By Stephen Downes
March 16, 2005

A Learning Blogosphere
Discussion in two parts. Part 1 follows up on a project to build a distributed learning blogging community in a class last fall, including an interesting series of attempts to actually follow the conversation. Part 2 looks at the long tail phenomenon in class blog posts and looks at ways of improving the balance of participation. "I had to participate but also wanted to keep my role to a minimum so that the conversation remained more student driven," the author writes. By Bud Gibson, The Community Engine, March 1, March 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Ideal Publisher's Digital Content Package for 2005-2006? -- A Portable Learning Environment
Picking up from some recent discussion on the topic, the author outlines "an increased need for standards-based, portable content that can be reused in multiple environments" and offers recommendations and a description of a proposed prototype portable learning environment (PLE). By Rob Reynolds, XPlanaZine, March 14, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

BECTA's Packaging and Publishing LOs: Best Practice Guidelines
Commentary from Albert Ip questioning the recent Guidelines. "I don't see how VLE can map content against any curriculum," he writes. "It is the course designer's job to map the course against any curriculum." By Albert Ip, Random Walk in E-Learning, March 16, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Emerging Perceptions
"Those who wish to put serious content on their blogs," writes David Miller, "must trust that it will be recognized as such." And those who wish to see meaningful content in blogs can do little more than to subscribe to it. "There is little we can do to encourage bloggers to post meaningful content because it is their own content. That is the beauty of blogs. We control only what we subscribe to." But what should be added, too, is that this -- rather than any content control mechanism -- is how we recognize and reward what should be considered 'academic' content and what, well, shouldn't. Nathan Lowell and Roy Jenkins on the same subject. By David Miller, Emerging Perceptions, March 16, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

(My) 7 Guidelines for Effective Corporate e Learning
Good set of guidelines which should form at least a framework of a corporate e-learning strategy -- or a corporate learning strategy in general. Know any managers who could use this advice? Via James Framer. By Anol Bhattacharya, Soulsoup, March 7, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Achieving Success in Internet-Supported Learning in Higher Education
The findings of this report may appear obvious, but count the number of institutions that do not meet these criteria for success and you have a good account of the widely reported 'failure' of online learning. What are the lessons? That successful online institutions have a motivation to offer learning online, either as part of their mission or as a strategy for survival, that they adopt a programmatic approach with a commitment to fully online programs, that they measure quality rather than quantity, that they adopt successful technologies that are constantly being improved, and that they go beyond technological issues and look at service generally. That's not so hard, is it? Via EdTechPost. By Rob Abel, Alliance for Higher Education Competitiveness, February 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Take It Easy. You're Making us Look Bad
The caution to 'walk before you can run' is usually uttered by those who can't, or won't, run. "'We' don't run because those who can grant permission--encourage the running--prefer to walk. Walking is a higher percentage endeavor in their eyes. A lower exertion one, too. Running is not their ambition, exposure makes them anxious. Horizons make them squint." Interesting observations from ∞Fouroboros, via McGee's Musings. By Fouro, ∞Fouroboros, March 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Free Public Access To Your Own Cultural Wealth
Robin Good asks, "If we pay our state to create public works like art, music, architecture, research, is it right that these creations are then exploited for commercial uses by a restricted few?" And the answer, of course, is "no" even though a large amount of the work created through the public purse benefits commercial interests in precisely that way. By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, March 16, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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