By Stephen Downes
January 15, 2005

Note: corrected link. Lion Kimbro, who was so badly treated by my discussion system (sorry Lion), offers some long range predictions. Note well the section on 'the hive mind' - I think that something like this is very much likely to be the case. "2009: This is where people really start to go, 'Whoah... We're the Hive Mind...' It should be a dominant theme in movies by this point." Wiki - so if you don't like his predictions, change them. By Lion Kimbro, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Gestion de l'information avec XML
Course on XML, written completely in XHTML and rendered using XSLT. Lots of good content with built-in quizzes (also in XHTML). In French. The author notes, "a work-in-progress: there might be bugs, spelling errors, etc. The final version will be available around Marc 2005." Also, because Internet Explorer does not render XHTML properly, the course must be viewed in Firefox. By Daniel Lemire, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

National Guidance Research Forum
Graham Atwell sends this along: "The National Guidance Research Forum website is an exciting new website which has been designed for all those interested in guidance research." Atwell adds, "What I like is that many authors have been and are involved in developing the site. At a technical level they are integrating blogging with discussion in a plone based system and using rss and trackback to link different entries." By Various Authors, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Network EducationWare
Scott Leslie finds the Holy Grail: an open source audio-visual web conferencing system. As Leslie notes, it was developed by Mark Pullen and others at George Mason University and has been around since 2002. Now that I have a newly expanded web server, installation and testing will begin on Monday. You can find NEW here. By Scott Leslie, EdTechPost, January 14, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Multisubculturalism: Computers and the End of Progressive Education
Mark Oehlert introduces us to the work of David Shaffer, another researcher who desperately needs a blog, an RSS feed, that will get the word out. Oehlert recommends some of his papers, but I started at the top of the list and landed on this one, an outstanding excursion into the realm of microworld, epistemic frames, subcultures and the educational philosophy og John Dewey. There are numerous insights in thsi paper worth reporting: the importance of diversity in learning and society, the role different educational goals ought to play in a theory of education, autoexpressive virtual worlds, and so much more. This gets to the heart of much of my own thinking: "Practice, identity, values, knowledge, and epistemology, I have argued, are bound together into an epistemic frame... epistemic frames are the ways of knowing with associated with particular communities of practice." By David Shaffer, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Blog Blog
Dave Pell launches a blog called the Blog Blog, a blog about blogs (and I set the record for the most uses of the word 'blog' in a sentence). He writes, "The personal publishing revolution will change forever the way we find, consume and share news, commentary and other content." Quite right, and I am thus vindicated. By Dave Pell, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Yahoo Problem, And Its Solution
Dave Winer points to what he calls the 'Yahoo Problem' - the need for a website to list a long list of buttons to allow users of different RSS aggregator software to subscribe to a feed, or worse, a content site favouring one particular aggregator (as CNN does with Yahoo, hence the 'problem'). Winer outlines a solution involving a subscription server. Others recommend a less centralized solution, such as Mike Rowehl's Bitsplitter, which is more along the lines of what I would propose. By Dave Winer, Really Simple Syndication, January 12, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

User-Driven MetaData Definition: Tagging From The Roots
There has been quite a bit of discussion of the concept of folsonomies - classifications created by user-designed categories - over the last week. Robin Good's analysis and synthesis are good starting points. As David Weinberger points out, the tag revolution is continuing. "Thanks to del.icio.us and then flickr in particular," he notes, "hundreds of thousands of people have been introduced to bottom-up tagging." Also related is a new service called Frassle, a service that lets you "blog posts or web bookmarks (or even comments) in any number of categories you create, so you can find them again later." By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, January 5, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Creative Problem-Solving Process
Dave Pollard writes, "It appears there may be as many as 12 steps in the process involved in solving problems or making critical decisions, whether in a business context or a broader social context." He presents this process in a useful and clear diagram. What's interesting is that the diagram makes it clear that problem solving is a distributed process, with no individual performing more than two or three of the twlve steps. My own work, for example, revolves around the 'Understand', 'Organize', and 'Think Ahead' steps. Perhaps 'Reach Out' as well. By Dave Pollard, How to Save the World, December 28, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Work on RSS_LOM continues as Brian Sutherland offers another proposed revision. RSS_LOM has tested successfully in RSS aggregators, which means that it can be used to transport learning object metadata. Some open questions remain about the encoding of the metadata within the RSS file. The article also list five potential functions of RSS_LOM. By Brian Sutherland, Brian Sutherland's Journal, December 17, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Sentient Launch Repository With Word Interface
CETIS carries this brief write-up. "Claimed to be able to create IMS Content Packages, LearnBuild allows users to do most content creation and publishing operations from within Microsoft Word." By Wilbert Kraan, CETIS, January 12, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Altnet Trying to Mug Companies
For from the patent abuse department: a company is using a patent it obtained on a decades-old programming technique - associative arrays, or hashes - to attack peer-to-peer (P2P) companies. By Jay Flemma, p2pnet, january 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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