Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
March 17, 2003

Incunabula There's not a lot of in-depth content in this weblog entry, but it will (probably) add a new word to your vocabulary and it roughly expresses a view of e-learning similar to mine, so there you go (also, it's a slow news day - people seem to have other things on their minds, me included). I like especially Jay Cross's take: " Focusing on the learner was a major contribution of first-wave eLearning. Focusing on the learner as worker can make things a little better. Focusing on the learner and his or her colleagues, that's where we'll get breakaway performance." By Jay Cross, Internet Time Blog, March 12, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Weblogs and Passion Weblogs and weblog tools, writes the author, were created out of the passion of their designers. True. Thus, he writes, "weblogs will become important to knowledge management and knowledge sharing in organizations and why the big software players haven't been a significant factor yet." False. Or, at least, not true as people think of it. Weblog tools are just another input device. Great. With a lousy search and user interface. Weblogs get data into the system, but that's never been the problem with knowledge management: no, the problem is in using the data in any meaningful way. Will weblogs help with this? Not until something thinks seriously about the other end of the equation, thinks of the harried user rather than the inspired blog writer. Of course, this observation is not going to stop the deluge of hype to which we are no doubt about to be subjected. By Jim McGee, McGee's Musings, March 14, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

What Do We Know About Knowledge? This short article is the first of a series I am writing for Learnscope in Australia. In it, I introduce in a nutshell the idea of knowledge and talk a bit about what we know and how we know. My message, in a nutshell, is that "No bit of knowledge, then, stands alone and in isolation from the rest. The accumulation of knowledge is fundamentally different from the accumulation of grains of sand, where each item could be acquired and stored as though it were a unique and distinct entity. In any form of knowledge, there is a process not only of acquiring some new experience, but also of assessing it and placing it in its proper location in the larger system." By Stephen Downes, Learnscope, March, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

MS, Hollywood: Mob Rules Pirate World Hollywood and Mircosoft have launched a new tactic in their attack on file sharing - now they are linking it to organized crime and terrorism. I agree with Peter Suber's assessment: "There are two intersecting lines of hysteria here. First, every hot crime must be shoehorned into the category of terrorism in order to justify expanded surveillance and heightened sanctions. Second, copyright infringement must be inflated to the most serious offense that the public test of ridicule will allow. The analogy to pillaging ships worked for a while, but the Justice Department now perceives an opportunity for ratcheting up." Via FOS News. By Declan McCullagh, CNet, March 13, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Spring Day in Europe A series of resources based on the themes of peace, democracy, tolerance and equality. Nice. By Various Authors, European Schoolnet, Spring, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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