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by Stephen Downes
November 30, 2007

10 Semantic Apps to Watch
What gets me about these is not how neat and forward-thinking they are but rather how ordinary they are. That's not to say they are ordinary (I know, I know, bear with me...). What I mean is, all this semantic goodness is now so common-place, it's impossible to see any distinguishing features. Freebase, for example, wants to "open up the silos of data and the connections between them." Well who doesn't? I can name a dozen applications off the top of my head trying the same thing. Adaptive Blue "allows web site publishers to add semantically charged links to their site... 'in-page overlays'... popups." Well - so? We've got alt search engines, the ubiquitous travel planning app, and... and... None of it really speaks to me.

There's a big empty here somewhere. Something's missing.

Richard MacManus, Read/Write Web November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Embed Flickr Notes In Other Web Pages!
Some people - like Alan Levine - love Flickr notes. "In Flickr, we can add notes on a photo to explan details of it. This scriptlet can display not only your flickr photo in your web pages or blog articles, but also the notes you made on it. In other words, you can embed a flickr photo with its notes in your own website." me, I'm less enamoured - I find the note popups to be clumsy and inelegant, and they needlessly cover the very thing I want to be looking at. Still, the idea of embedding content within content is inherently cool. See a good demo of Flickr notes on the CogDogBlog web page. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Irreconcilable Differences Over the Definition of Open
Hoffman writes, "People working from the first principles of the free software movement or the definition of open source software, like me, will never accept non-commercial licensing as 'free' or 'open,' because it limits the use and redistribution of the work." No it doesn't. They can use and redistribute the work all they want. The one thing they cannot do is block access to it by charging for it. That said - yes, this may be a schism, because the commercial lobby is powerful and pervasive and wants desperately to monetize that which it does not own. Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Stephen Downes's Shared Items
Tom Hoffman cited his shared items in a post recently; I may do more of this in the future. It's a way for me to compile a record of readings which seem relevant to me (fair warning - many of my readings venture well beyond the domain of educational technology) which I can just pass on without comment. Stephen Downes, Google Reader November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

"Now you have the opportunity to share your special skill or knowledge with the world," write the creators of myIcourse. "People are creating their own public and private MyiCourse universities to benefit their business, ministry, product or people through online education and effective coursework." The site and software are made available free to people who want to create their courses; there is a charge applied to people who want to advertise their courses. Interesting business model drawn (according to their 'about' page) from Craigslist. Various Authors, Website November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Social Networking, the Third Place, and the Evolution of Communication
This document from the New Media Consortium is an interesting way to present online reading material - but I find that way too much space is used supporting the comments, resulting in a lot of wasted space on the page (it doesn't help that the width is static, and roughly half the width of my browser window to begin with). The document's premises - that changes in technology are changing the way communicate - seems sensible enough, but whether the explanation of that change lies in a description of the locus of communication is perhaps less convincing. Here's the PDF version of the paper if you find the web version too distracting. Unattributed, New media Consortium November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

SWORD Implementations
SWORD has released its main technical outputs: "a profile of APP (Atom Publishing Protocol) which implementers can use to create SWORD deposit clients or SWORD interfaces into repositories; and test implementations of the SWORD interface in DSpace, EPrints, IntraLibrary and Fedora; two demonstration clients which can be used to deposit into the implementations; and code for use with DSpace, Fedora, EPrints and the demonstration client." Cool. Julie Allinson, UKOLN November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Xerceo Prescribe Video Demonstration
I like this. Xerceo Prescribe is a SCORM based and LMS compliant Wiki. As the video demonstrates, creating course content is as easy as authoring a wiki page (a bit easier, actually). It allows for tagging and packaging, so you can export SCORM-compliant content. It also supports tracking and reporting and user competencies. Here's the user guide and the main page (p.s. this is a textbook example of how to use video to demonstrate a product - no loud shouting or hype - just run it through its paces and let the application do the talking). Tim Seager, Xerceo November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

High-Tech Schools Pilot Program Puts Kids in Charge
To be frank, it's putting kids in charge in a very minor way, but nonetheless, you can see the beginnings of the benefits. "Students begin to bring more to the classes." Via GLEF. Schools need Web 2.0 from the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Carrie Melago, New York Daily News November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Virtual Training, Real Teaching: The Promise of Distance Learning for Educators-to-Be
This has come up numerous times on discussion lists and elsewhere, but it still bears repeating: "By immersing themselves as learners in online courses, teachers can gain comfort and familiarity with tools they might someday use in their own classrooms." Just as a reality check: the tools they will use in later life will have completely changed. What they are getting comfortable with is the idea of using technology, adapting to new environments, and a learn-by-trying approach. At least, one hopes that's what they're learning. Grace Rubenstein, Edutopia November 30, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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