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by Stephen Downes
January 10, 2008

Lego Educational Search Engine
I'm in Toronto on my way to Malaysia. This item might make my workshop: the author describes a service by Google allowing people to create 'community searches'. Similarly inspired, I have gone ahead and created an edublogs Custom Search. I've seeded it with the list of sites that I use for Edu_RSS, so it's comprehensive without including trivial or off-topic results. And I've opened it up so that other people can 'volunteer' to help manage this search community. What that amounts to, I'm not sure - but if you volunteer I'll add you to the list and we can create the custom search community together, as a community. Oh, and the Lego educational search community looks like a good bet too! Rich Hoeg, eContent January 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Sharing Scholarly Research Materials with Zotero
I've seen a few mentions of Zotero in the last few days. I haven't tried it myself - I have my own system - but it looks pretty useful. Here's Soul Soup on Zotero. But Jason Griffey I really hate Zotero (because) "I no longer have any patience with applications that are local." Finally, Web Worker Daily has nice coverage. cel4145, KairosNews January 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Microsoft Vista and Office 2007: Becta Says Review the Findings of the Report Before Considering Any Large-Scale Investment or Deployment
The findings referenced in this paragraph of a title are sobering: "Upgrading existing ICT systems to Microsoft Vista or Office 2007 is not recommended," for example, and "Pupils, teachers and parents should also be made aware of the wide range of free-to-use products currently available and on how to use and access them." Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing January 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Youtube Playlists and Related Videos, (and Neulio) All Mixed Up With Yahoo Pipes and Grazr Goodness
Don't know what it is with the superlong headlines from Britain today. But the content of this post is pretty much summed up in the title. But it's work taking a peek at the site to see the examples. This (or something like this) is the future of online learning. Tony Hirst, OUseful Info January 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

How to Make a Slidecast
The way I make a Slidecast is to fire up Camtasia and then go through my slides, narating as I present them. I'll do a screencast on that soon. Graham Attwell, meanwhile, offers his alternative: Slidecast. Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu January 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

The Logic of Networking
Peter Isackson responds at length to my recent post on networking. I think to a certain degree he makes the common error of describing my own perspective as an 'individualist' or 'atomist' perspective. This it is not - autonomy does not imply individualism, no more than cooperation implies communism. That said, he is right to look at the Indian and Chinese approach to relationships (Chinese thinking in particular has informed my own perspective). And I agree that there is more to networking than love or money - but I'm not happy with networks we would call 'nepotism' or 'cronyism'. There's a lot more to think about here, and I certainly welcome these useful insights.

Related: Facebooks Causes - money without love? Also related: Dave Cormier on community networking. Peter Isackson, Intercultural Musings January 10, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

NRC Moncton

This is the building where I work in Moncton. Just thought you might want to see it Stephen Downes, Flickr January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

E-Learning in Malaysia
This new blog launches at a very good time: tomorrow morning, very early in the morning, I will be flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to give a Web 2.0 seminar (I arrive on Saturday with a stopover in Japan). You can see some information on it here. So Zaid Ali Alsagoff's new e-Learning in Malaysia blog is perfectly timed. Zaid Ali Alsagoff, E-learning in Malaysia January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Immersive Virtual Telepresence - Size Matters
Whn Rod said the Ottawa people wanted to build an Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE room) here in Moncton, I was sceptical and noncommittal. Videoconfrencing had been done, it had certain capacities, and that was that. The ACE room we set up, though, confirmed for me the proposition in this post: size makes a huge difference in videoconferencing. When you're talking to a 1x1 square, that's one thing. But when the person in the video across the desk is life-sized, that's very different. There's real presence there. Add high-quality sound and multiple points of access and you have something worth exploring. It's still pretty expensive, though, and I won't get into how long it has taken for us to rebuild our ACE room after the move last year. But it makes me thing: I will bet dollars to doughnuts that size makes a big difference for virtual worlds as well. Stan Trevena / Quidit Oflynn, Second Life and Education January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Graphs, Networks, Terminology, Etc (or, Hey, Hey, I'm a Monkey)
Nice discussion of the 'graphs' versus 'networks' jargon war taking place right now. Pete Johnston, with some judicious linking (really nice job there, good work), puts it into perspective. Which allows me to summarize it all in a pithy one sentence nutshell: a graph is a mathematical representation of a network. Pete Johnston, eFoundations January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

One Step Closer to Open Social Networks?: Google and Facebook Join the DataPortability Workgroup
More on the rapidly growing snowball that is open social networks. OpenID is one part of this. Data Portability is another. "The optimistic vision for open social networks, where users will be able to share content freely across social networking sites, seems to be getting closer. Google and Facebook are, obviously, two of the biggest holders of social and personal information on the internet - on the one hand, they have enormous user populations clamouring for this facility." Catherine Howell, EDUCAUSE Connect January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Interactive Information Design
Like Clark Quinn, I spent too much time reading this item today as well (it helped that my website was down all afternoon, a firewall glitch). I don't agree with the depictions in the little pictures (where people communicate using shared models) but a lot of the discussion makes a lot of sense. I especially like the use of lines to represent time and distance traveled. Quinn summarizes, accurately, "He makes a reasonably plausible distinction between manipulation software, communication software, and information software (including learning), and focuses on the latter. The article then goes on to say that navigation to find what you want is the key, and minimizing it is critical ("interactivity is harmful"). He argues that the interaction design field has erred too much on interaction, not on meeting needs (though I'd argue that's implementation, not the theory)." Good stuff. Clark Quinn, Learnlets January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Four Dumb Things I Do Out of Habit (But Plan to Stop)
One of the four things is 'typing'. I still type, because my experiments with voice recognition have been failures thus far. Another is 'lugging around a laptop'. I still lug around a laptop, but only when I travel. Another is 'emailing documents'. I do that once in a while, but I use my website (never leave home without it) for that a lot. I can't believe more people don't use FTP (or have their own private web spaces). And as for the fourth thing, well, I'll simply refer you to this website. Richard Nantel, Brandon Hall Research January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

8th Annual Blackboard Durham Users Conference
Coverage of the Blackboard Durham users' conference. Nothing unusual in that, but the theme of this conference was (wait for it) 'connectivism'. "A core element of Connectivism is the use of a network, its nodes and connections as a metaphor for learning. Additional principles include that nurturing and maintaining connections across the network is crucial to facilitate continual learning." Jan Day, Blackboard January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

NewsGator RSS Readers Now Free
The desktop RSS readers, suffering from competition from Google Reader and Bloglines, is now free. "All of its client RSS reader products are now available free of charge and include free synchronization along with other services." Via Daring Fireball. Press Release, NewsGator January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Video 4 - Jing and Flickr
Short little video describing how to upload your (image) captures in Jing to your Flickr account. It works exactly the same as the Flickr Uploader. Betsy Weber, The Visual Lounge January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Cross-Site XMLHttpRequest
One of the major limitations of web browsers has always been cross-site scripting: that is, using Javascript from one site to manipulate and display data from another site. This was because allowing cross-site scripting would create a big security hole (for example, one site might read another's cookies). But Firefox 3, which is in development, will implement the W3C's Cross-Site HTTP Request protocol, which will make (secure) cross-site scripting possible. Via Simon Willison, and more here. Various Authors, W3C January 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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