By Stephen Downes
October 18, 2004

E-Learning in Easy Pieces
So I spent the week-end recovering from jet lag and listening to hours and hours of audio. The archiving is going well, though I am reaching disk space limits on both my laptop and my website. Who knew disk space labled in gigabytes would be too small? Anyhow, for those who can't wait for the full archive, here's a teaser, my talk from Darwin. Click here for the audio - 1.5 hours, 11.2 megabytes (clicking on the title gets you the slides). Now I'm off to NAWeb, another talk, then home to rest for a couple of weeks. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, October 18, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A somewhat Hegelian view of the wiki, but a view worth reading nonetheless. The author exclaims in pain about the educational use of wiki, "from what I've observed in scholarly discussions on the subject, most teachers "using wikis in the classroom" are so far off the mark that I am at a loss whether to laugh or cry. When I read these reports, it's like reading about how someone completely and utterly failed to use their shiny new Ferrari to properly tow a horse trailer." So how should it be used? That is more complex, but this is part of it: "Wiki does not find its authority in the credentials of authors; indeed, the entries quickly become autonomous from individual authors and take on their own existence. They are always developing as new collections of indviduals aim to refine or destroy them; but each edit only pushes upwards. Gradually the entries connect with one another and thus bring together communities of wiki authors." Via Cogdogblog, which observes, "It's gonna be hard for most to toss the old approach to Truth and Authority, and accept that all is relative in the world out here." By blacklily8, KairosNews, October 18, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Social Software: What's New
What's new, asks the author, about social software? After all, online community formation is nothing Usenet, MUDs and email haven't been doing for years. But social software (peroperly construed) takes advantage of the web in ways these others technologies missed. "The internet and web embed powerful technical design patterns: a network of networks; addressable microcontent, loosely coupled services. These design patterns facilitate new social patterns: multi-scale social spaces, conversation discovery and groupforming, personal and social decoration and collaborative folk art." By Adina Levin, Many2Many, October 18, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Another new e-learning blog as Scot Aldred brings his worthwhile observations into the blogosphere. By Scot Aldred, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

ISO E-Learning Standardization in Dublin
Norm Friesen brings us up to date with this short report on the ISO E-Learning Standardization meetings in Dublin. Of particular interest is discussion of the Metadata for Learning Resources (MLR for short), which represents an attempt on the part of SC36 to "adopt, correct, amend, and/or improve upon the technical work in a related IEEE standard called 'Learning Object Metadata'" By Norm Friesen, September 22, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Six Criteria of an Educational Simulation
This is a very nice, detailed, and what appears to me to be mostly sound analysis of six key elements of educational simulations and even "all educational experiences". The model weaves three types of content - linear, systems and cyclical - into three types of delivery - simulation, game, pedagogy. I like the subtlety of the model. Pedagogy, for example, can be thought of as the guiding or corrective elements in an educational experience, and understood this way, things like diagnostic elements (including scoring), visualization and debriefing. Via elearningpost. By Clark Aldrich, October 17, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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