Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
June 20, 2002

E-Learning: Let's Talk About It Nice summary of the Distance Learning Network conference at which I spoke about a month ago. For those of you who enjoy pictures, you can now see what my hand gestures look like when I'm talking about the weather toaster. Seriously, though, this is a really good summary summarizing a number of panels and presentations. I think this is a model other conference organizers would do well to emulate (except for the bit where they publish it in PDF, of course). Wouldn't it be nice were there nice neat summaries of all the major conferences? With pictures, diagrams, participant feedback, and links? And if you do publish a conference summary, send me a link: I'll list it in OLDaily. By Lori Shelton, Government of Canada, June 19, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Digital Rights Expression Language Workshop This workshop is being held right now near Seattle, Washington, and brings together many of the deep thinkers in digital rights management (DRM) in learning objcets and learning object metadata. This link is to the schedule of proceedings; it, in turn, contains links to presentations and position papers being tabled at the conference. This is authoritative, straight from the cutting edge stuff - if you are at all interested in the state of the art in DRM, follow this link. The conference is co-sponsored by the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) and the CEN/ISSS Learning Technology Workshop (LTWS). By Geoff Collier, Digital Rights Expression Language Workshop, June 20, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Digital Rights in LOM Very short paper describing the (completely inadequate) support for digital rights management (DRM) in IEEE's Learning Object Metadata (LOM) propocol and proposing three possible approaches to address this need: develop an independent DRM, develop a classification category, or develop extensions to the rights category of the LOM. It seems to me that the best place to put DRM information is in the rights category, and to use the value of that field to point to a document describing the rights associated with that object, where that document may be in whatever DRM language the vendor choses to employ. By Erik Duval and Wayne Hodgins, Digital Rights Expression Language Workshop, June 7, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Protection of SCORM Compliant Content Short but beautifully designed PowerPoint presentation describing IBM's proposed SCORM compliant digital rights management (DRM) architecture. The technology essentially involves a module that incorporates a trusted content handler which, in turn, restricts menu options in the web environment. Not much detail (naturally), but some good diagrams. By Magda Mourad, Digital Rights Expression Language Workshop, June 20, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Open Access to the Scientific Journal Literature Short essay from Peter Suber advocating free online journals. He writes, "None of the advantages of traditional scientific journals need be sacrificed in order to provide free online access to scientific journal articles. Objections that open access to scientific journal literature requires the sacrifice of peer-review, revenue, copyright protection, or other strengths of traditional journals, are based on misunderstandings." By Peter Suber, FOS Forum, June 19, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Primary Multimedia Objects and Educational Metadata Really nice paper that describes a fundamental dilemma regarding learning object metadata: on the one hand, indexers do not what to specify an educational context in which the resource should be applied, because that would rule out other potential applications, but on the other hand, the choice of metadata terms used to describe content of a learning object is inevitably based on assumptions about how, when and where the asset is likely to be used and by whom. The author suggests three possible approaches toward resolving the dilemma, the most promising of which involves enabling "communities of interest to annotate resources" - what I have been calling "third party metadata." By Paul Shabajee , D-Lib Magazine, June, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Publish and Syndicate Your News to the Web From time to time I refer to news syndication in this newsletter and tout it as an example of what could and should be done in education. This tutorial offers a nice background to many of the concepts mentioned. The main page is a history and description of RSS - Rich Site Summary - the format used to syndicate news on the web. Links are provided to tols and examples. By Unknown, State of Utah, June 18, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Simulations: Virtual Reality for Simulations The examples in this article illustrate how testing online can advance far beyond multiple choice and essay questions. Simulations are viable testing mechanisms because they require that a learner actually apply the material learned in a practical context. By Noel Vallejo, Certification Magazine, July, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes