Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
August 15, 2002

Oblinger: Higher Education Evolution or Extinction Our live coverage of the 18th Distance Teaching and Learning Conference in Madison, Wisconsin continues today. In this item, Diana Oblinger tells us that if we look at changing trends in student registration patterns, changing student mindsets, and recent advances in our understanding of learning, we can map a set of effective practices and program design guidelines to adapt to this changing environment. This article is my summary of Oblinger's morning keynote (yes Rod, I made it to an 8:30 keynote). By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, August 15, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

elearnspace Interview: Stephen Downes For an overview of some of my thoughts about the current state of e-learning, catch this interview of me conducted by phone by elearnspace (why does nobody capitalize things any more?). It's a pretty good overview, necessarily glossed over, and if you are wondering, I was on my cell phone upstairs in my new home. I have since received some interesting links backing up quite a bit of what I said in the interview (thanks Rod) and will be covering the topic of distributed learning objects more closely in the newsletters to follow. By George Siemens, elearnspace, August 15, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Don't Bother me With Objects: I've Got a Course To Teach William Horton amused a half-filled plenary room with an animated discussion of the facts and myths about learning objects. Horton generated a feel for learning objects with his (patented?) "Horton Keynote Objects" - buts of keynote address the audience selected through various (fair and unfair) voting procedures. As Horton observed, "You're getting a bit of a disjointed presentation - but that's what you asked for." This link is to his web site where (he says) you can find the slides from his keynote. By William Horton, William Ho, Consulting, August 15, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Wisc-Online I also attended a good presentation by Terri langan and others featuring Wisc-Online, an online learning object repository set up for colleges in Wisconsin. The repository has about 1,000 learning objects completed or in production. The objects are not exactly SCORM compliant (though they can be "with a little coding") but educators can easily cut and past the object URL into, say, their Blackboard course, as was demonstrated during the session. The site also supports materials and facilities for people who would like to author objects (though this is for Wisconsin colleges only at the moment). A good site, and well worth a visit; it has improved a lot since I was there last. By Various Authors, August 15, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

ShowPage Nifty little free download that allows CD authors to auto-run HTML files. Works on most Windowes systems. By Billy King, NBSI Technology Engineering, August 15, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Internet Society Opposes Proposed Anti-Copying Laws Statement, with argumentation, released today by the Internet Society, a not-for-profit membership organization founded to provide leadership in the management of Internet related standards, educational, and policy development issues. It is the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) and other Internet-related bodies. According to the statement, "The Internet Society strongly opposes attempts to impose governmental technology mandates that are designed to protect only the economic interests of certain owners of intellectual property over the economic interests of much larger portions of society.... The effect of these mandates is to grant veto power over new technologies to special interest groups who have continually opposed innovation." By Press Release, Internet Society / Politechbot, August 15, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

MS LearningXP: .Net Meets E-Learning Short article on the inevitable fusion of Microsoft's .Net and e-learning. Describes some research initiatives (with a link to a download) in the use of .Net for collaboration (ConferenceXP) and a portal interface (the Edge). By Mary Jop Foley, Extreme Tech, August 13, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes