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by Stephen Downes
January 23, 2007

eLearning Papers
Today was a good day. The new gas furnace that we installed in the house yesterday is working perfectly (my small revenge against NB Power). Meanwhile, my web site, which started out this morning as a sparkling new Linux box, has been restored. Mostly. Still a bunch of odds and ends to fix. But this, finally, is the server I needed. Oh yeah, and my email is working again as well.

Meanwhile, volume 2 of this open access Creative Commons-licensed online journal launched by elearning europa is now available (sometimes I just don't have a segue from the site news to the link). Various Authors, elearning europa January 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: Technology Predictions for 2007
Yes it's another 'future trends' article, but I like what seems to be (when compared to all the gee-whiz homages to 2L and mobile web we've been seeing) an almost contrarian set of "opportunity areas" - and a list that is surprisingly in accord with my own thinking. Identity, developer tools, and 'mobility no longer interesting'. Yeah. Because I too am "nonplussed" by the Educause 2007 Horizon Report. As Howell writes, "according to Educause, the 'significant impact' picks for 2007 are: User-Created Content; Social Networking; Mobile Phones; Virtual Worlds; The New Scholarship and Emerging Forms of Publication; Massively Multiplayer Educational Gaming." It's not simply, as she says, that "we are doomed always to lag far behind the crest of the technological wave." It's that it's a list that stridently follows the waves, even when there's nothing really there. Catherine Howell, EDUCAUSE Connect January 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Where Norm Friesen is moving his blog. Found because his most recent post, Discursive Psychology and Educational Technology: Beyond the Cognitive Revolution, caught my interest, capturing as it does some considerations that lead to what might be called post-cognitivism. Norm Friesen, ehabitus January 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Building a Simple AOL Video Search API Application Using Ajax
This is a nice article. It's pretty techie, so if you're not comfortable writing Javascript code, or at least reading about it, pass this one by. But if you make web sites, you'll appreciate the clear example of a pretty avant-garde application, and especially the diagrams that show exactly how Asynchronous Javascript and XML (AJAX) mediate between web pages and application program interfaces, such as AOL's video search, to create Web 2.0 services. And if you wonder what Web 2.0 is, without the vague generalities, this is what Web 2.0 is, in code. Paul Sobocinski, January 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Big Labels Offer Free Music to College Students
The business model has changed, a bit. Ruckus Network thought that students would be happy to pay $10 or $15 to download music they have always heard on the radio for free, and they thought they could get universities to broker this for them. Students rejected the plan (the article says, incorrectly, that "college students would rather steal songs than pay," a phrasing that is bias bordering on slander) and only 20 universities agreed to do the dirty work. So now Ruckus is proposing an ad-supported free service, but still with many restrictions. Why the restrictions? Because the model isn't "free music, just like the radio," it's "free music, until they're hooked, then we charge them subscription fees." Don't be fooled. The article is from the New York Times, though I'm referring to this University Business link because the Times link will become user-hostile in a few days. More, from the Mercury News. Unattributed, University Business January 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Big Picture
Review of Dreaming in Code, by Scott Rosenberg. Nice overview of some of the problems associated with fashioning a 'grand vision' in actual computer code. It's one thing to say "no silos" but quite another to make it work on the computer. Language warning. Joel Spolsky, Joel on Software January 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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