By Stephen Downes
November 20, 2003

KM Europe
Outstanding coverage is available online of Knowledge Management Europe. This link points to Mathemagenic's November 15 coverage, which provides numerous links, outlines, and commentary. Readers will also want to scan Headshift's summary with commentary and even more links. It's hard to capture the wide range of discussion in a single post, but what I've seen leads me to suggest that, if there is a trend, it is away from explicit characterization of knowledge structures. David Snowden's presentation is perhaps the best example of this, as he argues that "conventional Knowledge Management has been too concerned with codifying explicit knowledge to aid replication, and with using categorisation (where we construct data around a framework), rather than exploration (where we construct frameworks around the data)." By Lilia Efimova, Mathemagenic, November 15, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Sustainable Provision of Online Curriculum Beyond 2005: An Issues Paper
The Learning Federation, a collaboration of ten governments in Australia and New Zealand, explores options for collaboration beyond 2005 and adduces four major criteria:

  • continuing online curriculum content procurement and distribution
  • embedding online content in the practices of schools
  • a national vision about schooling for the future and
  • commitment to a range of policies and programs to support the vision.
That said, the paper reflects issues in how this development should proceed. "There are tensions, and at times conflict, in the understandable desire of schooling arms of governments to gain immediate local financial return on money invested in content developed for their schools. At the same time other arms of the same governments are working to develop viable commercial industries in multi-media, with export potential, pursuing policies that restrict government activity to core business." By Steering Group, The Learning Federation, November, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Why you Shouldn’t use Learning Objects, and Why You Should
Good bit about some of the issues that may face instructors thinking of using learning objects. The paper identifies three major hurdles: where is the learning in learning objects, copyright issues, and the workload involved. By Brian Lamb, Object Learning, November 19, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

PR Wars Heat Up in Open-Access Publishing
This very brief item is a good survey of the conflict between open access and subscription academic publications. "The economics of scholarly publishing can best be described as broken and dysfunctional. Fewer and more powerful publishers are in ongoing struggles with their biggest customers, characterized by boycotts and dramatic contractual battles. Until the fundamental structural problems in the publishing industry are fixed, there will not likely be an end to the barrage of open-access alternatives. And it may already be too late." Not that the commercial publishers are standing still, as evidenced by the announcement today that he UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee has secured agreements with seven major international publishers to provide access to eJournals for the higher and further education sector in the UK. By Unknown, Outsell's e-briefs, November 10, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Learning Webs: Learning in Weblog Networks
This short paper provides an overview of the technical environment before getting into the interesting bit, a discussion of the social ecosystems that emerge through current Weblog authoring practices. By Lilia Efimova and Sebastian Fiedler, November 20, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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