January 12, 2006


Jeremy Hiebert[Edit][Delete]: Personal Learning Environments, HeadsPaceJ [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] Jeremy Hiebert responds nicely to the concern that personal learning environments cannot replicate the functionality of learning management systems: "Isn't this a bit like criticizing the design of a screwdriver because it doesn't work well for hammering nails? As far as I know PLE's were not created to facilitate the process of institutions educating students -- they're designed to help learners manage their own learning. Pretty much by definition, they are not institutional." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Ellyssa Kroski[Edit][Delete]: The Hive Mind: Folksonomies and User-Based Tagging, InfoTangle [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: Hits] Good introduction to the concepts of folksonomy and tagging, though if you are familiar with the topic you won't learn a lot that's new. Especially useful is the list of advantages and disadvantages of folksonomies. The author concludes, correctly, "The advantages to top-down hierarchical taxonomies for library collections are without question. For cataloging the Web, however, they just aren't feasible." A lot of people working on traditional (structured and formal) semantic web applications will learn this the hard way. Via EDUCAUSE. For a related read, be sure to check this item from David Davies on the incompatible formats used by different entities (such as Flickr and del.icio.us) to denote tags. [Tags: Web Logs, Semantic Web, EDUCAUSE, Folksonomies, del.icio.us] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tim Bray[Edit][Delete]: Don't Invent XML Languages, Ongoing [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] In this follow-up to his article the day before, On XML Language Design, Tim Bray observes that of the 600 or so extant XML languages, maybe five or six (I would add RSS to his list) have had any impact. There are reasons for this, and I would say (consistently with Bray, I think) it's this: although it's hard to design an XML language, it's a lot harder to design one than it is to use (in any meaningful sense) a new one. [Tags: XML, Metadata] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Press Release[Edit][Delete]: Liberty Alliance Releases People Service in Latest Version of Liberty Web Services, Liberty Alliance [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: Hits] I can't get into the technical details of this because it's going to take time (that I don't have) to grok the details. But the announcement is significant enough: "The Liberty Alliance Project... today announced the public release of the latest version of ID-WSF 2.0... People Service allows consumers and enterprise users to manage social applications such as bookmarks, blogging, calendars, photo sharing and instant messaging from a common layer." All good, but what Liberty offers a federated identity service, which can limit membership to selected partners and trusted services, and the reliance on SOAP, SAML and a number of other top-heavy specifications will keep it out of the reach of many. I need to look more deeply at the specs to see whether they can be hacked into a distributed networks, such as I propose (into the pile it goes). Via Marc Canter. [Tags: Web Logs, Instant Messaging, Networks] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Pamela Parker[Edit][Delete]: Yahoo! Buys Webjay, Clickz [Edit][Delete]ClickZ [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Webjay - which I used to distribute Ed Radio - was generally overlooked during podcast mania. But not by Yahoo!, which probably made the smartest acquisition of the bunch. [Tags: Yahoo!, Podcasting] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

George Siemens[Edit][Delete]: Meaning Making, Learning, Subjectivity, Connectivism Blog [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: 4 Hits] I keep postponing this link because I want to write a response to this. But maybe I should just post the link and let it speak for itself, saying for now only that George Siemens questions my assertions about the subjectivity of knowledge. "I'm comfortable stating that everything we see/do is personally interpreted. In many cases, however, an objective concept exists as a tempering point for assigning value to my subjectivity." I'll get my chance to discuss this with him online shortly; for now I'll simply ask what that objective concept could be and how we would know we got it right even when we hit it. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Reaching your Market: Web Strategies for VET Providers, Australian Flexible Learning Framework [Edit][Delete]Australian Flexible Learning Framework [Edit][Delete]Australian flexible Learning Framework [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] According to the prefix, "The report provides a mix of best practice examples, screen captures of websites to illustrate how other organisations have implemented and action points to help you understand what should be prioritised for further developing your website." It then launches immediately into email marketing and registration (and charging a subscription) for premium content. Some of the ideas are good - for example, video blogging and calendar services. But most of it is about search engine optimization and keywords. PDF. Web page for easier linking. [Tags: Online Learning, Web Logs, Linking and Deep Linking, Marketing, Subscription Services] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Anna Muoio[Edit][Delete]: The Secrets of Their Success - and Yours, Fast Company [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: Hits] I don't seek to achieve 'success' in the sense usually intended by any of these commentators - for me, 'success' is a very specific emotional state, a mixture of happiness, harmony and satisfaction. Hard to explain. And for me, very elusive. Still, much of what is described in this article describes the external conditions that (sometimes) lead to the achievement of that state. I liked, for example, what Helen Tworkov had to say: "The most important ingredient for success is the willingness to fail, to be made a fool of, to fall on your face a hundred times a day. And to be dumb. What makes repeated failure endurable is being in love with the work you do and being convinced of its value. Then the process becomes self-rewarding." John Mackey also provides a nice list, worth clipping. Mostly, it seems, success is created by defining what you want (where what you want related to value, purpose or ambition) and then taking the steps, wherever they may lead, to achieve that. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: ESBN.org, January 12, 2006
[link: Hits] The ESBN database launches. The Electronic Standard Book Number (ESBN) is the unique identifier of electronic media. "An ESBN is used to establish and identify one downloaded or issued copy of electronic media such as an e-book, digital document, and streaming audio/video." As David Weinberger comments, cynically (but probably accurately), "It's all part of the attempt to impose the restrictions of the physical on the digital, enforcing scarcity where there is none." More background from Weinberger. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Matthew Fox[Edit][Delete]: 50 Ideas for Free Elearning, Kineo [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] List of open source tools (and ideas for using them) in e-learning. The title is a bit misleading - you won't see a numbering from 1 to 50, but there could well be 50 ideas scattered through the pages (I didn't count them). Covers everything from blogs to wikis to podcasting to learning management. At the very least, read the '5-minute insights' at the beginning of the document: PDF. Via Kineo. [Tags: Online Learning, Web Logs, Open Source, Podcasting] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tom Hoffman[Edit][Delete]: Stoically Working Through This Bad Inheritance, eSchool News [Edit][Delete] January 12, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] Responding to Miguel Guhlin's Banishing Disillusionment post, Tom Hoffman quotes at length from Paul Goodman's Growing Up Absurd. It's a good quote, looking at what progressive education hoped to achieve and explaining, via the weight of history, why social revolutions such as this are not fulfilled. Someone more technocratic, such as myself, would turn to Thomas Kuhn to find the observation that revolutions are accomplished only via the passing of previous generations. Revolution is romantic, but the reality is that a society is changed only one mind at a time, one heart at a time, and that this is necessarily a slow process, even in an age of rapid change. And while there is great emphasis placed on the great change wrought by revolutionary leaders, the reality is that power, all power, rests and must rest ultimately with the people. That is in itself the revolution I have undertaken to support, one that spans generations and that will continue after I am gone. [Tags: Online Learning, Paradigm Shift] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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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


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