By Stephen Downes
June 11, 2003

Tomorrow's Online Teachers
Slides from an online presentation I delivered this evening (having just returned from Newfoundland) using Groove to the FAME Residential 2003 seminar in Sydney, Australia (with a guest from South Australia also taking part). I look at the promise of technology seen through the lens of my 1998 paper, The Future of Online Learning, talk a bit about how we've drifted, and describe the role of the teacher in the learning environment that will emerge once we're back on track. My thanks to Greg Webb for the opportunity. (Some of you have written of problems accessing slides from my previous talk - the link does work (I have tested it) but, of course, the format is not easy to work with. I will convert my slides to browser-neutral HTML one day.) By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, June 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Learning: More Than Just Knowledge
In this, the fourth in my series of papers for the Australian Flexible Learning Community, I raise the question of how we create learning from online knowledge networks. It has to be something more than just accessing the content, but what? While IMS defines learning design by analogy with a play, I argue that a more appropriate metaphor would be a game. This, indeed, is the crux of the divide between the old, and the new, approaches to learning. "The difference between learning design as a ‘play’ and learning design as a ‘game’ is this: in the former, the learners are actors, playing a role, and to more or less a degree, following a script. In a game, however, the learners are agents, seeking to achieve an objective, and to more or less a degree, employing their abilities." By Stephen Downes, Australian Flexible Learning Community, June 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Oh No! Yet Another Learning Objects Presentation
Brian Lamb's presentation at CADE 2003 in which he talks about efforts at the University of British Columbia to use learning objects. A long time advocate of learning objects, Lamb admits to having a crisis of faith: "Has the bold talk of the learning object prophets approached reality? Are we on the right path? Do we have an appropriate objective? Do I have a right to exist?" Much of the latter part of the presentation summarizes faculty comments on the points of view of academic culture and pedagogy. The bets line from his talk isn't in the online version: complaining about the sterility of the term 'learning objects' he asks, "Would we call a bunch of roses "love objects?" By Brian Lamb, CADE 2003, June 9, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Re: LTSC-DREL: Draft Final Report Educational Copyright
I passed on news of the IEEE-LTSC Digital Rights Expression Language (DREL) group call for submissions yesterday. If you are pondering a submission, you should read this post to the DREL mailing list. The author draws out in detail some of the issues surrounding ContentGuard's XrML rights expression language. Though ContentGuard representatives will tell you that XrML (or as they are now describing it, MPEG-REL) is free and open, as the author notes, any use of that language is subject to royalties. By Robin Cover, June 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Silence is Untrademarked
More IP folly... I guess there's some company out there that has trademarked the phrase "Silence is golden" - and people wonder why I call this sort of behaviour theft. Also worrying is the incredibly shrinking public domain. By Joho, Joho the Blog, June 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Did SCO Violate the GPL?
The latest round in the SCO versus Linux saga has some open source advocates arguing that SCO may have copied bits of Linux into its unix software without also attaching the open source license. This would make SCO, and not the Linux community, the copyright violator. By Peter Galli , eWeek, June 10, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Online Service Pairs Students, Mentors
This was almost a topic of my presentation yesterday, but the talk took a different tack. But it's a simple idea: people - such as subject matter experts or mentors - can be learning objects, located and accessed through a learning object repository system. This article describes a site devoted to the sole purpose of matching students and mentors. By Becky Bartindale, San Jose Mercury News, June 10, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Neuroscience Speaks for Practice-Oriented Learning
(If you don't speak Danish, look for the flag icon for an English version.) This very interesting article falls under the heading of brain-based learning and makes the point that there are non-textual, emotion-based processes of memory that operate unconsciously. I would extend this to say that such processes are sensation based, and that they operate, within a neural network, through a process of pattern recognition, which I have tried to formalize with an account of similarity theory (this was, in fact, the topic of my erstwhile PhD thesis, which the committee declined to examine, preferring a safer dissertation on text-based 'mental contents (which, in the end, I declined to write) - one day I'll scan what I did write and post it here). Via elearningpost. By Nikolaj Ilsted Bech, Learning Lab, March, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]

Copyright © 2003 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.