Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
September 20, 2002

Online Learning 2002 At a ridiculous hour tomorrow morning I will be leaving to attend Online Learning 2002 all week in Anaheim, California. No, I will not be providing in-depth coverage the way I did for Net*Working 2002, but assuming we have access to wireless internet (hint hint) I will be providing live coverage of the conference in OLDaily. Next week, OLDaily will publish Monday through Thursday only, with Friday reserved as a hangove... I mean, a travel day. OLWeekly will publish next Thursday. By Various Authors, September, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Minister Rock Announces $10.6 Million Another case of the press missing the big story, if you ask me. While I was on the airplane home from Calgary this week, Canada's Industry Minister, Alan Rock, was announcing $4.25 million in federal funding for eduSource, the project, led by organizations across Canada (including a strong Atlantic Canada component I have been working particularly closely with) is an effort to create "on-line collections of educational media (text, data, audio, video, animations, etc.), that can be used to design, develop, and enhance courses for any level of the educational system." While much is yet to be decided (and that's part of why I was in Calgary), this project is almost a $10 million effort overall to create a "marketplace" for learning opportunities on the world wide web, benefiting both Canadian students and vendors of learning materials. By Press Release, Industry Canada, September 17, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Specifications for Accessible Learning Technologies From the website: "The SALT Project is a collaboration with the IMS Global Learning Consortium to make online learning resources accessible to people with disabilities by developing and promoting specifications and effective models that will help level the playing field for learners with disabilities." the website looks a bit dated (the last press release is from 2001) but the document, announced in a press release yesterday, is available. You can check out Distance-Educator.Com's mirror of the press release if you want the executive version. By Press Release, IMS and WGBH Boston, September 19, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

2020 Visions: Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies This book-length PDF is a collection of visions of what education will be like in 2020. As such, it is very uneven, ranging from the corporate document (complete with a cover page and introduction by Bill Gates) provided by Microsoft to the haunting story offered by Michael Zyda and Douglas H. Bennett in "The Last Teacher" (not at all what the title suggests). Also worth reading the The Learning Federation's "Next Generation Learning Systems and the Role of Teachers" which depicts, with a detailed charge, how the role of teacher will fragment into a dozen or so specialist positions. This book should be read from the standpoint of exercising your own thinking rather than as a guide to the future. By Various Authors, U.S. Department of Commerce, September 17, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Sky Dayton's Long Road to Internet Nirvana What will the future of wireless access look like? Don't bother with Nicholas Negroponte's Being Wireless article, in the same issue, containing almost no content (except a borrowed metaphor). This article is about Boingo, a company planning to deploy tens of thousands of wireless nodes in cities and airports across the U.S. In addition to pointing to some of the political and economic issues involved in such a venture (as well as giving you an idea of the scale of the project), the article also dances around the issue of fee-based versus free wireless access. As an aside, I must say, this is the best issue of Wired to roll off the presses for some time. Still nothing like the vintage years, though. By Brendan I. Koerner, Wired, October, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Unplugged U. Quite a good article about the deployment of a wireless network at dartmouth University, including an insider account of many of the hijinks that resulted, including the remote hacking of the carillon and a sorority's mysterious 222 Mbytes of data streamed per day. The article also introduces outsiders to the term "Blitz Mail" and - oh yeah - mentions the use of wireless in classes. A great read (though the sensitive will want a warning about the language). By Josh McHugh, Wired, October, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Viable Utopian Ideas Launched today, this website promotes a book of the same name. Unfortunately not all the essays in the book are posted on the website, but mine is (in Part 4). By Arthur B. Shostak, September 20, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The 3Cs of Knowledge Sharing: Culture, Co-opetition and Commitment Managers should read this item in order to understand the basis for encouraging knowledge sharing within an organization. Humbling but true: "it is only a handful of people who have knowledge for which they can hold their peers (and bosses) to ransom." I would also add that the same principles hold between organizations: you are more likely to know, to trust and to have faith in a corporate partner that shares knowledge than one known for hoarding it. The article also contains some useful suggestions on fostering knowledge sharing in an organization. Anyhow, this item was shared with me via eLearningPost and I'm sure Maish wouldn't mind me passing it along (and that's how a culture of sharing is built). By David J. Skyrme, I3Update, August, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes