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April 3, 2002

New Online Education Channel for KRD's Real Cities Local Web Sites For online news media, this is almost the right move: use the city newspaper website, which attracts readers, to draw attention to other services, such as courses for readers of all ages and educational levels. Available through Knight Ridder's Real Cities websites, the online courses are accessed through the sites' new "education" channel. The service is currently available only in demo format, and even this is incomplete (I hit a number of 'page not found' errors while browsing the site and the server response time was, um, variable). I also think that the pricing scheme is unreasonable: "Our Earth" is priced at $20 per month or $25 per year, far too much to be charging for short-term access to digital content. By Press Release, Knight Ridder Digital, April 2, 2002.[Refer]

John Dewey and The Philosopher's Task Most educators think of John Dewey as an educational theorist, but philosophers read Dewey as a late pragmatist, a writer trying to balance the needs of the mind with the dictates of experience and especially science, to reconcile rationalism with empiricism. This explains the tension in Dewey's work - and in my own work - as an empiricist eschews the study of experimental result for a less certain enterprise. "Scientists are trapped within the rigor of their scientific method. Even in the best of circumstances they find what they find and are then swept up by the tides of history. It is the philosopher who, using one of Dewey's favorite metaphors, develops the maps for society." If you don't have time to read Philip W. Jackson's book, at least ready this review. By Michael Glassman, TCRecord, April 3, 2002.[Refer]

Colleges Fudge Facts for Foreigners An unfortunate side-effect of the internationalization of education: misleading advertising. By Daniel Golden, Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2002.[Refer]

French for Beginners This link is for me (though you can look at it if you want). Though titled for beginners, it has links to intermediate and advanced lessons. Because I am now a Canadian government employee, I need to learn French. A course in French won't help, because it will take too long and won't match my current level in the language. My solution? Free online French lessons and a lot of practice. The Lešon du jour (Lesson of the Day) is a great feature but (unfortunately) not available by email. I could also use a good translation tool to speed those dictionary look-ups. Isn't that how learning works in the wired world? By Laura K Lawless, About.Com.[Refer]

The Role of Small Enterprise in School Students' Workplace Learning What is notable about this detailed report is the lack of any reference to the potential role of the web and online learning in workplace training. That said, the report describes structured workplace training (SWT) and surveys perceptions from an employer's point of view, surveying their understanding of SWT and indetifying gaps in their understanding of the benefits and processes involved in SWT. The report proposes what amounts to an information and outreach campaign. The HTML summary will be sufficient for most readers, but those directly involved in workplace training should read the entire report, available for free in PDF format. By James Mulraney, Peter Turner, Frank Wyatt, Roger Harris and Terri Gibson, NCVER, 2002.[Refer]

Ontology Usage and Applications White Paper Every once in a while in an article I say things like "...and the learning object will access an online service that summarizes the content and adds metatags..." in an offhand manner as though to suggest that it could actually be done. It can actually be done, for example, as described in this white paper. Though Applied Semantics is by no means the only company working in the area, they do have a nice approach. You don't have to have a degree in philosophy to understand their take on ontology, taxonomy and entity relationships (though it helps). The link takes you to a form; fill out the form and you gain access to the paper in PDF format. The software is available for a demo (by request) from the main site at http://www.appliedsemantics.com By Unknown, Applied Semantics, 2002.[Refer]

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