By Stephen Downes
June 15, 2005

Learning Innovations
After the CSTD conference a few weeks ago in fredericton I went travelling to Ontario, PEI and Alberta while most of the rest of the speakers (it seems) went to this "small highly-focused symposium" put together by the "US Naval Education and Training Command." We dispersed from New Brunswick with pretty much the same message, which I have summarized recently under the heading of E-Learning 2.0. What's interesting, as Godfrey Parkin notes, is that among the presentaters offering this radical new picture of learning was a staid IBM employee wearing the red tie and talking about e-learning in places like banks. "If Big Blue is advocating this approach, and is actively setting about trying to get it to work in its clients’ cultures as well as its own, then there is something serious going on." Via elearnspace. By Godfrey Parkin, Parkin's Lot, June 14, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Power Of Us
The upshot of this article is that "mass collaboration on the Internet is shaking up business." For example, the collective action undertaken in the development and use of Skype, a free internet telephony application, is spelling the end for long distance telephony (no, not tomorrow, but the end is in sight). Many view this as a threat, but as the author notes, it should be seen as an unparalleled business opportunity. "If companies can open themselves up to contributions from enthusiastic customers and partners, that should help them create products and services faster, with fewer duds." Schools and universities too, I would say. By Robert D. Hof, Business Week, June 20, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Academic Commons
As Matt Pasiewicz writes, "The Academic Commons has launched a new beta site based on Drupal." Based at The Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College, the Academic Commons seeks "to form a community of faculty, academic technologists, librarians, administrators, and other academic professionals who will help create a comprehensive web resource focused on liberal arts education." By Various Authors, June, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Lanny on Learning Technology
Another new learning technology blog (well, it's five months old, but it's new to me), Lanny on learning Technology covers things like the costs and economics of learning and learning technology, information literacy, school choice and more. Good detailed commentaries containing points of view and links not seen elsewhere. Via Scott Leslie. By Lanny Arvan, Lanny on Learning Technology, June, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Major Implementation of .LRN Open Source CMS
I'll just quote Scott Leslie: "Just to follow up on last week's posts concerning adoption of some open source apps that have been unfairly dissed as not being 'enterprise ready,' this news story from the .LRN site reports that The Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) is moving their approximately 200,000 students onto the .LRN platform." The post contains several links to original sources. By Scott Leslie, EdTechPost, June 15, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Guidelines for Encoding Bibliographic Citation Information in Dublin Core Metadata
A new recommendation published by the Dublin Core initiative. Pretty much as the title describes it. "This document provides guidelines for capturing bibliographic citation information within a Dublin Core description. It focuses on bibliographic citations for journal articles, but it also considers other genre." By Various Authors, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, June 13, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Relatives - Who Needs Them?
Pete MacKay points to this link, a page describing the concept of relative positioning in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). He writes, "This is a great article that finally explained to me what relative positioning in a stylesheet is about. Even if you're just thinking about using CSS but haven't gotten there, save this article. It saved a webpage I was trying to fix!" By Jumpbug, csslibrary, June, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

State Services Leads International Charge Against DRM
Quite rightly, New Zealand government officials are expressing concern about long-term access to data and documents created using DRM-enabled software. By Paul Brislen, Computerworld, June 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Userplane Releases Free Webchat Option for Any Website
Just launched, this is a commercial application (the free version is supported by advertising) but well worth a look because of its elegant design and functionality. Userplane's webchat text, video and voice (depending on what you support or want to support). Hosted on Userplane's servers, it is placed on any web page using a simple Javascript. It may take a few seconds to load the application first time, but it's very fast thereafter. Users can chat in the main room or break off into a side room they create. Admins can ban users, create 'bad word' filters, and permanently create extra rooms. Nice. You can try a demo on their site or use the one I installed on my home page (upper left). By Various Authors, Userplane, June 15, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

IBM Academic Initiative
Just keeping old items up to date. "The IBM Scholars Program is being renamed to the IBM Academic Initiative to describe IBM's broad interest in graduating students who are aware of, excited about, and skilled in open standards and IBM products." By Various Authors, June, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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