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by Stephen Downes
February 1, 2008

What You Know, and How It's Different From What You Remember
I have said before that what you know is distinct from what you remember (and therefore that 'learning' is not the same as 'remembering'). "The researchers argue that these experiments show that the know/remember distinction isn't simply a part of a continuum. This work, they say, suggests that knowing and remembering are qualitatively different phenomena." Dave Munger, Cognitive Daily February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Tool Use Is Just a Trick of the Mind
McLuhan talked about this. The findings "fairly clearly show that monkey tool use involves the incorporation of tools into the body schema, literally as extensions of the body." The same, I believe, is true of our language and our logic. Related: choosing the right tool for the task. Michael Balter, ScienceNow February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Free Physics Textbook: Motion Mountain
One of the nice things about open access textbooks is that textbook authors will no longer have to cater to the expectations of textbook publishers (which inevitably draws them to the mediocre middle). Hence we get gems such as this. Jim McGee comments, "Unlike standard texts, it is an enthusiastically personal masterpiece, yet still has exercise problems for students to practice. It sprawls across topics you won't find in any other physics textbook: semantics, lying, color theory, the physics of pleasure. In many ways it reminds me of Godel, Escher, Bach in its witty brilliance, stupendous range, and self-designed idiosyncrasies." Jim McGee, McGee's Musings February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

New IMS LD Editor
Ineresting. "ReCourse is based on the well-known Reload editor, which was (and still is) the reference implementation for IMS LD. One obstacle to wider uptake of Reload was that it's difficult to use - too difficult for the average educator with low-level technical skills. ReCourse aims to resolve this." Wolfgang Greller, Wolfie's e-Blog February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Thinking About Tomorrow
The Wall Street Journal looks at the future and gets some of it - in my view - just wrong. This, for example: "The clerk may have access to your online profile and shopping history. So, he might mention that the store is having a special on a camera you looked at on a retail site. What's more, he'll mention that your friend Jerry bought it and recommends it." How long do you think we'll put up with that? The author also keeps coming back to 3D holograms - but these will be pale reflections of the cracking-sharp large screens that I think we will come to prefer. The article also predicts, "As GPS hardware becomes more widespread, that information will follow wherever you go." I don't see why information needs a GPS to find you; simply connect to the nearest access point (which will be ubiquitous) and self-identify. Much less big-brotherish. Same with search: there will be no need for GPS to assist search; the access point tells us everything we need. The WSJ also predicts the use of a device like the Kindle to deliver the news (which will not be free); I predict the failure of the company that tries that. Related: Susan Smith Nash, IBM Predictions for the Future Spell Web 2.0 Business Opportunities Now. Jessica E. Vascellaro, Wall Street Journal February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

ELI Podcast: Connectivism
I listened to George Siemens's ELI talk today (the video is also available, but in a format unfriendly to my MacBook). Siemens begins with a good starting point, exploring the complexity of today's world and explaining why it demands the adaptive sort of learning networking learning supports. There's also a nice discussion of who is an expert. Related: Michael Wesch and George Siemens. Related (somehow): Barbara Ganley contributed to the ELI Fear 2.0 digidrama. George Siemens, EDUCAUSE Connect February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

URLs Are People, Too
So he's how social network portability (take one) works: "we crawl the Web to find publicly declared relationships between people's accounts, just like Google crawls the Web for links between pages. But instead of returning links to HTML documents, the API returns JSON data structures representing the social relationships we discovered from all the XFN and FOAF. When a user signs up for your app, you can use the API to remind them who they've said they're friends with on other sites and ask them if they want to be friends on your new site." It depends on sites publishing FOAF or XFN. Oops, they're not doing that. But (maybe) they will. Here's the docs and here's the code. Related: OpenID2 becomes even more important, from Marc Canter. And Andy Powell on XRI and OpenID (which I don't really support). And Ross Dawson says data portability will vastly increase the value of the net to users. Finally, Brian Kelly on standards for data portability. Brad Fitzpatrick, Google Code Blog February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Advertising or Education? Sometimes It's Hard To Tell
Lisa Neal wrote a blog post and asked me to comment. I commented, she said "show me", I did, and then with a little writing back and forth, this article in eLearn Magazine was born. Enjoy. Stephen Downes and Lisa Neal, eLearn Magazine February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Making Money with Adsense - Without Annoying Your Users: Wordpress.Com
One of the outcomes of the recent debate about The Edublogs Magazine was a link to this article on how advertisements are served by - and more interestingly, how they are not served to regular readers, people who link into the site, or who use Firefox. "Exploit the masses, spare the geeks." Pascal vanHecke, Notes, links and conversation February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Microsoft Bids $45 Billion for Yahoo
You've seen this everywhere by the time you've seen this. My only comment is that I hope such a bid fails, for both Yahoo! and Microsoft are too large as it is. In the meantime, better back up your Flickr posts (Monkey Bites explains how). Chris Isidore, CNN February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Can OER Really Impact Higher Education and Human Development?
This article basically equates 'getting an education' with 'getting a degree' and then argues, based on the failure of past forms of online learning to improve degree production, that "unless a new solution to the world's higher education gap is created out of the strengths of OER, and online learning, these promising innovations will have limited impact in terms of increasing access." This is probably true - but one suspects that it is formal education that will need (this time) to adapt to online learning resources, rather than the other way around. christine geith, Terra Incognita February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Natural Global Collaboration: Schwister and Helfant Visit Networked Learning Class
Natural Collaboration: "To underline how radically different this 'Quick-in, Quick-Out' global collaboration model is from most of what I've seen: it's not scripted. It's not teacher-directed. It's what, thanks to a Skype call with Dean Shareski a couple days ago (podcast almost edited), I've decided to label: Natural Global Collaboration. And it requires only a few minutes from one cool person out there who finds helping people (notice I didn't say 'kids' or even 'students') simply an enjoyable activity." Clay Burell, Beyond School February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

That's My Mouse
We will be seeing a lot more of this sort of thing in the future as people try to create the feel of Second Life on existing web pages. That's My Mouse creates a little avatar for each person on the page and allows them to interact. It's enabled using a Javascript on the page. It's pretty distracting and slower and more cumbersome than I would like. But it works. More from Mashable. Alec Couros, Couros Blog February 1, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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