By Stephen Downes
October 29, 2003

LOM/CanCore-based Open-Source Software Components
CanCore has announced the release of several software components as its contribution to Canada's eduSource project. From the website: "Released under the Free Software Foundation's LGPL License, these three components have the potential to greatly simplify the challenging task of developing learning object repositories... These components take the form of interfaces, APIs (Application Program Interfaces), or schemas for working with LOM (Learning Object Metadata) or LOR (Learning Object Repository) data and functions." By Various Authors, CanCore, October 24, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Future of Learning: From eLearning to mLearning
This book-length report explores the idea that e-learning technologies will go mobile. Readers will find chapter 4 interesting, containing as it does an extensive survey of existing m-learning initiatives. But overall, I do not think that the telephone, wireless or not (and most of the report looks at such technology) is an appropriate locus of learning, except in limited circumstances. Unless we can get a larger display and more flexible interface, online learning will be dominated by the desktop. It should not, because wireless access is one of the great new technologies to emerge in recent years. I still think something like the Tablet computer will be the dominant e-learning tool. By Desmond Keegan, FernUniversität – Hagen, November, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Learning Objects and Language Games
I have observed in the past that our approach to learning objects should draw from Wittgenstein's theory of 'meaning as use'. I am not the only one thinking along these lines; this paper invites us to approach learning objectives from the perspective of another of Wittgenstein's theories, the idea of the 'language game'. This is a good introduction to the idea, drawing useful (and clear) parallels between the theory of langauge and the theory of learning objects. The little charts are most useful. By Pithamber R. Polsani, Educational Technology in Cultural Context, February, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

This project is worth noting, if you haven't seen it already. From the website: "Annotea is a LEAD (Live Early Adoption and Demonstration) project enhancing the W3C collaboration environment with shared annotations. By annotations we mean comments, notes, explanations, or other types of external remarks that can be attached to any Web document or a selected part of the document without actually needing to touch the document. When the user gets the document he or she can also load the annotations attached to it from a selected annotation server or several servers and see what his peer group thinks." By Various Authors, W3C, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Microsoft unveiled its proposed Longhorn operating system last weekend, and after a couple of days, the reviews are out. Numerous commentators have noted that it draws a lot from Apple. Others concentrated on whether Longhorn would offer more security. Also interesting is the discussion about how the operating system handles information. Overall, the reviews appear mixed, with many wtill adopting a 'wait and see' attitude. It is, after all, at least two years before the system will apear in stores. By Various Authors, October 27, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright © 2003 Stephen Downes
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