Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
May 28, 2002

Images of CADE The downtown skyline the backdrop, the world's cheapest web cam my camera, some quick snapshots of the Canadian Association for Distance Education conference happening right now in camera. Sorry about the picture of the empty banquet hall - as you are reading this, I will be eating there. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, May 28, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Reestablishing the Value of Content This item is probably going to be circulated around the othewr lists with many nods and agreeing smiles, but aside from the passion in the argument I don't see any particular value here. It's the old argument - if we would all just recognize how valuable content is, we would be so inclined to want free content. Slightly different take in that the author recognizes that there is a cost to the reader for all content, even free content: the time it takes to read it. Well, yeah, and that's partially why it makes it annoying to have to pay money for content too: I am giving your ideas and opinions my valuable eyeball time, and you want me to pay you? It just goes to show that content has to be *really* good to demand payment, and the vast bulk of content - including much of what currently demands a subscription fee - does not make the grade. You want to make money off the web? Offer a service. It's more reliable - and more honest - than trying to rely on some stale content monopoly. By Gerry McGovern, Ubiquity, May 28, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Building Sense of Community at a Distance This article proposes that "Educators who perceive the value of social bonds in the learning process must re-conceptualize how a sense of community can be stimulated in virtual classrooms." The article then works through a number of now familiar elements of online communities - including trust, social presence, and social equality, among others - and argues that the same sort of community found in the classroom can also be found online. By Alfred P. Rovai , IRRODL, May, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

More Wireless Trends in the Making Good analysis of some future trends in wireless access. Notable is the prediction - similar to one I made four years ago - of the proliferation of different types of wireless devices for different activities. Also not the suggestion that wireless devices will adapt to the needs and wants of the user, not the other way around. This is absolutely the case: in what will be a very competitive market space, the device that adapts best will rule. Educators should note the prediiction of the demise of the whiteboard and chalkboard... heh. By Lou Hirsh, Wireless NewsFactor, May 28, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Why Metadata? Why Standardize it? Nice article that makes the case for metadata as well as anything I've seen. "Dismissing the validity of theoretical principles that state that information and knowledge should be free, I will jump into arguing that metadata is the only valid way of assigning and tracking the market value of digital content, and, as a user, paying for it. The American market has spoken: an article is worth $1-5, a 10 hour-course $50-100, a full-length course $500-2000. These prices have been set by the aforementioned publishers, journals and academic institutions, my favorite clients withstanding. But if these prices are 'right', then why arenít there more 'eLearners'?" It's worth also popping into the home page and having a look at a few more of Juliette Adams's articles. By Juliette Adams, September15.Net, May 18, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

NLII San Diego 2002 On the one hand I want to say that you really should read this item. It is an overview of the sessions at the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII) conference in San Diego last January, including an article about the panel I sat on that discussed learner centered design. The content is great. But I have to ask whether anyone in NLII has even actually tried to read a 3-column PDF document on a small screen in a hotel room in Calgary. No? I thought not. It would have been easy to provide an HTML version. But no... and here I am condemned to move the screen up down, back and around just to read the articles. Bleah. Great content, though. By Various Authors, EDUCAUSE, May 28, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

NLII News EDUCAUSE has launched a new newsletter, NLII news, "designed to provide information about the activities of The National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII)." By Various Authors, EDUCAUSE, May 28, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright © 2002 Stephen Downes