By Stephen Downes
February 2, 2005

RSS_LOM on Downes Wiki
A lot has happened since I posted my first version of RSS_LOM almost two years ago. Since then, both RSS and LOM have changed a lot. There has also been more interest in RSS_LOM recently, leading me to work toward a redraft. Not everyone agrees with what I've put out thus far, which is fine. That's why it's on a wiki, which you too can edit (the nice document or PDF will come after the discussion). This link takes you to my new RSS_LOM proposal and to an application (source code provided; bugs waiting to be discovered)) that converts LOM files to RSS_LOM - well, the current version of RSS_LOM. I'd really appreciate any comments you may have, wither on the wiki or by email. Much more is planned; I'll make announcements both here and on the wiki. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, February 2, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Seminars via Blog
Could you conduct an academic seminar using only blogs? Some of the writers from Crooked Timber thought so and have put together this work, based on a series of related posts. The genre - literary criticism - and the subject - China Miéville's Iron Council - doesn't fare much better. But the methodology is of interest. By Bryan Alexander, MANE IT Network, January 29, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Database Fights Diploma Mills
According to this article, "The U.S. Department of Education launched a searchable online database Tuesday that includes the names, addresses and enrollment of all schools accredited by organizations recognized by the federal government." Access to the database is here. Now this is all good, but I'm sure there are much more creative uses to which the blogosphere could put a database of every school (more than 8,000) in the United States. By Ryan Singel, Wired News, February 2, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

JavaScript Triggers
This is a bit technical, though all designers should heed the opening paragraph: "The front end of a website consists of three layers. XHTML forms the structural layer, which contains structural, semantic markup and the content of the site. To this layer you can add a presentation layer (CSS) and a behavior layer (JavaScript) to make your website more beautiful and user-friendly." The rest of the article describes how to trigger executions of Javascript based solely on elements in the presentation layer. Start messing around with XSLT and you see how important this becomes. By Peter-Paul Kock, A List Apart, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Open-Source Software In support of Educational Research
This is a fascinating suggestion: "Although the current large-scale adoption and deployment paradigm does not encourage a more precise mapping of software to rubric description, open-source software may." Via Best Practices in E-Learning, which released a new issue today. By Brad Johnson, February 2, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Adults Better Web Surfers Than Teens, Study Shows
There has long been a supposition - attacked in recent days by writers on the WWWEDU mailing list - that our students are better at using computers than their teachers or parents. This article describes a study that refuts that supposition. Teens are hampered by their poor research skills, weak reading and short attention spans. They also prefer sites with images - not glitzy images, but 'cool' design, such as at Apple. And labeling a site for 'kids' drives them away in droves. By K. Oanh Ha, San Jose Mercury News, February 1, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Fifty Writing Tools
I always enjoy a good writing resource. But this massive work, authored over the space of a year by journalist Roy Peter Clark, deserves its own special place in the canon. Clark probes beyond mere grammar and style to unveil what makes a piece of writing powerful, evokative and clear. Like this: "paying attention to parallel structures in their words, phrases, and sentences... Single words should be balanced with single words, phrases with phrases, clauses with clauses." I say, yeah! By Roy Peter Clark, Poynter Online, April 14, 2004ff [Refer][Research][Reflect]

E-Learning Centre Pick of the Month
E-Learning Centre has launched a new look and name for its newsletter this month: it is now called the 'Pick of the Month' and features five resources: library (links to selected and reviewed articles, white papers, research reports, journal articles and resource collections in the wide field of e-learning), showcase, products and services, events and bookshop. It's an interesting format, lending much more visibility to the more commercial side of the field (products, events and books) than is usually the case for online resource sites such as this. By Jane Knight, E-Learning Centre, February 2, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

IMS Content Packaging & Content Interoperability Call-for-Issues
Announced by IMS today, this review will look at the content packaging specification with the intent to "enable the managed exchange of any content package-based data model using web services (including the usage of attachments to the SOAP messages)." Because the specification has been opened, a call for issues and suggestions has been made; the committee is expected to start looking at the specification at the end of March with a proposal due in October. Interestingly (and oddly - but hey, it works), submissions are to be made through the IMS problem tracking form. By Press Release, IMS Global learning Consortium, February 2, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

[Refer] - send an item to your friends
[Research] - find related items
[Reflect] - post a comment about this item

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[About This NewsLetter] [OLDaily Archives] [Send me your comments]

Copyright © 2005 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.