By Stephen Downes
August 12, 2005

Principles of Distributed Representation
So anyhow, now that I have finally acclimatized to the high altitude here at Snowmass I am preparing to fly home. So today's newsletter is a bit early. This link is to the text transcript of my talk on Tuesday; it's still pretty rough, having no images or links (these will be added next week). Here's the summary: "Learning object metadata will be rewritten. Or maybe bypassed entirely. It's going to be rewritten because it has to be, because as we work with learning object metadata as it is currently incarnated, unless we're working within a large monolithic entity like the U.S. military, learning object metadata will be found to be too rigid, too inflexible, too narrowly defined, to do the sorts of tghings that we want to do with it." By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, August 8, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Read/Write Web and Content
Will Richardson outlines what we need to be able to do with content: access it, create it, collect it, and connect it. By Will Richardson, Weblogg-Ed, August 12, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Smart Classrooms
"The Smart Classrooms strategy brings together the future perspective and the momentum established by the 2002-2005 ICTs for Learning strategy to build the classroom of the future: the smart classroom." Portal with a wide range of resources on the subject. Via edNA. By Various Authors, Queensland Department of Education and the Arts, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogs vs Lists
I can't really summarize it here, but a fascinating discussion has erupted on ITForum on the subject of using blogs for discussion rather than mailing lists. My own view, included in this discussion, is that the blogosphere isn't ready for this fine degree of filtering yet, but it's just a matter of time. By Various Authors, IT Forum, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Concrete Steps for a Free Curriculum
Rob Reynolds announces the start of a Free Curriculum Project that "will have, as its stated mission, the creation and distribution of free course materials covering K-20 and lifelong learning curricula." Before going too far, it would be worth looking at similar initiatives that have already been started, such as the free South African curriculum project, Library Training Resources, the , Free Home-School Curriculum, and more. I applaud Reynolds for his initiative. But what, I ask, will take it to the next level? By Rob Reynolds, Xplanazine, August 11, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Free the Curriculum!
The post at Lessig blog has been around for a while, but there are many comments that have not. It is interesting to see a number of initiatives mentioned by the commentators, including an article by Ian Brown, the Wikipedia definition of open educational resources, the Free High School Science Textbooks project, and more. By Jimbo Wales, Lessig Blog, August 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

New Option for Student Shoppers: E-Books
More on the DRM-enabled e-books being sold as texts by various universities, including Princeton. You save 33 percent, but "access to electronic textbooks will expire upon the completion of the associated class." In addition, the books allow "students to log notes that are linked to a particular section of the book. The notes, though, become inaccessible when the book expires." By http://insidehighered.com/news/2005/08/12/ebooks, Inside Higher Ed, August 12, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Australasian Journal of Educational Technology
The June issue of the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology was made available August 1 (hey you guys, how about an RSS feed?) and I browsed through a few of the articles. Manjula D. Sharma, et.al., contribute a well-written but dull piece on using handheld keypads in classrooms (right on the edge, eh?). Elizabeth Murphy and Jamie Loveless offer an interesting self-analysis of the usefulness of their contributions to a discussion forum (I've always been afraid to do the same with mine). Terry Anderson, David Annand and Norine Wark offer a useful model of interaction in self-paced classes and suggest "design of collaborative activities could involve members of the student's own virtual or place-bound communities." By Various Authors, August 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Implications of project, service and institutional deployment of Creative Commons licences in the United Kingdom
Stuart Yeates makes available this draft report on the use of Creative Commons in learning. PDF. His conclusions: "There is no reason to suggest that CC could not be used by public sector organisations in the UK. Not all the outputs from public sector organisations could be made available under CC. The use of CC would require significant changes to current organisational practice." More information and slides are available on the Intrallect website. By Edward Barker and Charles Duncan, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

iterating toward openness
David Wiley has moved his blog to the opencontent.org domain. Sadly, the comments don't seem to have moved with the blog (any hope there, David?) and so you'll have to visit his old blog one more time to see my repsonse to his latest post. By David Wiley, iterating toward openness, August11, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

MSN Blogs Against it's Customers
Microsoft has launched a new service, MSN Filter, which is your one-stop shop for the inside scoop on what's happening across the Web, according to the people who know the most ... you! our team of bloggers will filter the best stories, photographs, links and other interesting tidbits that you've sent in, as well as items that they've dug up." Nobody knows who the bloggers are - the posts are not credited - and in order to comment you have to use Passport. Try again, Microsoft. By Ross Mayfield, Ross Mayfield's Weblog, August 11, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Connectivism: Learning as Network-Creation
George Siemens offers another contribution to his copntinuing definition of connectivism. The article describes some basic properties of networks and then the process of forming connections. "Can learning be both an influence and be influenced in the network forming process?" He then looks at the creation of meaning in a network, from the perspective of latent semantic analysis. "Meaning is transferred in a rich, but messy process incorporating the content, the context of learner and resource creator, as well as the cognitions and emotions of the learner at the time of knowledge acquisition." By George Siemens, elearnspace, August 10, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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