By Stephen Downes
April 14, 2004

The Nature of Meaning in The Age of Google
Interesting link sent to me by the author, Terrence A. Brooks, describing some of the tricks and tactics used to register content in the Google search service. The author employs the term 'lay indexing' to describe the 'plebiscites' used to organize and rank pages by link freuqency and page rank. The end of the article looks into the question of the 'meaning' missed by Google, both because there are areas of the deep web it still does not harvest, and because the semantics of language do not translate into a purely text-based search. Interesting. More papers are available from the April edition of Information Research, which came online today. By Terrence A. Brooks, Information Research, April 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Analysis of Responses to Consultation Document
Via Seb Schmoller, this is an analysis of the 430 responses the British Department for Education and Skills (DfES) received to last July's consultation document, Towards a Unified e-Learning Strategy. According to the summary, the most common concern express was regarding the digital divide. But overall respondants "wholeheartedly" supported the vision for e-learning expressed in the document and the strategy put forward, though there was disagreement as to the range of partnerships that should be undertaken and calls for the strategy to look beyond the education sector and into e-learning in the workplace. On the same page is a set of PowerPoint slides for Diana Laurillard's presentation for BETT 2004, Realising the Vision for e-Learning containing a lengthy discussion of the idea that "public services need an adaptive model 'flexible enough to personalise everything they offer, and responsive to the public they serve'" By DfES Consultation Unit, Runcorn, Department for Education and Skills, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Geometry Step by Step from the Land of the Incas
What I really like about the internet is the connection you can make with cultures around the world. And this culture reveals itself in the most unexpected ways - geometry, Peruvian style, for example. The author, a geometry and computer teacher in Lima, Peru, writes in his email, "Geometry Step by Step from the Land of the Incas provides an eclectic mix of sound, science, and Incan history intended to interest students in Euclidean geometry. Recent additions include Clifford's Circle Chain Theorems. Simson Line (proof of Simson line) [and] The Raft of the Medusa (problem solving with fractals and animation)." By Antonio Gutierrez, April, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Of Poems, The Changing Role of a Teacher, and Children's Books...
Description of a teacher's magazine, Teacher Plus, published in the south Indian city of Hyderabad. Also, in the latter part of the article, the article includes coverage of the associated World Education Fellowship conference, an international body that believes the primary purpose of education today is to "help us become sensitive, competent and responsible individuals in society and in the world community". If you like Fred's reporting from India, I have two more of his article on my site, here and here, with more (I hope) to come. By Frederick Noronha, Stephen's Web, April 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Motivational Effect of ICT on Pupils
This study was completed in December and circulated via Sparticus today. In essence, this review of 17 school case studies suggests that the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) has a positive motivational impact on students, though this impact varies with use. The strongest areas of improvement were in the areas of engagement, reading and writing, research and presentation, while the most useful technologies were the internet, interactive whiteboards, writing and publishing software and presentation software. By Don Passey, Colin Rogers, Joan Machell, Gilly McHugh and Dave Allaway, Department for Education and Skills, December, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Vocabulary of E-commerce
This French-English e-commerce glossary (or dictionary) has moved since the last time I mentioned it in these pages; this is its new location. Also on the subject of translations is this Information Management Glossary by the Treasury Board Secretariat, which includes sections on intellectual property, metadata and information management. Many more glossaries are available here. By Various Authors, Public Works and Government Services Canada, January 21, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

User Group Meeting Summary and Outcomes
This outcome from a recent DSpace users meeting is familiar to everyone working on eduSource: "Institutional Repositories are a high-value, long-term vision, but are still very much works in progress." This article summarizes the recent DSpace meeting, the presentations from which were just posted online. By MacKenzie Smith, DSpace Federation, March 19, 2004 [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 2004 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.