OLDaily

Jeffrey R. Young: Virtual Tutors Guide Students but Aren't Quite Ready to Replace Professors, Chronicle of Higher Education November 24, 2005
What I wonder is, what would lead a person to conclude that a talking robot head constitutes the 'perfect professor'? Only in the Chronicle. [Tags: None] [Comment]

Peter Schilling: Technology as Epistemology, Academic Commons November 24, 2005
Good article challenging traditional conceptions (in a way I support) of truth and knowledge. "Not only do our students posses skills and experiences that previous generations do not, but the very neurological structures and pathways they have developed as part of their learning are based on the technologies they use to create, store, and disseminate information. Importantly, these pathways and the categories, taxonomies, and other tools they use for thinking are different than those used by their teachers." More good content from The Academic Commons, second edition. [Tags: Experience, Academics and Academia, Ontologies] [Comment]

Various authors: eLearning Summit November 24, 2005
Trey Martindale offers some notes on the recently concluded eLearning Summit (Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Sessions 5-6, Solutions in industry). No slides, text, RSS or audio from the conference are available, sadly. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment]

Various authors: Gizmo November 24, 2005
Gizmo is an online telephone service, like Skype, but which supports open protocols. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm about to, so if you have a Gizmo ID please let me know so I'll have someone to call. [Tags: None] [Comment]

Leigh Blackall: Die LMS die! You too PLE!, Teach and Learn Online November 24, 2005
Some interesting reaction to the advocacy of the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) that has been floating around recently. "The VLE, LMS and PLE are the same. A suggestion that the Internet, and informal networked learning are not enough. That people still need to come to school to learn. That people need to distinguish learning from life, that people need to download and install an application that will solve their learning needs." I am sympathetic to this view, and wonder whether we would need a PLE at all if we had a more generic application (we don't, yet) that performed the same function. [Tags: Schools, Networks] [Comment]

Ann Hulbert: The Prodigy Puzzle, New York Times November 24, 2005
This is an interesting article, but I'm not sure quite what to make of it. Given that we can identify child geniuses (and it's not clear than we can), what then? Do we nurture and foster them? A look at actual geniuses shows that many have had to overcome barriers. Do we normalize their achievement so they feel less like outcasts? Again, it seems that geniuses have a high tolerance for solitary (and even anti-social?) environments. But can we say, with the author, "the real geniuses aren't necessarily being denied... They are biding their time" and will emerge? I wouldn't. How many geniuses, I would ask, are broken in the forge? Maybe you can't make geniuses, but it seems to me, you can certainly break them. [Tags: Children and Child Learning] [Comment]

Various authors: O3: The Open Source Enterprise Data Networking Magazine November 24, 2005
Thanks to Bill McIver for this link announcing the launch of this new open source magazine. The PDF downloads are a pain, but I guess they wouldn't be able to distribute the full page glossy advertisements otherwise. The content, however, makes up for the format, for example, the article An Introduction to Linux and Open Source for Business. No RSS or anything like that; the magazine may be free online but that's it. [Tags: Marketing, Open Source] [Comment]

Online Educa Berlin: Interview with Prof. Riccardo Petrella, Global Learning FachNews November 24, 2005
Riccardo Petrella offers some stark conclusions in this interview concerning education and globalism. "Educationís having become a commodity leads to a system of competition comparable to the economic system. Access to education becomes a promise to be successful within this competition. But, being an object of the market, education - and thus knowledge - is being privatised. It can be privately owned, which logically means that the owner can dispose of this resource as is seen fit. Knowledge and education are no common goods anymore." Yet, "The problem is that the promises of technology such as open markets, open content, access for all, are totally misleading. It is simply not true for the majority of the people." This article doesn't reveal his own approach, but his discussion on water is illuminating. "If we only fight for our own good, for corporatist interests, or by pure will to conquer and dominate, we risk losing everything. But if we fight for water, that is for the right to life, and for a commonweal of humanity, sooner or later we will win." [Tags: Open Content] [Comment]

Diane Hillman: Learning Resource Type Vocabulary, Version 2, NSDL November 24, 2005
Norm Friesen writes in, the Learning Resource Type vocabulary being developed by the NSDL has been updated. "In this version, various terms have been consolidated, defined with greater specificity, related with greater consistency and otherwise refined." [Tags: None] [Comment]

Tina Besley: Foucault, Truth Telling and Technologies of the Self in Schools, Journal of Educational Enquiry November 24, 2005
Discussion of Foucault in education can be a lot of fun, and this excursion through the concept of self and truth-telling in schools is no exception. There is a sense in which telling the truth can be a denial of self, as in the case of a confession, and yet with a cultivation of self the telling of truth can be a manifestation or extension of self. But to what degree is a strong sense of self cultivated in schools? While truth telling is itself fostered as a virtue, does it follow as a manifestation of personhood, or as an externally imposed value? Good stuff; more essays are available as well from the Journal of Educational Enquiry this month. [Tags: Schools, Games and Gaming] [Comment]

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Stephen Downes

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Stephen Downes

Copyright © 2004 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada

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I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence.

This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward. - Stephen Downes