By Stephen Downes
October 7, 2003

RCDEO To Enter IEEE Standardization Process
The IMS Reusable Definitions for Competencies and Educational Objectives (RDCEO) will be put into IEEE format by the Learning Technology SubCommittee (LTSC) and submitted as an IEEE formal standard. By Ed Walker and Robby Robson, IEEE LTSC, October 3, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

BSI and IMS will Collaborate to Deliver Online Learning Standard
Just what the world needs: another e-learning standard. This one, to be developed by IMS in conjunction with the British Standards Institution (BSI), will be called "UKLeaP" (British Standard BS8788 UK Lifelong Learning Profile) and will be an application profile of the Learner Information Package (LIP), "a generic skeleton for information about learners' experience, capabilities, credentials, and preferences." By Press Release, IMS, October 6, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

In Defense of the Essay
Given that I write essays almost exclusively, it feels odd to read this item about the genre as being second-rate, under-valued, and dismissed. Though I have dabbled with fiction, it is the essay that has always attracted me (these days it is the 100 word essay, but I digress). My first excursion into Montaigne was an opening of the eyes, a realization that my art did, indeed, have a home. I have no real desire to write anything else (save, perhaps, Haiku error messages). If you have ever felt the energy of a thought half-expressed, free flight on the wings of a turn of the phrase, you will know that the personal essay needs no defense, wants no defense. By Christopher Orlet, ButterfliesandWheels.com, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ideas as Corridors
The idea that ideas are a corridor is like saying that ideas are situated in clusters; think of the corridor as being similar to a particular culture, environment or zeitgeist. New ideas, situated beyond the corridor, are resisted, and people adapt to them in the following stages: they ignore the ideas, they deny them, they reject them, they integrate them, and finally, they make the transition to the new world view. This final stage is very infrequent, and very disruptive. I like this article; it reads a lot like Kuhn in a nutshell. By George Siemens, elearnspace, October 6, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Define E-Learning? Let Me Count the Ways...
So is it E-learning, e-Learning, or Elearning? And why can't people who work in online learning fix their friends' computers? These and other mysteries are raised (but not resolved) by this article's anonymous author. By I.D., After Five, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Scientists Take on the Publishers in an Experiment to Make Research Free to All
Coverage of the Public Library of Science (PLoS), an organization that publishes open-access jorunals, recouping costs by charging authors a $1500 publication fee. Some good quotes: "We need to get academics to recognise the craziness of what they've been doing. They do all this work and then they just hand it over for free, and then the publishers sell it back to us at these rip-off prices." By David Adam, The Guardian, October 6, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Blogging Iceberg
The results of this survey should not be surprising. The authors estimate that while more than 4 million blogs have been created on blog hosting services, almost 3 million of them have been abandoned, leaving (only) a little more than a million active blogs. These blogs generally have a very small readership, only infrequently link to traditional news stories (10 percent). "Underneath the iceberg, blogging is a social phenomenon: persistent messaging for young adults." By Unknown, Perseus, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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