This is a really bad article about a really interesting topic. The Ikhwân al-Safâ’ is a set of notes - an introductory encyclopedia, really - on science and medicine authored and distributed in the tenth century CE. "It consists of extremely heterogeneous materials, reworked to represent the whole educational training intended for an élite," writes Wolfgang Schwarz in his summary, and so you can see how this would be one of the earliest examples of distance education. I'm rather less than enthusiatic about the Stanford Encyclopedia article because it takes a long time to get around to even telling readers what the Ikhwân al-Safâ’ is and what it contains, first spending eleven long paragraphs discussing disputes about authorship and another section in deep discussion about its ideological commitments. I recommend starting in section 4 and then jumping to section 6 and only then (if you're truly interested) reading the author's vast redactive scholarship. Image: Orientalia.
Personally I still use jQuery for things like text editors and sliders and such. This article describes how "GitHub has been working for the last few years to move away from jQuery and run its interface entirely on Web standards, specifically Web Components." More. Should I change my strategy? Not yet - the "large library" consists of only 17 elements (and zero demos, so you have to install them to even see what they look like). That doesn't mean that none of this will be important in the future - there are some valid criticisms of jQuery and I can understand GitHub's motivation. But building tools for GitHub isn't the same as building tools for the world, and they're not there yet.
Clayton R. Wright's notable list of education and technology conferences is now available. He writes, "The conference world is still in a state of flux. I was unable to find information for about 18% of the events that were held in 2019. And, some major events seem to have been replaced by a series of webinars. As people get vaccinated, more events will be held in a hybrid or face-to-face manner. But, some may quickly reverse back to an online format which may maintain the same dates or stretch the online events over days or weeks. During the Covid-19 pandemic, events, dates, titles, and locations may change quickly and some events may be cancelled. Thus, CHECK the website of an event you are interested in more than once.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has led a number of organizations to re-think their operations. Associations are particularly affected as many depend on face-to-face events to help generate funds to pay for staff and support activities, such as publishing refereed journals. We may want online events to be free, but it does cost someone time and resources to organize and produce them consistently year after year. Not everyone can afford to volunteer the significant amount of time required to produce a quality event. As most 2021 professional development events have an online option, it is possible to sample events from all over the world without leaving the comfort of your home. Do take the opportunity to participate in events that previously may have been out of reach."
RSS is of course a staple in my toolbox. I use it every day, I've built applications around it, and it gives me this huge advantage in keeping up with developments and discussions in the field. This article is presented in the context of a Zapier marketing campaign for 'email subscriptions to RSS'. This is a service offered by other companies as well; I've been using it in Feedly for the last year. Tip of the day: "Some job search sites, like We Work Remotely, offer RSS feeds for each of their categories of jobs that you can subscribe to for updates." Again, note, this is a marketing post, and readers should be aware that the Zapier features touted can also be performed using other (free) applications.
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