By Stephen Downes
July 26, 2005

New Internet Literacies in the Classroom
You will be able to breeze through these slides in five minutes or so, but do take the time to have a look. Will Richardson is able to put together nicely the ideas of new digital literacies and the read-write web. By Will Richardson, Weblogg-ed, July 26, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Yahoo!360 - Home
Yahoo! 360 has opened up to external content, which is good. But does this mean, as Albert Delgado says, that "the 'walled garden' concept is finally and officially dead?" It's a step in the right direction. But I notice all my 'contacts' are people with Yahoo360 accounts - and there doesn't seem to be a way to create as a contact someone's Flickr account or Orkut account. So the walled garden hasn't been eliminated - not quite yet. By Albert Delgado, Educational Weblogs, July 26, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

An Overview of E-Portfolios
Overview of e-portfolios with links to quite a number of examples. Dave Tosh (of elgg) comments, "These papers are starting to get very boring. It has a few example e-portfolios towards the end but there is nothing new here for those who have been following e-portfolios over the past couple of years... If you have never heard of e-portfolios give it a read but don't look to this paper for any new insight." In annoying PDF. I have mixed feelings about e-portfolios. In one sense, personal portfolios would be very useful. But tying them specifically to learning, and specifically to educational institutions, makes the same mistake as was made in learning object metadata - it assumes that the educational sphere is separate from everything else in life. An e-portfolio should be a part of a life-portfolio, and the educational content only a small part of it. By George Lorenzo and John Ittelson, EDUCAUSE, July, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Schools Need to Get Up to Speed
My own view is pretty much in line with this: "we should embrace our confrontation with nudity, sex, drugs, violence, and spam in an institutional context as a positive thing, an opportunity to teach and learn and grow. The more we avoid dealing with these issues, the more we give up sharing our experience and wisdom (?) with young people about them. These are part of their world, so they should likewise be issues in the classroom." By Will Richardson, Weblogg-ed, July 26, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Good Start Breakfast Club
We know that nutrition has a direct impact on one's ability to learn, so it is welcome to see this program aimed at ensuring that every (Australian) student gets a breakfast. By Various Authors, Australian Red Cross, July, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Freakonomics and Complexity
Dave Pollard's review of Freakonomics by economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner is worth a read. What I like is the discussion of complex (as opposed to merely complicated) systems and the need for pattern recognition. "Our long-term memory has a capacity of about 40,000 patterns (models, archetypes, plans, idealizations and other representations of reality), and when we see, hear or otherwise pay attention to something we only perceive and internalize the 5-10% that resonates and is consistent with those patterns, that understanding of reality." I'm not sure about the numbers, but I'm pretty sure about the patterns. By Dave Pollard, How to Save the World, July 25, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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