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by Stephen Downes
July 2, 2007

Canada Day

Just another day on the farm. But it was Canada Day, and while out bicycling I snapped this just before getting caught in a downpour. Happy Canada Day, everyone. Stephen Downes, Flickr July 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

How Project SWORD Restored My Faith in Educational Technology
A project implementing the Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) in EPrints, DSpace, Fedora and IntraLibrary would be useful. Atom is like RSS, and the APP is like using RSS to upload and syndicate content. So I'm happy that the project group went with APP rather than inventing their own parochial specification. As David Davies says, "who knows, the web 2.0 revolution in content production may arrive on campus." David Davies, Weblog July 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Training Oneself to Notice
Oh this is a great illusion. I'll let you look at it for yourself without telling you anything about it. What i will say here is that this illusion illustrates not only how our perceptions can shift from one alternative to the next, but how we can train ourselves to switch these perceptions (I first saw it one way, then the other way, then I had to work to see it the first way again, covering the shadow until I could train myself to see it that way again).

"People who are used to engaging with their world in a hot way - fragmenting, categorizing, separating, applying linear, deductive reasoning - in other words, those who have been trained to be chronically literate, have a great deal of difficulty seeing the world "spin" in any other way... There are lots of methods to help see the world turn in different ways. But each of them takes practice - practice to learn and master the techniques, and practice in learning how not to be distracted by our previous training and socialization." Mark Federman, What is the (Next) Message? July 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

I Can Hum, so I Can Find a Mystery Song
I tried it; it got two out of five. But this is me we're talking about - people have signed petitions to stop m from singing. It's a miracle it got any. So Midomi, I think, is pretty neat. It can, to some degree, recognize tunes, even the ones I mangle. More on difficult searches. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity July 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Gorman and Keen Need a Bicycle Built for Two
The ridiculous charade that is the 'discussion' at the Britannica blog continues with the announcement that "Human beings learn, essentially, in only two ways. They learn from experience-the oldest and earliest type of learning-and they learn from people who know more than they do." One wonders why the second is not merely an instance of the first, but I suspect logic isn't Andrew Keen's strong suit. As for the 'discussion', my experience with the forum is that they simply delete the comments that don't align with the party line. At least, they delete mine. Mark Oehlert, e-Clippings July 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Education Revilution
OK, how often have we heard this mantra? "Our goal is to turn experts into rock stars by providing an open platform that helps them scale their expertise, build their personal brands and earn a living teaching over the web." In an era when we are moving away from the star system (and even further away from publishers who promote these stars) this website things it can centralize and commodify teaching. They have a manifesto, too, but it reads to me like they don't really tolerate dissent. Via Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Owning Your Learning Path, The Blame Game
This is a very interesting observation: "On the one end of the spectrum you have the archetypical argument that 'we are/I am too small to change the system'. On the other end of the spectrum you find the archtypical argument that 'I/we could change this, if only all other stakeholders would accept our/my authority'. Both are a fig leaf for inaction. They are based on the notion that you need control to be able to reach your goals." Ton Zijlstra,, Interdependent Thoughts July 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Common Pitfalls of Building Social Web Applications and How to Avoid Them
Part One, Part Two. Good set of suggestions concerning the founding of social networks (which are interestingly almost the same as the set of suggestions that would apply to the founding of online communities). Baically, the advice amounts to: provide something of value to your members, attend to them personally, and keep focusing on the value to members. BGN also points to Mike Haughey, founder of Metafilter, who has his own tips for running a successful online community. Via Mark Oehlert. Joshua Porter, Bokardo July 2, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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