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by Stephen Downes
December 18, 2007

An Excerpt of Radio Lab's Morality Episode
Dave Pollard links to WNYC (I haven't listened to it yet) and enthuses, "Listen to Season One's program on Emergence -- about how self-managed groups do very, very well without leaders. Instead, they self-adopt models, consensually. Order materializing out of disorder, chaos. This is our job: To allow to emerge collective models of better ways to live and make a living, working collaboratively with those we love in conversation and community, and then allow them to be adopted." In a complex society it may be more important to learn how to work collaboratively with those we are indifferent to, but the overall point is correct: collaboration isn't about leading, it's about modeling. Various Authors, WNYC December 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Cool URIs for the Semantic Web
Some of this W3C doment discussion seems to be echoing some of the discussion about open social networks. It's nigh well time. "RDF allows the users to describe Web documents and resources from the real world-people, organisations, things-in a computer-processable way. Publishing such descriptions on the Web creates the Semantic Web. URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) are very important, forming the link between RDF and the Web." Leo Sauermann and Richard Cyganiak, eds., W3C December 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Next in the Economist Debate Series
The Economist's educational debate series is such a crock. Here is the second topic: "Governments and universities everywhere should compete to attract qualified students, regardless of nationality or residence." This is not about debating this issue, this is totally about framing the discussion of education in terms of markets and competition. And, of course, by carefully selecting the participants, the magazine will ensure that the discussion never goes of-message. Oh, and don't you love the image of strong male hands in a power suit counting out the points? Honestly, it's like they thing we are neophytes in the propaganda game. Eric Hoefler, Sicheii Yazhi December 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

On Trust and How Communities Are Organised
Graham Attwell puts it mildly: "The debate over the closure of eduspaces continues apace... there is growing disquiet over the way on which the closure has been handled." And I think this is reflective of the tension that always existen in Elgg. Curverider - the company that makes Elgg - always had the attitude that they were giving free stuff to the community. The community, in turn, always felt that the free stuff was a community accomplishment. The closure sends an unambiguous message: that this was Curverider's, to give or to take away, all along. That is not the picture most people have of open source communities. I have always thought that for Curverider to be successful it needed to embrace its community. Related: Dude, where's my data? Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu December 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Wrapping the Intro to Open Ed Class
David Wiley's Intro to Open Education course is wrapping up; in this post he links to a closing slide show (using Google Docs) created by a group of his Italian students. The course demonstrates best a dictum I'm sure Wiley knows well, that the greatest influence in a society is through education. For myself, I was interested to watch as he tried to find a balance between his paying students and his non-paying students. To me, the scalability (and hence, the affordability) issue is the greatest difficulty facing instructor-led education. David Wiley, iterating toward openness December 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The ME-Learning Manifesto
Stephen Lahanas used to frequent the E-learning Leaders Yahoo! group and was one of the first people in my field of vision to begin seriously questioning the role of the learning management system (LMS); here I am responding to some of his concerns in 2003. Then I sort of lost track of him, but it's really good to see his name surface in this paper (even it it has 'Proprietary Material ' stamped all through it). The 'M' in E-Learning described in this paper is intended to pick up where traditional e-learning falls short. The themes will be familiar to readers: mobile learning, modular learning, multi-dimensional learning, mission-specific (or contextual) learning, meaningful learning, mutable learning, and me - that is, learner-centric - learning. Via E-Learning technology. Stephen Lahanas, Semantech December 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

PoducateMe Podcasting Guide
I'm not sure what to make of this. The guide looks very comprehensive - and you find as you browse that it's 192 pages. It's also very detailed, perhaps excessively so. But as you read, you find the HTML pagination very annoying. It's hard to read, the way they've laid it out. You click on the PDF version and... aha! They want you to pay them for the PDF version. Via EDUCAUSE Connect. Micah Ovadia, December 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Top 12 Technologies Innovations by 2025
Most of these technologies are reasonable projections - some of them, like carbon management, are absolute necessities. I will say, though, I'm less sanguine about nanotechnology - not because I'm afraid of being infested by billions of tiny robots (that doesn't bother me a bit) but because I think quantuum phenomena may make nanotechnology a bit further out of reach than we think. Susan Smith Nash, E-Learning Queen December 18, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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