This Week in MakingBetter (20 January, 2014)

Things to think about…


Just as we announced the forthcoming release of Learning Locker as an open-source enterprise-ready Learning Record Store, we found out about Valamis. How about that? Not one, but TWO open source LRSs available. We’re excited about working with HT2 on the community effort for Learning Locker and as you’ll find out from Aaron on Tuesday, there’s more huge news about to hit the community (and, well, the entire learning technology industry).

If you’re at TechKnowledge and want to learn more, join us at 5pm on Wednesday at Cleopatra’s Barge in Caesar’s Palace where we’ll be talking about Learning Locker (and, uh, drinking).

On the Road

Speaking of which, this week we’re both speaking at ASTD TechKnowledge 2014. Building on my post last week, I’ll present on Thursday on the Future of Learning Content Strategy. Aaron will facilitate a discussion on Building Communities That Make Things Better where he’ll no doubt pump you up to help people in your company who want to make a difference.

Aaron’s birthday is on Tuesday so feel free to join us to celebrate at the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan at 8pm. With all the big changes that have rolled for us this year already and the news to come, there are lots of reasons to chat with us and celebrate Tuesday and all week long.


  • Amador Fernández-Savater & Leónidas Martín shared a list of Inspired Actions to Outsmart Repressive Situations and Laws, encouraging inventive ways to challenge a status quo that doesn’t seem to play fair. Quote: “…rather than play a cat and mouse game where normal people have the losing hand, we can turn the tables and ridicule these sorts of reactionary, short sighted, desperate measures with our greatest assets: imagination, humor and the fact that we’re the good guys.”

  • Don’t forget to save the internet. Matthew Ingram explains how the new net neutrality ruling is a threat to how we currently use the collective of networks that we call the internet. Quote: “The principle behind the phrase “net neutrality” is that internet service providers of all kinds should treat data flowing over the open internet equally, without giving preferential treatment to data from one provider or platform. On Tuesday, however, the Federal Communications Commission’s rules governing that kind of behavior were struck down by an appeals court in Washington, D.C.”

  • GitHub’s resident government wrangler, Ben Balter, wrote a great post earlier this month called “Why no one uses your government data” It’s a good reminder that just making something open doesn’t make it useful. Quote: “… it shows that the data publishers still believe that key stakeholders within government, do not yet understand the concept of or value in producing an API, a chilling thought considering the critical role open government data can, should, and is playing in shaping our economy and reimagining how citizens interact with their government.“

  • People actually hacked refrigerators. “hackers managed to penetrate home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions and at least one refrigerator to create a botnet—or platform to deliver malicious spam or phishing emails from a device, usually without the owner’s knowledge.” Aaron should be freaking out about his Nest, his WeMo outlets and his Withings scale right now.