Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
May 9, 2002

Berners-Lee: Keep the Web Royalty-Free Just for the record (in case anybody wondered): I agree with Tim Berners-Lee. By Edd Dumbill, O'Reilly Network, May 8, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Digital Opportunity Channel Launching next week, this site "will focus on information and communications technologies in global development, as well as international digital divide issues, with a particular focus on the developing world." By Various Authors, May 17, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

E-Toys in Classroom Improves Handwriting Results The results of this study need to be replicated in an independent testing environment, of course, but this item is illustrative in showing how technology is being tried in the classroom to improve some decidely non-technological skills, in this case, handwriting. Does the tool have to be used in an online environment? Could an online version of the tool be equally successful? We don't know yet, though I venture to predict that the answer to both questions is affirmative. As the results of these studies come in (and remember, empirical studies must be assessed only in the aggregate) we may find the evidence mounting against the criticism that physical skills, such as handwriting, cannot be taught online. By Press Release, PR Newswire, May 9, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

E-defining Education Education Week today released a series of articles and studies documenting the state of technology adoption in schools. Naturally, the focus is on e-learning but the report looks at technology generally. I have selected three articles (below) that are particularly insightful but you, like me, may want to give the entire series a read. By Various Authors, Education Week, May 9, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Virtual Teaching Life What is it like to be an online teacher? This article begins by recounting a trick we used when we were first starting up - posing online as a student to stimulate discussion. Sure, it works, but I never did wrap my mind around the ethics of it. Such issues and more confront the online teacher every day and teaching online - as this article makes clear - is a fundamentally different experience that teaching online. "There are lots of teachers that are fabulous face to face, and until they get online, they don't even realize how much they do theatrically [in regular classrooms]." By Julie Blair, Education Week, May 9, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

E-Training Offers Options Part of the Education Week special report, this article looks at one of the practical uses of online learing: teaching teachers to use online learning. "Teachers were having a hard time getting out of classes during the school year" to attend traditional seminars, says Whelan, the assistant state superintendent who directs Louisiana's office of quality educators. "We wanted to give them an alternative." Yup. By Michelle Galley, Education Week, May 9, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Tracking Tech Trends Part of the Education Week special report, this article documents the deployment and use of educational technology in American schools. What the statistics show is that while access at school is near universal, home access (and the student's use of the internet generally) declines as income declines. The report also documents an increasing (though still secondary to technology acquisition) emphasis on teacher training, and shows that teachers who receive technology training are more likely to feel prepared to use computers and the Internet to teach their classes. By Ronald Skinner, Education Week, May 9, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Web Services Are Real Useful article from Oracle describing what web services are, what they do and how they're implemented. "The simplest way to view Web services is as software that knows how to talk to other types of software over a network. A Web service can be nearly any type of application that has the ability to define to other applications what it does and can perform that action for authorized applications or parties." By John Edwards, Oracle, December 31, 200-31 8:33 p.m. [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes