May 12, 2006


Jason Kottke[Edit][Delete]: Creating Talent, [Edit][Delete] May 12, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] I saw the Brain Trainer mentioned somewhere a few weeks ago, but haven't seen a link until now. I find this phenomenon - the widespread popularity of a 'game' that is intended to help you become smarter - very interesting. The popularity itself belies the claims of those who assert that people will not make good choices when given the opportunity to improve, or not improve, their education. The other thing that interests me is the assertion that "people who are good at things got good at them primarily through practice and not because of innate talent." This again sounds right to me. What does it take to learn? Practice and reflection. There are no short-cuts, no magic elixirs, no matter what the salesmen tell you. [Tags: Games and Gaming] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Terry Mockler[Edit][Delete]: Blogging as Pedagogic Practice, May 12, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Good article, but it will leave you pleading for paragraphs or any other sort of text formatting. "We need to look at blogging, not as an isolated phenomenon, but as part of a broad palette of 'cybercultural' practices, which provide us with both new ways of doing and new ways of thinking... Unlike other tools that support conversations, weblogs provide their authors with a personal space simultaneously with a community space. As a result, at any given time a blogger is involved in two types of conversations." [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michel Serres[Edit][Delete]: Revisiting The Natural Contract, CTheory [Edit][Delete] May 12, 2006
[link: Hits] I don't think you should necessarily accept the argument presented in this paper, but it is work considering the reconceptualization of some of our typical frames that is offered by the author. The idea, in a nutshell, is to include the object - that is, for example, the world around us - as a signatory in the social contract. How does the object participate? As in, for example, the Goya painting: "A pair of enemies are fighting in quicksand... the game is no longer played by two parties, but by three; no longer two subjects, but a pair and the object." [Tags: Games and Gaming] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Phil Haack[Edit][Delete]: An Developer's Introduction to Microformats, DevSource [Edit][Delete] May 12, 2006
[link: Hits] A good general introduction to microformats; don't let the title prevent you from looking. Microformats are "a set of open data formats used to mark up XHTML content to provide a bit of semantic meaning." Think of them as though they were XML tags embedded directly into a web page, instead of in a separate XML file. The idea is that this mark-up, usually very specific to a bit of information, can be mixed and matched with other bits of information. "Microformats already have a very specific task in mind when created and build upon prior work. This helps to avoid the extremely large and complicated specs that have become associated with XML languages." [Tags: XML, Metadata, Semantic Web] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Bryan Alexander[Edit][Delete]: Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning?, EDUCAUSE Review [Edit][Delete]EDUCAUSE REVIEW [Edit][Delete] May 12, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] This article came out while I was gone. The author offers a detailed overview of Web 2.0 and examines some of the implications for learning. I think the emphasis on search is a bit misplaced, but the article still captures the essence of web 2.0, pointing out, for example, that it allows people to create their own content and to use several distributed services simultaneously. The impact on education is discussed near the end of the article, but is cautious in tone: "The story of this wave of innovation, whether we call it Web 2.0 or something else, is itself emergent and uncertain." Related: List of Web 2.0 applications. [Tags: Web 2.0] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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

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.

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

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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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