By Stephen Downes
July 5, 2005

Experiencing Geometry
A little ditty to get you started on a hot summer day. By Antonio Gutierrez, Geometry Step by Step from the Land of the Incas, July 8, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Challenging The Primacy Of Lectures: The Dissonance Between Theory And Practice In University Teaching
Almost nobody, it seems, believes in the instructivist model of learning - the presentation of material and the expectation (hope?) that it will be absorbed by osmosis. Most writers in the field support something like this: "learning environments should be student-centred, knowledge-centred, asessment-centred and community-centred." So why, asks the author, is the dominant mode of teaching at universities more like the instructionist and less like the constructivist? Too many factors inhibit change. "For universities to adapt to the changing circumstances they find themselves in, radical, rather than incremental change is needed, and this requires all stakeholders to re-evaluate their paradigm of university education." Via elearnopedia. By Rob Phillips, Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, July, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Language Is A Virus
A bit of time-wasting fun that might get you thinking about the nature of language. Via 43 Folders via Josie Fraser. By Lake Vajra, July, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Canada Connects
From the email release: "Canada Connects has just launched a new web portal designed to deliver affordable elearning resources to Canadians." Early reviews circulating through the emailsphere are not favorable, with one person commenting that "this is a classic case study in how NOT to start a community web portal." The site is connected to a magazine of the same name; articles can be found here. By Various Authos, July 4, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Virginia Tech and Serebra Forge Agreement to Provide E-Learning Certification
Serebra provides the course content through its easyLearn system, Virginia Tech offers online registration, content review, and completion certificates, while Virginia-based Global Education Foundation and Global Work Force Development (GLOBAL) provides administrative support. What's interesting is that Serebra states that it is "committed to corporate social responsibility, international education, service and sharing." That's good. I am somewhat less enthused by the learning access cards (like debit cards) and encrypted courses, though. By Press Release, Serebra Learning Corporation, July 5, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Peter West thought I might find this interesting and he was right. Associated with Amazon.com, ConnectViaBooks combines book lists with social networking, the idea being to put people together based on what they like to read. Not so much a dating site as a professional associatoon site, to judge by the categories. By Various Authors, July, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Integration of Breeze and Captivate
If you're into Flash and Breeze, you'll like this announcement. Captrivate allows you to create a screencast; Breeze allows you to broadcast it. By Presselease, Macromedia, July 5, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

e-Learning for Development: A Model
Paper that outlines the benefits of open learning for non-profit organizations. "The online volunteer is a perfect knowledge management actor and that knowledge transmission is his or her main role. At the end of this part knowledge transmission will be shaped as e-learning and online volunteers will become remote training administrators, online mentors, e-authors, etc." By Ismael Peña, ICTlogy, July 5, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright © 2005 Stephen Downes
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