Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
October 8, 2002

New Brunswick Has Lead Role in E-learning Initiative Government of New Brunswick press release about the eduSource project and the province's role within it. "The eduSourceCanada project will bring together Canada's leading experts in the field of e-learning. They will collaborate on complementary work packages that together will enable educators to more easily reuse and exchange course content stored in digital form as 'learning objects.'" As I explain in the release, "What this means is that learning objects will be created, catalogued and stored in communities across the country and will be linked together digitally so that anyone, anywhere will be able to access them." By Press Release, Government of New Brunswick, October 8, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Three Good Reasons to Stop Using PowerPoint I have my complaints about PowerPoint - who doesn't? - but when I'm just a short flight from my seminar and I need a presentation fast, PowerPoint does the job. Sometimes, though, you require more, and this article offers three alternatives: Adobe Acrobat, Flash MX, and Liquid Media. I cannot personally imagine usine Acrobat for a presentation. Flash does the job nicely but takes some work to learn. And I haven't used Liquid Media, so I can't comment. But don't take my word for it: this article lists advantages, disadvantages, target audience and (approximate) price for each technology. By Harry Waldman, Presentations.Com, Octrober, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Hi-Tech, Hi-Touch You may have seen reports today of a new NTT DoCoMo technology that allows people to exchange personal contact information merely by shaking hands. It's a cool idea, but not that new. As this item suggests, the concept of a personal area network (PAN) using human bodies as amplifiers has been around since 1996 when IBM floated the concept at its Almaden Research Center. That doesn't mean that nothing will happen with this one. The idea of being able to wear something - a Star Trek Badge, say - that will let us communicate with people and devices merely by touching them is too alluring to ignore. By Thomas Zimmerman, Almaden Research Center, November 22, 1996 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Real Battle How long can it be before we see the collapse of the large content networks? Even without the internet they would be in trouble. "There are today 380 digital television networks... Now you cannot tell me there is fourteen times as much advertising money... They have fourteen times as much programming costs... This is a train wreck. This cannot sustain itself, especially if you add PVR (personal video recorders such as TiVo) on top...." And they can't hold out much longer. "AOL Time Warner is $30 billion in debt. Vivendi Universal has $20 billion in debt. Disney has $25 billion in debt. These are companies that have been leveraged to the neck." It adds up to this: "When you add new technologies to old industries, you get wrong answers." By Doc Searls, Linux Journal, October 5, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Interaction Summary of the discussion from the informal E-Learning Course on interaction. The document looks a lot like the article I distributed last Friday, but with significant improvements in scope and presentation. As the author says, "this is a good example of spiraling - the expression of an idea strengthened by subsequent discussion." By George Siemens, elearnspace, October 8, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes