Site Map

March 29, 2002

Hearts, Minds and Screens: Taming the Future I can see how this paper, especially when delivered as a keynote address, would leave readers and listeners scratching their heads. But there is a deep and multi-layered understanding of what is going on in e-learning exhibited in this essay (and you'll be introduced to four new words, describing four scenarios of online learning in the future). I can't tell you what this paper is about: the meaning will shift according to your own individual context. Don't just read this paper start-to-finish. Give it a quick once-over, as though it were a talk. Then scroll back and forth through it and pick up the pattern exhibited through the whole. Keep in mind that the author is talking about learning networks as much as she is talking about online collaboration. Then do some background reading in the excellent list of references at the conclusion of the paper. This is an outstanding work and really deserves much more consideration that you would give some typical article in a journal. By Gilly Salmon, EduCAT Summit: Innovation in e-Education, 3 April, 2002.[Refer]

E-mail Tree Will Assist Teachers of Science This item has been picked up by a number of news outlets on the U.S. west coast. Essentially, science teachers in California will create an "email tree' to share news and information about their subject. What's interesting is the use of the treee structure, with 300 "key leaders" coordinating points of contact. If they implement the system properly, the resulting structure should look more like a web than a tree. By Chris Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 28, 2002.[Refer]

Teachers Launch Network to Share info on Science Education Second article about the California science teachers' email tree. By Michelle Morgante, SF Gate, March 27, 2002.[Refer]

MimerDesk For those of you looking for alternatives to six-figure learning management systems, here is an alternative that my be easier on your budget (and may change the way you approach online learning). From the site: "MimerDesk is an open-source group environment designed for a wide variety of uses such as web-based eLearning, carrying out projects and setting up communities. MimerDesk also has tools for personal management. A short description could be a groupware with eLearning and communication capabilities." By Various authors.[Refer]

CNN Backs Off on Sponsorships Bid CNN backs of a plan to sell sponsorships on its "non-commercial" alternative to Channel One, a service that distributes news programming into classrooms. But as one critic points out, CNN doesn't need to sell advertising to make the service worth while. Jim Ritts, president of Primedia Television, comments, "The notion that it hasn't had a commercial purpose from the beginning is laughable. They've been promoting the CNN brand." By Associated Press, New York Times, March 24, 2002.[Refer]

Preparing for the Coming Era of Participatory News This article is about participatory news but the analogy with education is so striking I am taking the liberty of recasting the major trends listed in the article. Here, then, ten trends that identify participatory education (clip and save):

  1. Communication is king, not course content.
  2. Course content is a distant fourth - behind entertainment, communication and transactions - on the learner's hierarchy of desires.
  3. Learning evolves into collaborative, a participatory activity. Everyone is an instructor, or can be. Peer-to-peer learning will eclipse institution-to-learner learning.
  4. The expected synergies and efficiencies associated with consolidation, centralization, and clustering prove to be overrated.
  5. Convergence happens to learners, not to institutions.
  6. Every company becomes a learning company. They succeed or fail on the basis of their learning.
  7. Learning services replace learning products as the foundation of local, regional and global economies.
  8. The decline in the traditional markets for learning accelerates. As learning become ubiquitous and pervasive, fragmentation of markets also accelerates.
  9. A new group of learners - the Millennials - emerges. They have no loyalty to learning institutions. They don't read textbooks or journal articles. Their habits and behaviors have no context in traditional learning products. By sheer numbers, they have the power to transform consumer markets.
  10. The learning industry fails to innovate, to change, and to create catalysts for growth.
If you ever wondered what sort of trends define what I am trying to cover in OLDaily: this is it. And one more concluding thought:

Our stories will take us beyond convergence to emergence. There, learning becomes the product of a universally distributed intelligence that develops from an interconnected society enabled by interactive media. It occurs in real time, self-regulating, constantly enhanced. The connections enabled by media lead to mutual recognition and enrichment of individuals, rather than a cult of communities and institutions.

This is network learning. In a nutshell. By Dale Peskin, Online Journalism Review, March 26, 2002.[Refer]


Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]