May 25, 2006


Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Pageflakes, May 25, 2006
[link: Hits] Another entry in the personal aggregator sweepstakes, this application again looks like the way an e-portfolio should look, more or less (I sent a bunch of suggestions to the designers). Meanwhile, Michael Feldstein says the same of another service called Tabblo. Meanwhile, as Seb reports in his latest newsletter, EDUCAUSE has a nice RSS aggregator. Each of these approaches aggregation slightly differently. [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Alexander Hayes[Edit][Delete]: [M]applications : Mobile Learning Inquisition, May 25, 2006
[link: Hits] Sometimes the best conversations take a few months to gell. Like this one. Responding to January 4 post from Alec Hayes, Stephanie Rieger opines that we do not see student generated mobile content because "making mobile content right now is cost-prohibitive and available only to those with large budgets." That was in January (and Rieger's blog abrubtly stops there, sadly). This week, Hayes responded with an outburst against commercial MMS offerings ("Why should we be charged $0.50 per MMS message when collectively we can realise learning outcomes and engage our students with ease and authenticity?") and assertions that mobile content is within the reach of the average content creator. It's disjointed, and not the easiest read, but it's authentic, and that's what I like. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

George Siemens[Edit][Delete]: Learning in Synch with Life: New Models, New Processes, Complexive Systems [Edit][Delete] May 25, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] George Siemens has released a white paper created, as he says, "for Google's 2006 Training Summit." It's a nice breezy account of Connectivism, written in classic white paper style with many useful images and graphics. I am intrigued to note that it is copyrighted to "Complexive Systems Inc.," a consulting and reserach firm founded by Siemens. I will note that the last section of the paper ('Implementation') could have been dropped with no loss. Indeed, saying things like 'analysis before implementation can prevent costly errors' and 'develop the skills of learners' doesn't really advance anyone's understanding. Sure, we need to 'create the space in which learning occurs,' but what does that mean? And are these things even true? I have my doubts about all three of them. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Laura Ascione[Edit][Delete]: Site Connects Users to Education Research, ESchool News [Edit][Delete] May 25, 2006
[link: Hits] Coverage of Rice's Connexions project. This is an odd article in that it describes Connexions as "an online library where colleagues can submit professional journal articles and review the work of their peers." This in contrast to the description at Connexions itself: "Our Content Commons contains small 'knowledge chunks' we call modules that connect into courses." The author seems to be more focused on an NCPEA project started in 2004, which did indeed produce articles and subject them to peer review; it now boasts eight articles scattered over the 19 subject 'domains'. On the bright side, as Tom Hoffman notes, the Connexions Rhaptos code is now available under an open source license. [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Catherine Ann Velasco[Edit][Delete]: Freedom of Speech vs. Freedom to Teach, Suburban Chicago News [Edit][Delete] May 25, 2006
[link: Hits] More of the same. "The district is going to take away the student's education for exercising his freedom of speech," said attorney Carl Buck. "I feel like they are trying to control his freedom of speech. He is sitting at home on a computer on a Web site you can't access from school. He is saying, 'You can't bully people and we have a right to object and you can't throw people out of school for voicing their opinions.'" [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Neil Gaiman and Adam Rogers[Edit][Delete]: The Myth of Superman, Wired [Edit][Delete] May 25, 2006
[link: Hits] Today's article in Wired tells a story about Superman. "His real-world origin is more humble: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, two Jewish kids from Cleveland, created him as a character in a newspaper comic strip. But the strip didn't sell, so they reformatted it and flipped it to a publisher hungry to buy content for one of the first comic books... It's a classic American success story on a couple of levels. Two outsiders create a new art form, and Superman 'an alien in a strange land' takes off."

Wired is reiterating the myth. The reality, though, is more illustrative. The story of 'Superman' probably begins with Nietzsche's Ubermensch and the name is popularized in Shaw's Man and Superman. Canadians know that Joe Shuster was born in Toronto and moved to Cleveland as a child. He and Siegel first introduced the super character as a villain in "the Reign of the Superman" in a role reminiscent of Nietzsche: "He determines what is good and what is evil, not allowing religion or society to determine these things for him."

To 'flip' (as Wired puts it) the comic in the 1930s (as today) meant giving it away. "A common practice at the time of Superman's first appearance was for the publisher to retain all rights to the character." The pair sued DC Comics twice, once in 1946 and again in 1978 in an attempt to recoup some of the hundreds of millions the publisher made from the idea. The settlements were paltry, less than they would have made as employees. "Joe Shuster, nearly blind and very bitter about his treatment from DC died in 1992 just short of his seventy-eighth birthday."

If it is, as Wired says, "a classic American success story," then it is a sad commentary on how the creative talent is treated in a world of publishers and copyrights. But in reality, the classic American success story is a myth. [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jay Cross[Edit][Delete]: Cynefin and a Girl's Birthday, Informal Learning [Edit][Delete] May 25, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] "Imagine organising a birthday party for a group of young children. Would you agree a set of learning objectives with their parents in advance of the party? Would those objectives be aligned with the mission statement for education in the society to which you belong?" It seems so obvious when you put it like that, and yet so many theorists insist that education (and learning) is something different. More from the Cynefin Centre - which really needs to create RSS feeds and to allow people to read articles without registering. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Teenager Repellent Mosquito Turned Into Ringtone, Ringtonia [Edit][Delete] May 25, 2006
[link: Hits] It sounds a lot like an urban legend, but if true would be too funny: a report states that teenagers are now using ringtones audible only to them in an effort to use mobile phones in places where they are prohibited, like the classroom. "The kids call it Teen Buzz, and it's spreading it from phone to phone via text messages and Bluetooth." [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.

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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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