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by Stephen Downes
July 27, 2007

The Learning Objects Literature
Just in case you needed something really weighty to get you through the weekend, here's David Wiley's "final pre-print of [his] upcoming chapter reviewing the learning objects literature." Way cool. Happily, I read an earlier version, so I can spend my weekend trying to stay cool. It's hot here, oh so hot, tropical hot... I'm melting.....! David Wiley, iterating toward openness July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

The Dynamics of Social Networks
Good post that makes the concept of social networks a lot clearer - and a lot more complex. "Our networks do not include us as individuals, but rather as identities. This means that you may have people networking with you in your various identities e.g. as a parent, as a co-worker, as a member of a project etc." Thus our participation in networks has as much to do with role as with identity (I would have a lot to say about this, but let's move on). Toward the end of the post, Pollard contrasts the distinct approaches to informal networks by progressive and conservative members. Fascinating reading. "What you end up with in many larger organizations are two modi operandi going on simultaneously and at cross-purposes: One group improvisationally and creatively... the other trying desperately to make things work as they are 'supposed' to." Dave Pollard, How to Save the World July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Hundred-Dollar Laptop Is Revolutionary, Amazing
It makes you wonder why they ever thought they needed to strike a deal with Intel, doesn't it. "Put simply, the XO is one of the most revolutionary computer systems that I've seen in some time. The entire time I was looking at the XO, I was thinking, 'Why can't my new expensive laptop do this?' The technologies that the OLPC Foundation's XO are introducing could go a long way towards changing the face of future systems, especially in the area of power consumption." So how come Fox News gets an XO and I don't? Via Cognitive Daily. Jim Rapoza, eWeek / Fox News July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Foot Mouse
I love this - picture and short description of the foot mouse. Now I can create the newsletter with my toes! Janet Clarey, Weblog July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Human Capital? I Don't Think So
I hate being referred to as a 'human resource', or worse, 'human capital'. It makes it sound as though I could be owned, and reduces me to the equivalent of a pile of currency. Clive Shepherd, Clive on Learning July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Approaches That Work: How Authentic Learning Is Transforming Higher Education
Most of this article is devoted to case studies of the 'authentic' activity types listed in the table at the top. "Authentic learning aligns well with the needs of today's participatory learners. The challenge is to channel their online and collaborative abilities and interests into academic pursuits, helping them develop the higher-order thinking skills they may not acquire on their own." I am less convinced of this need than the author, as is reflected in my thoughts on groups and group work. It is certainly not clear to me that working in groups is either necessary or sufficient to the development of higher-order thinking skills. All of that said (and I'm being prickly) this is a pretty good article, one that certainly highlights the benefits of the use of online communications technologies. Marilyn M. Lombardi, EDUCAUSE Connect July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

No More Bat Boy with the Bananas
It's the end of the line for the Weekly World News. Now I won't be able to tell whether Dick Cheney is an alien or a robot! Oh, woe is the (trustworthy) traditional media! Doug Johnson, Blue Skunk Blog July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

9 Ways to Build Your Own Social Network
The idea of a 'white lable' social network service is that you use them to create your own social networks - the brand of the service fades into the background and it is your name and network that sees the light of day. That's the theory, though in practice it turns out to be hard to get these services to put their own name into the background - a Ning social network always looks like a Ning social network. But it's a good article, quite detailed, and covers the terrain really well. Via Alec Couros. Mark Hendrickson, TechCrunch July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Teachers, Too, Are Networking Online
Update on EdNA's groups project for educators in Australia. According to this item 14,000 people have signed up since 2005. Unattributed, July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Computers in the Classroom or Literacy and GUIs
This post captures nicely what I think some of the opposition to the use of computers in learning amounts to: "The fear is that the coders are unaccountable." Rodger Levesque, not left to chance July 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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