By Stephen Downes
December 2, 2003

How Learning Communities Use Learning
People today think of learning content (such as learning objects) as things that are to be used in courses. But reusable learning resources are most properly used in online learning environments, such as simulations. It is important not to gloss the concept of simulations with the idea that they will all be like Doom or Quake - that is, they will for the most part not resemble 3D environments in which a large part of the activity is exploring through caves and buildings. The most obvious simulations (I have seen these already) are emulations of control panels or similar static environments with variable displays, for example, air traffic control panels, marine radar systems (which is what I saw), nuclear reactor controls (seen this too), and the like. By Stephen Downes, Australian Flexible Learning Community, December 1, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Mr. Picassohead
This is one of the most creative things I've seen in a long time. Requires Flash. By Ruder Finn, December 1, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Opinionated And Proud to Admit It
Why OLDaily is more that 'just the facts': "Opinions make you think, or at least stop you being stupid. Or perhaps, less charitably, help to disguise it. Certainly, whatever the interpretation, they provide comfort. Sometimes, passionately held opinions are stupid ones. But Wittgenstein believed that if people never did stupid things, nothing intelligent would ever happen." So the next time you roll your eyes and say, "Man, that Downes was stupid today," think about the process that put that thought into your head, and which led, therefore, to the formation of your (no doubt correct) opinion. By Stephen Bayley, The Telegraph, December 1, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Dawning of the Age of Transparency
There was a day when 'normal business practice' meant total secrecy. Too many investors have been birned over the last few years for this culture to persist. "Had shareholders known about all the things that were happening at Enron, they would have sold their shares. Enron was a house of cards. Even before the stock prices went up the shareholders would have known that a lot of the value was based on a false foundation." This doesn't mean that privacy becomes the loser: a great deal of information (such as, say, customer credit card information) should remain secret. But a new boundary will have to be drawn. By David Ticoll, Ubiquity, December 2, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Idea for Online Networking Brings Two Entrepreneurs Together
*sigh* Now that it looks like social software has a future, the patent vultures are coming out of the woodwork. "Spoke, a networking site for salespeople, has boasted that it has 15 pending patent applications, although the applications have not yet been published, and the company has not disclosed details." Is this any way to run an industry? By Teresa Riordan, New York Times, December 1, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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