Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
December 27, 2002

Web-Based Educator Is A Study In Success Survey article describing the University of Phoenix's online learning division, Phoenix Online, from a business perspective. Of note is the fact that Phoenic Online is the company's fastest growing division, accounting for 50,000 students and $327.5 million in revenue. Also interesting is the analyst's explanation for Phoenix Online's success: quality of education. "The course work (at Phoenix Online) is a threaded text discussion with real people the students get to know well," he said. "There's actually more collegiality in a University of Phoenix Online course than at a university lecture with 200 students." By Marilyn Alva, Investor's Business Daily, December 23, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Biggest IT Project to Provide Free Online Learning From the article: "South Africa's biggest internet projects, ever undertaken on the African continent, aim to provide every student in Gauteng province -- where Johannesburg and Pretoria are situated -- and eventually the entire country, with free access to email, the internet and an online learning curriculum. The project, known as Gauteng Online, is part of a wider plan by Africa's governments to use new technologies to accelerate social and economic development across the continent." By Sarah Duguid, Inter Press Service News Agency, December 27, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Edu_RSS Just for fun over the Christmas break I wrote up a quick RSS aggregator and seeded it with a dozen or so feed URLs from educational news sources. I've had such a tool on and off for the last few years, but this version is the fastest and most stable by far. I'll probably keep it around for a while and add to the features, so if you have other RSS feeds you'd like me to add to my list, please drop me a line. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, December 26, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Creative Commons Weblog The Creative Commons (Lawrence Lessig's open copyright project) gets a weblog and associated RSS feed. There's not much there, but I'll keep watching. By Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons, December 26, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Nobody Expects the Spontaneous Integration I don't use libraries (dusty books on shelfs sealed in an airtight building give me headaches) but for those that do, this column (and further discussion in this weblog entry) promises a fascinating combination of online and offline services. It offers a wider lesson in the process. The idea is that, if you are browsing Amazon (or any of the other online booksellers) and find a book you like, then with the aid of a small Javascript (stored in your browser favorites list) then you can check your library to see whether they have the book on the shelves. What is significant here is the integration of resources in the online and the offline world. The idea that an online search leads you to physical resources. By Jon Udell, InfoWorld, December 19, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes