By Stephen Downes
September 18, 2003

School Children's Moose Lesson Has Tearful Ending
Not online learning, but this item is so sad I just have to pass it along. The lesson is this: if a moose wanders into your schoolyard, and if you take advantage of this to teach children all about moose habits, then they will not be distracted when, at the end of it all, you shoot the moose. Or maybe this: I do not want to live in a world where moose are declared 'public dangers' and shot. I just don't. By Deb Holland, Rapid City Journal, September 18, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Social Networking for Social Networking
You know what? Maybe the best thing that could happen to social networking would be for it to turn out that there is no business model, and therefore for the development of software and systems to be left to the open source community. By Stewart Butterfield, Corante, September 17, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Thirty-two Trends Affecting Distance Education: An Informed Foundation for Strategic Planning
The title of this piece is interesting - I think I'll start plugging my own work in the titles ("a amart review of learning", "a wise critique of metadata..."). I also consider the methodology odd, consisting as it does of (mostly) citations in offline sources. That said, the paper otherwise delivers what it promises: thirty-two trends (current as of about two years ago). Many of the trends persist: student demographics, for example, suggesting an older, more diverse, and more selective population. Others, less so: with blogs, online communities and more, instructors are not isolated as they once were. Some trends have reversed: while staff training continues to be a need, it is not so clear that this need is still growing. And the 'merger' or public and private institutions documented by the authors appears to have come to a complete halt with the failure of several high profile initiatives. The advent of blogs, self-publishing, institutional archives, learning communities and many other current trends do not find mention at all. By Scott l> Howell, Peter B. Williams and Nathan K. Lindsay, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, September, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

We Media: How Audiences Are Shaping the Future of News And Information
Newspapers have been struggling under a web onslaught in recent years as readers have taken the business of reporting the news - and just about everything else - into their own hands. They are beginning to adapt to their new role, and this major (almost book length) report is evidence of that. What has emerged is an explcit recognition that readers will now play a major role in the shaping and delivery of the news. Overall, it's an excellent analysis, and while there may be some differences in the finer points, many of the same models and conclusions may be applied to the learning sector as well. By Shane Bowman and Chris Willis, NDN, September, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Word Pirates
Friday is international Talk Like a Pirate Day and a couple of journalists have gotten into the spirit by starting this site, dedicated to listing the words that have been hijacked by communications industry. Interesting interview with the authors. Arrr, matey! By Dan Gillmor and David Weinberger, September, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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