By Stephen Downes
February 15, 2005

Emergent Learning: Social Networks and Learning Networks
I submitted this item as a discussion starter to the Online Social Networks Conference 2005 conference and it will form a framework for my talk this week at Northern Voice. I include it here because it provides another perspective on the material I produce in this newsletter. The item consists of posts from last week, viewed through the prism of a single post (specifically, this one). Part of the point was to demonstrate the organization, part of the point is to demonstrate that there is an organization - my link selection is not random - but the most important part of the point is that the organization depends on your point of view. My writing is holographic; take any of my posts: that creates a prism. The rest of the material in this week's newsletter, last week's newsletter, or in my corpus as a whole takes a shape reflecting out from that prism, in a pattern suggested by the lens, and at certain end-points you find my papers - poor linear stream-of-consciousness reflections of what I saw one particular day at one particular time. This post? This is the key. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, February 13, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Interoperability State of Play at IMS Melbourne Meeting
Good and detailed article describing the ebb and flow of ideas exchanged at the IDEA Summer 2005 conference held last week in Melbourne. What is interesting was what appeared to be the consensus that, despite all the initiatives, we still don't have interoperability. I have my own theories about why this is the case, but more interesting are those offered by the speakers. Don't miss the link to the presentations, of which I summarize three below. By Wilbert Kraan, CETIS, February 13, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

This presentation introduces you to the Australian Research Repositories Online to the World (Arrow) project, an Australian repositories initiative, as well as detailed diagrams of the Flexible Learning Framework and the Tasmania Learning Architectures Project. Some alternative ways of viewing the E-Learning Framework and an interesting 'wheel' diagram depicting types of repositories. By Kerry Blinco, IDEA Summer 2005, February 8, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The quality of this preentation is a bit unever (some of the diagrams absolutely need interpretation) but the author makes enough good points that it is worth a view. The 'The Next Wave' diagram on slide 5 should be noted by the LMS industry. The observation that "publishers will go direct" is well taken, as is the recognition of personal publishing. And the duplication of content depicted on slide 9 gets right to the heart of why I prefer the open, distributed approach to learning content. By John Townsend, IDEA Summer 2005, February 9, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Service-Oriented Frameworks for eLearning
Scott Wilson writes the kind of presentation that makes you feel like you've just spent an evening drinking beer with him as he effortlessly weaves through complex subjects dispelling both myths and confusion. As a case in point, his opening describing the many ways to achieve integration is both humorous and informative. And I support this: "Frameworks must be based on practical experience, must evolve in response to experiences and reflection, must support partial implementation and not require complete adoption of the whole framework to achieve anything, ust not mandate a single development environment (e.g.Java) and must support a range of implementation patterns and as wide a variety of designs as possible." Don't miss this. By Scott Wilson, IDEA Summer 2005, February 9, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

ODRL Initiative Requirements Working Draft
From the good people at the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL), who are working on version 2 of the specification: "The phase of actively gathering requirements is now closed. The main focus of the Version 2 working group is now to create the new specification documents." This link is to the requirements document. By Ranato Ianella and Susanne Guth, ODRL, February 14, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Knowledge Tree Special Edition
The Australian Flexible Learning Framework has released a special edition of the Knowledge Tree "featuring the 2004 Flexible Learning Leaders, marks the end of this leadership development initiative, which was part of the 2000-2004 Australian Flexible Learning Framework." From where I sit the Flexible Learning Leaders program was a good program, worth continuing. Anyhow, the issue contains a dozen good articles summarizing the work of this year's Flexible Learning Leaders. Articles worth noting include Terri Connellan's model of leadership skills and organisational strategies to support innovation and Tanya Wooley on engaging remote Australian indigenous communities in learning with technology. By Various Authors, Australian Flexible Learning Framework, February 14, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Navigating Copyright in Schools: An Updated Resource for Canadian Educators Released
The Council of Ministers of education, Canada (CMEC) has released the second edition of Copyright Matters (PDF). The booklet "will be made available to every teacher and school board in Canada." It's a good straightforward questiona nd answer description of what is allowed under Canadian law (which seems to be more than under, say, U.S. law, so have a look). By Wanda Noel, Council of Ministers of education, Canada, February 8, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Copyright and the Internet: Is There a Canadian Way?
Since the Toronto Star decided to hide its content behind a registration wall I have not been able to run Michael Geist's usually lucid material. This slide show is not much more accessible, but at least it's free and open. I couldn't hear the sound because of the plug-in, and the slides are hardly worth clicking through, but what I could see still leads me to recommend this, especially the approach advocated at the end: do nothing, do no harm. It would be nice if Geist contributed to the open internet; we need his voice. This item and the next two via the digital-copyright mailing list, which adds "The University of Toronto last week launched a new Open Access/Open Source initiative" - no link, though. *sigh* By Michael Geist, February 15, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

SLU Tries to Flush Out Naysayers With Copyright Suit
Here we have a case of a very minor - and possibly legal - use of copyright material being used as a means of identifying not an illegal file sharer but rather a sharp critic of St. Lawrence University (SLU). "The complaint describes the TBOC site as a place that publishes 'crude pseudonymous critiques of St. Lawrence University, its faculty, staff, and students.'" It seems to me that copyright was never intended to act as a lever in this way - but with special dispensation for content owners, it serves as a conduit otherwise inaccessible in most civil and criminal matters. File this one under 'abuse'. By Casey Dickinson, Central New York Business Journal, February 14, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Downloading Service Offered by University Failing to Entice Students
Experiences elsewhere vary, but this report indicates a very slow start to legal music downloading at Tufts. Mond you, it's almost a textbook example of how not to do it - the software was rolled out during exams, it only works on Internet Explorer, and students can't find the songs they're searching for. By Carly Okyle, Tufts Daily, February 11, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

New Web Site for Academics Roils Education Journalism
The Chronicle of Higher Education - in this article accurately described as "stodgy and resistant to change" - has been shaken up and now faces new competition as two former senior staff - Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman, the editor and managing editor of The Chronicle - left after 20 years to form their own online publishing venture, Inside Higher Ed. The best news about this new publication is its commitment to accessibility: "You don't need an expense account any more to get the best news, information and career services... All of our content is free." Worth noting: "The Chronicle grossed $33 million in advertising revenues and $7 million in circulation revenues in 2003." By Lia Miller, New York Times, February 14, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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