By Stephen Downes
December 16, 2004

Blogging in Education
Slides and MP3 audio (10 megabytes or so) from my talk today at Mount Saint Vincent University. The talk itself is a presentation of the use of blogging in learning, blogging technologies and aggregators, and some discussion of RSS. The interesting bit comes after the talk, as audience members remained for almost an hour to continue with questions and comments, including thoughts on the ethics of research and blogging along with my thoughts on emerging trends. Today's newsletter comes from Wolfville, where I will speak at Acadia tomorrow. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, December 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

If you've just recently heard of Podcasting, this item will bring you up to date. By Sabine Kirstein, odd-lot thoughts, December 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

George Siemens is on a roll. He weighs in today with an article on e-portfolios, giving the definition and origin of the concept and tying it clearly to previous work in prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR). The article looks at some issues surrounding portfolios - such as standardization, about which he asserts "interoperability is built into the sharing structure, not the content itself." The article wraps up with a brief look at trends and implementation. By George Siemens, elearnspacee, December 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A search engine that reads the results out loud to you. A nice demonstration of the technology, but it's a little hard to click on the links. Via Curb Cut Design. By Various Authors, December 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Cup of Connotea: A New del.icio.us Flavor of Social Bookmarking
Alan Levine picks up on the reference to Connotea listed here yesterday (and please note the corrected link to the paper in D-Lib). Levine takes a look at the Javascript and incorporates into his own, creating the 'four-in-one' Javascript blogging tool. By Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, December 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

So today's Google Alert came with a big notice about this service, which scans the web to see who, as it says, has plagiarized your work. So I tried it out and the results were as expected: the service takes no notice of my Creative Commons license, and does not even differentiate between legitimate quotations - such as this hit on Jeremy Hiebert's site, which is flagged as plagiarism. By Various Authors, December 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Library and Archives Canada
I won't link to the article in a certain Canadian newspaper because of its registration requirements, but via the blogosphere comes a good point: while people are gushing with praise over Google's deal to scan and digitize archival materials from some major universities, some other organizations have been doing this for some time - in particular, "Library and Archives Canada, which combines the former National Library of Canada and National Archives of Canada, has been especially active, scanning millions of pages of documents a year. It has now put all of the publications, including pamphlets and books, printed in Canada in the 18th and 19th century on-line for the public to access, said Ian Wilson, librarian and archivist of Canada." This may reassure those who seem to think all the world's knowledge resides in these libraries. By Various Authors, December 10, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Copyright, Fair Use and the Public Interest
This opinion column by Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President of Recording Industry Association of America, expresses the view that protetcion of copyright is in the public interest. "We base our entire system of protection on the public's interest in promoting the creation and distribution of creative materials," he writes. Most to the column is dedicated to refuting generally misrepresentative versions of Lawrence Lessig's arguments about fair use and freedom of speech. But my main interest in in the first statement: for if the purpose of copyright is to promote creativity, then this also defines (what should be) the limit of copyright. By Neil Turkewitz, Cultural Comment, December, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Extreme Blogging
Having spent several hours on a bus, I am not in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I'll give a talk on educational blogging at Mount Saint Vincent University tomorrow. Then it's off to Wolfville, where I'll talk on the same topic at Acadia University. So today's issue is a bit later than usual - but the quality of the items I'm linking to today can't be matched. We lead off with this item about the corporate market for wikis (don't ask me to explain the title). By Matt Rand, Forbes, December 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Role of RSS in Science Publishing: Syndication and Annotation on the Web
The authors, who work for Nature Publishing Group, have been working on RSS content aggregation for a while now. The same group released Urchine, an RSS aggregator, on SourceForge recently. This article accompanies the soft launch of Connotea, "a social bookmarking tool like a kind of scientific 'del.icio.us' or 'CiteULike'," according to their email. The authors put the case bluntly in their second paragraph. "The bastion of online publishing is under threat as never before. RSS is the very antithesis of the website." But instead of fighting online distribution (like publishers in some other industries) these authors are embracing it - and the community, for example through the release of the PRISM RSS module on RSS-DEV. "Our view is that providing RSS is a natural means of expanding web-based interfaces into NPG content. In essence, RSS allows us to dramatically increase the surface area of our website and to project that presence across the Web. Moreover, by disseminating DOI identifiers [n13] via RSS we have a much-expanded set of stable and persistent access points into our content. A second reason is the downstream potential for generating advertising revenue." I have expressed my views on the downside of commercialized RSS in the past. Let me now identify the upside - if it can increase naccess to resources currently hidden behind publishers' subscription walls, then everybody gains (even the publishers). By Tony Hammond, Timo Hannay, and Ben Lund, D-Lib Magazine, December, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Online UK Library Network Goes Live With First Key Phase
From the article: "The first phase of the new People’s Network Service was launched to library professionals yesterday. The People’s Network Online Enquiry Service will deliver a real-time information service to the public by providing ‘live’ access to library and information professionals across the internet." Cool. Interesting. You can find the People's Network here. By Unattributed, PublicTechnology.net, December 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Metadata Development in China: Research and Practice
Absolutely fascinating overview of metadata development in China, including a recent history showing an explosion of interest beginning in 2002 and a number of metadata initiatives. China is basing its initial work on examples set in Europe, but with a centralized system is able to achieve standardization quickly. By Jia Liu, D-Lib Magazine, December, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright © 2004 Stephen Downes
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