Four short links: 7 March 2012

Forced Facebook Violation, Motivating Learners, Freeing Books, and Browser Local Storage Sucks

  1. Government Agencies and Colleges Demand Applicants’ Facebook Passwords (MSN) — “Schools are in the business of educating, not spying,” he added. “We don’t hire private investigators to follow students wherever they go. If students say stupid things online, they should educate them … not engage in prior restraint.” Hear, hear. Reminded me of danah boyd on teen password sharing.
  2. Changing Teaching Techniques (Alison Campbell) — higher ed is a classic failure of gamification. The degree is an extrinsic reward, so students are disengaged and treat classes like gold farming in an MMORPG: the dull slog you have to get through so you can do something fun later. Alison, by showing them a “why” that isn’t “6 credits towards a degree”, is helping students identify intrinsic rewards. Genius!
  3. GlueJar — interesting pre-launch startup, basically Kickstarter to buy out authors and publishers and make books “free”. We in the software world know “free” is both loaded and imprecise. Are we talking CC-BY-NC-ND, which is largely useless because any sustainable distribution will generally be a commercial activity? I look forward to watching how this develops.
  4. There Is No Simple Solution for Local Storage (Mozilla) — excellent dissection of localStorage‘s inadequacies.
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  • With reference to #3, it’s worth noting that our agreement with rights holders using NC licenses includes this language:

    “For purposes of interpreting the CC License, Rights Holder agrees that “non-commercial” use shall include, without limitation, distribution by a commercial entity without charge for access to the Work. “