OLDaily

By Stephen Downes
July 27, 2005

RSS Referencing
Post looking at the need for references to external content in RSS feeds, describing some applications and outlining how it would work. I might add that the comments here apply not only to RSS and Atom, but also the various metadata formats in use in learning, as they are no better than the syndication formats at referencing. Also posted to the rss-dev and syndication mailing lists, where you may find some comments. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, July 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Playing to Learn
Alberta Ip makes a good point here. "There is an illusion that we can leverage the engaging power of games, and hope magically there will be transfer of skills learnt from games to real life." Moreover, I would add that when you assign these learner-centered activities - such as blogging, gaming, and the like - as homework (or other assigned work), you break the features that made them effective in the first place. It's like teaching orienteering by putting students on a highway and telling them to walk into town. Related: James Farmer on how not to use blogs in learning. By Albert Ip, Random Walk in E-Learning, July 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Windows Update Greeting Messages Now Include "Avast, Ye Scurvy Dog!"
I don't mind so much using only legal copies of Windows, even though the software is overpriced and the license conditions are silly. But what I mind is Microsoft snooping around my computer. Because you just know that if the company is allowed to check for counterfeit copies of Windows, it's only a matter of time before it scans my computer for illegal MP3s, legal MP3s, unregistered games, applications sold by its competitors, documents with interesting ideas or subversive content... They'll sell this as a service to content producers, and leverage the info in its own marketing. How do I know they'll do this? Because, if they manage to pull it off, the potential profits are too tempting. Personally, I don't feel like dumping my entire computer into Microsoft's enforcement and marketing database. Call me paranoid, but I don't trust them. By John Paczkowski, Good Morning Silicon Valley, July 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Feed Me, Academia
fast Company writes, "Need more ideas and insights for your work? The University of Saskatchewan Library offers an online directory of academic journals that offer RSS feeds." That's the entire article, though there are some amusing comments. I would just like to take note that RSS has become mainstream in academic and even in academic publishing. By Unattributed, Fast Company, July 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Downloading 'Myths' Challenged
This should be no surprise, but as the article states, "People who illegally share music files online are also big spenders on legal music downloads, research suggests." I would also imagine that people who access free learning content are much more likely to pay for e-learning services. Hm? By Unattributed, BBC News, July 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Educational Imperatives for a Digital World
Talk given at the Australian School Library Association XIX Biennial Conference in Canberra in April. Looks at the changing needs of students in conjunction with studies sceptical of computers in learning (such as the PISA study, which is still (unfortunately) making the rounds). The paper looks at, among other things, "the need to both embrace digital cultures and strengthen thinking, problem-solving and creativity if students are to be users, explorers and creators in a digital world, not merely consumers." By Alison Elliott, ACER, April, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Passion for Learning and Knowing
Proceedings from this knowledge management conference held last June in Trento, Italy, are now available as two massive PDF files - volume one (6.6 mb) and volume two (10.3 mb). Many good papers. A sampling: in 'Writing learning stories' Claudia Jonczyk develops a case writing approach consisting of three phases: the descriptive, the reflective and the critical. The intent is, through analysis of the metaphors used in storytelling, to extract and make explicit tacit knowledge embedded in the descriptions. Also don't miss Birgit Renzl's 'Language as a vehicle of thought', an exploration of the shifting context-dependent meanings of words told in the context of an analysis of the Challenge shuttle disaster. Kirsi Korpiaho asks, 'What do the students learn in business school', and in response describes a situated curriculum (the stuff being taught) and a hidden curriculum (knowledge about how the business school operates) that interact with each other (for example, coping with an exam schedule is congruent with learning how to cope with a production schedule). By Gherardi, Silvia and Nicolini, Davide (eds.), University of Trento Eprints, July 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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