By Stephen Downes
June 23, 2003

RSS and Education: The Current Hype
This link is to the main blog page because the permalinks are returning page errors. But if you click right away you should see the author's discussion of a paper which, for unrelated reasons, I can't link to yet. I agree with the author in the sense that RSS is a promising technology still looking for the killer application. It will come, because as the author notes, weblogs are maven enablers. What that means is that they create a class of people and sites who act as essential clearing houses on a given subject. People start sending them links. Now the author writes that teachers don't have time to become mavens. Perhaps not. But over time, it will be the other stuff (like administrative duties), not weblogs, that will have to take the back seat. By Eric Baumgartner, Designing Learning Technology, June 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Round-up of Links About SCOTUS Decision to Censor Library Internet Access
In a decision that will no doubt afect U.S. schools and universities, the Su[reme Court has ruled that the government can force libraries to filter internet access. The ruling can't be a surprise, can it? Anyhow, this page provides background information and a list of links related to the case. By Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian, June 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Philadelphia Schools Scaling Back Corporate Role
The first sentence says it all: "Private enterprise was supposed to save Philadelphia's public schools. But after just a year, the district's unprecedented experiment in school privatization is looking considerably less corporate." You'd think there was a lesson in this wouldn't you. But no: read the rest of the article and what you see is (mostly) explanation of why the private management of schools is a trend that will continue. By AP, CNN, June 20, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Classification 1.8
From the announcement: "The CanCore guidelines document for last of the Learning Object Metadata element groups. This element group is also one of the most flexible in the LOM, as it is able to accommodate a wide variety of classification schemes, including hierarchical subject classifications used in libraries and websites like Yahoo." Related to this, CanCore has also released a system for using the Dewey Decimal system within the classification element of learning object metadata (LOM). This link is to a page on which these and other documents appear as links. By Various Authors, CanCore, June 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Semantic and Syntactic Interoperability for Learning Object Metadata
Book chapter in with the author, one of the principle architects of CanCore, looks at learning object metadata (LOM) and compares CanCore's with other application profiling efforts. According tot he author, CanCore provides what has been called "semantic interoperability," as compared to by what is known as "syntactic" or "technical interoperability." By Norm Friesen, CanCore, June 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Corporate Blog Is Catching On
The blogsphere is abuzz with this report from the New York Times touting the advent of corporate blogs. As I have remarked previously in this space, there is room for concern as the essence of corporate communications is a form of sanctioned, depersonalized presence - just the oppositie of what a blog should be. Corporation can do what they want in the space, of course, but the requirements posed by corporate participation in a space twnd to spill over into the private and personal arena. First into the fray are the lawyers, offering advice that will no doubt be urged for all bloggers, not just corporations: "Lawrence Savell, counsel at the law firm of Chadbourne & Parke in New York, suggests posting a legal disclaimer concerning the links listed on a corporate blog, in case it inadvertently points readers to a Web site that advocates illegal conduct." By Thom Weidlich, New York Times, June 22, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing
This document begins with a definition of open access publishing - "to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly" - and contains statements from three groups endorsing the concept at the Meeting on Open Access Publishing at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Though the meeting was held in April, the document was just now released. By Various Authors, FOS News, June 20, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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