Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
May 23, 2002

An Expert Debate on Learning Styles The first significant salvo in what promises to be an interesting (but distracting) series of academic questions. What are learning styles? Do they affect learning outcomes? Can they be integrated into learning? This article features a round table discussion featuring a number of luminaries, including Dave Kolb (who introduced the term 'learning styles' in the 1960s). The only weakness of this panel is that, as the article admits explicitly, "All those we invited to participate in this feature have a stake in differential learning, academically, professionally or commercially." What I'd like to see is a good no-holds-barred debate between this group and the learning styles sceptics. Anyhow. This is a good coffee-break read. By Martin Delahoussaye, Trainingmag.Com, May 23, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Self-Archiving FAQ One way to promote open scholarship is to create free (or cheap) journals. The other way is to self-archive. To self-archive is to deposit a digital document in a publicly accessible website, and as the article says, preferably an Open Archives Initiative (OAI) compliant Eprint Archive. This FAQ covers everything from how to do it to why and the relation between self-archiving and publishing. Too much work? Download and use the Eprints software for creating OAI-compliant archives for self-archiving. If it were any easier we'd have to send someone over to write the paper for you. By Various Authors, Budapest Open Access Initiative, Undated [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Untangling the Future Interesting approach to predicting future trends - identifying where developments in existing technologies may merge with other technologies to produce entirely new fields. I think that barring a natural disaster or war most of these predictions are fairly safe. I wish the author had looked a bit more widely, beyond hard technology. The deployment of the semantic web, for example, is completely overlooked. Thus, while the article predicts the emergence of cognitronics (the interface of brain with computer) he does not mention onmicognition (the mental recall of all human information through cognitronic link to the semantic web - I just coined that term, so you know you heard it here first). Judging by the timeline in the article ('Woman types with her mind' is slated for 2010) we can expect omnicognition by 2050. What then? I mean really, what then? By Paul Saffo, Business 2.0, June, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Netscape 7.0: A Lot to Like Review of Netscape 7.0, which became available this week in beta form. The reviews - even from Microsoft fans such as David Coursey of ZD Net - have been generally favorable. Netscape's speed issues are gone (at last) and the auto-open window tabs were welcomed by all. Netscape's mail client apparently also works well with LDAP, a weakness of previous versions. By Jim Rapoza, eWeek, May 22, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Graduation Day for Linux The story of Paul Nelson and Eric Harrison who in Portland, Oregon, co-founded the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project (K12LTSP), an project that combines the tools found in Red Hat Linux with the technology behind the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) to create turn-key computer labs for any school that needs them. By Brian Proffitt, LinuxPlanet, May, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes