By Stephen Downes
November 1, 2004

ERIC gets $34.6 million upgrade
The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), a repository of 16 separate clearinghouses for educational journals and abstracts, gets a new lease on life with this multimillion contract to a private agency. Syracuse University has continues the popular AskEric service under a new name, the Educator's Reference Desk. By Florence Olsen, FCW.com, November 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogging and RSS The "What's It?" and "How To" of Powerful New Web Tools for Educators
Will Richardson authors this shortish piece on blogging and RSS in education. Not a whole lot that is new, but Richardson's strength is the number and range of examples he can choose from to illustrate the point. I don't see how he could fail to mention WordPress in his article, though. By Will Richardson, Information Today, November 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Our Code is Falling to Pieces. Doug McGill on the Fading Mystique of an Objective Press
This article is unpleasant reading for anyone who thinks that the system works, but now that we have blogging standing as an alternative to journalism, we are beginning to see more clearly where the system is collapsing in on itself. "It's a matter of routine that reporters feel or know they are being lied to," writes the author. "Yet they take the quotes and pass them on, unchallenged. And they rationalize this essentially corrupt practice - corrupt that is from the point of view of the democracy that the media purportedly supports - any number of ways." It seems to me - and I have often talked about the similarities between journalism and education - that this applies to teaching as well. The task is not merely to pass on facts, unchallenged, like a machine, but to enter into a conversation, not only with the student, but also with the source of the knowledge being passed on. Teachers are the reporters of knowledge for students - and we rue the day teachers even lose their passion for the truth in the way, it seems, much of the commercial press have. By Jay Rosen, PressThink, October 29, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Great Hackers
Daniel Lemire sent me this item which expresses in a way that I can why I prefer some types of software (like Perl) and not others (like Java). Once you get past the (probably false) pseudo-economics in the first few paragraphs, it's a good read. I don't know if I'm a hacker - probably not in the true sense of the term - but most of what's there rings true to me. By Paul Graham, July, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

What Do Application Profiles Reveal about the Learning Object Metadata Standard?
Follow-up article from Norm Friesen's discussion of the elements of IEEE-LOM actually used in application profiles. As it turns out, the elements used are those roughly analagous to Dublin Core. But, argues the author, though two institutions may use the same element, they are using it in different ways. Scott Leslie comments, "The notion of two layers of metadata, one core to maximize interoperability and harvesting, the other with more local data, seems on the surface worthy of further discussion." Via EdTech Post. By Carol Jean Godby, Ariadne, October, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Locking Libraries Out of the Digital Loop
Two items describing the content market on mobile phones (such as ring tones, songs) placed side by side cause Jenny Levine to ask, "How would a library circulate a digital music or video file in that environment?" This is the future of telephony - and, if countent producers have their say, the future of computing. "Many of the phones limit the file types you can play and send to friends. Imagine a phone that can only play encrypted formats. You could download all the MP3s off P2P that you want, but none of them would be usable... this new no-right-of-first-sale, no-traditional-fair-use-rights digital world." By Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian, October 31, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Monday's Weekly Show is on! Also: Introducing the Unmediated Quickcast
Showing how it's done, Unmediated launched a new weekly Postcast show - here's the MP3 from their first segment. By yotta, Unmediated, October 31, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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