Link: Crooked Timber: The academic contributions of blogging?. Excellent discussion on academic contributions of blogging... "whether contributing to public discourse - through articles published
in the mainstream media (possibly a better comparison to blog writing
than journal publishing) - should have any input in hiring and
promotion decisions. It is not clear whether this matters in current
practices (or whether it might actually hinder people’s prospects) and
that’s another important point to consider in this discussion."
Ten questions to ask about application security systems
Robust application security is necessary to ensure Web site availability and to protect sensitive customer and corporate data and application-enabled revenue. However, there's growing confusion about what constitutes application security and how it's achieved.
The following 10 questions will help you evaluate whether a product delivers true application protection.
1. Does it inspect application communications or just packets?
2. Does it detect and defeat encrypted application attacks?
3. Does it protect the application infrastructure and users?
4. Does it defeat zero-day attacks?
5. Does it cloak application infrastructure elements?
6. Does it prevent the leakage of sensitive corporate or customer data?
7. Does it block benign traffic?
8. Does it rationalize the Web infrastructure?
9. Can it deploy consistent security for all applications?
10. Does it adapt policies for dynamic application environments?
Initiative at USC currently pilots weblogs as an eportfolio platform
posted by Cyprien Lomas on Monday, October 18, 2004 12:20:09 AM MDT
Students at the University of Southern California are creating their ePortfolios in weblog software. With the appropriate access permissions, students are able to use their weblogs to collect artifacts, reflect on them and share with their teachers. The weblogs, when accessible by classmates, also serve as a group portfolio.
Tu Tran, from the Center for Scholarly Technology at USC,notes that weblogs were chosen for a number of reasons including the ease of setup, the archiving features and the ability to embed a wide variety of rich content including videos.
Ultimately, exemplars are showcased in the Carnegie Foundation's KEEP toolkit, allowing public presentation of the material.
This initiative joins the ELGG project (and likely others) in the exploration of the use of weblog applications for maintaining ePortfolios.
It’s dedication day for the Clinton Presidential Center. About 30,000 people are expected to attend today’s dedication which begins at 10 a.m. President Clinton, Senator Clinton, former Presidents Carter and Bush will speak. The ceremony will also include musical selections by Bono and the Edge and an Air Force flyover.
For years, social studies teacher Josh Reppun felt confined by short class periods that brought seminar discussions to an abrupt halt.
"It's like the discussion ends and you never come back to it," the La Pietra Hawai'i School for Girls teacher said.
When he discovered the "Internet classroom assistant" at NiceNet.org, he found not only a way to keep students engaged in thematic discussions after they left the classroom, but also a way to level the playing field between dominant and reticent students.
Senior Kat Jensen, 17, said NiceNet gave her the ability to express ideas she couldn't voice in class at the spur of the moment. In the virtual NiceNet classroom, "My voice wasn't drowned out by the more 'loud' and dominating participants, since all text looks the same," she said.
"Also, it was great to get on the computer during the late hours of the night when a thought suddenly popped into my head and I could share it," she said.
While leery of using blogs (on-line journals) and bulletin boards, given all the recent attention to cyberbullying and Internet predators, Reppun found these were not a problem in the virtual classroom space at NiceNet.
Unlike unregulated sites such as Xanga.com, a blogging site popular with teens, NiceNet allows teachers to set up boards that can be viewed only by class members and invited guests.
"The critical thing about Xanga for all of us in thinking about this is that there is no gatekeeper at the door. Anyone can get in," Reppun said. "This is different because it has a gatekeeper and the gatekeeper is a teacher. It's just a virtual classroom that anyone can use for free."
As in a regular classroom, Reppun was able to set up rules that prevented students from slipping into the "e-chat" style of writing often found in teen-agers' blogs and e-mails, which disregards many of the rules of formal writing, such as capitalization, punctuation and spelling.
"It's a sort of dumbing down process of communication," Reppun said. "It just kills my ability as a teacher to teach good writing habits."
In Reppun's NiceNet classroom, students have to use formal language and check for spelling. All posts have to be sensitive to other classmates and students are forbidden from using all capitals to express anger and they are not allowed to pontificate or post long speeches.
Students are graded on the number of posts, the quality of their writing and whether they are moving the conversation along or just pontificating.
When Reppun tried it for the first time last spring, he and the students posted 759 messages on 14 topics, such as the election, Guantanamo Bay, Kamehameha Schools, the state Board of Education and the landfill.
