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by Stephen Downes
January 23, 2008

eLearning Magazine 2008 Predications Are Out!
Karl Kapp lauds the release of this year's predictions, an annual staple from eLearning Magazine. As Kapp notes, there was a bit more pressure this year - if it's any consolation, I felt the pressure too! Kark Kapp, Kapp Notes January 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Snowflake Effect for Learning
Commentary on the 'snowflake effect' - "In the same way that all snowflakes in a snowstorm are unique, each user has her specific characteristics, restrictions and interests." I wouldn't call it an 'effect' so much as a 'property'. But I recognize the principle. Erik Duval, Weblog January 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Open Education Revolution Picks Up Steam
More discussion on the launch of the Cape Town Declaration. Here, Mark Surman tries pitching the story to a Sashdot audience. Dave Warlick links. Doug Holton also links, and points to the similar Santiago Declaration from last March. David Wiley covers (Day 1, Day 2) the release, observing that people have not taken up the call to create their own declarations. As I observed last fall, my own declaration has graced the front page of this my website for many years now (not that the Cape Town people thought that was relevant).

Surman also comments on the Swansea Declaration: "A coalition of edutainers, foundations, free-market capitalists, adult-entertainment providers, corporates and internet "pioneers" today urged governments and publishers to make publicly-funded educational materials available freely over the internet so that it could be sucked up into huge corporate-funded databases." Brian Lamb links to the spoof and also to Wiley's sharp criticism.

I will respond to Wiley's comments later, but I want to observe now, that the Declaration has sharply divided a community that was once united. David Wiley writes, "What I'm not a fan of is the religious zeal (which comes nigh unto jihad) against all those who will not accept the purity of the 'one true model' of learners-only, PLE-based, teachers-be-damned, peer-to-peer, NC-clause laden, what degree? learning." Well, I honestly wonder, is that sort of language helping?

Oh, and for the record, I had nothing to do with the Swansea Declaration. In case you were wondering. Mark Surman, commonspace January 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

WG Review: vCard and vCardDAV
A new Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) work group has been proposed to review the vCard standard. This is a project that is long overdue; minimally, it would be nice to see an XML version of vCard. It would be interesting to see what relation this work has to current OpenID and related initiatives. IESG Secretary, IETF January 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Employers Want New Way to Judge Graduates Beyond Tests, Grades
Interesting. It turns out test results aren't very useful to employers. Big surprise. "Forget transcripts, multiple-choice tests or institutional scores. The surveyed business leaders want faculty assessment of internships, senior projects or community-based work." Via EdNews. Mary Beth Marklein, USA Today January 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Rethinking Accountability: Response to The ePortfolio Hijacked
Response to a recent article decrying the 'hiacking' of the digital portfolio. The author, Joe Shedd, agrees "the values of student creativity, self-expression, and personal ownership that have traditionally been identified with student portfolios have been compromised by many colleges' efforts to use electronic portfolios to document the performance of their students and programs for accreditation purposes." Still, he argues, he "take(s) issue with his implication that ePortfolios and comprehensive assessment systems should have nothing to do with one another." The protfolios, he argues, allow students what might be called 'freedom within a framework' - "within that basic framework, we respect our students' right to articulate theories, values, and themes, select and organize evidence, and provide and structure reflections as they see fit." That to me sounds more like an essay assignment, and not very much like a portfolio. Joe Shedd, Campus Tehcnology January 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Digitization and DRM at Ball State
To me this article describes the wrong way to go about it. Why would you need a complex DRM system to make video available? That said, readers will want to follow work such as this project at Ball State. More and more frequently, real-time digitization of learning materials will become a staple of institutional practice, as will on-demand access. Speed and flexibility will be key to making such systems work - which is why suspect that heavy DRM will not be the way to go. Linda L Briggs, Campus Technology January 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Intranet 2.0 - Integrating Enterprise 2.0 Into Your Corporate Intranet
This slide show is worth a look, if only for the business imagery in combination with Web 2.0 concepts. Oh those smiling faces! Is there nothing that makes them happier than achieving business objectives? James Dellow, Slideshare January 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Wikipedia To Get Its Video On
I've been following recent discussion on WikiEducator about collaborative video editing. The service has been made available using technology from a company called Kaltura. I haven't actually played with the software - I just haven't had the badwidth while on the road. But it seems to be a positive development and appears to have been very enthusiastically received by WikiEducator members. More from Webb Alert. If you want to learn more about WikiEducator, you can attend an online workshop January 28 - February 8. Craig Rubens, NewTeeVee January 23, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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