By Stephen Downes
December 1, 2004

Next-Generation Course Management Systems: Beyond Accidental Pedagogy
Interesting presentation on next generation content management systems - slides (which I viewed) and audio (which I didn't listen to) are available. In a few words, what the author is proposing are content management systems that are simpler and more personal. As I remind people when we get to talking about this sort of thing: the content we are up against (so to speak) is the telephone - and the telephone is very personal and very simple - which is why people call someone rather than use the CMS when they need information. (p.s. EDUCAUSE now has an RSS feed listing all their recent resources). Kim Cavanaugh has commentary on Brain Frieze. By Colleen Carmean, Ali Jafari and Patricia A. McGee , EDUCAUSE 2004, December 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Hacking the Phone Platform
Some of the impact of last week's Nokia mobile phone hack continue to resopnate. But in a good way. Ross Mayfield quotes Douglas Rushkoff, who quotes Nokia's Marko Ahtisaari: "personalization has an intense value and people are willing to pay for it." Ring tones, for example, which began as another hack. "Mass customization and personalization is so valuable that users as developers take it on themselves. A product splinters into a thousand derivatives... Each is an option, where the option didn't exist before." By Ross Mayfield, Ross Mayfield's Weblog, November 25, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Face Book
It's realy really annoying, I have to admit - but the site just won't let me login unless I have a valid U.S. university email address (Canadian ones won't do - I tried). And it appears - at least from the outside - to be pretty popular. It is, of course, just another social networking service, but the very thing I find annoying - its exclusivity - may be exactly what makes it popular. None of those Brazilians you find all over Orkut, no siree! Ah, I will have to content myself with reading the press coverage (until somebody loans me a userid I can borrow to have a look around). By Various Authos, December, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Googly to Go?
No, not about Google - "A 'googly', or a 'wrong'un', is a delivery [in cricket] which looks like a normal leg spinner but actually turns towards the batsmen, like an off break, rather than away from the bat." The Googly, in this case, is Blackboard on a PDA. Fine. But misguided. It got me thinking - and here are some scratch notes on my wiki - want to help turn it into an article? Go to the wiki and edit the page - no login needed, just your ideas. More very useful thoughts on this from Alan Levine. By Derek Morrison, Auricle, December 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

NLII Strategic Plan
The National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (NLII) maps out a new strategy. Some interesting remarks: "Another challenge is to help ourselves—and our institutions—better understand and respond to the new generation of students entering our campuses. They adopt technologies that are not part of our traditional arsenal (e.g., wikipediae, blogs, IM, social networking sites, etc.) and they use them in ways that are detached from the processes of the academy. We provide little if no constructive context for them to use these technologies to improve learning, and so they use them to amuse themselves." A little patronizing, but at least they're heading in the right direction. By Various Authors, NLII, December 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Daring Dozen
They're all American, so we'll call this a national perspective. That notwithstanding, it is worthwhile to pause and look at some of the examples we find in our community of people who go above aand beyond to serve the needs of education. And it occurs to me - maybe an international 'online learning Hall of Fame' might be a good idea. Or maybe not. What do you think? Should we set one up? By Edutopia Staff, George Lucas Educational Foundation, December 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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