By Stephen Downes
March 24, 2004

Two Rivers Mix: RSS and e-Portfolios
The bar just got raised again as content syndication and personal portfolios are merged by Audree Thurman on the Maricopa servers. Alan Levine explains, "This syndication publishes updates from two different areas of an e-portfolio, from the weblog entries (that makes sense), but also updates any document or link added to what is called a 'collection' page (a group of linked media, web sites, and descriptions). But what is really cool is that there are two views of any RSS feed- one is regular old, easily read in any capable RSS reader, RSS 2.0, but there is also a web page view of the same content." Outstanding. More on this from Will Richardson. By Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, March 23, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Music Group Sues Another Batch
I have long argued for alternative forms of education, bringing students into closer contact with the real world, using the internet. However, harassing lawsuits against university students is not an appropriate way to conduct online learning, no matter what RIAA spokesperson Jonathan Lamy says. "This [students] is a group that does not appreciate as much as the general population that it is illegal to share copyright music on a peer-to-peer network," said Jonathan Lamy, a spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America. "More education is necessary. One form of education is lawsuits." By Katie Dean, Wired News, March 23, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Real's Glaser exhorts Apple to open iPod
This quote says it all: "I bought an iPod and can only shop at one store. What is this? The Soviet Union?" Ah, but Rob, if there was a free market, how long do you think the price of 99 cents per song (or even WalMart's 88 cents) would hold? By Michael Kanellos , CNET News.com, March 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Pause, just for a moment, and ponder the educational opportunities of such a service: live streaming media broadcasts of Parliament and all Parliamentary Committees, available free to anyone who wants, online. A great idea? Absolutely. Unrealistic? Not at all - this service is now offered by the Canadian government. Now there are still some tweaks needed - it requires Windows Media Viewer and therefore is inaccessible on my Linux box. It should also use RSS or some other form of content syndication (using an events module) to make such content available as learning objects in the eduSource and other repository networks. And more - but hey, I'm getting ahead of myself. By Various Authors, Government of Canada, March, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Labor Releases Free E-learning App
The U.S. Department of Labor "is offering agencies a free version of an application it created to build multimedia training sessions," according to this item. The application conforms with U.S. accessibility standards and employs the SCORM learning object profile. EZ Reusable Objects (EZRO) was developed using open source applications and is available for download under the GPL. Kudos! By Joab Jackson, Government Computer News, March 24, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

New Learning Models Under Scrutiny
Discussion of the emergence of e-learning as an accepted form of learning in the corporate community. The article looks at the increasing demands for accountability, as purchasers of e-learning look for evidence of the success of the new model. But it is also clear about the advantages of e-learning: "The trouble with higher education for most people is that it is overwhelmingly expensive." By Linda Anderson, Financial Times, March 22, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Les nouvelles tendances dans le e-learning
Nice summary (in French) of my presentation at RIMA last week. The report is part of an overall summary of the conference on the WikiFing wiki, part of the Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération website. By Jean-Michel Cornu, WikiFing, March 24, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Latest Word
Overview of personal publishing from the point of view of aspiring authors. The take here is that print on demand (POD) can allow publishers to prints small quantities of books, reducing the large costs associated with self publishing. This allows books with very small print runs to see the light of day, and while publishers scoff, the story makes it clear that self publishing may be most writers' only access to the market. By Kathy Boccella, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 23, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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