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October 4, 2001

enough folks already think I am totally looney... I have never told you my theory............ which I might call the Subliminal JetStream.... that is... the mental messages of millions are like air breezes, and they all get sucked into the gigantic flow around the globe... Like the Jet Stream... the paths change... but the general idea is that in the spectrum of interpersonal communications or to totalized it "inter-Anima" communications..... there are those who are able to "hear" internally without words.
- Guy Bensusan, September 17, 2001

Another longish newsletter - part of my attempt to catch up - sent to you today from a CyberCafe at the beach in Cronulla, Australia. I hope I never have another newsletter as long as this one - I hope never to experience so much tumult in such a short period of time again.

Will E-books Change the World? A good essay, well documented and well researched. But it seems to simply trail off into a non-conclusion. E-books, the author asserts, are inevitable because of social forces. But those same forces, especially as related to conflicting rights centering around copyright and reproduction, are also hindering the deployment of eBooks. The conclusion? eBooks will come, and they will have social implications. But we need to wait to see what those implications are. I think what the world needs is a good plaper placing eBooks within a context - most authors simply write about them in isolation, without comparing them to alternative distribution strategies. We need the bigger picture here. By Terje Hillesund, First Monday, October 5, 2001.[Refer]

Online Journalism: Modelling the First Generation of News Media on the World Wide Web A systematic analysis of four types of online journalism with a focus on the added value each brings to online news (as always: translate 'journalism' to 'learning' to see the applicability of this article to education). The four types are: mainstream news sites, index and category sites, meta and comment sites, and share and discuss sites. This is a good taxonomy. These four types are then compared with respect to three major features: hypertextuality, interactivity and multimediality. This comparison leads us to look at new strategies for online journalism (and also, online learning): annotative reporting, open source journalism, and hyperadaptive news sites. Great paper. By Mark Deuze , First Monday, October 5, 2001.[Refer]

University of Phoenix Announces Interactive Services Agreement With America Online This press release carried through Distance-Educator.Com is significant: the University of Phoenix has signed a content distribution agreement with AOL. Obviously this works to the advantage of both companies. But it raises questions for other online educators: what will it take to be listed as an educational provider in such places as, say, AOL? You have to figure AOL will be charging money and at some point the doors will be closed. Does this mean only the large players get to play? In various papers I call for an open marketplace, but more and more, I am seeing a closed shop. So much for the free market system, hm? By Press Release, University of Phoenix, October 4, 2001.[Refer]

Expensive Laptops are not the Answer I really hate articles like this but it should be carried in order to provide the complete view. The article, in slogan form, says that "expensive laptops are not the answer" to problems in education. I agree: CHEAP laptops are the answer. By Jennifer Lozano, The Battalion, via Excite, October 2, 2001.[Refer]

Brave New World for Higher Education Good article that nicely frames the disputes between traditional academics and proponents of newer, online, corporate, learner driven modes of education. The context is a review of two books, Rebel with a Cause by John Sperling and Higher Ed, Inc. by Richard S. Ruch, that really look like they're worth reading (publishers can send me my free copies any time). By Michael Schrage, Technology Review, October, 2001.[Refer]

It Can Be Hard to Connect in Online Class This article sounds like your typical criticism: student drops out of online classes because she cannot interact with the instructor. But read between the lines: the problem isn't so much a lack of interaction, but rather, an all too honest interaction with her fellow students. Dynamics online are different, and where we were once used to nice, safe interactions with our instructors, we may need to learn to work in a more harsh realm. Good or bad? Tough call. By Eunice Park, L.A. Times, September 27, 2001.[Refer]

SCORM 1.2 Released, Maybe More confusion from ADL. the October 1 press release states, "[ADL]... announced today the release of the latest version of its Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), Version 1.2." No link in the press release, but a search finds it here. The following day, October 2, ADL then releases the following press release: "the ADL Technical Team is actively pursuing to enhance areas of specifications that are not quite mature enough or have not achieved broad enough visibility and consensus to be included in the newest release of the SCORM." So is it done or not? Who knows? While I'm writing, let me say that navigating and linking to ADL's web site is a miserable experience - hence, no links to the press releases (with luck they'll still be available on the home page). Quick! Send in the usability experts! By Press Release, ADL, October 1, 2.[Refer]

