By Stephen Downes
May 25, 2004

Building the School of the Future
Streaming media presentation (not viewable in Firefox) from Microsoft outlining its vision of the school of the future. It looks at where children are going online today - a good place to start - and notes that significant numbers of them do things like access foreign newspapers or practice e-commerce. We should ask the question (frequently posed by critics) of whether a laptop will make a difference; we need to look at the entire learning environment. As a case study, it looks at the School District of Philadelphia, where Microsoft has a partnership. By Mary Cullinane, Microsoft, May 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Collaboration at ASTD Next Week
Blogging up a storm this week is Harold Jarche, reporting on the ASTD conference now taking place. He refers us to this fascinating discussion taking place on Jay Cross's website in which, in response to the conference, Hal Richman says "I am beginning to see the collaboration thing as a clash of civilizations. There is a thread running through the LMS/training outsourcing world that sees people as input/output devices to be trained. Informal learning and collaboration are for quiche eaters." I am inclined to agree with this assessment - I place myself on the 'collaboration' side of the house (actually, I think there's more to it than just that) and find a disconnect between the way I approach things and the way the learning design commununity as a whole approaches things. Jarche also points to Mark Oehlert's coverage of the conference. By Jay Cross, Internet Time, May 20, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Launched yesterday (I'm glad Harold Jarche was there to blog this, though I knew about this and the next item they had slipped my mind) is the new LearnNB. Picking up (I hope) where TeleEducation NB left off, LearnNB is intended to "collaboration among learning industry enterprises and institutions in New Brunswick; allied export marketing; career growth and networking for regional workplace learning and performance practitioners; and an online community of practice for e-learning professionals, wherever they may be." Via Jarche. By Various Authors, May 24, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ensemble Collaboration
Launched at the ASTD conference, Ensemble is a system that allows for the integration of 'collaboration objects' into a learning management system for use with an online course. Ensemble's demo site includes sample course content from Skillsoft, NetG, KNet and Mindleaders, and sample LMS displays from the usual popular systems. Via Jarche. By Various Authors, May 24, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Sender Policy Framework
Could we be on the verge of a breakthrough in the spam problem? As ClickZ summarizes, "a new field that would be added to the e-mail "envelope" called "RFROM." (The "R" stands for responsible.) This field would contain the e-mail address responsible for sending of the message, and it could be checked by a receiving mail system before the e-mail is accepted." Meng Weng Wong writes, "Some news on the convergence between SPF and Caller-ID can be read at ClickZ, InfoWorld, and news.com. I also announced a slideshow to the SPF-discuss and MARID mailing lists." Do view the slideshow - it's nothing but HTML with a nifty page-turner and graphically describes the proposal a lot better than the articles can. By Meng Weng Wong, May, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Everyday Systems

I am an urban ranger,
I walk, it's what I do.
The city is my wilderness,
Sky scrapers are my trees...
By Reinhard Engels, May 24, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Working Reference
I do wonder what's up with this page. Perhaps Dan Carnevale (a writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education) can fill us in? Here's my theory. The text is white on white, so you have to highlight the page to see it... By Unknown, May, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Mentioned in the article below, Audacity is a free digital audio editor. This link is here for my use later, since I've been searching for one of these. It can be downloaded here. By Various Authors, May, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Something for Nothing: The Free Culture AudioBook Project
Lisa Galarneau sent me this nice item giving a bit of an insider's view of the activities following the free release online of Lawrence Lessig's new book, Free Culture. What I like about this article is not simply the statement of the argument in favour of free distribution (though there is that) but the way it describes how, when the book was released, people began to use it, making audio transcriptions, translations, even a wiki site. The story not only reflects the changing economics of content distribution, it shows that readers are no longer content to be passive consumers. The want and need to be able to work with, to interact with, the material. By Suw Charman, Chocolate and Vodka, May 24, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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