write posts like this) but to do anything a bit more interesting an XML editor is needed.

Will Richardson had a post pointing to this site at BoingBoing. There is a new school for the "Creative Industries" which will use Creative Commons licensing of all the courseware and a Wiki will be the backbone tool for the school. Interesting!! The longer description at the site got me to think about Donald Schon's The Reflective Practitioner. This book should be required reading for anyone who wants a serious discussion about "learning to learn" and "critical thinking." While the post by Will Richardson emphasizes the technology, we should not lose track of expert-novice interactions and how those are enabled, online or face to face. The success of the school will hinge on that, not on the technology.

In the future, I need to write something longer about the interconnection between "freedom" in the sense of choosing what to work on rather than being assigned to the task by a superior, on the one hand, and work as play, on the other. They are not identical, but they are similar. My spin will be on how grim budgets should be managed in light of what we know about how people learn, including our staff. I would then want to tie this to "teaching students a discipline" and expressing freedom within a discipline.

Will Richardson has another post about Edu Blog Hosting. Will lists some sites that host and claims these give safe and effective ways for using blogs. I didn't understand what safe means in this context and I'd like that explained. Some readers may recall an earlier post of mine where I said I wouldn't teach with a Blog open to the Internet because students deserve privacy, especially for their formative ideas. Is safe intended in that context? That would be interesting.

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