By Stephen Downes
June 1, 2004

The Knowledge Tree
Rod sent me this link to the newsest edition of The Knowledge Tree. My flight leaves shortly, there's no neat table of contents, and so I can't really assess it. But according to the announcement it contains "voice technologies, Vygotskian learning for creativity, knowledge management for e-business improvement, employability skills, collaborative community partnerships, digital 'multiliteracies', regional health service transformation, RTO sustainability, games using mobiles - GUMS for 15-19 year olds, ROI from simulation training, change management, and stories of innovative research and good practice in corporate and public sector flexible learning." Yeah. Sounds great. But no table of contents (I know, there's an upper menu that will get me to articles if I work hard enough, but what I really want is a nice clickable list). By Various Authors, Australian Flexible Learning Network, June, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Something Wiki This Way Comes
Via elearnspace and elearningpost, this article provides a brief introduction to the use of wikis in the workplace. Typical: "working on a wiki has cut the daily phone calls he made on a raft of projects to one a week." Sounds great, but once again, let's not oversell the technology. By Robert D. Hof, Business Week Online, June 7, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Open Source a new way to Manage Classroom Computing
It's not that new any more, though I suppose to a number of people it will be. In any case, this article is a nice outline of how open source can be used to manage classroom computing. Lots of links pointing to resources and information for managing computers in the classroom. A good take on a topic I haven't seen discussed at any length before. By John Perry, Australian Flexible Learning Community, May 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Social Software Ideas
Some good suggestions for the design of social software, including: colloquial mapping, geographical opinion systems, collaborative consumed media, and extended reputation management. Via Nancy White. By Matt Haughey, A Whole Lotta Nothing, December 30, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The ESP Game
This is a link that came up during this week's conference. The ESP Game addresses the problem of creating metadata for images. Basically, nobody wants to spend hours and hours creating data for images. They will, however, put in the time if it becomes a game. So the idea is, you look at an image, and try to describe it in such a way as to match the description given by someone else. Match, and you get a point. This is a great idea. By Various Authors, Carnegie Mellon University, May, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Interim Report on Copyright Reform
This disappointing report (PDF) on copyright was published by a Canadian parliamentary committee and, as columnist Michael Geist says, "would transform the Internet from the incredible open source of information that it is into a predominantly commercial medium available primarily to those willing to open up their cheque books." The report is also bad news for educators. "Bulte's committee surprisingly rejected the education community's proposal, opting instead for a new license to cover Internet based works. This new license would require schools to pay yet another fee (the education community already hands over millions in license fees each year for content) for works found on the Internet." I don't know where this committee did its research; they certainly didn't consult anything like a wide range of people. This report should be rejected. By Sarmite D. Bulte, Government of Canada, May, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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