Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Odds and Ends

Planned podcasts (Desire2Pod) over the next few weeks include 1) New Faculty Training for Using D2L, 2) Using the Desire2Learn Learning Object Repository, 3) Web Accessibility for D2L Users.

This fall marked a large increase in the number of virtual/online schools in the K-12 educational space. Here is one list that looks at the state-level school, but there are many other single schools that don't have statewide support. They have seen surprising enrollments in Washington state. Since I hail from Wyoming, I've been following their efforts to start their first online school, the Wyoming Virtual School. Homeschoolers there are balking.

Regarding the Blackboard patent debacle against Desire2Learn, John Mayer of Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) interviews Professor Mary LaFrance who teaches at the Law School at the UNLV. One little quote I found illustrative when they were talking about the patent dependent claims and the independent claims: "The independent claims represent the patent holder's fondest hopes and dreams ...."

Paul Bacsich suggests "that individuals and professional associations in the e-learning world consider seriously the steps they might take to cope more adequately in a world where software patents are increasingly more prevalent."

The Educause Evolving Technologies Committee has released a very white bread "Overview of Open Source Learning Management Systems." (4 page pdf) Nothing earthshaking here, but a brief summary of Sakai and Moodle (no mention of the many others) and some thoughts about implementation challenges. Read it if you are having a difficult time sleeping.

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