By Stephen Downes
May 25, 2005

This Is IT
I am in North bay for the This Is IT conference - and I am having one of those days. Lost luggage. Bumped from the room in the hotel with internet. NRC's email services once again on the fritz (no web access, no outgoing email). It's OK, though, I'm muddling through and if my computer holds out (my power cord is on the airplane) I'll be able to do a nice talk tomorrow. Oh, and I pass along the link to the conference though as I write it, too, is offline. By Various Authors, Stephen's Web, May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Journey of Self-Discovery: Facilitator's Guide to Reflection and Portfolio Development
Another in the recent cluster of resources surrounding portfolio development. This Guide, produced by Saskatchewan Learning, describes portfolios as like "'learning documentaries' that present concrete examples of an individual's knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs)." It introduces the concept, process and product developed. And it includes activities, ideas and resources. Detailed and descriptive, the Guide includes worksheets for facilitators as well as a wealth of information. PDF. By Institutions Branch, Recognition of Prior Learning, Saskatchewan Learning, May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The People Own Ideas!
The point of this introductory essay is to shake readers from their complacancy about copyright. "This is the control that the free-culture movement fears. Theoretically, digital technologies give the law the right to regulate culture to an unprecedented extent. DRM will turn that theory into practice. Do we know enough to conclude that the benefits of that practice will outweigh the costs? Do we even know enough to understand the costs?" By Lawrence Lessig, Technology Review, June, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out, Start the Computer Revolution
I met Timothy Leary in 1984 (give or take a year). I remember his brand new sneakers, his shock white hair. I remember how slim he was, how burned out he seemed. But Leary, who was on a speaking tour when I interviewed him, was passionate about the coming computer revolution. "Turn on, tune in, boot the mind" was the slogan he repeated over and over. It was old news to me, and the idea of "booting" the computer was by then quaint terminology. But I understood his message, and as the article says, "Computer technology did turn out to be creative, spirited and even freeing." That is what has always drawn me to this medium. If you hear an echo of Jerry Garcia, Ken kesey or Stuart Brand in these pages - it's not an accident. By Roger Lowenstein, New York Times, May 22, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Open RSS Feed Reader On The Web: Microsoft Start
Promising. This is Robin Good's assessment of Microsoft Start, "a new, still undefined, unpromoted and unhyped technology service from Microsoft." Start is, in a word, an RSS feed reader. Users of Bloglines will find the format very familiar. What I like about Start is that it is very responsive - quite honestly, the first time I have seen a page from Microsoft load quickly on Firefox. As Robin Good notes, for this to be a leap ahead, it needs to be integrated into the MSN search technology. By Luigi Canali De Rossi, Robin Good, May 19, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

People Are Connections
Good post on personal identity and interpersonal connections. "Every time we connect – and especially every time we empathize, if only for a moment – our world gets wider and stronger. We can accomplish more." By Amy Gahran, Contentious, May 24, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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