May 17, 2006


David Weinberger[Edit][Delete]: Open Namespaces for Tags, Joho the Blog [Edit][Delete] May 17, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] Yesterday David Weinberger suggested, "Shouldn't there be a non-vendor, open site that can serve as a namespace?" My response, in the first comment, was that "No, there shouldn't." The reason is that I don't think we should depend on a centralized aggregator, like Technorati, to organize tags. Quite a good discussion followed the initial exchange, and Weinberger was prompted to create a mock-up of what he wants. It is, of course, a clone of my own topic pages, something I've had on this site for, what, five years? Anyhow, decentralized tagging would be a good thing; let's hope the "Technorati Tag (tm)" becomes a thing of the past. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Albert Ip[Edit][Delete]: The Death of Learning Object, Random Walk in Learning [Edit][Delete] May 17, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] Some great quotes in this item: "What I like to say is that learning technology standards effort has focused at the wrong spot. Teachers do not need technologists to tell them how to do their job. Teachers do not need technologists to draw a square on the floor and be asked to stand inside the square. Teachers need tools, good tools so that they can use to craft their wares - whatever that may be. Blog is godsend. That's why people are all jumping into this bandwagon."

I also enjoyed Ip's post on Learning Design. Is this definition right? " Learning as the process of building an inner world which enables one to participate meaningfully in a community." I would be happier with 'growing' than 'building'. And 'environment' than 'community'. And I think 'inner world' and 'meaningful' need to be carefully specified, because they are, in my view, not rooted in language. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Chris Lehmann[Edit][Delete]: Site Visit: SciTech High, Practical Theory [Edit][Delete] May 17, 2006
[link: 7 Hits] Interesting account of a SciTech High, a school that organizes learning around projects rather than classes. "Students work on extended research projects requiring the use of knowledge in mathematics, science, technology, and writing." And I think the trend is evident (and correct): "There is a growing movement out there... it's a movement of schools that do not measure learning by a score on a test, nor do they consider curriculum to be something that you can unpack and deliver." [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative[Edit][Delete]: 7 Things You Should Know About Google Jockeying, Educause [Edit][Delete]EDUCAUSE [Edit][Delete] May 17, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] This is a neat idea I hadn't run across before. "A Google jockey is a participant in a presentation or class who surfs the Internet for terms, ideas, Web sites, or resources mentioned by the presenter or related to the topic. The jockey's searches are displayed simultaneously with the presentation, helping to clarify the main topic and extend learning opportunities." You know, I'm beginning to think I should ask for multiple screens and projectors at my talks - a screen for the Google jockey, a screen for the audience live conference chat (aka, the backchannel), a screen for the photo montage, and more. The problem with lectures (for me, at least) is that they are one-channel - the information bandwidth is tiny. But more channels could add a lot of texture and depth to the experience. [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Ben Werdmuller[Edit][Delete]: Whose Space, E-learning, Web 2.0 and the World [Edit][Delete] May 17, 2006
[link: Hits] This is a good article. It captures my own discontent with social networking sites (concerns I have expressed, say, in Public Spaces, Private Places and The Semantic Social Network). The author writes, "The model for the new web economy seems to be to run a single, centralised service that acts as a carrier for advertising... Result: "new" media is subject to the same business interests as the old media. This is a mistake." Ad-driven sites, whether content or application driven, depend on centralization, because they depend on traffic. And centralized sites, sooner or later, are subject to control. The web thrives on distributed, personal and decentralized media, the sort of media that gives users the freedom they want. There is a tension here that won't go away. [Tags: , ] [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.

Lectures, seminars, and keynotes in a wide variety of formats - everything from streaming video to rough notes.

All my articles, somewhere around 400 items dating from 1995.

Audio recordings of my talks recorded in MP3 format. A podcast feed is also available.

What I'm doing, where I'm doing it, and when.

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Stephen Downes

Copyright � 2006 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


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