Site Map

December 14, 2001

TeenSites.com: A Field Guide to the New Digital Landscape A new culture is growing up around us. Teens have not only adapted to the internet, they have internalized it. On one hand, sites directed toward teens are increasingly mixing commercial and cultural messages - "love my community, love my brand" - but on the other hand, the internet is offering teens a wide array of opportunities to interact, express their views, and participate in community. All this and much more is extensively documented in a new study released by the Center for Media Education. Be prepared for a long read; it will take about an hour to get through the executive summary if you follow the references (and do follow the references; these typical teen sites animate in a way no words could the observations offered in the study (you will have to look up some of the sites using Google, as URLs are not provided)). But if you're like me, the summary will merely whet your appetite for more. Be prepared for some longish PDF downloads. This study is required reading for people working with teens and strongly recommended for educators and instructional designers in general. If you really don't have time, then read the CME press release to get a good overview. By Numerous Authors, Center for Media Education, December 12, 2001.[Refer]

RealOne Player While browsing the sites listed in the CME study I also happened to need a new Real Player download. Well surprise. It's now called RealOne and mixes a smooth new interface with both free and subscription-based content. In what has become a pattern, Real Media has made the free player almost impossible to find (but this link takes you straight to it - the free player link is on the right hand side of the page (not the big 'Free Trial' on the left hand side)). It's Real's best product to date and a good glimpse of the internet of the future. By RealMedia, , .[Refer]

Tools for Building Web Services A web service is a module of application logic that can be published, located, and invoked over the Web using XML-based standards. Web service allow users - or automated agents - to perform tasks: to schedule a doctor's appointment, order a birthday present, reserve flights and hotels. Web services tools come in two major flavours: Microsoft's .Net technology and Java. This link surveys major toolsets offered by companies such as Microsoft and IBM. A more comprehensive listing of Java based tools is offered at Java Skyline. If you want background on web services, I recommend two short articles: Web Services: Revolution in the Making and Real World, Real Web Services. By Richard V. Dragan, PC Magazine via ZDNet, November 20, 2001.[Refer]

Brave New Women of Asia: How Distance Education Changed Their Lives. A set of 23 case studies describing the experiences of women in distance education in six Asian countries. About what you would expect - although there are usually no overt barriers, women are often barred from obtaining a traditional education due to their responsbilities to their families, but distance learning helps them overcome those barriers, achieve a new sense of confidence, and still help and support their children and husbands. What is unique about this report is the richness of the descriptions and the clarity of the numerous quotations from the distance learners themselves. PDF file. By Asha S. Kanwar and Margaret Taplin, Editors, Commonwealth of Learning, 2001.[Refer]

Reflections on Ten Years of The Commonwealth of Learning The purpose of this study is to reflect on ten years of work by the Commonwealth of Learning and to suggest ideas for future directions. As such, it is a pretty good survey of CoL and related programs, but it has an edge: "We now live in a Global World? capital G, capital W. Imperial fantasies about the Virtual Corporate University of the Universe are rampant. What are we to do? I suggest to you that we should renew and reassert the values of the Commonwealth of Learning, both capital C, capital L and small c, small l." By Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Commonwealth of Learning, 2001.[Refer]

Reversing the Digital Slide Online media is foundering. What's more, traditional media - newspapers, magazines and even television networks - are also in trouble. It's quick and easy to blame the slumping market and September 11, but its misleading. A fundamental shift in media economics is happening, one that online educators should study closely. In a nutshell, "Scarce supply is the foundation of traditional media economics. The number of off-line media outlets is severely limited by the cost of producing masscirculation print publications or by the need to hold one of the few national broadcast licenses granted by governments. Entry to the Internet costs about one-tenth of what is required to enter the off-line media. This state of affairs has created two fundamental differences between on-line and off-line economics. First, far more companies are vying for the available advertising dollars on-line. Second, most Web sites that pursue subscribers face direct competition from sites that replicate the model of broadcast television by supplying free parallel content..." Yet another PDF document. By Jacques R. Bughin, et.al., eCommerce Research Forum, October 24, 2001.[Refer]

Genuity CEO's Dot-Bomb Lessons More lessons from other (failed) industries. Things like, "Technology is not revolutionary, it is subversive" and " Free stuff on the Internet is free because nobody will pay for it." Nice quick read, and if you work for an e-learning startup, something you may wat to send around the office. By John S. McCright, eWeek, December 13, 2001.[Refer]

The E-Training of America Overview of the rise of e-learning, especially in the corporate market, backed by good examples (including the use of web-based learning by McDonald's Hamburger U) and a wealth of statistics. A brief and not very compete list of e-learning providers (mostly a listing of larger companies and weightier products such as IBM and Centra). By Lisa Vaas , PC Magazine, December 26, 2001.[Refer]


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