By Stephen Downes
January 31, 2005

Infrae 'Railroad Repository' for Plone or Zope
Scott Leslie writes, "I am really not sure why I haven't seen more of this, as the longer I look at the LOR problem the more sense it makes to me that 'conventional' repositories can be reasonably easily built on the back of existing (large and relatively stable) open source Content Management Systems." Gosh yes. I don't know why I haven't seen more of this either. By Scott Leslie, Ed Tech Post, January 31, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Twelve Step Program For Identifying and Eliminating Organizational Change (Culture)
It you need a chuckle to start (or end) your day, this twelve-step program is for you. By BrightCrayonLLC, Kuro5hin, January 31, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Enterprise Services - the REST version
This item is mostly for my future reference - Scott Wilson offers a RESTful (non-)replacement for IMS read-only Enterprise web service using a URL-based syntax. (more detailed PDF). By Scott Wilson, Scott's Workblog, January 30, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

SmarterChild...Your IM Buddy
The importance of this item isn't the cute toy, it is, as Marc Oehlert observes, "the integration into workflow." he writes, "People are already using IM (Instant Messaging) more and more in their daily routine so the idea of making automated knowledge bases available via a well done chat bot is dead on." Along these lines, James Farmer explores several multiple-Account IM clients. By Marc Oehlert, e-Clippings, January 31, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Lilia Efimova shares this link to Blog Trace, an application that analyzes blog posts for vocabulary and interaction. A diagram of the application is provided. Interesting, though I haven't been able to look at it in detail. By Anjo Anjewierden, Anjo Anjewierden, January 31, 2005 10:34 p.m. [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Translating Constructivism into Instructional Design: Potential and Limitations
Constructivism is a learning theory and not an instructional-design theory, note the authors, raising the question of how instructional designers are supposed to design for it. The authors offer an approach that favours "a more pragmatic approach that focuses on the principles of moderate - rather than extreme - constructivism and makes use of emergent technology tools," surveying active learning, authentic learning, multiple perspectives and collaborative learning. If you're looking for some tools, then beyond a reference to Jonassen the authors leave the reader disappointed. But the paper at least frames the question. PDF. More papers from this issue of Educational Technology & Society. By Yiasemina Karagiorgi and Loizos Symeou, Educational Technology & Society, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Making the Case for a Wiki
You want a wiki to play with, but how do you make the case for the negligible cost and and server space that one would entail? The author offers three use cases: as a lab book, for collaborative writing, and as a knowledge base (Brian kelly adds, in an other article in the same journal, using a wiki to take notes at a workshop. She also provides a grid comparing nine wiki software packages written in different langauges, allowing readers to pick their preference (this list is not complete, though - and the wiki I ultimately chose, the Erfurt Wiki, is at least as good as any of them). By Emma Tonkin, Ariadne, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Comment to Permanent Injustice: Rawls' Theory of Justice and the Digital Divide
Albert Ip ventures into that quagmire known as ethical theory and lands in a particular fen known as Rawls' A Theory of Justice. This work, a foundation for contemporary liberalism, advances along two lines: first, that the origin of justice is to be found in a 'social contract' that would be drawn by a community working without knowledge of their eventual place in the community; and second, the theory of 'justice as fairness' that would be the result of any such deliberations. Now basing a theory on a social contract is risky, and doing it counterfactually riskier still, as evidenced by the question of whether those in the original position would seek to maximize their gain should they end up on top, or minimize their loss should they end up on the bottom. On this rests the question posed by the paper being reviewed by Ip, which suggests that afforts to address the digital divide should favour the disadvantaged. I still think the best approach along these lines was stated by the Tasmanian government, that "Everybody should have a fair go." It defines a starting point without reaching the absurd conclusion that, because one 40 gig connection exists, that everyone should have one. By Albert Ip, Random Walk in E-Learning, January 31, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

UKeU Inquiry Draws to a Close? - Some Reflections and a Challenge
Some final reflections as the enquiry into UKeU draws to a close. UKeU, which was intended to be a world class online learning university wrapped up instead as a milti m,illion pound loss. Derek Morrison, who worked on the project and followed the enquiry with interest, observes that key decisions were made before the team started working on the project, decisions that were possibly political in motivation, that UKeU became the platform (which in itself cost millions of pounds). Trying to salvage something out of UKeU, adminsitrators are looking at using or selling the platform - but as Morrison asks, if it's so valuable, why hasn't anyone stepped forward to buy it? By Derek Morrison, Auricle, January 31, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Interview: The Future According to Elliott Masie
I read this interview but I still don't know what he thinks is coming in the future (except that it will be called 'learning decisions'). Hard to go wrong. By Ryann Ellis, Learning Circuits, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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