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John Willinsky: The Unacknowledged Convergence of Open Source, Open Access, and Open Science, First Monday September 27, 2005
The author discusses open source, open content and open access under the heading of three principles ("the price of admission matters","penness has been traditionally supported by various forms of patronage," and "open alternatives to intellectual property regimes still operate") with the intent of identifying, and encouraging people to address, the common ground unifying these three movements: "a common commitment to a larger public sphere." Certainly, it is with respect to the promotion of the public good that i support all three, and in our own sphere, this common ground may be expressed as the committment public education. And indeed, it is in this committment where I find the major difference between myself and those advocating a privatized, commercial, user-pay approach to software, content and access. [Comment]

Tim O'Reilly: Web2MemeMap, Tim O'Reilly's Photostream September 27, 2005
Image capturing (most of) the major components of Web 2.0 as captured at a conference called Foo Camp. While you're browsing through Tim O'Reilly's photostream on Flickr take note of his programming language market share chart. [Comment]

Aixa Almonte: Podcasting for Learning, ottergroup September 27, 2005
Personally, I wasn't that impressed with this article, though it has attracted a lot of positive commentary in the e-learning blogosphere. The author focuses almost exclusively on podcasting as offered through iTunes. And while some engaging (and very large) screen shots are offered, this article will not tell you how to podcast. What readers will like is a good list of reasons why podcasting succeeds in e-learning, some discussion of podcast search engines, and examples of podcasting in business. But it has all been done before, and not in annoying PDF either. The direct link is very unreliable (it keeps sending authorization errors) so I have linked to the web page; you'll find the PDF under the little picture to the right or under the 'attachments' (instead of the more proper 'enclosures') heading. [Comment]

Virgil E. Varvel Jr.: Student Privacy Issues, Ethics, and Solving the Guest Lecturer Dilemma in Online Courses, ELearn Magazine September 27, 2005
I don't think about privacy issues a lot and I have never thought about them in relation to guest lecturers in online courses. The author has, however, and this article serves as a reminder to those who include guest lecturers in their online courses, especially those working under the American Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Via cuonline.blog-city.com. [Comment]

Various authors: DailyRSS September 27, 2005
Pretty nice example of news aggregation via Alan Levine. What should be noted is that not only do news items come from a variety of sources, the service also integrates different media types, including weather and photos. An instance of the sort of environment students should be offered (as opposed to, say, an institution-specific portal or LMS), the DailyRSS represents an incremental step forward. [Comment]

Paul Novitski: CSS Swag: Multi-Column Lists, A List Apart September 27, 2005
Some very practical advice on how to create multi-column lists using only CSS and XHTML (in other words - everyone can do it). Clearly written and offering advice that solves the sorts of problems that always snag designers (problems which may be classified under the heading 'Internet Explorer'). [Comment]

George Siemens: It's Not What It Is, It's What It Enables, Connectivism Blog September 27, 2005
George Siemens makes a good point, encapsulated in the title, with respect both to some of the new tools, such as blogs and wikis, and to connectivism itself. "What do they enable learners to do? They enable learners to connect, to dialogue." Why? "Rapidly evolving knowledge (such as we encounter today) places too much strain on the learner... Instead we need to offload many tasks onto a network - so that we play the role of an aggregator." Will Richardson also comments on this item. [Comment]

Greg Bolt: UO Spreads The Word On E-Textbook Appeal, Eugene Register-Guard September 27, 2005
Coverage of the sale of digital textbooks at the University of Oregon. Thus far, sales have been slow, partly because of the cost (though the article a bit misleadingly represents the cost as "well below the cost of a new paper text") and partly because of the DRM - the book can be copied to a computer only once and "With something this important, if my computer crashes then what do I do?" Though the article is relentlessly upbeat, you have to wonder when someone says "the success of this program was never about sales." If that's not a problem for a commercial product, I don't know what is. [Comment]

Projects & Collaborations
Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Research
Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.


Stephen Downes

About Me
Bio, photos, and assorted odds and ends.

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You know, the ones that appear in refereed journals of Outstanding Rank.

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Lectures, seminars, and keynotes in a wide variety of formats - everything from streaming video to rough notes.

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A collection of my photographs. Suitable for downloading as desktop wallpaper.

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Stephen Downes

Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada

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