Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
June 24, 2002

Electronic Access to Scientific Articles: Another Perspective Here's an interesting observation: as electronic publication matures, readers may not care about the publishers... they may not care about the journals, either, being interested in the article itself. Seems like a practical observation but a little overlooked in the current frenzy. By Walt Crawford, EContent Magazine, May, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

About the Blogosphere Another addition to the suddenly growing body of literature on blogs. In this item, usability expert John Rhodes (author of The WebWord Addiction, an excellent email list) interviews John Hiler, editor of Microcontent News. The conversation turns immediately to usability and weblogs but wanders into other areas of interest for educators. For example: "a big driver of traffic is how frequently you update your site. A lot of the high-traffic sites consist of links + comment, a format that works well for many updates a day." Now when is the last time somebody talked about the frequency with which an online course is updated? By John S. Rhodes, WebWord, June 24, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Personality Forge It is perhaps too early to suggest that instructors may be replaced by robots, but the personality forge gives us a startling glimpse into this possible future. From the site: "The Personality Forge is a truly unique place where you can experience the cutting edge of artificial intelligence. You can build your own AI Personalities and turn them loose to chat with real people and other Bots. See if you can tell who is real! Your bots will remember who they chat with and qualities about them. Then discuss and laugh about your successes in our forums." By Various Authors, June 24, 2002 9:13 p.m. [Refer][Research][Reflect]

From E-Learning Failure to E-Learning Redemption This article sounds like a disaster recovery manual, but sometimes that's what the crop of hard experience yields. God common sense suggestions and methodology for recovering poorly designed online courses. The best bit: "develop a prototype. Don't waste your time talking, show them." By Ed Mayberry, Learning Circuits, June, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Deviant Art This isn't an educational site, but it's worth noting how this online art repository handles massive volumes of content - almost 300,000 items. But even if you are not looking at the technical aspects of the site, you will stay for the art, which is spectacular. By Various Authors, June 24, 2002 6:56 p.m. [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Students' Cellular Phone Calls Mean Universities Lose Millions in Charges The thing about technological revolutions is that you never know where the impact will hit. This item is a case in point: instead of purchasing their phone services through the university, students are increasingly opting for flat rate cell phones. This is costing the universities millions of dollars in lost revenues. I can't help but be cynical about the universities' reaction, though: "Universities say it is only a matter of time before they will have to consider raising student costs to make up the difference." It's like there's utterly no imagination whatsoever in the Administration Building. By Stefanie Frith, Boston.Com, June 24, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes