December 28, 2005

OLDaily

Leo Damrosch[Edit][Delete]: Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius, Washington Post [Edit][Delete] December 28, 2005
[link: 0 Hits] "It is manifestly against the Law of Nature... that a handful of men wallow in luxury, while the famished multitudes lack the necessities of life." If you are not familiar with Rousseau, this review of Michael Dirda's biography is a gentle introduction, one that I would encourage. Rousseau is important to me. He writes, "Nothing is more depressing than the general fate of men. And yet they feel in themselves a consuming desire to become happy, and it makes them feel at every moment that they were born to be happy. So why are they not?" This strikes a chord with me - Rousseau talks about the imprisonment society imposes on people - "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." And in the last section of Connective Knowledge, I was thinking of Rousseau when I wrote, "Freedom begins with living free, in sharing freely, in celebrating each other, and in letting others, too, to live free. Freedom begins when we understand of our own biases and our own prejudices; by embracing autonomy and diversity, interaction and openness, we break through the darkness, into the light." [Tags: Interaction] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Bill Ives[Edit][Delete]: Planet KM - Aggregating Knowledge Managament Blogs, Portals and KM [Edit][Delete] December 28, 2005
[link: 0 Hits] Localized aggregation (a la Edu_RSS) is breaking out all over, as exemplified by this aggregation of knowledge management blogs. This will have unintended consequences - create a mental image of what the network looks like when it is composed of these micro-aggregators rather than dominant central sources such as Technorati and then ask yourself what information flow looks like in such a system. [Tags: Web Logs, Networks, Knowledge Management, Games and Gaming] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Andy Volk[Edit][Delete]: Sharing Your Media With Media RSS, WebMonkey [Edit][Delete] December 28, 2005
[link: 0 Hits] Good article deswcribing how RSS can be used to syndicate multimedia content. And hey, if you substitute the words 'learning resource' for 'media' in this article, you get a pretty good picture of what I have been saying about learning object metadata for a while now. Via Marc Canter. [Tags: Learning Objects, Web Logs, Metadata] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Nick Butterly[Edit][Delete]: Video Crooks Come in From the Cold, News.com.au [Edit][Delete] December 28, 2005
[link: 0 Hits] Good news for Australians as "the Federal Government will next year legalise the video recording of television shows for personal use, and the transfer of songs from CDs to MP3 players, in a bid to overturn a ban which has made criminals of much of the population." Just for Australians: How to rip a DVD. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Temporary Notice to Free Blog Users, November Learning [Edit][Delete] December 28, 2005
[link: 0 Hits] November Learning is no longer offering free blogs for educators (that's a novel response to the competition offered by free services such as Blogger and edublogs). Via Tim Lauer. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Scott Jaschik[Edit][Delete]: Anonymous Power, Inside Higher Ed [Edit][Delete] December 28, 2005
[link: 0 Hits] I've said this before and I'll stand by it: anonymous reviews should be discouraged. "Knowing the authors or tenure candidates you are reviewing may expose bias (and encourage people where appropriate to recuse themselves), while keeping them secret allows for 'bad faith readings.'" [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Albert Ip[Edit][Delete]: My Learning Outcome of the Britannica Vs Wikipedia Debate, Random Walk in E-Learning [Edit][Delete]Random Walk in E-Learning [Edit][Delete] December 28, 2005
[link: 0 Hits] Some good comments on the Wikipedia debate. Albert Ip writes, "The days when only a selected few can author have long gone. Reputation is likely to be a good indicator of the authority status in a subject domain. However, reputation is NOT citation count." Noting that "when there is no SINGLE best manifestation of any knowledge, the next best thing we can have is a dynamic manifestation of that knowledge domain," Ip argues that teachers should reconsider allowing students to cite Wikipedia. This, it seems to me, is related to the point he makes in his previous post: "if we can accept that information is external to us and knowledge is our internal constructs of the world, things started to feel a little better." The very idea that we could have one indisputable set of facts is wrong - knowledge depends as much on point of view as on reference and denotation. And one of the things the recent Nature study does not get at is that Wikipedia represents a much different - wider, and more inclusive - set of points of view than Britannica ever could. [Tags: Wikipedia, Online Learning, Web Logs] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jay Cross[Edit][Delete]: Blog is live!, Internet Time Blog [Edit][Delete] December 28, 2005
[link: 0 Hits] Jay Cross has moved from his old and clucky blog to new digs on a WordPress enabled site - a huge change for the better. He introduces his new blog (and assorted helpers, including this excellent use of SuperGlu) with a Breeze presentation. The new blog also plays nicely with Edu_RSS, something that makes both of us happy. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Susan Smith Nash[Edit][Delete]: Text Representation and Cognitive Processes: How the Mind Makes Meaning in e-Learning, E-Learning Queen [Edit][Delete] December 28, 2005
[link: 0 Hits] I think this is a useful item even if I disagree with the theoretical background it presupposes. Susan Smith Nash outlines a discourse theory approach to e-learning, sketching textual components (such as surface code, textbase and situated text) and levels of discourse, all leading to an understanding of how the mind comprehends, or makes, meaning. You can tell the theory is a bit of a stretch when you encounter something like this: "Negative transfer can happen when there are no points of contact and students relate things to the wrong items." Now we can understand what that means, but try to envision the process - what would a 'negative transfer of information' look like? Imagine a 'negative phone call' or 'negative letter delivery'. These sorts of questions are what lead me to say that learning is an interaction rather than a transfer of information. [Tags: Online Learning, Interaction] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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Stephen Downes

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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