By Stephen Downes
April 19, 2005

Social Bookmarking Tools (I)
Good article describing the rising trend of social bookmarking tools, explaining how they can be used to organize information (by contrast to an ontology, which as, as Clay Shirkey remarks, "a good way to organize objects, [...], but it is a terrible way to organize ideas." Readers conversant with social bookmarking will nonetheless appreciate the comprehensive listing and comparison of social bookmarking tools (there's more out there than you thought). Numerous examples well worth exploring using Connotea, Nature Publishing Group's own social bookmarking system. A separate article looks at the case study of Connotea in detail. The rest of the April edition of D-Lib is also online. By Tony Hammond, Timo Hannay, Ben Lund, and Joanna Scott, D-Lib Magazine, April, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Dubai Kick-Starts Regional E-learning Association
A regional e-learning association in the Middle East has been formed as a consequence of the recent Middle East Learning Technologies (MELT) conference that took place in Dubai. By Unknown, AME Info, April 17, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Massive Multiplayer Online Gaming: A Research Framework for Military Training and Education
Having been introduced to the internet by means of participation in a MUD, I am drawn to the topic of this study. But I must report an unease about the use to which this research is being put and here stress that the higher purpose of education is to promote peace and prosperity, good health and a life worth living. That said (about as diplomatically as I can express it), this report is a good and in-depth study of the relation between online role-playing games such as MUDs and educational achievement. There is some discussion of how players of such games self-organize and some lighter discussion of the psychological impact of play in such environments. The bulk of the paper is devoted to an outline of fifteen potential research projects. By Curtis J. Bonk and Vanessa P. Dennen, ADL, April 14, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Article about academic blogging which, while it notes the paucity of academic bloggers, speaks positively about the potential benefit. What I liked was the description of why academics blog: to enjoy a freedom they cannot find in traditional academic writing. The author also points out that an academic blog writer is likely to reach a much wider audience than one who publishes only in academic journals. Via Bryan Alexander. By Geeta Dayal, Village Voice, April 12, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

European Schoolnet
European Schoolnet launched today a new portal as "a corporate site for its institutional and business partners and for anyone interested to know more about EUN activities and projects." The portal provides European Schoolnet news and updates, as well as quick access to online committee rooms for members. It also links to other Schoolnet portals, such as Xplora, the European Science Portal, and InSafe, an internet safety resource. By Various Authors, European Schoolnet, April 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Learning Activity Management System
The Learning Activity Management System, better known as LAMS, has been (as promised last year) launched as open source software. Downloads are available for both Windows (143.9 megabytes) and Red Hat Linux. LAMS requires Java and MySQL in order to run (on Linux prepare for a JBoss and Tomcat install). By Press Release, April, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Faceted Classification in the Government of Canada
There are two major ways to organize resources. One way is to assign each resource a position within a classification system. Dewey Decimal and the Library of Congress classification systems work this way. But there are many such ways to classify resources. And some resources might not fit easily into a single category. Another way is to look at the properties of a resource. Who is it by? What is it about? Each of these properties - or 'facets' - is given a rigourous description, sometimes using a canonical vocabularity. Classification then becomes a matter of organizing by common properties. This is faceted classification. This PowerPoint presentation examines the deployment of a faceted classification system within the Government of Canada, and includes a description of the architecture and reference to some major principles of facted classification, and specifically, the Spiteri Model for Facet Analysis. Good stuff. By Yves Marleau and Inge Alberts, March, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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