By Stephen Downes
September 4, 2004

ITI: Stephen Downes Keynote
Today is a bit of a catch-up day as I recover from the intensive ITI conference in Utah. This item summarizes my presentation - my slides and an MP3 audio version will be available next week when I get FTP access to my server again. But if you can't wait, read this item, which is a very goot and fairly detailed outline of what I said. By Rick West, The Edu-Blogger, September 3, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Instructional Technology Institute Conference, 2004
Overview of the Instructional Technology Conference in Utah. None of the summaries is particularly detailed, but the author provides a lot of links that I missed. By Ulises Ali Mejias, Ideant, September 3, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Apple's iTunes Opens Wider -- By Hook or By Hack
Short article that describes additional hacks into the Apple iTunes DRM system. "The various hacks to iTunes are further evidence that no DRM scheme is hackproof, and that the schemes most likely to be hacked are the ones that are most popular." But also: "it is evidence that Apple is gradually bowing to considerable industry pressure not to repeat the mistakes it made in the personal computer world by keeping the Macintosh proprietary." By Staff, DRM Watch, August 26, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Synchronous Collaboration tools for the Academic World
Longish (50 minute) Breeze presentation from Robin Good. George Siemens summarizes it nicely: "Robin's central tenet is that large, full featured enterprise synchronous tools don't meet the needs of most users...and as a result, a new breed of simpler, specialized, connected tools are gaining popularity (interesting to see if a similar trend will take hold with LMS')." By Luigi Canali de Rossi, Robin Good, September, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

How Social Is Computer Supported Collaborative Learning?
I got this item in my email, and I thought I'd pass it along with my comments. The emailer writes: "If I take Intro Computing Science from ABC University, I do not care one bit about the 'social' aspect of it. If I want to learn Socialization 100 there are social science courses I can take." My response outlines the role of 'socialization' in computer science and learning. Short. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, September 4, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Educhaos: Facilitating the Unpredictable!
This item arrived in my email yesterday morning via Rod Corbett's Best Practices in E-Learning Newsletter just in time for me to include the link in my presentation. In a word, Marie Jasinski gets it. "Educhaos connecting educational practice with chaos and complexity theory. It's that dynamic space between order and disorder where educators embrace contradictions like stability and instability, structure and flexibility, planning and improvisation." Great stuff. HTML page linking to a Breeze presentation with (sadly) dubious sound quality. By Marie Jasinski, University of Calgary, September 3, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Open Admin for Schools
As Les Richardson writes in school-discuss: "Our/My software called Open Admin for Schools is a lightweight web based SIS package based on MySQL/Perl. It is GPL'd. It is currently being used in 4 divisions (that I know about) here in Saskatchewan, Canada and by some international schools." By Various Authors, September, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blocking Moodle
The people at Bath have been running the open source learning management system (LMS) Moodle through its paces. This article describes the addition of a 'block' on Moodle that can import an RSS feed. Nice work. Other items in the series include Moodle Meanderings One, Two and Three. By Derek Morrison, Auricle, September 3, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Intranet Trends to Watch For
Some good observations on the short-term future of corporate intranets, including the increasing role of lawyers (sheesh) and the return of intranets to departmental control. Worth noting is the suggestion that all employees will (finally) become intranet publishers with blog-like tools and that users are demanding a more aesthetic intranet experience. Via elearningpost. By Shiv Singh, Line 56, August 31, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Techno tag team
The response has been overwhelming, but I'm not sure I'd like the job. This article describes a program at USC whereby tech support is offered by 'live-in' tech support people. Worth noting, too, is that the tech support people are intended not just to fix problems, but to teach students. "If we can educate students as freshmen, then hopefully they will still retain enough of the information to solve computer problems they may have in the rest of their college career." Via Syllabus. By Michael Villasenor, Daily Trojan, August 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

MIT iCampus Outreach Initiative
This is a set of tools developed at MIT in collaboration with Microsoft. This site, just launched, "seeks to disseminate" the tools - it doesn't seek very hard, though, as you have to go through an email exchange with the MIT iCampus Outreach Director in order to even see them. The tools lookminteresting, though - one allows you to design robots, another is a sketch tool for notepad computers, and another is an XML-based course authoring tool called iTutor. Via Syllabus. By Various Authors, MIT iCampus, September, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Scribe Studio
Yesterday I said we need a 'Blogger' of e-learning. Here is something that tries, but perhaps does too much, as it incorporates any type of content(Word, PowerPoint, whatever), creates questions and quizzes, enables student logon into an LMS, even lets you charge students. The system is hosted, which means that for the user it is totally web-based. No word in the intro or the white paper about exporting courses. No wonder it requires licensing. Something like this is probably good for smaller enterprises, places that do not want to purchase and LMS but want to provide their employees some sort of e-learning. But the mass market will have to look elsewhere. By Various Authors, September, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Big List on Technology Integration
This site is one of several sites on the topic listed in a recent WWWEDU post. Others inlcuded Best Practices of Technology Integration , Technology Integration: Unit Planning, Linda Burkhart's Technology Integration, Technology Integration Projects for Students and Technology Integration: Unit Planning. By Various Authors, GLEF, September, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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