You look at charts like these and you begin to think that if it weren't for the internet, people wouldn't read at all. That's maybe an exaggeration (though Harry Potter notwithstanding, one wonders how much of one). But it's certainly fair to say that, in the US at least, people would not be reading any news offline. The unfortunate part is that the number of people who actually read news is in a distinct minority, which means at that at the very least their news is punctuated with misleading political advertisements, and more probably, is itself a political advertisement.
Rob Reynolds writes, "I think George Siemens is correct when he says that "The cohesion or sociality that hold an online group together are far less explicit than I recall even a decade ago (Yahoo groups, or prior to that, online bulletin boards, the Well (I never joined)). The enabling structure of engagement is no longer the group or network. Instead, it's a tweet, or a single picture." It is precisely these social forces or influencers that have led to the stagnation or decline of many RSS reader services. Rather than sort through the news on their own, most are relying on tips from others via Twitter or Facebook." Of course, you know where these influencers are getting their tips, right? That's it - RSS readers.
Survey of practitioners, mostly librarians, who used e-book readers, mostly Kindle, Sony Reader, or Stanza for iPhone, who viewed one of three ebooks, and reported on navigation, formatting, errors, search, note-taking, and other questions. The purpose was to compare scanned eBooks, XML versions, and those obtained from vendors. "Titles formatted for existing handheld devices," report the authors, "are not yet adequate for scholarly use in terms of replicating either the benefits of online collections-cross-searchability, archiving, multifarious interactive components-nor certain aspects of print editions that users reported missing, such as being able to mark up and rapidly skim text." I wish they'd compare these things with reading on browsers, the way I read this paper. Browsers work just fine, have none of the limitations of eBook readers, and are free. Via Tony Bates.
I'm sure there's a lesson about forging your own path or following leaders like ants in there somewhere. At the very least it's yet another example of what amazing things you can learn from the internet. It's "a circular mill, first described in army ants by Schneirla (1944). A circle of army ants, each one following the ant in front, becomes locked into a circular mill. They will continue to circle each other until they all die."
I spend more time on RSS each day than probably any other tool, except maybe email (sorry Luis). And RSS is at the core of things like the PLENK2010 course. So no, I don't think that RSS is going away, and that's why I appreciate this defense of it. "RSS feed readers will come and go," writes Luis Suarez, "just like with any other Internet (social) tool available out there... However, that's not where our focus should be. Our focus should be on the behaviours; on the task at hand; on building the good habit of ensuring people understand and comprehend fully, so they can adopt it successfully, key concepts like aggregation of relevant content or subscribing to the content that matters to them."
I am not sure I would recommend actually using this as e-learning, but if you want to create some SCORM content this tool may be for you. This marketing from a Microsoft blog: "Have you heard of the free Microsoft Learning Content Development System? We've just updated it to version 2.5, which now supports more complex content, and is Firefox and Silverlight 4 compatible. It is a free tool that lets you create high-quality, interactive, online courses, and publish them in SCORM 1.2 packages (exactly what your Learning Platforms like to consume!)."
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