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by Stephen Downes
June 10, 2010

Correction - I made a mistake in yesterday's OLDaily. I said Kevin Carey's blog is called Marginal Revolution. It is not. Marginal Revolution is written by Tyler Cowan. Kevin Carey's blog is called The Quick and the Ed. I have corrected the original post. Sorry for the confusion.

What is HTML5 and how will it effect online learning? The iPad is really pushing it, though it's been in the pipeline for quite a while. YouTube already supports it (you can try their HTML5 player in your browser).

But what is it? It's a specification that adds new functionality, interaction, and multimedia to web pages. Here's a video overview. This info-graphic might give you a good overview. Another site defines various HTML5 flavours. Here's a list of the new HTML5 tags (and a more detailed reference). For the geeky, Mark Pilgrim has an HTML5 content detector, which he explains will help developers tell which HTML5 features the user's browser supports. There's also an all-in-one library that will do this. What can I use is a site giving detailed listings of which features work in which browsers.

If you want to try HTML5 for yourself there are various demos and showcases, but choose carefully. As Webmonkey notes, Apple's version of an HTML5 showcase detects any browser that isn't Safari and simply says it doesn't work. The other browsers will support the features just fine; Apple just fakes it to make it look like they don't. There's a Mocrosoft demo HTML5 suite which is very good and will allow you to (accurately) test any browser, though some of the examples are tweaked a bit for Internet Explorer. There's also a Mozilla (Firefox) demo area, but this works mostly with experimental versions of the browser (there are some nice videos, though).

There's a whole separate discussion taking place around video in HTML5. The W3C hasn't recommended a stanmdard because it wants a patent-free and royalty-free video standard. Companies couldn't agree. Some developers home that VP8 could be that standard. Google acquired a video company, On2, and Mozilla and Google are backing the WebM project to back VP8. I've been following Tim Bray's experiments with HTML5 video (and here's his HTML5 intro), which has a lot of code and valuable tips.

Electric Chalk looks at the impact of HTML5 on education. If you want to integrate HTML5 but don't want to spend the summer studying specifications, here are five tools to help you do this. Anyhow, all this is what I've collected on HTML5 recently; there's a lot more, but this should give you the flavour. Various Authors,, June 10, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

I'm buying this for research...
I couldn't stop reading this blog from an 18-year old student 'living the life' of Seventeen magazine. This astute and self-aware writer promised to try every fashion, do every activity and follow every tip from the magazine for a month. Metafilter comments and links (do follow the links): "The Seventeen Magazine Project. Jamie Keiles, an 18-year-old high school senior, will live her life according to the dictates of Seventeen Magazine for a month and blog about whether or not it makes her cuter/hotter/thinner/fitter/healthier/more popular/etc." Now I have to rush to the office; I've made myself quite late reading this. Jamie Keiles, The Seventeen Magazine Project, June 10, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

CRIS2010 Aalborg: a brief report
Great overview of Current Research Information Systems (CRIS2010) with numerous links to repository solutions and standards. Held last week in Denmark, the conference "aimed to give insight into the role of CRIS in terms of shaping the research agenda and transferring research outcomes from the laboratory to areas of usage and application". The presentations are expected shortly on the confrence website. Pablo de Castro, JISC Sonex, June 10, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Sculptris is insanely cool, free 3D modeling software
Great introduction and video describing a fantastic modelling tool. Sculptris allows you to create your own 3D model faces, as though you were sculpting them from limps of clay. Very smart clay - "Every operation that you perform on one half of the sphere is exactly mirrored on the other half." The range and variety of tools now available to people who want to create is truly impressive. Erez Zukerman, Download Squad, June 10, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Method and System for Automated Collection of Evidence of Skills and Knowledg
From the absurd patent department, "Method and System for Automated Collection of Evidence of Skills and Knowledge." It's a patent pending from an Australian company assigned to a Mr. Smith (seriously) that basically gives them control over online recognition of prior learning (RPL, aka prior learning recognition, PLR or PLAR). According to the company, "Any company that provides a customer with an upload facility requesting information pertaining to a Nationally Accredited Unit of Competency or training programme needs to purchase a license from RPL Central, and use the RPL Wizard." This of course is ridiculous, and the patent should be challenged. There has been a flurry in Australia's online learning sector, including one email stating "If it is contested, then Mr Smith has to prove that the VET sector has NOT been doing this sort of thing for the last ten years, therefore the sector has ‘prior art' and this nonsense should be stopped." Simon Smith, PatentLens, June 10, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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