OLDaily

By Stephen Downes
October 27, 2004

Learning Object (The Buntine Oration - Reflection 2)
Albert Ip continues his reflections on my paper, this time looking at the (long forgotten) origins of learning objects, exploring what he argues are essential features of the object oriented paradign. Only SCORM objects, he notes, are really like learning objects - and those aren't even learning objects, but 'sharable content objects'. "Should we put the term 'learning object' to rest and return back to use the more accurate and appropriate terms such as learning resource, teaching resource or just resource?" he asks. "If we truly believe in the value offered by the OOP, may be we should get serious about defining and agreeing on a term and improve on it." By Albert Ip, Random Walk in E-Learning, October 26, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Yes, You Can Build Your Own Computer!
Computers aren't that mysterious, as this lesson demonstrates, and I like the idea of building one on your own kitchen table. Parts will still set you back a bundle, though. By Geek On The Run, LLC, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Increasing Learner Retention in a Simulated Learning Network using Indirect Social Interaction
I'll leave my disagreements (and there are some) with this article for another day, and highlight the important new concepts being explored in this paper presented last week in Alberta. First is the concept of the learning network itself, according to the author, "a network of persons who create, share, support and study learning resources ('units of learning') in a specific knowledge domain." Second, it is important to note how major features of the model differ from the traditional approach - "putting the learner centre-stage means that the learner and not a teacher or an institute is responsible for his/her own learning processes", "learners are typically engaged in a variety of formal and informal learning activities", and "the participants in an LN in any given field have different levels of competence, varying from novice to top expert, and from practitioner to researcher and developer." (Note that I used the handle to link to this item - this is an experiment - I don't really believe they'll be more persistent than URLs, but we'll see). By Rob Koper, DSpace OUNL, October 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Open Source versus Proprietary Software: Different Strokes for Different Folks
The main value of this article isn't so much the content (I prefer the article and Fred de Vries interview from the same publication a few weeks ago) - it begins with a straw man (nobody argues open source deployment is free), badly misrepresents copyleft, and tries to find (by request) a middle ground between two very different approaches. It is in the fact that the idea of open source, however understood, is being taken seriously in higher and higher circles in the educational community. By Werner Trotter, Online Educa News Service, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Defining Business Rules ~ What Are They Really?
We sometimes forget the work that was published in pre-history (ie., the 1990s). This paper is an example of the sort of thing that should be in our archives, a detailed and concise description and explanation of the concept of 'business rules' (I don't like the name, but the clarity is refreshing). By GUIDE Business Rules Project, after 1993 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogging Glossary
Some good fun, this blogging vocabulary passes the accuracy test, being in my perspective a good overview of blogging terminology. Words will probably be added. Via peter MacKay's Teacher List. By Various Authors, samizdata.net, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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