By Stephen Downes
October 7, 2004

A History of the Buntine Oration
I am in Perth, the last stop of my cross Australian tour. Tomorrow's newsletter will be a little late as instead of writing my newsletter I will be delivering the Buntine Oration at the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council of Educational Leaders conference here. By Various Authors, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Learning Object Repositories Are`A Thing of the Past...
I'm linking to this because it's still very rare to find someone who agrees with me on this: "The material should reside in the location it was originally created for. Once tagged in that location it can be found as easily there as it could be found in a repository. The money being spent collecting all the objects into a repository should be spent on developing an automated tagging system then the complete web becomes the repository, removing the need for duplication of objects." By dcannell, Thinking and Learning Online, October 7, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

BBC, Annotated
This, says Alex Halavais, is how people will learn in the future (and for the record, I agree): "The BBC NEWS wikiproxy runs the BBC through a filter that linkifies the text to hit Wikipedia articles, and adds in which blogs are pointing to the article." By Alex Halavais, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

An Introduction to the Search/Retrieve URL Service (SRU)
Nice article, with code samples in Perl (though it relies on a module called SWISH), explaining Representational State Transfer (REST) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), two major implementations of web services. Via Open Artifact, which links to several other articles on the same subject. By Eric Lease Morgan, Ariadne, July, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Avatars Anchor Your RSS Evening News
Funny. "WebNews.TV is a RSS news aggregator software application that pronounces both your feeds and comments on them with funny animation movies featuring avatars (virtual reality characters)." By Micro Persuasion, Micro Persuasion, October 6, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Authorís FGCU visit postponed
This is one instance of what appears to be a trend - I have seen several such stories over the last few weeks, stories in which speeches by one person or another are cancelled because they are deemed too controversial. This trend will, of course, be a blip as such speakers won't be scheduled at all in the future. But it is worth noting as it passes, and the question worth raising, what happens when we cancel speeches at universities over political considerations? By Pedro Morales, News-Press, October 7, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogging Communities And The Knowledge Enterprise
It seems (to me at least) that every time something good comes along - like RSS and blogging - someone takes it and turns it into an 'enterprise version'. The lure of low hanging fruit is irresistable, I suppose, but there is something just wrong, in my mind at least, with the concept. Blogging worked fine before the enterprise, it will be broken after, plugged in as it will be is monitoring and reporting, link filtering, content standards and control, and more. Like this: "A BlogPortal is a network of inter-connected blogs that operates under its own domain name and can be customized to reflect the look and feel of any organization." Organization blogging is just the opposite of blogging. By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, September 29, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

News from the Neurosciences
The author asks, "How would it affect educational systems if everyone truly believed that the human brain could change structurally and functionally as a result of learning and experience--for better or worse?" My own research - reserach that can be extended through the many resources on this site - has already convinced me that neural structures are, as they say, plastic. For me what this means is that learning based on the fostering of habits is more important than learning based on transmission of facts, that, indeed, the facts aren't that important at all, not nearly as important modelling effective practice, paying attention to environment, immersive, experiential based education. Via elearnspace. By Various Authors, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Intranet Trends to Watch For
One of the bits of advice is this reasonable if slightly stale article is this: "Intranets need killer applications to survive and grow. The killer applications that replace the corporate telephone directory and the cafeteria menu will be knowledge management tools." In referring this item George Siemens comments, "I disagree with this. As long as KM is about the organization's needs, adoption will only work if it's forced (and if it's forced, people will only use it for the minimum required)." By Shiv Singh, Line 56, August 31, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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