By Stephen Downes
September 25, 2004

E-Learning in Easy Pieces
Slides from my talk in Darwin. Again, I have made a recording, but the combination of 60 megabyte files and dial-up access prevents me for passing it along just now. I also have slides from my Queensland talks - not so informative, but they will give you an idea of what I talked about. I also created a resource page for some talks, no real content but lots of links. Remember, I have also placed resources on my wiki. I've also added photos from Kakadu. This is my last newsletter from Darwin; I'm in Alice Springs tomorrow but will take a day off the newsletter; the next one will come from Uluru, I hope. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, September 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Web Services What Web Services?
The author goes exploring for web services and finds some. Good article - it begins with an overview of web services and what their promise is supposed to be for education. He then locates various links and examples illustrating what web services can do. I am not convinced about web services, but this article gives me a lot of food for thought. I just wish, with the author, that we had some samples - not just reference implementations, but actual code, from both the service delivery end and the service use end, and not in Java but in code (such as Perl or PHP) that the average person can use (yes, this is a request for you to send me your latest and greates web services). By Derek Morrison, Auricle, September 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

CivicSpace Labs
Todd sends this site along, a service that "will give you and the supporters within your community a solid framework for organizing and engaging those around you in action." Community activism has been online for a while now, and this site shows it is becoming entrenched. By Various Authors, September, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Impressions of WebCT
In my self-styled 'Rampage Across Australia' tour I have been touting the benefits of 'small' e-learning and questioning the value of large learning management systems. It's not just me - check out this post from DEOS-L on experiences with WebCT Vista. My message is Chris Sessum's: "Spend your money on web designers, artists, simulation experts, people who can assist you in making your online vision possible. If you can avoid VISTA, it would be my recommendation to do so." (In fairness, there were some positive comments in the DEOS-L discussion, but I think the damage has been done.) By Chris Sessum, DEOS-L, September 23, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Microsoft Arabia signs MOU to Bring Partners in Learning Initiative to Saudi Arabia
E-Learning in Saudi Arabia will look like Windows, at least for the immediate future, as the government of that country has signed a deal with Microsoft to provide e-learning support. "The agreement included four main protocols which are Teacher Training, E-Learning Gateway, The Digital Curriculum and finally the Data Center." This indicates a trend, which has largely been below the radar, of major software companies working at ministerial level to define the shape of e-learning in Asia. By Unattributed, AME Info, September 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

New Trend Emerging in E-learning: UGC Chief
I think we knew this already, but coverage of a vice-chancellors' meeting in Margaro shows that awareness of e-learning has reached India's university administrations, and (with a little help from the major IT companies) Indian universities are preparing to push forward. By NT News Service, Navhind Times, September 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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