By Stephen Downes
March 2, 2005
Future of FLOSSE: Interview with Stephen
Downes - Part 2
This is the second part of my interview with Teemu Arina. The sound quality is so-so, but it was the first experience for both of us recording a Skype conversation. Arina summarizes, "Stephen talks about communities and what is actually a community and what kinds of communities people belong to. The internet allows people to pick very specific communities by topic out there. Communities are not anymore tied to a place but are more like networks, clusters and clouds." Direct links to MP3s: Part 1, Part 2. Interestingly, people looking for clarification of my Northern Voice talk, which was actually given after this interview was recorded, will find it here. By Teemu Arina, FLOSSE, March 2, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
"The RSS Bubble is here," writes Steve Gillmor, and it's hard not to agree. While I am pleased at the long-awaited recognition of content syndication, let me assert right now that RSS is not the short-cut to easy riches, that it will not replace everything that came before it, that it is likely to get mired in lawsuits over content and use, that if you are just writing your business plan, you're too late, and that if you invest now, you will probably lose your money (note: this is not to be construed as investment advice). You should have been listening in 2000, not following the hype in 2005. And when the bubble bursts, please remember that it was not the originators of the technology that oversold it. Thank you. By Steve Gillmor, ZD Net, March 1, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
13 States Agree to Raise H.S.
Without lingering on this item, let me observe that it's like making your car go faster by sticking an extra number on the dial of its speedometer. By Ben Feller, ABC News, February 28, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
From E-learning to E-knowledge
Some good stuff in this discussion of the relationship between e-learning and content management. For example: "knowledge-based economies are driven by a free flow and intermeshing of data, information, and knowledge, where value is created from an ever-increasing reservoir of abundance. In such circumstances where resources are themselves not scarce value must be created in novel ways." And his account of the facets of knowledge is basically sound. But I wished for a third section, the upshot. Standards are the same, standards mature: but what is the impact on changing understandings of knowledge on the progression of standards? Via the Networker. By Jon Mason, Madanmohan Rao (ed.), Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
The Road To Powerful Instant Vertical
Communities: Personal Media Aggregators
Robin Good offers an interesting concept. "Differently than DLAs, PMAs are not centered around your personal life. While Marc Canter envisioned tools that would have allowed the easy recording, management and access to personal image libraries, music, clips, preferred feeds and more, PMAs are centered around a product, a service, a company, a celebrity. PMAs bring together the different communication and interaction modes we have recently started using, allowing instant vertical communities to be rapidly created around them." By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, February 24, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
Create A Graph
Via Pete MacKay's Teacher List, this site is a nifty tool that clearly illsutrates the relation between data and graphs. I would like to see something like this accept syndicated data from remote feeds. By Unknown, National Center for Education Statistics, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
Are Instructional Designers Software
Architects in Disguise?
I am in the main sympathetic with this article as in comparing the fields of software architecture and instructional design it seems to reveal the deficiencies of each. Posted as an ITForum discussion paper, it has drawn responses mostly along the lines of assertions that 'instructional design is not just another branch of engineering'. Well of course not, but it's exactly that sort of distance from what software architecture really is that leads the author to suggest something like a merger. I'm not saying that a designer should know what an array pointer is, but they should know what an array is, how it differs from an object, and how you could use an object pointer. No? Or maybe we'll keep instructional design at the level of designing page turners. By Michael Lang, ITForum, February 28, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
When Blobjects Rule the Earth
Scott submits this nice link to my discussion area with reference to the 'Drugs that Speak to You' item from yesterday. Bruce Sterling, a noted science fiction and cyberpunk author discusses the concept of gizmos and spimes, objects of the sort described in the other story. Spimes, especially, are interesting; you buy then (where else?) at the drug store, and thereafter the spimes follow you. " The most important thing to know about Spimes is that they are precisely located in space and time. They have histories. They are recorded, tracked, inventoried, and always associated with a story. They are searchable, like Google. You can think of Spimes as being auto-Googling objects." I've mentioned Sterling before in this context: in his novel Distraction you can find the concept of a hotel that teaches you how to build itself. By Bruce Sterling, BoingBoing, August 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
Electronic Publishing >> Book 'Em
Useful article discussing electronic publishing in universities: online books, online assignment submission, learning content databases (good links here to a list of commercial academic databases). Good discussion of the move toward open access, noting the institutions' frustration with commercial content. Finally, "a handful of vendors and organizations have made strides toward reconciling the tenets of Open Access with the value of the copyright-protected word." This article is a much better treatment of the subject than most. Via Matt Pasiewicz. By Matt Villano, Campus Technology, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
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