Egyptians gathering for protests in Cairo, via @mccarthyryanj on Twitter

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From DSC:
As I was briefly reviewing the following links…

…I began reflecting on the predicament that online-based learners would have if suddenly their government pulled the plug on the Net.  As we become more connected, what are the costs/dangers of being disconnected? Of being connected? If there was some serious cyberwarfare going on, would a government be forced to pull the plug?

NOTE:
I don’t mean to make any judgments concerning these events — rather, I mean to ask the above questions from a teaching and learning standpoint only.

Addendum on 2/4/11:

Get off Facebook during class!

Get off Facebook during class! — from onlineuniversities.com

From DSC:
Readers of this blog will know that I strongly support a variety of technologies in the classroom. However, I do hereby realize and confess that I’m trusting students to use such technologies wisely…and with respect for the professor as well for other students in the classroom. If you, as a student, can not do that…then I don’t blame a professor for asking you to turn it off (or something worse).


From DSC:
Steve Taffee makes some good points in his blog posting entitled,
“What if your cloud evaporates?”

When vendors offering cloud-based apps and services suddenly no longer support or offer a product line or they begin charging for what was previously free, etc. — this creates a significant issue. Quoting Steve’s posting:

The off-again, on-again fate of the social bookmarking service Delicious led to considerable angst among its users, with the discussion among some educational technologists broadening to include all cloud-based services and scenarios of suddenly being without access to mission critical services.

This is another reason why I entitled this blog Learning Ecosystems — because all of the people, tools, and things that can contribute to our learning are often in a constant state of flux/change. So we are forced to adapt. However, this is easier said than done when suddenly 10,000 students can’t access application ABC or service XYZ on the cloud. This is a truly problematic situation. It won’t stop cloud computing from moving forward, but it would sure be helpful if vendors would be required to give some sort of “heads-up” to help us address this issue and find alternatives well in advance of having to make a switch.


Eight Great Explosions in Video — from futurist Thomas Frey

Excerpt:

Video is set to go through an explosive growth phase. The coming years of video development will be defined by what I call the eight great explosions.

1. Explosion of Television Apps

2. Explosion of Video Capture Devices

3. Explosion of Video Display Surfaces

4. Explosion of Video Projection Systems

5. Explosion of Video Content

6. Explosion of Holography

7. Explosion of Video Gaming

8. Explosion of Video Bandwidth and Storage

Final Thoughts
Not everything in the video world will be positive. Today the average child who turns 18 has witnessed over 200,000 violent acts on television. Every year the average child is bombarded with over 20,000 thirty second commercials. And the 1,680 minutes each day that the average child spends in front of their TV is making them increasingly fat, lazy, and prone to disease.

On one hand, television is the great educator, the center of modern culture, and a pipeline into everything happening around us. But at the same time, it is sucking up our time, infringing on our relationships, and keeping us from doing meaningful work.

Television is at once both a massive problem and a massive solution. However, as a medium, television has the capability of solving the problems it creates.

Too Many Texts?

Too Many Texts? — from Case Western Reserve University
Excessive use of texting, social media linked to risky behavior in teens.

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