What I Learned This Week

According to the World Internet Usage Statistics, North American Internet use is 15% of the world, and the penetration of the Internet in North America is almost 74%. To contrast, Asian Internet use is 42.2% of the world and the penetration of the Internet in Asia is at 18.5%. Clearly, I interpret this to mean that as Asia grows and becomes more connected, we will see more Chinese, Japanese and Korean language webpages on the internet, meaning the end of English as the dominant language of the Internet. What this means for education is that there’s a huge distance education market growing, and the forward thinking education institutions will be grabbing at those folks.

Mobile video is an emerging technology that is coming into the mainstream. The mobile video ad market is growing (slowly). The reason this has been slow to develop is that fast wireless networks and data plans that weren’t an arm and a leg are relatively new to North America. This will become more mainstream as 3G networks become commonplace. When Microsoft and Ford are beginning to buy ad time with mobile video in mind, you know it’s going to be important. Again, educators need to keep this idea in mind – so that the technology we use isn’t locked into one intended use. I can certainly see that mobile video will be important in developing countries as well – as internet connectivity has skipped over home use and gone directly to cellphones in places where technology is a luxury.

Two interesting things coming out of this Wall Street Journal blog about Wikipedia. The first is that approximately 20% of editors of Wikipedia pages have a Master’s or better. I wonder what that means for the authority boogey man that people trot out everytime someone says that Wikipedia isn’t a good source. I think this means that it is a good source, if you do the leg-work to ensure that it’s correct and are not lazy about fact checking. Secondly, people contribute to Wikipedia for mostly altruistic purposes. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s pleasant to see that people actually are good sometimes. Yes, the fact that Wikipedia users are predominantly men is interesting, but the blog comments by Tara Deck covers it pretty good, and I have nothing to add to her comments.

Also from the WSJ, a blog post about the EFF’s DIY test (called Switzerland) to see if your ISP is blocking packets for peer to peer transactions.

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