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February 21, 2002

Knowledge Matters -- Skills and Learning for Canadians Kind of an awkwardly designed website, but if you keep at it you will find two major policy papers on this site recently released by the government of Canada. Follow the link to the 'Knowledge Matters' paper and for a quick overview, read the detailed Executive Summary. The paper highlights the importance of education because of the rise of the knowledge-based economy and the coming demographic crunch. It surveys a number of recent initiatives in education and skills development, and proposes a Canada-wide agenda for educating young people. It also looks at ways to improve research and programs in adult learning and ways to attract skilled immigrants. By HRDC, Government of Canada, February 13, 2002.[Refer]

Children Create Virtual Companies This is interesting... and innovative use of online learning to provide an educational experience that is part real, part simulation. Students in Japan set up virtual companies online - they don't actually sell anything, but they offer products on their website that are voted for by online visitors. Cool. By Yomiuri Shimbun, Daily Yomiuri, February 19, 2002.[Refer]

SUNY-Buffalo Drops Online M.B.A. Program You can almost see the authors at the Chronicle rub their hands in gless as they conclude following the closure of SUNY-Buffalo's online MBA program that "the business school joins a growing list of institutions that have concluded that online programs aren't worth the expense and hassle." And of course, the other online learning email dailies (who shall go unnamed) pass along this conclusion without comment. Tsk tsk. Because the conclusion is just wrong. The MBA program at SUNY-Buffalo closed because it had only 35 students and would have had to charge $US 23,000 to recoup its costs. It wasn't the "expense and hassle" of online learning that sunk the program, it was the competition in a (now) fiercely competitive market for online MBA students. The Chronicle just has to get past some of its 'issues' with online learning if it expects its conclusions to be credible. By Katherine S. Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 20, 2002.[Refer]

Social Network Analysis Interesting short article about the relationship between networks of people and the transmission of information. Nicely draws out the connection between social networks and knowledge management. Good diagrams. By Peter Morville, Semantic Studios, February 21, 2002.[Refer]

Cost and Quality Metric for Different Forms of Learning
In an effort to eliminate oversimplifications in the discussions about the reasons people elect online learning and about the costs of online learning, this article defines several of the variables involved and provides a metric for evaluating different forms of learning. By Stephen Downes


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