Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
August 23, 2002

Brick by Brick: Designing and Developing Web Pages and Projects It seems off to talk about "back to basics" when talking about online learning, but this article is just the ticket, offering numerous practical suggestions to help teachers build class websites. By Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, Eduscapes, Fall, 2001 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

DVRs Tune in to Integration In a few short years we will express astonishment that people enjoyed television when it was nothing more than a viewing tool. Digital video recording (DVR) is on its way to becoming mainstream. Really mainstream. The big issue, of course, is that broadcasters think that people who record broadcasts are corrupt an immoral. But if earflier media is any guide, they will face much bigger issues when people eschew summer reruns for non-commercial video. By Richard Shim, CNet, August 22, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Using HTML Email to Deliver High-Impact Episodic Training Episodic training. OK, well that's as good a name for it as anything. This article discusses the use of HTML emails to enable episodic training. The article cites some good reasons - all reasons why I launched OLDaily - to support the use of this technique:

  • Newsletter readers are not required to set aside time for a learning session.
  • Email newsletters can be less threatening to learners than conventional training media.
  • Email newsletters can provide immediate results with a minimum of development time.
  • Newsletter delivery is well suited to episodic learning. Individual messages provide content in modular chunks that focus learner attention on a specific topic.
  • HTML email can include most of the elements of traditional Web-based e-learning, including text, photos, graphics, and animations.... as well as interactive tests, surveys, and chats.
  • Tracking features can be embedded in each newsletter (for the record, I do not employ tracking features in OLDaily).
  • Gathering feedback or testing learners can be accomplished.
  • HTML emails offer accessibility.
By Sven Laurik, Learning Circuits, August, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Watching the "Alpha Geeks": OS X and the Next Big Thing You sound familiar.... Oh, that's why. I listen to you all the time. I pipe IRC to festival so I can listen to it in the background when I'm coding." Huh? OK, IRC (Inter-Relay Chat) is a popular online text-chat system. Festival is a text-to-speech synthesizer. Turns out that the chatter on IRC is engaging background - a lot like talk radio - to listen to when you're working. This is one example of how Tim O'Reilly is able to spot emerging trends - he watches for disruptive technologies and then keys on those picked up by hackers and so-called "alpha geeks." What's interesting to me is that this is exactly what I do. By the time the entrepreneurs get involved it has been around for a while (and that's when the Elliott Masies and Brandon Halls (who scan the business community) pick it up. By the time it gets to standards, it's old, and a new wave of technologies is on the horizon. There's a lot more in this article - including some surprising tips on what lies ahead. By Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly, May 15, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

BT Loses Hypertext Claim A sigh of relief sweeps across the web as British Telecom loses its bid to claim ownership over hyperlinking. By Tim Richardson, The Register, August 23, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

EUCD in the UK I covered this when it was passed last year, but I have a few more readers from Europe now. If you think you are exempt from the impact of American style copyright laws, think again. Many of the same provisions, outlined here, are contained in the European Copyright Directive. It is due to become law in individual countries by the end of this year. By Unknown, Stand, August 21, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes