By Stephen Downes
May 31, 2005

I'm in Summerside, Prince Edward island, for the 2005 Canadian Association of Police Educators conference. Meanwhile, here are my photos from my time in Guelph, Ontario, last week. Thanks to Mike and everyone else in the city for a fine welcome. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, May 31, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

AMTEC 2005
I haven't had the chance to cover this properly, but if you missed AMTEC all the coverage is here. By Rick Schwier, Rick's Cafe Canadian, May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Another Step toward the Creation of the Adult Learning Knowledge Centre
The Canadian Council on Learning has launched the application process. Organizations need to apply by June 21, 2005. By Press Release, Canadian Council on Learning, May 31, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Emerging Issues in the Practice of University Learning and Teaching
This online book is written for the practicing teacher and reflects this audience with a general and relatively introductory focus. Nonetheless, it captures quite well current trends in learning and some of the articles provide depth intended readers might not find elsewhere. I particularly enjoyed, for example, Geraldine O'Neill and Tim McMahon's article on student-centered teaching. Going beyond mere description or advocacy, the authors offer a good, if concise, account of support and criticism for the practice. Readers will find similar value in Terry Barret's article on problem-based learning. Good structure, good links and resources; this book will serve its audience well. By Geraldine O'Neill, Sarah Moore and Barry McMullin, eds., All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE), May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Room 208
Ah, I love stuff like this, probably because I was the sort of student who would have been all over this. Room 208 links to a student podcast created by Mr. S's 3/4 multiage class. The sound quality is great, there's chat, news and music. I can imagine this would be must listening if you're a parent, and it's a pretty good listen even if you're not. Via Pete MacKay. By Bob Sprankle, et.al., May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Multi-User Virtual Environment Experiential Simulator
A Multi-User Virtual Environment - or MUVE - is an online space where vistors can navigate in a three-dimensional visual environment interacting with artifacts and each other. MUVE's were pioneered in the late 90s by a company called Active Worlds. This page describes MUVE work being undertaken at Harvard. The summary is good, but even better is the links to a slew of publications on the research. Most of them are pretty short and there is a good deal of repetition, but the upshot is that a MUVE increases student motivation, which in turn results in improved learning outcomes. Or so the studies say; I think a test of this scale is too small to begin generalizing yet. By Chris Dede, et.al., Harvard University, May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Thwarted Innovation: What Happened to E-learning and Why
Zemsky and Massey somehow managed to get an entire book out of this subject, but I think the summary, reposed here on the Digital Divide network website, covers the ground quite nicely. Of course, to get the most out of this you have to buy into the idea that the e-learning boom really did go bust - a proposition that, from my vantage point, is difficult to sustain. Oh sure, some venture capitalists lost some mnoney - but if you ever thought that was e-learning, then you are looking in the wrong place. Anyhow, the causes for the supposed bust: "there has yet to emerge a viable market for e-learning products... students do want to be connected, but principally to one another... most faculty still teach as they were taught." Well, sure: if you market the wrong product delivered the wrong way to people who want something else, sure, it's going to go bust. By Bonnie Bracey, Digital Divide Network, May 28, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Virtual University: Models and messages
This is actually a collection of articles by various authors, but the overview (in a format I like a lot) reads like a short article. The emphasis is on models of virtual universities specifically, so there is no mention of what might be called non-official work in online learning. The articles, written mostly by university presidents and such, focus mostly on administrative structure and organization with a major emphasis on globalization. Still, it's a good survey with some case studies and should not be overlooked. Via NextEd. By Susan D'Antoni, editor, UNESCO, May, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The People Own Ideas
The core of Lessig's reasoning in the copyright debate: "Not only is the reach of the law dramatically larger because copyright now regulates all rather than a minority of work, but the effective scope of the law is dramatically larger because copyright regulates all uses rather than just some." Richard Epstein replies to Lessig in the same issue, posing an argument Lessig praises but which I find painfully bad. By Lawrence Lessig, Technology Review, June, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Education Podcast Network
Just launched, the Education Podcast Network is "an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast programming that may be helpful to teachers." The site brings together podcasts from a couple dozen or so podcasters. I like the concept, am less than thrilled with the website design, and wish there were an output feed I could subscribe to bringing together all the educational podcasts of the day. By David Warlick & The Landmark Project, May 31, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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