Ampheta Another news aggregator. Try this software: then think of how a system for distributing online learning could emulate this model. A 'hands-on' learning project brought to you by OLDaily. ;) "AmphetaDesk is a news aggregator - it sits on your desktop, downloads the latest news that interests you, and displays them in a quick and easy to use (and customizable!) webpage. With thousands of channels for selection, AmphetaDesk can shave hours off your day - and you'll look smart to all your friends!" By Ampheta, Website, October 5, 2001.[Refer]

Nicholas Negroponte: Digital Visionary Interview with MIT media Lab's Nicholas Negroponte. Good insights into the capacity of online learning to transform education, especially with regard to the role of the teacher. "Technology empowers children in several ways. One is to put them in the driver's seat of an experience. A second is to allow them to vicariously visit places that are too small, too big, too far or too dangerous for real travel. A third is to allow for "what ifs" and simulation, to see the result of making a mistake, even a big mistake." By Dan Page, ConVerge, October, 2001.[Refer]

Fathom Fathom relaunches with a nice new look (I really like the design), email newsletters, expanded free and fee-based courses, and more. By , Fathom, October, 2001.[Refer]

Internal Memos Outline RIAA's Strategy To Launch Offensive Against Peer-To-Peer Networks Ever see those games at the fair where you whack gophers as they pop out of the hole. Every time you hit one, another one pops up, over and over. That's what the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) must feel like as it tries to wipe out music sharing on the internet. This article describes its new offensive against per-to-peer music sharing networks. But; even if they whack these systems, others will pop up. Copyright enforcement is a never ending process. By Ben Silverman, DotCom Scoop, October 3, 2001.[Refer]

Ultimate Guide to Hosting a LAN Party From the internet culture department: this guide to setting up a LAN party may seem as relevant to education as a Martha Stewart video, but the advice is solid and applicable in any situation where you will have multiple people interacting via a computer network. You don't need to set up classes to run for three day marathons, though. By Christopher Wong , OnePC.Net, September 29, 2001.[Refer]

The Weblog Manifesto OK, OLDaily is an experiment not only in online journalism but also in online learning. What do I mean by that? Well, it seems to me that online learning is something that should be 'streamed' - that is, it should be a regular run of bits of learning relevant to a target audience (who exercises the ultimate choice, selecting which item to follow). In this way, online learning, properly concieved, is like a weblog. But how best to write a weblog? This article is a good guide. It's a bit loosely written (and I saw a swaer word in it), but it sparkles at making its point. Like a good weblog. Like good learning. By , Talking Moose, September 29, 2001.[Refer]

Structuring Use Cases with Goals Long, difficult and yet excellent reference guide to creating usability studies. Makes Jakob Nielsen look like fluff. First written in 1995 and updated numerous times since. This essay takes the interesting point of view of usability as interaction - a good move, one that yields a solid methodology. If you are serious about design, prepare to spend some time reading this paper. By Alistair Cockburn, Journal of Object-Oriented Programming, 1997.[Refer]

Discount Usability vs. Usability Gurus: A Middle Ground You want your website to be usabile. You don't want to spend $10,000 a day on a usability consultant. But you're not sure whether cheap do-it-yourself usability tests will work. They will - but only if you follow some established usability methodologies. Good discussion. By Deborah J. Mayhew, TaskZ, 2000.[Refer]

Global Learn Day V - Speaker Summaries Your essential guide to Global learn Day 5, scheduled for October 7 (or 8, depending on your time zone). I will be speaking from location in Australia. Assuming, that is, that John Hibbs answers my email.... By John Hibbs, Global Learn Day, October 3, 2001.[Refer]

An Introductory Guide to Audio and Video Encoding Good introduction to the topic of audio and video encoding with handy lists of terms and formats. Even if you don't do the encoding yourself, you should be familiar with the material on this page in order to know what you're asking for. By David Johns, Cultivate Interactive, October, 2001.[Refer]

A Content Management and Web Publishing Systems Gazetteer Nice anotated listing of a couple dozen content management systems, with links. Consult this before you settle on a product. By Philip Hunter, Cultivate Interactive, October, 2001.[Refer]

IFAEK: A Vision of Improvements for a More Structured and Personalized World Wide Web Useful discussion outling a proposal to create a coordinated system of metadata for information on the world wide web. The list of references at the end (with links) constitutes an excellent reading list for anyone working in this area. By Christian Guetl , Cultivate Interactive, October, 2001.[Refer]

Let Everyone Learn A tribute to Guy Bensusan By , , .[Refer]


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