Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
May 16, 2002

CETIS Webcast OK, I'm going to give you lots of notice on this one, because you don't want to miss it: on June 17 I will be hosting a webcast with Scott Wilson, CETIS technical journalist, discussing The Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards (CETIS) Web site. This link is my Spotlight Site review of CETIS for The Technology Source. You can sign up in advance for the session (recommended) at By Stephen Downes, The Technology Source, May, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

WebCT Releases WebCT Vista, Version 1.0 WebCT has annopunced the release of Vista 1.0, its high powered (and high priced) Enterpise learning management system (LMS) for academic institutions. By Press Release, Distance-Educator.Com, May 14, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A U. of Michigan Program in China Fails to Draw Students, and Its Price Is Blamed There's an object lesson in here, isn't there? The University of Michigen at Ann Arbor, in a cooperative venture with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, went to considerable effort to market a program in manufacturing engineering costing $30,000. The two students who eventually did sign on appear to have been signed up "as a favour". According to this article, the Cinese repeatedly asked Ann Arbor to lower the cost. Ann Arbor refused. By Jen Lin-Liu, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 15, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

IMS Simple Sequencing Specification The IMS Simple Sequencing Specification is now available on the project website - though it is dated April 22, it has been the subject of a recent vote by the consortium. The specification defines a method for representing the intended behavior of an authored learning experience so a learning technology system (such as a learning management system (LMS)) can sequence discrete learning activities. The specification is available in PDF or HTML and the site also includes XML Bindings, DTDs, and Examples. By Anonymous, IMS, April 22, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Community Governance: The Importance of Common Decision-Making Principles This new resource is provided for people working on Smart Communities initiatives, but its applicability extends beyond the realm of e-government. Community ventures exist in every field of endeavour, including e-learning. This article provides some useful advice and a set of three worksheets to help manage organizational issues. By Unknown, Industry Canada, May 14, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Battle Romp of the Puppy Dogs: Constructivist Software in a Dog-Eat-Dog Market Diatribe and dialogue surrounding the proliferation of constructivist software on the internet. Quoting Seymour Papert, the author's main complaint is that "The word 'constructivist' has been so battered around and given so many different meanings that it should be discarded. Or else returned to its original sense... the original meaning of constructivism is a theory of learning and not a strategy for teaching." Is there a market for purely constructivist software in education? Interesting argument, dozens of links to further discussion. By Anonymous, Institute for the Advancement of Emerging Technologies in Education, May 15, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes