By Stephen Downes
July 2, 2003

VET Learning Object Repository - Green Paper Discussion
From the article, "The purpose of the VET (Australian Vocational Education and Training) Learning Objects Green Paper is to seek responses and invite discussion from a range of stakeholders on relevant issues surrounding Learning Object Repositories. While the paper provides an overview of learning objects and related issues of metadata and granularity, it is not the intention of this paper to add to the 'What is a learning object?' dialogue, but rather to focus on the demystification of learning objects and to create a better understanding of how they can be used within the VET sector." By Ian Kenny, Australian Flexible Learning Community, July 1, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Weblogs Should be Topic-first, Not Author-first
I agree with this sentiment - hence the organization of Edu-RSS by date, not by author or weblog (and topic-based organization is coming). But it is important not to be seduced by the lure of One Universal Classification System. That said, as the author notes, "I can browse topic pages and read through what various bloggers have to say on the same topic. It's a good way of discovering new voices - rather than simply reading the A List Bloggers." By Richard MacManus, Read/Write Web, July 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

NECC 2003
For the last few days the NECC conference in Seattle has been the subject of an active group blog. I haven't had the chance to read everything they've linked to - there's a lot of stuff - but I've been following the photos and the overall coverage. My favorite bit is the use of t-shirts labled "I'm blogging this" by the writers. Today I see that the bloggers were finally noticed by the conference organizers. Good job, folks. By Various Authors, EdWebLogs, July 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

According to the announcement, "CourseForum broadly follows a 'Wiki' model of collaboration, but without the installation nightmares inherent in most Wiki's, and with the extra features (authentication, user activity tracking, page locking, version history, etc.) needed to prevent things from descending into chaos." This makes the product suitable for Wiki-type projects in the more controlled classroom environment. CourseForum is, sadly, not free. A demo site is available. By various Authors, July 1, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Pupils Learn in Wi-fi Wood
I have actually used the line in my talks, "People should learn about forestry in the forests." Here we have an example of how wireless internet access makes this happen. In the Ambient Woood Project (great name), a wireless network has been set up in a forest in Sussex; children wander through the trees and report back, using PDAs, about their experiences. By Unknown, BBC, July 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Legal Group Spites RIAA, Defends P2P
More coverage of the counter-attack against the RIAA's campaign against file sharing. As mentioned yesterday, this debate is spreading to other forms of content, such as images. The EFF position is essentially my position: "Copyright law is out of step with the views of the American public and the reality of music distribution online," said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. "Rather than trying to sue people into submission, we need to find a better alternative that gets artists paid while making file sharing legal." By Michael Singer, InternetNews.Com, July 1, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Interoperability in Practice at the CETIS / LTScotland Codebash
The purpose of this event, held yesterday in Bangor (Wales), was "to test the theory of educational technology interoperability standards in practice by exchanging as many instances of IMS Content Packaging (including SCORM compliant ones) and IMS Question and Test Interoperability as possible." The article could have given us a better indication of the results - after reading it I am still not clear on who is interoperable and who is not - and it should be, as the article suggests it may be, open next time. By Wilbert Kraan, CETIS, July 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Intel, Universities Create World Network
"PlanetLab," writes the author, "is an experimental network that sits on top of the Internet that will allow researchers and others to test and build applications that can essentially span the globe." It is a network that will allow, for example, sites to broadcast video worldwide without slowing internet access. It's an interesting project, but more interesting is the architecture it suggests: a multi-layered global network with different layers dedicated to different applications. By Michael Kanellos, CNet, June 23, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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