by Stephen Downes
July 9, 2007
Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge seen before the opening reception.
Greetings from Duluth, where I am attending (but not presenting) at the Desire2Learn user conference, an unusual experience for me. Early impressions include taking note of some insider expression s ("publish up") and thinking that the white shirts worn by every D2L staffer (and there are a lot of there here) is a little bit cult-like. Today's presentation by Ruth Clark was weak, in my view; Will Richardson and Nancy White are on tomorrow and Wednesday. You'll get much more coverage of the conference at Barry Dahl's Desire2Blog site.
While I'm here, I need to made an important disclosure. The reason I'm at this conference is that NRC has signed a development agreement with Desire2Learn and the University of Moncton. I am very involved in that project. That said, I am not receiving any money from D2L and am not in any way paid or even encouraged to promote the company (this trip is being paid for with NRC project money, which is actually unusual, as almost all my travel is paid for by conference organizers). The advice I'm giving D2L is essentially the same advice people have been reading here for years - including the constant plugs for open source software and open educational resources. I won't be discussing project specific in this newsletter, but by the same token, I won't be giving D2L preferential treatment or a free ride in these pages. I hope that's a good enough disclaimer - it's the best I can do. If you need to know more, just ask. Barry Dahl, Desire2Blog July 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Project Based Learning, Open Source, Experience, Books, Newsletters, Desire2Learn, Flickr] [Comment]
Turnitin is a system that copies students' essays (without their permission) and then compares them to submitted work, this all to combat plagiarism. This weblog post is a comprehensive resource on the topic, listing a number of the author's own posts in addition to numerous external resources. Good stuff. See also this post on using Turnitin. Charles P. Nelson, Explorations in Learning July 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Web Logs, Cheating] [Comment]
Useful article describing and outlining case studies in the use of podcasting in learning: "the creation and distribution of lecture archives for review, the delivery of supplemental educational materials and content, and assignments requiring students to produce and submit their own podcasts." PDF. Via EDUCAUSE Connect. Ashley Deal, Website July 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Podcasting, EDUCAUSE] [Comment]
The Most Poisonous Force in Technology
A cutting and biting commentary from the perspective of an IT manager on why SLN2.0 (SUNY learning Network), an integration of "several carefully chosen Open Source projects, each with strong technical compatibility, resulting in a whole far greater than the sum of its parts," was rejected. "The IT Departments put 'consistency above customization, preventing individuals from exploring what technology products are best suited to their own needs' in favor of 'big-name products for their own convenience.'" Via Michael Feldstein, who recommends (and I agree) Patrick Masson's new blog. Patrick Masson, CIOh-no July 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Customization, Project Based Learning, Web Logs] [Comment]
Publication Lists and ePrints Self-Archiving with PublicationsList
It's interesting that David Davies highlights this as "the next big thing in academic repositories." I have needed to develop my own system for my website - I certainly wouldn't pay for what I think is a pretty basic functional ability. David Davies, Weblog July 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Academia, Learning Object Repositories] [Comment]
From a comment in a session today... Created by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) "SCORE (Sharable Content Object Repositories for Education) places reviewed course content in databases (repositories) to which all participating states have access... SCORE membership is limited to SREB state education agencies and schools or colleges designated by the state agency." Some useful resources - such as SREB's principles of Effective Learning Objects - but I would prefer to see open, not limited, access. Via eLearnopedia.
Also found while puttering: TBR (Tennessee Board of Regents) e-Learning Wiki. Also, you'll want to visit this one in a hurry before this "Member-Eyes Only" is removed from the open web, a project report posted by MICTA, a technology purchasing agency, on competing LMSs (Google cache version). See the selection process and final recommendations. Various Authors, Southern Regional Education Board July 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: Learning Object Repositories, Google, Ontologies, Membership, Online Learning, Schools, Project Based Learning] [Comment]
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