July 20, 2006


Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: E-Learning 2.0 - Why the New Tools, July 20, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] PowerPoint slides and MP3 Audio of my online presentation today. My talk, scheduled for one hour, went (with a willing audience) closer to two hours, which was nice, because I was able to develop the topic the way I wanted. After sketching the progression of Web 2.0 tools (from personal publishing to webtops) I outlined (drawing heavily on Konrad Glogowski) how it enables new forms of learning. From this, I outlined some of the theory underlying these new forms, and from this theoretical stance, responded in part to the critics of these new models (a version of the same argument found in these pages yesterday). [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Windows Principles: Twelve Tenets to Promote Competition, Microsoft [Edit][Delete] July 20, 2006
[link: Hits] Microsoft lists twelve principles it will follow from now on to enable competition in the software industry. Several of these principles were required by anti-trust court rulings. And others are still somewhat, well, weaselly. Like point 8, for example: "Microsoft will design and license Windows so that it does not block access to any lawful Web site or impose any fee for reaching any non-Microsoft Web site or using any non-Microsoft Web service." Well fine. But what Microsoft has been doing (and will apparently continue to do) is slow down these sites and make them work less well. So these principles ring a bit hollow to me. Via Stuart Yeates. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Christopher D. Sessums[Edit][Delete]: Knowing Me, Knowing You, Christopher D. Sessums : Weblog [Edit][Delete] July 20, 2006
[link: Hits] According to this essay, "Social software has two key attributes that could be considered meaningful to educators: Permits communication between groups and individuals [and] Enables the aggregation and sharing of resources." The people working and living in such a community become producers of knowledge and not just sharers of knowledge. "In this sense, social software allows for a certain level of knowledge co-creation that can be drawn from, reflected upon, and further refined." I think this paper would be stronger were it not so rooted in its references. I wish it looked more widely, more generally, and how social networks support learning, and not just an inquiry stance for teachers. It's a bit like investigating how computers would change education is teachers had them... and students didn't. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Bill Coppinger[Edit][Delete]: VET and Sustainable Regional Communities, Central Ranges [Edit][Delete] July 20, 2006
[link: Hits] Summary and link to the NVCER report, Building learning communities: Partnerships, social capital and VET performance, by Janelle Alison, Scott Gorringe and Justine Lacey. Among other findings, "There is a need for a more holistic approach to training, giving consideration to the continuing learning pathway along which an individual may travel, as opposed to focusing on discrete packages and modules." [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

David Warlick[Edit][Delete]: New Pew Internet Report&Comments, 2 cents Worth [Edit][Delete]2 Cents Worth [Edit][Delete] July 20, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] A new report on bloggers and blogging from the Pew Internet in American Life project has been released. The general tgrend seems to be that bloggers are more diverse than one might expect, that they are generally young, and that tghey speak mostly to small audiences. Robert Paterson aslo comments in his post, Blogging - Not about the A list but the Long Tail. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Texas Center for Educational Research[Edit][Delete]: Evaluation of the Texas Techn ology Immersion Pilot, Texas Education Agency [Edit][Delete] July 20, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] Actual text of the report that has been the subject of so much discussion. Note that in the conclusion (report p. 77) the authors take note that only "partial immersion" was obtained. "A major challenge for teachers in the first year was simultaneously learning how to use technology and finding time to integrate laptops and digital resources into existing practices." Additionally, they note that educationally significant results may take more than one year to obtain (gee, really?). It is worth noting that while negative results were reported in that first year, postitive results were "compelling" in the second year results. I have to wonder (with some on the WWWEDU mailing list) why these results were released now, and why they got the spin they did.

On WWWEDU Bob Hirshon writes, "At the time the evaluation was completed, only 2 of the 22 schools studied reported substantial use of the technology (on a four-part scale of minimal, partial, substantial and full). The teachers report that they spent much of the year learning how to implement the technology into the classroom. The laptops were used once or twice per month in math class. Given all that, it's remarkable that the evaluation showed all the positive effects it did." [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.

Newly updated! A collection of my photographs. Suitable for downloading as desktop wallpaper.

Stephen's Web
Since 1995

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About the Author

Stephen Downes

Copyright � 2006 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada

Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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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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