OLDaily

Leigh Blackall: North South East and West, Teach and Learn Online September 28, 2005
Leigh Blackall ventured where I didn't dare and explored Chinese blogger Yaozhou's website after finding the link in a post on my website. Via Google's Chinese to English translation (which I haven't tried) we read, "Podcast Education Movement Podcast, blog and rss will save human being from another clash of civilazation..." I would certainly like to hope so. [Comment]

Albert Ip: CSS Swag: Multi-Column Lists, Random Walk in E-Learning September 28, 2005
Albert Ip links to a better resource (see test case 6) than the column from A List Apart that I linked to here yesterday. Same result, "no clumsy and additional mark-ups." [Comment]

Albert Delgado: JotSpot Live: Live, Group Note-Taking, Educational Weblogs September 28, 2005
This is pretty neat: "JotSpot Live allows you, your colleagues or clients to take notes together on the same web page at the same time. Imagine everyone simultaneously typing and editing the same Microsoft Word document and you'll get the idea." Note also the nifty gVisit app on the right side of the page - it tracks where your visitors are from (it doesn't seem to recognize me, though). [Comment]

Susan Smith Nash: Distributed Leadership in the E-Learning Organization, E-Learning Queen September 28, 2005
I think Susan Smith Nash's exploration of the subject of leadership and organization in today's item (and yesterday's) is useful, but it seems to me that business writers still haven't grasped what post-industrial organization looks like. Yesterday, for example, Nash writes that the "vision encourages individuals to release their individual goals and objectives and to substitute a collective one." And today, she writes of "a clearly articulated vision which is equally shared among all members." How many people, I wonder, actually support their organization's vision statement (much less know what it is)? What are the chances that everyone does? Almost nil - and that's just it: management by subsumption of individual aspirations under organizational objectives is a non-starter. 'Distributed' doesn't mean everybody thinking or doing or in some way being the same - it means individuals acting autonomously in a network entering into exchanges of mutual value. [Comment]

Various authors: OpenEducation2005, OpenContentWiki September 28, 2005
This, of course, is only part of what a modern academic conference should do, but it's an important part - the conference wiki, allowing anyone attending the conference (in this case, Open Education 2005 in Logan, Utah) and anyone interested in the conference (in this case, me) to follow along and add their comments. Via Brian Lamb. [Comment]

Sarah Schweitzer: When Students Open Up -- A Little Too Much, Boston Globe September 28, 2005
Discussion of what could happen if students post indiscreetly on online discussion boards such as Facebook (a closed social network for university students). Most of the examples centre around drug references, for some reason, though presumably students could be indiscreet about other topics as well. The author cites a prediction that "a political candidate - probably 20 years from now - getting in hot water on account of something posted on Facebook." Well, maybe. In his book Tomorrow Now, author Bruce Sterling calls this phenomena 'network toxicity' and notes that there are no safeguards in place to prevent it. But such behaviour is so common, and such disclosures so pervasive, he suggests, that people 20 years from now will find out reactions "quaint and naive". He writes, "Perhaps the best hope is that this particular form of moral panic becomes passe from overuse." Certainly, the warnings are becoming so. Via University Business. [Comment]

Steve Outing: Seething Anger Over TimesSelect Op-ed Choice, Poynter September 28, 2005
As most people know, the New York Times locked its op-ed columnists behind a subscription wall last week. Reaction is now coming in and most of it is negative. One person wrote to me from Iran pointing out that this makes it impossible to read the articles in that country, a theme touched on by Steve Outing in this item. Meanwhile, Yahoo! has decided to skip the middleman and sign up news writers directly, beginning with Kevin Sites (known for his blog coverage of the Iraq war, until he was told by his employer to cease and desist). Interesting times indeed. [Comment]

Denys Lamontagne: Thot - News of Distance Learning, Thot September 28, 2005
The French distance education newsletter, Thot, is now available in English, courtesy an experiment in automatic translation. Thot has been in circulation since 1997 and (according to their email) reaches 200,000 people a month. More about Thot's translation experiment is available here. An RSS feed is also available. [Comment]

Sarah Knight, et.al.?: Innovative Practice with e-Learning, Jisc September 28, 2005
This is a great quote: "Before we were concerned with controlling learners' use of computers, but now the challenge is to know how they are accessing their own technology to enhance their own learning." This is the tenor that infoms this look at "pedagogies based partially or wholly on the use of mobile devices, including those without built-in connectivity, and those that offer mobile access to resources on the web." After surveying the technological environment, the pedagogies are examined through the lens of four perspectives on learning: associative, two types of constructivist, and situative or social learning. Then, following a series of case studies, the authors offer their assessment, that "the same key principles apply when designing learning activities... mobile and wireless technologies can be viewed as extending the options available to the practitioner, especially in specific contexts or niche activities." Finally, after more case studies, a model (which looks like a big eye) for implementing mobile and wireless computing is proposed, one which (unsurprisingly) recommends that institutes develop resources and phase in wireless access in a controlled and secure manner. [Comment]

Jenny Millea, Dr Ian Green and Garry Putland: Emerging Technologies: A Framework For Thinking, Education.au September 28, 2005
This sweeping and forward-looking report commissioned by the Australian Capital Territory Department of Education (ACT DET) to look at the impact and potential of emerging technologies in learning is a must-read for decision-makers in the field; it also serves as an excellent introduction to emerging technology in learning for anyone interested in the field. While the authors nod toward traditional learning technology, such as learning management systems, they also capture well the larger trends impacting the field: mobility, interoperability, collaboration and communication, creativity, and open source. They also note that many of the technologies that will be used to support learning "are currently banned, or otherwise highly restricted, by schools," an indication of the cultural and management challeges posed in the emerging environment. While on the one hand conservative (look at the layers of intermediary between students and internet postulated by Figure 2 (section 6.1) the authors nonetheless capture the practical value of blogs, wikis, podcasting and vodcasting (to name only a few). Don't miss this one. PDF. [Comment]

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Stephen Downes

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National Research Council Canada

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