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by Stephen Downes
November 21, 2007

Airplane Tracking in Second Life
I've got to pass along this video. The authors created a large floor-map of southern California in a room on Second Life. They then wrote an application that tapped into a web service providing the (time-delayed) locations of every airplane in the skies over southern California. This information was fed into Second Life as a formatted text file, and translated to become little tiny aircraft flying over the map, in the air. You can walk around the map and look at them, even reach out and touch them. As you watch, the map continues to update, so the planes move (in 60 second jumps). Fabulous. What a way to teach people how air traffic control works. Via Sean Fitzgerald. Daden Media, YouTube November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Reader: Web 2.0 and Education
Useful list of references that might be considered the 'basic readings' on web 2.0 and learning. Via Liberal Education Today. Unattributed, ICTlogy November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

When Is It No Longer An Implementation Error?
I've had my criticisms of PISA in the past. But it's hard to top this: "The New York Times reports that errors in the testing booklet of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) has caused the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to invalidate all of the American test results." Chris Lehmann asks, "What of the kids who took that test and halfway through it, realized that the test was wrong but couldn't do anything about it? What of the kids who, a few years ago, took the NY State Physics Regents and then had to sweat out their high school graduation after they bombed it, waiting until the state admitted that they screwed up the test?" Chris Lehman, Practical Theory November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Syndication Dragging Us Down... (a Rant)
Tom Hoffman comments on the slow adoption of syndication. "We aren't seeing what we thought we'd be seeing: individual sites exchanging data in a wide variety of ways. We're seeing big sites that pass the data around internally very effectively and also offer their own API's, but not so much common, open standards." No, we're seeing silos. We have always known there would be silos, and always argued against them. I know, you don't have to believe me - and many don't (I just got a snark in my email for not supporting a centralized video conferencing solution). But silos are winning, right now, because most of the peer-to-peer stuff was made illegal or blocked by providers. There was a period of time when it would have seemed a lot more reasonable to bet the farm on Compuserve or GEnie or Prodigy, not against some low-tech peer to peer stuff like Fido-Net or ARPA. That was then. ARPA became the internet, and the silos became history. And if ARPA-net hadn't come along, Fido-Net would have succeeded. Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

The Use of E-Learning Is Up
According to a recently released ASTD report, one third of workplace learning is now e-learning, with about two thirds of that being self-study and one third instructor-led online classes. Tom Werner, Weblog November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Will Richardson and Gary Stager - Live: The Bootleg Video
Funny. Will Richardson and Gary Stager took the main stage - sans technology - at the NYSCATE Conference in Rochester, NY. There was a professional video recorded, and it may one day appear on some website. But David Jakes turned his webcam around and recorded the session using his computer, streaming the session live using Here is Will Richardspn's response. This is exactly what web 2.0 - and e-learning 2.0 - is about. The sound isn't perfect (and you can hear dishes clacking) but we can easily undersatnd what they're saying, see the video just fine, and enjoy the interesting discussion. Or just enjoy the snow. Gary Stager, The Pulse November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

OUNL Learning and Working Environment (Final)
I find it very positive that the Open University of the Netherlands is working on a PLWE (personal learning and working environment). Five posts: VLE of the future, Part 1, Continuing Debate, Part 2, Final. It's still very early in their process, but I think this does signal a bit of a change of direction, and a good one. I hope to hear more. Steven Verjans, Stievie's adventures in e-Learning November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

A Horrible Week On PacRimX
Second Life has always tried to balance popularity and stability. Now with islands simply disappearing, things are looking very unstable. Stan Trevena, Pacific Rim Exchange November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Abandoning Plaxo
"I'm abandoning Plaxo, have canceled my Premium trial subscription, and am not interested in trying your service again." Well that's pretty final. I never trusted Plaxo in the first place - a certain amount of spam will do that - but it would have still been nice if it had worked. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

OER Introduction Booklet and Free Webinars
Links to a useful PDF booklet describing 'Open Educational Resources'. There's an accompanying course, but you don't have to take it. The booklet notes, "A resource accessible for free over the Internet does not always signify that it is not protected by a copyright nor forbidden for reuse and reproduction. In fact, most of the time, the content is protected by copyrights not allowing reproduction. Where else an OER is distributed, licensed and shared with the background willingness to enable the user to adapt and use the content freely. There fore, the model of distribution and the license is always clearly mentioned." Joseph Hart, EduResources Weblog November 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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