Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ A New Look for Stephen's Web

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Apr 26, 2002

This website is intended to represent the next generation of learning, a generation in which we move beyond the idea of "taking classes" or "enrolling in courses" and make the transition in to what might be called, in the full meaning of the term, "continuous professional development."

For almost a year now I have been providing daily email newsletters containing news, information and resources from the field of online learning. The materials are have been carefully selected to represent the range of what should be considered learning resources in this field. Today's improvements represent the next step toward creating a learning community.

Education - it has been noted in numerous sources - to be effective, must be interactive. But interaction is about much more than merely slapping a discussion board onto a site. The previous versions of this site have been the proof of that: what little interaction occured was in the form of notes left for me in the chat room; the discussion board lay mostly unused.

What I have attempted to do with this new version is two-fold. First, I have - in the best Google tradition, tried to simplify the interface. Gone are the buttons and the heavy graphics, gone is the byzantine navigation. Though I have tried to maintain a stunning visual image (hence the maple brown background) I have sought simplicity everywhere else.

And second, I have tried to place the navigation into the content of the site. The links listed in the daily and weekly newsletter are supplemented with direct feeds to an email referral service and the discussion board. The articles you read on the site contain a form to submit comments and contain the complete texts of previous comments. Every page provides you with login and logout options, but for the most part you won't need them: as much as possible, the website recognizes who you are and works according to your preferences.

There is more, much more, in the works: but more on that as I roll it out. For now, I hope you enjoy the new web design and hope you'll take the few seconds it takes to add your comments and contributions.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 19, 2024 5:57 p.m.

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