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by Stephen Downes
November 5, 2007

International Conference On Preservation of Digital Objects
If you are interested in digital archives you will want to survey the wealth of material in the conference pages in this conference. Some highlights: the description of China's efforts to preserve foreign (ie., our) scholarly material, by Xiaolin Zhang. Also, Seamus Ross says that archivists need to stop building that agitating buzz and start working on concrete solutions. Also, Zhixiong Zhang spoke on creating an e-journal archiving system using Fedora (note the imvolvement of commercial journal publishers with Chinese e-journal initiatives). Various Authors, The Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences November 5, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Gender Differences in Career Choices: Why Girls Don't Like Science
I was ready to get all negative about this item, but it does appear to be well grounded (no crockus here) and the overall assessment, "cultural or environmental factors, rather than biological ones, affect girls' interests and career choices," is in accord with my own understanding. It's worth noting, in passing, that when we pay 'special attention' to the advancement of girls and women in science, it is to balance the countervailing 'special attention' that created the need in the first place (especially from parents and media). Unattributed, Canadian Council on Learning November 5, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

TrustDR - Trust in Digital Repositories
"This institutional development pack for managing IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) in e-learning is intended to support those who wish to update and clarify their institutional policies and infrastructures to help get the best out of using technology to support teaching and learning." This really is everything someone in an institutional context could want on the question of rights in digital repositories. A comprehensive set of resources - organizational models, policy options, managing risk, and much more. John Casey, Jackie Proven&David Dripps, The University of Ulster November 5, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Establishing a Research Agenda for Scholarly Communication: A Call for Community Engagement
Personally, I think this comes very late in the day, but I think it's good to see the library community looking seriously at changes to scholarly communication. After all, the old system - where we take all our material, give it to publishers, then buy it back for ever more inflated prices - is pretty much dead. I don't know about a "research agenda" - that's the old model of 'coordinated and targeted action', which generally serves the interests of one minority view or another. But all of that said, the questions, at least, are being asked: how is cyberinfrastructure money being spent? How do virtual organizations differ from those more traditional? How do scholars work? ACRL has set up a wiki for comments. Via ACRLog. ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee, ACRL November 5, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World
Very detailed survey from six western nations on internet use, privacy, security and trust. Sponsored by the Online Computer Library Center. Use of almost everything is up from 2005, including blogs (to 46 percent, from 16 percent) and even email (to 97 percent, from 73 percent). Only library web sites are down (to 20 percent, from 30 percent). (page 1-2). Security and privacy concerns are not surprising: "The highest privacy concerns were of two types: advertising/spam and identity theft/protecting personal information." (page 3-7) Most of us share quite a bit of information online, but we also want to be able to determine who sees it and who uses it. But "respondents are split on their feelings on how private and secure their personal information has been kept on the Internet in the last two years." (3-40) Here's the web page in case you feel like registering with OCLC. Via eFoundations. Cathy De Rosa,, OCLC November 5, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Ed Tech Conferences 2007 - 2008
Clayton Wright has released a new version of his conference listings, which I have posted on my site. This version covers conferences from November, 2007, through 2008. MS-Word document. In his email, he adds "A couple of minor observations: there are more events in China than previously and a few of the international conferences have moved around the calendar, i.e., an event normally held in July is now being held in February (this usually occurs when the event is moved from the northern to southern hemisphere)." Clayton Wright, Stephen's Web November 5, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Review of Learning Objects, A Moving Target
Without going headlong down the learning objects pathway, let me suggest this: "And, one key property is a Learning Object's ability to fully identify itself. Thereby, any object (or person) can send a message, 'What are you; what functionality do you have, how do we relate?'" This is a view that depicts learning objects as programs, and not content. Now - just for fun - take this view and compare it to OpenSocial, just below. The similarities should be striking. W. Curtiss Priest and P. Kenneth Komoski, E-Learn 2007 November 5, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

OpenSocial Opens New Can of Worms
I can't even begin to describe the chaos on the discussion lists following the release of OpenSocial. To put it in a nutshell: it's a way for people to write applications that will play inside social networks like Orkut. But it is not a mechanism for a single-signon or any of the distributed social network features people have been looking for. Anyhow, there's a lot of coverage, highlights of which follow. This item looks at Google SocialStream. Also, reports are coming in that OpenSocial will also impact on Google's foray into the cellphone market. More from ZDNet on the Open Handset Alliance. Caroline McCarthy, CNet November 5, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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