Reppun appreciated the way NiceNet drew out quieter class members.
Students Catherine Ly and Amanda El-Dakhakhni, both 17-year-old seniors, had only good things to say about their experiences using NiceNet last year, pointing out that it gave them more time to formulate responses and focus on the topics they found most interesting.
El-Dakhakhni liked being able to contribute to several different discussion threads instead of being limited by a single topic in classroom debate.
"I feel online classroom discussions really take the issues outside of the realm of the classroom and enable students to discuss topics freely without dealing with limitations such as a large class size or short class period," El-Dakhakhni said.
Although Ly said it is easier for her to express herself orally, she found blogging beneficial because it allowed her to think her ideas through before presenting them. In addition, she said, "People do not have to fight for their own time to speak and are able to find those that share their beliefs and values."
The keys to success: Realizing that the students would not keep the discussion going on their own, Reppun himself was very engaged in the process.
"I take roll calls, ask questions, be the devil's advocate and I provoke gently," he said.
How he did it: Reppun looked for technology that would help further classroom discussions and looked to the school's technology department for help.
Once finding NiceNet.org, he set up a classroom, gave accounts to his students and served as facilitator to make sure they kept the conversation going.
What happens to instructors and classrooms when an e-learning-based corporate university is formed? Do instructors follow buggy whips into oblivion? No, but the subtle shift in emphasis from training to learning affects the role of the instructor. Training is something the company does to you, but learning is something you do for yourself. That fundamental change puts the learner in control.
We have defined e-learning as a combination of e-communication, e-training and e-assessment. This does not suggest that anyone should remove the human element of personal interaction from the learning process. Rather, the implication is that there are other successful ways to learn, teach or communicate.
Our industry has gone through years of experimentation with corporate learning. We have experienced the full spectrum of results. What has become obvious is that the organizational impact needs to be broader than any single group or department can achieve, hence the resurgence of the corporate university.
If this era of corporate universities is going to live up to its potential, we will have to change the stereotypes the name suggests. Perhaps the corporate university will become a place where “employees’ passions and aspirations intersect with the company goals and long-term success,” as Ron Ricci, a marketing vice president at Cisco, has said. Such an institution would offer development opportunities beyond traditional training and education.
An initiative called “Cisco University” (CU) has been launched under the watchful eye of Kate DCamp, Cisco’s senior vice president of human resources. She relies on e-learning and other instructional media to offer content to a large, dispersed audience. However, e-learning will never eliminate the need for skilled teachers and communicators.
E-based learning shifts the priority in the learning process to the learner and away from the instructor’s availability. The learner gets to decide how and when to engage an instructor, a mentor or a coach, and when to learn from a book, a video, a simulation or a game. The learner gets to decide when and where to employ the wide range of available techniques. The learner gets to choose what works best at any particular moment, in any particular location. There is more than one answer in the learning matrix to the questions of “When?” “Where?” and “What media?”
The corporate university initiative at Cisco has been formulated around three broad concepts: education, exposure and experience. Such an approach ensures that employees have the necessary skills, the critical knowledge, the exposure with leaders and the right experiences to prepare them for successful careers. With the broad priorities of a corporate university, it is logical for the instructional role to evolve into one of facilitator, moderator, mentor and coach.
We have witnessed continued improvement of the tools that enable people to share knowledge, impart skills and then test their confidence in the learners’ competence. E-learning will play a larger role in enabling instructors to reach broader audiences in both public- and private-sector education and training.
The difference with e-learning will be that the control will rest with the learners, allowing them to engage when they are most motivated and most interested. Organizations will recognize learning as a strategic advantage, a key retention tool and a means of nurturing talent. E-learning in corporate universities will help drive engagement, creativity and business success.
Combining the Internet and education helps eliminate the barriers that stand between those people who want a different life and the futures they dream about. Merging the passions of employees and the goals of a company increases the probability of success for both.
With a broader set of services put in motion through e-learning, the newest corporate universities will look less and less familiar. As we deliver more content through learner-controlled choices, the traditional classroom will become less important. The stage will change, but whether you call them instructors, communicators, facilitators, coaches or mentors, they will continue to play a role in person and online.
PBS Kids has one of the characters from the Arthur TV series traveling around the US writing a travel blog and creating video clips and songs to go with the series.
It is called Postcards from Buster and is well produced. I am going to use the website this afternoon in my instructional technology class. No RSS, but otherwise a Very Good Thing!