By Stephen Downes
February 3, 2005

Edu_RSS 2.0
This link is to a barely functional version of Edu_RSS 0.2 - what I've been working on for the last few weeks. Edu_RSS isn't a commercial product, it's me using Perl instead of English to try to explain a concept. What concept? Well, part of it involves distributed metadata - and I today created this graphic to explain what I mean (and if you want context - put the graphic Scott Wilson distributed the other day right over the word 'Use' and you see how the two concepts mesh). It is into this sort of framework Edu_RSS is intended to fit. The wiki pages are intended supplement this description; in particular, please see the section on third party metadata and my discussion with Brian Sutherland on the relation between RSS and LOM. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, February 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Courtesy of a link from David Weinberger comes a reference to this site, as solid proof as I could hope to see about where the blogosphere - and RSS, and content syndication - is headed. The author explains, "Dave Winer says that there's a bit of buzz about social networks and RSS aggregators. I haven't seen it myself, but I am glad to see it brought up, because it's one of the things that's evolving nicely in BlogBridge and will be available in the next weekly build." Well I guess Dave Winer would have read The Semantic Social Network. What's important, is that this is where things are heading... plan for it now. By Pito Salas, BlogBridge, February 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Blogosphere as a Tuple Space
Nice description of tuples, which will be useful if you ever decide to learn Python. Nice description of Lazyweb, which these days doesn't seem to be living up to its promise. And a nice concept: the idea that it doesn't matter what you're looking for, you go to the same place, and ask the same way, to find it. By Leslie Michael Orchard, 0xDECAFBAD, January 12, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Educational Games Donít Have to Stink!
If teaching is like a play that follows a script, games are like improv that are open ended. Why the difference? "Computer games donít teach. I think the idea that you can teach using computer games is based on a flawed analogy between gameplay and learning. In short, itís my belief that games donít teach, they illustrate." Great point, and it's too bad the author opted to post his work behind a registration barrier, which means that the link and the credit goes to Maish, who cited it and quoted a couple of paragraphs. By Maish Nichani, elearningpost, February 3. 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Against Syllabi
This is an interesting twist on the reusability parasox. "The more syllabus-heavy a course, I would argue, the more context-dependent." The detailed course syllabus, argues the author, has evolved as a legal defense against an increasingly litigous student body. The author leaves us questioning whether the syllabus will ever succeed at its task; I leave wondering why a course should ever become a matter of litigation in the first place. Via Pedablogue. By Terry Caesar, Inside Higher Ed, January 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Smart Online Marketing Promotion Tactics
I signed up for the Scientific American RSS feed yesterday and found that just about every second feed is an add - I don't know whether these were inserted by the magazine of by the syndicator, NewsIsFree (who really ought to change their name). And every ad was the same, and had nothing to do with the magazine or my interets. This is dumb RSS marketing. For how to do it well, marketers are advised to look at this item from Robin Good. Not that I feel any better about it. But if you're going to annoy me with marketing, you should at least get some return from it. By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, January 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Association of Online K-12 Schools
Darren Cannell writes in from Saskatchewan to let people know of a new newsletter - and new association - for online K-12 schools. "The association is trying to pull together some of the K-12 schools for resource sharing, practice comparisons and maybe develop some approaches to online learning for school age students." If you know of schools or staff who might be interested, send them an email (there's an address at the bottom of the newsletter). By Various Authors, February 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Do People Really Pay Attention During Online Meetings?
I once wrote a paper called Synchronous Learning on the Web in which I observed that "the less you want to be at the class or the meeting, the more you want to use some form of conferencing, because it's easier and - especially if you're online - you can do other things at the same time." As this article makes clear, I am not the only person to have reached that conclusion. "90 percent of audio conferencers multitask by doing things other than paying full attention to meeting content." What surprises me most, I think, is that ten percent of attendees are paying full attention. By Robin Good, Kolabora, February 02, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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