Tuesday, January 02, 2007


More Editing Frustrations
Can you believe it? I'm actually having to spell check and edit my posts before the go on. I'm a bit put out by Blogger's problems with the edit tools. But, I know it's temporary. They do tend to fix these things, eventually. One week though. My, my.

Obviously, editing is not my best skill-set with writing. But, it's much better than my titling. The titles of most of my stories are from other peoples recommendations. I bow to the gods of good titling. Unlike many writers, I hold absolutely no emotional attachments to my titles. Most of the time, they're just the name of the file (now-a-days, usually an OpenOffice .odt file extension).

Speaking of writing, I am doing much more lately. I've gotten at least 5 minutes of work done on a story every day for over a month. It really does help to do at least that much each day. If it gets done by summer, and edited by October, I could have it ready for Christmas. But, this is not a primary project this year. If time permits, and it happens, very cool. But, school will take priority.

On School
I didn't go through early -normal- registration, so I'm having to do late registration. Sometimes, this proves to be a good thing. Class that were full early had some drops because of late payments, so there might be more openings. It's a gamble, but one I didn't really have the choice to make this year. I'm just grateful to have the funds to go to school. On that, I do realize how incredibly fortunate I am.

On Linux
I had to make a Linux comment. I'm mostly a freakin penguinista. Give me a break.
It interesting to watch. While we here in the USA are on holidays, the rest of the world is hard at work, and the news coming from the different Linux distributions doesn't slow down. The list of people using and working on Linux seems to grow, exponentially. I have no idea if that's accurate. It just seems that way. The improvements made to Linux distributions this last year alone has increased so the average computer user can use it. It's helped keep thousands of computers working. Ones that were given up on, or slated for the junk heap were still quite usable. And, it still powers some of the most powerful servers used.

Nancy primarily uses her desktop computer now. Her Ubuntu Linux desktop computer. Nancy's interest in technology is more of a tolerance than an interest. She was used to Apple OS's. She still uses her laptop, but not as much. This is actually a good thing. Might keep both computers working longer. But, two years ago Nancy was a common user. She new how to do just the things she wanted, and no more. That hasn't changed, but she is able to do those things on Ubuntu Linux or OS X (she doesn't use Windows at all).

Most of the people who work on Linux distributions will never meet each other in person. Mostly, geography prevents this. They are all over the world. Which brings me to my next topic.

I'm biting at the bit to get at this book. What even a quick glance at it made me realize how things will change, and much sooner than we though.

I'm going to make another prediction; By 2012, most higher level education will be very inexpensive. Much of it might even be free.

The changes that technology are making will enable the education and learning on a massive level.

Primary education will become the government focus. Higher education, especially undergraduate level education, will change in requirements, locality, delivery, and mostly in price. Schools will hold fewer classes, at least as we know them today. The classroom will be available for specific subjects, but no longer the default choice to teach all subjects. Only subjects that require social interaction will be done in a classroom setting.

The quality of education will increase. No longer will a student have only one teacher to listen to for lecture. They could have choices of lectures, from many sources.
For instance, lets say you're learning Algebra. Instead of going to class, you log onto the Wikiversity website (or something like it) of the subject your studying, click on the next topic in the lesson plan. It's a video of a specific algebraic expressions. You watch it, but you just didn't get it. Here's where education makes a dramatic change; You watch it again! Something so very simple could be a huge change in the quality of education. But, even after you watched the video, you still didn't get it. Here's where it gets even better; you choose a different lecturer. And, if necessary, an even different one. Maybe after the second time around, you got it. Maybe it took the other lecturer, but you eventually got it.
The above instance doesn't happen much in today's classroom. You're on a schedule; the teachers schedule. If you're not on schedule, or you fall behind, you don't pass. You FAIL. With the Wikiversity model, you don't fail. You keep working with the information till you know it, at your own pace. When you have completed all the information, you'll receive a certificate of completion. You've 'passed' that subject.
Not only would the student be able to see different lectures, but he would be able to see the absolute tops in each field. Imagine; you're in a mechanical engineering class. You're assigned to watch a lecture or demonstration. You have many choices, but the ones with the best reputations are the ones from the professors at MIT, Cal Poly Tech, and even Moscow University. You get to choose which one to watch, or which ones. Or if you really like the subject, you could watch them all.

Wiki technology will enable that. It will enable education to be delivered to the masses, at anytime, and pretty much anywhere. Most of the time, you won't even have a scheduled class. You'll be able to do the work when you want.

Imagine the economic implications. How would quality, mass education, delivered 'on-demand' affect the workplace?

Maybe I'll write about that while I read the book.

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