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by Stephen Downes
November 3, 2009

Call for Papers
Proposals for a book chapter (ten chapters in total) are invited, covering a variety of fields related to PLEs and PLNs, including (adult) education studies, technology, sociology, media studies and philosophy.

The deadline for receipt of a proposal is November 15th. For details, please see

Capitalism Isn't A Love Story: Noreena Hertz & The New World Order
If you want to understand Edupunk, this article from fashion site Jezebel (which I read religiously) will give you an idea: "Noreena looks at economics from the other side. From the people it suppresses. This is what punk is all about." And, as to the economy: "Even if we can overcome the immediate crises we face, we will still be left with fundamental questions about the effectiveness of capitalism in tackling such unresolved problems as persistent poverty, lack of access to health care and education, and epidemic diseases... The present theory of capitalism holds that the marketplace is uniquely for those who are interested in profit only. This interpretation treats people as one-dimensional beings; but people are multi-dimensional." Finally: "What we are currently practicing isn't capitalism. It's a perversion of the original system, designed within a rigged system, set to benefit a few." And the preacher says, "Amen!" Latoya Peterson, Jezebel, November 3, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Now Anyone Can Host Their Own (Experimental) Google Wave Server
Well, the next show in the ongoing Google Wave saga is dropping, as people can now host their own Google Wave server. Now what that means isn't exactly clear. "This is a very early stage test of federating the Google Wave code onto non-Google servers. It only affects the developer sandbox, meaning that the preview version of Wave that most people are using is not a part of this test." Being a part of a federation isn't exactly the same as being a stand-alone service. Ben Parr, Mashable, November 3, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Province to teach money skills in schools
I will defer for now the question of whether 'financial literacy' is a new type of critical thinking or a 21st century skill. "The whole issue of how to manage money and risk is a really important concept – money and debt can become difficult issues in later life – but we can't assume families will discuss these things at home." Louise Brown, Toronto Star, November 3, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Identité numérique

Though this paper is in French (nor a problem if you read French, or can handle the translated version) the opening image - in English - is a striking representation of the idea of the way information about personal identity is distributed across a large number of services. This is not new to the web - we have always kept information about people in various places - but is much more ubiquitous, and much more accessible, on the web. Via Dave Cormier. Gilles Meiers, Website, November 3, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Outline of a Microlearning Agenda
Microlearning "reflects the emerging reality of the ever-increasing fragmentation of both information sources and information units used for learning," and as depicted here, represents not just a pedagogical change but also a political change. In this tightly-written article, the authors first describe microlearning and offer a taxonomy of sorts, identifying associated models (micro-component model, aggregation model, emergence model, for example), and the examine how microlearning "can be said to have brought with it a kind of political awareness and partly a politics which is nowhere easier to trace than in architectures proposed for its technologies and applications." Via Bořivoj Brdička, by email. Theo Hug and Norm Friesen, elearningpapers, November 3, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

The MPEG Open Access Application Format
According to the editor's introduction, "The lack of a unified format for digital-content metadata and associated license information is impeding the open access to and dissemination of digital content. The MPEG Open Access Application Format is a new standard from MPEG that standardizes the packaging of digital content and associated rights information into an application format to facilitate open access and interoperable exchange." Renato Ianella writes, in an email, "the full article [1] does not mention any of the patent issues around MPEG-21." Also, it's not clear to me that such a complex infrastructure should be required for the distribution of open contents. This is a proposal from a world where the default is 'closed' and you must go to extraordinary (and expensive) lengths to make something open. John R. Smith, ed., Computing Now, November 3, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Data Audit Framework (DAF)
This is a detailed description providing a step-by-step framework for evaluating digital asset storage. See the full framework in the diagram on page 12 of the document. "The Data Audit Framework (DAF) provides organisations with the means to identify, locate, describe and assess how they are managing their research data assets. DAF combines a set of methods with an online tool to enable data auditors to gather this information. DAF will help ensure that research data produced in UK Higher Education Institutions is preserved and remains accessible in the long term.
Background." S. Jones, S. Ross and R. Ruusalepp, Digital Curation Centre (DCC), November 3, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Find more to say in a virtual world
I've read this before, about other technologies. "Perhaps one of the most unexpected advantages of the virtual world is its anonymity – you can be whoever you want to be.... Languagelab's Kaskel calls this "character driven learning". The environment of Languagelab is now populated by characters that have developed and developing personalities and interact with learners as these characters." What we need to know is, not how SL compares to real life, but how it compares to other technologies. Mike Solly, The Guardian, November 3, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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