By Stephen Downes
October 31, 2003

Federated Identity
Good blog post on some of the approaches to identity being considered and implemented for online access. As usual there's the closed, centralized way, instantiated by such initiatievs as Passport, Liberty Alliance and Shibboleth. The contrast drawn with with the Friend of a Friend (FOAF) system, which isn't quite the counterpoint, but which has the right idea. By Martin Terre Blanche, Collaborative Learning, October 31, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Delivering OAI Records as RSS: An IMesh Toolkit Module For Facilitating Resource Sharing
It's actually a pretty obvious move, since OAI and RSS are fundamentally the same sort of technology: collections of metadata records are harvested by aggregators, which in turn make subscriptions of specialized content feeds available to readers. This paper describes such a system and links to related resources. By Monica Duke, Ariadne, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Glossary of Terms
This item has been available for a little while, but I didn't know it. Part of the eduSource project, this glossary of terms was developed to help organize the description of the eduSource project and to provide a base reference for other documents. The eduSource project is also looking for your comments on the glossary. MS-Word Document. By Gilbert Paquette, Karin Lundgren-Cayrol, Gérard Levy and Stephen Downes, eduSource, September 29, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Framing the Issues
I write a lot about meaning and language. While part of it has to do with dry topics, such as how we can find learning objects through use-based meaning, other parts of it are much meatier, looking at the values and ideas we pass onto children. I am not alone in this. George Lakoff, for example, is sensitive to relation between language and politics. By dictating the terms of national debate. "Language always comes with what is called 'framing.' Every word is defined relative to a conceptual framework. If you have something like 'revolt,' that implies a population that is being ruled unfairly, or assumes it is being ruled unfairly, and that they are throwing off their rulers, which would be considered a good thing. That's a frame." Be sure to follow the link at the bottom of the page to a second article expanding on the idea. By Bonnie Azab Powell, UC Berkeley News, October 27, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

This item, summarized nicely by Jay Cross, goes hand in hand with the previous one. "We identify with our product choices: 'If you like Chevy trucks, it's because that has become the larger gestalt of who you self-attribute as,' Kilts said, using psychology-speak. 'You're a Chevy guy.' Emotion trumps reason. Build your internal brand. If you have Pepsi-quality training, repackage it in Coke bottles. (It never hurts to improve the taste, too. Just don't call it 'New Coke'.)" Advertisers have known this for some time, of course, which is why so many products associate themselves with a certain self-image ('The Marlboro man'). They also know that if they can connect this image to personal identity at a young age, it may well last a lifetime. That's why we such a desire by advertisers to reach into schools. Political activism, too such as the MPAA's copyright campaign, seeks to create associations between action, product and value in young minds. By Jay Cross, Internet Time, October 31, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Fidelity Investments Looks To Acquire TEDS
Another merger in the e-learning space as Fidelity Investments acquires TEDS, an LMS company. Or at least, they've signed a memorandum of agreement to do so (and the celebration is set for Monday). E-Learning Guru's Kevin Kruse says this merger is even bigger than Docent-Click2Learn. He writes, "An acquisition of an LMS/e-recruiting/training company by an HR benefits outsourcer takes some executive vision and courage." The Docent-Click2Learn merger, meanwhile, has attracted a lot of press, most of it collected in a report from Jay Cross, including a petty and spiteful response from Saba which just savages the accord ("like a white tiger pouncing on an aging Las Vegas entertainer," according to Cross). By Press Release, TEDS, October 31, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Federal Government Contributes $7.5 Million for Research on Distance Learning
This has been in my email pile for a bit, but it is worth passing along. Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has approved a $7.5 million grant for a project called LORNET, "a new NSERC research network that will develop tools needed to create effective, interactive web-based training courses and programs." The project is largely the work of Gilbert Paquette at TELUQ-LICEF, in partnership with the University of Waterloo and Simon Fraser University. Industry watchers in Canada will recognize this group as the old Telelearning NCE group - "LORNET researchers have been involved in R&D on distance learning platforms within theTelelearning-NCE. Virtual-U (Calvert-Harasim), Explor@ (Paquette), JETS (Georganas) and I-Help (Greer-McCalla)" - and several of the partners were involved in the current eduSource project. By Press Release, Canada NewsWire, October 16, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]

Copyright © 2003 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.