By Stephen Downes
September 3, 2003

About Stephen's Web
I have revised, updated and greatly expanded the 'About' page for my website, making clear its design goals, technology, organization, features, and (some not so humble statements about) impact. It's about as exciting as an 'About' page can get, which is to say, not very. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, September 3, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Changing Places: Instructional Designers Become Online Classroom Participants
A few weeks ago I ran a listing for this site describing instructional designers' experiences as online students during a series of presentations. I reported that the series was hosted by e-Learning Guru, however, it was actually hosted by the eLearning Guild. My apologies to the eLearning Guild for the error and any inconvenience it may have caused. In addition, "your readers may want to know that we plan on keeping this article in the open access area of The eLearning Developers’ Journal archives." Très cool. By Ariana B. Bianchi, Ann M. Busby, john DeCore, Susan Horsey, Kathleen M. Hueser, Kimberly Hill, and Valerie LeBlanc, The eLearning Developers' Journal, August 4, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

I haven't had time to read the articles in detail, but via Slashdot today came this link to Sidebars, a wonderful publication out of BCIT. I love the 'outside-in' and 'inside-out' theme for the articles. I had a quick look at a few of the articles and found them to be crisp, well written and informative. Have a look. (Note: because the site is being 'Slashdotted' it is unavailable as I write, but it was working fine this morning and will no doubt be accessible as you read this.) By Various Authors, BCIT, September 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Science of Learning Centers (SLC)
This has been out for a while but I only heard of it today (happily, there's still two weeks before the deadline for funding). The U.S. national Science Foundation (NSF) is setting up a network of "Centers that will extend the frontiers of knowledge on learning and create the intellectual, organizational, and physical infrastructure needed for the long-term advancement of learning research." By Unknown, National Science Foundation, May 27, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Colleges Making Dent in Campus P2P
It seems to me that there is something fundamentally wrong with the joining of a campaign of lawsuits and criminal charges with a marketing campaign directed towward an essentially captive audience. But that's what's happening on campuses today. By John Borland, CNet News.com, September 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

MIT's OpenCourseWare Initiative - I Just Don't Get It
Kevin Kruse asks the question that's been on many people's minds: "I just don't see what's so great about MIT's OpenCourseWare initiative." After all, he writes, "I'm just not sure how MIT is different than a lot of other schools who's professors already put all this stuff up on the web for their students." But as I commented in the discussion of this item at the Learning Circuits Blog, "From where I sit, the strategy is very clear. The OCW site is the most convincing demonstration you could have that, as MIT representatives say, you have to go to MIT to get an MIT education. Is MIT holding back, keeping the site short of what it could be? Probably. Is is a good marketing strategy? Yup." P.S., while trying to find the link for this particular blog entry (which, by the way, I never found) I stumbled on the best error graphic ever. By Kevin Kruse, E-Learning Guru, August 29, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blackboard Expands Reach in Deal to Set Up Chinese Colleges With Its Software
It was a banner day for Blackboard yesterday as the company reached a deal to provide software for the Chinese public-private education company Cernet, which in turn provides software for more than 1,000 universities in the People's Republic. The deal was announced in a press release Tuesday. By Brian Knowlton, New York Times, September 3, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Current Status and Potential Development of Online News Consumption
Interesting article that describes the rise and potential ascendence of online news. The most interesting bit is here: "It is in the workplace where the Internet as a news medium truly overwhelms its competitors. The Web’s strengths of 24-hour availability, immediacy and updates are most needed at work, where other media with comparative capacities for immediate updates like television (today’s most important source of news) and radio are generally not available." Now if you view the news to be a type of learning, as I do, then this statement should have a special resonance to you. By An Nguyen, First Monday, September 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Hack Attack Winners: Makers of Anti-virus, Worm Software
A series of hack attacks, viruses, worms and barrages of spam have plagued the internet in recent months, bringing some services, such as email, to the brink of ruin. Trust the business community to see an upside. This author looks at the surging fortunes of anti-virus and filtering software companies. Another report, rather more disturbing, from Business Week suggests that the recent spate of attacks could convince people to buy name-brand software and eschew free or pirated products. If it's so good for business, one wonders, why haven't these companies adopted poor security and the staging of computer attacks as a core business strategy? One wonders. By Jon Swartz, USA Today, September 3, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Campus Fad That's Being Copied: Internet Plagiarism
The 'newspaper of record' covers the plagiarism survey reported here a week or two ago. Notice that the article does not mention when the survey was released. By Sara Rimer, New York Times, September 3, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Higher Education Loads up Students With Debt
More back-to-school related coverage of rising (and by now unreasonable) tuitions. "The average undergraduate debt has increased 66 percent, from $11,400 in 1997 to $18,900 in 2002, the survey found. Students attending graduate school borrowed an extra $31,700, up 51 percent (figures in $US)." And this is about as lame as one can get: "Education is very expensive," said Sandy Baum, an economics professor who is co-author of the Nellie Mae survey. "Someone has to pay for it." Well, d'uh. But: does it have to be this expensive? And is it reasonable to demand that students themselves pay this amount? I cannot emphasize this enough: an entire generation is being disenfranchised because they cannot access a basic necessity in today's society. The cost today will seem paltry when compared to the economic devastation sure to follow tomorrow. By Diane Carroll, Kansas City Star, September 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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