By Stephen Downes
July 27, 2004

More RSS Joins for the Ocotillo Action Groups
The experiment continues and the Small Pieces Loosely Joined is beginning to illustrate the sort of complexity and sophistication possible with low-tech low-control processes. These systems will soon outstrip the capacity of any centralized learning management system (imagine trying to centrally administer each cell in the growth of a tree, or each stream in the flowing of a river system). Alan also asks, "whether [blogs] will fly with the speed and grace of a lead balloon" citing a slow uptake. But we don't need everybody blogging, no more than we need everybody writing books or producing movies. Let people settle to their own comfort zone, and don't try to force it. There are plenty of roles to go around. By Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, July 27, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Fully Personalized View Of The Internet: Frassle
Robin Good summarizes: "Frassle doesn't make intelligent decisions for you, but it uses information you provide to learn, over time, what's important to you. It helps you to organize things you find on the net. Best of all, frassle doesn't need lots of care and feeding—if you write a blog or keep bookmarks in your web browser, you're already producing all the information frassle needs. Frazzle is a Personalized Directory." Important. By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, July 27, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

When the Convention is a Classroom
When the Progressive Conservatives held their convention in Ottawa to elect Joe Clark their leader and eventual Prime Minister, it was a great learning experience for me. Aside from listening to the delegates and touring the booths (Flora Macdonald gave me an apple) I took home a ransom of souvineers - buttons, posters, banners, and one delegate. So I envy the thousands of youth volunteers at the Democratic convention in Boston. The best learning occurs outside the classroom. That said, many more thousands of students are getting the convention experience through the numerous blogs covering the event. Not close enough to touch a delegate, perhaps, but miles ahead of what any generation previous could expect. By Teresa Méndez, Christain Science Monitor, July 27, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Three Reasons to Publish an E-Newsletter AND a Blog
I ask this question from the opposite perspective - given that I have RSS feeds, Javascript feeds and a webpage, why do I continue to publish the email newsletter? And of course the answer is that the majority of my (known) readers sontinue to do it by email. But I can report that every time I send out an issue my email inbox gets hammered by anti-spam messgaes, on-vacation messages and assorted errors and failures. It comes with the territory and is really only a problem if I have to use Outlook Web Access from a cybercafe. Anyhow, this article tries to convince the authors of email newsletters that they should run their publication as a blog. Via Serious Instructional Technology, which (by the way) has moved. By Debbie Weil, MarketingProfs.com, June 22, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

701 Tips for e-Learning
On the one hand, reading this book is addictive; I was up to tip number 70 or so before I realized I had been drawn in. On the other hand, the staccato delivery wears a little thin; by tip number 70 I realized it wasn't going to draw to anything like a conclusion. Of course, that's not the intent and it's not really a weakness. This free PDF is well worth downloading and reading - the advertisements aren't even a problem (and an interesting technique). This is the best to come from the Masie Center in a very long time. By Elliott Masie, Masie centre, July, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

MSN NewsBot
Microsoft has launched a beta version of what it calls NewsBot - essentially a clone of Google News (and another recommender style news service, but I forget the name of it off the top of ny head). The The UK version has been around since last year some time. According to the site, "Newsbot (beta) responds to your reading preferences. Clicking on articles determines what we base your recommendations on." They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But I wish Microsoft would stop flattering everyone else and come up with something innovative. Shees, they have the staff for it... By Various Authors, Microsoft, July 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogs and Wikis as WebQuest Tasks
Corrected link from yesterday. Sorry for the inconvenience. By Bernie Dodge, NECC 2004, June 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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