Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
November 6, 2002

Values and the Clash of Civilizations This paper describes my approach to the question of whether values should inform a theory of government. In my utopia, values are individual and personal, and the role of the state is not to embody a certain set of values, but to create a means whereby people with different values can live together. If you are wondering what this has to do with online learning: the same principles that inform my theory of governance also underlie my theory of learning object repository networks. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, November 6, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Componentization Stephen Lanahas challenges my conception of a component- based learning object repository network. I think he raises serious issues. But they are issues with the potential for a good response. From my perspective, the internet - and web - is itself the clearest example of the success of componentization. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, November 6, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

DSpace Source code dowloads for MIT's DSpace project, an open source digital repository created to capture, distribute and preserve the intellectual output of MIT. By various Authors, OSDN, November 4, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Reinventing MCB University Press It is ironic: a journal publisher founded by dissatisfied academics is now targeted as one of the major causes of the rapid rise in the price of academic publications. This article tells the story of MCB University Press and how it became Emerald Fulltext. "'The outrage over what ... MCB did with New Library World still has not subsided,' wrote Hamaker, adding that the current subscription price for the journal (which had been $80 when Emerald acquired it) is $5,799 for 12 'issues' and 7 'dispatches.'" As a result, Emerald has alienated its readership base. "It seems reasonable to assume that the increased profits are as a direct result of charging more for what's essentially the same product." Yes, but also: the service created by academics continues to be supported by academics, writers who do not know or do not care how much the journals are charging for their contributions. By Richard Poynder, Information Today, September, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

An Uncertain Lever: Exploring the Influence of State-Level Testing in New York State on Teaching Social Studies Good article on the subject of how testing influences teaching (you'll need to go through a free login to get to the PDF). The idea of testing, of course, is that it will drive teachers in certain directions. But what happens when 'teaching to the test' fails to produce improved scores? What happens when other interests are also at play? "The notion that tests drive change makes sense, but only if a nest of interconnected assumptions hold: that the test is each teacher's primary concern; that the test clearly and consistently represents the directions reformers want instructional changes to take; and, most importantly, that each teacher interprets the test in the same way." By S.G. Grant, TC Record, November, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Koha From the website: "Koha is the world's first free Open Source Library System. Made in New Zealand by the Horowhenua Library Trust and Katipo Communications Ltd, the Koha system is a full catalogue, opac, circulation, member management and acquisitions package. To our knowledge Koha is used by public libraries, private collectors, university faculties, not for profit organisations, churches, schools and corporates." By Various authors, October, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes