By Stephen Downes
August 17, 2005

Papers of WWW2005 Workshop on the Weblogging Ecosystem
Via Mathemagenic, the papers from this World Wide Web con ference on blogging are available. Personally I think that when a bunch of researchers release their papers about the web in PDF (especially two-column PDF) they demonstrate that they are profoundly not getting it. I liked Makajima, et.al. on the analysis of bog threads. By Various Authors, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Computing Means Connecting
Dave Tosh fills in the vision a little bit more, beginning with the premise that 'computing means connecting' and then articulating that vision via persuasive definition of e-portfolios. Crucil to the concept, he argues, is not merely that they are personal, but also, but that they are personally owned. Think about the gulf between this concept and the concept of e-portfolios being advanced by, say, IMS, where the major emphasis seems to be a space where the student can be evaluated. Two different worlds. Via elearnspace. By Dave Tosh, eradc, August 17, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Podcast: New Recording of John Seely Brown
Matt Pasiewicz summarizes this John Seely Brown podcast: "Listen in as he covers a diverse range of topics, including his thoughts on open source, learning space design, social computing, and more!" Slides and MP3 Audio. By Matt Pasiewicz, EDUCAUSE Blogs, August 16, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Portal is the Platform, Part III
Michael Feldstein's observations on learning management software has become a three part series (Part One, Part Two, Part Three). I am not sure I would use the word 'portal' as freely as he does - to me, the word 'portal' connotes a centralized structure and directory-based access to resources. And that's not what Feldstein is talking about at all - he means it much more in the sense of 'platform' (hence the title) into with other portal-like applications ('portlets') are imported. What this approach engenders, as this Part 3 makes clear, is greater freedom from the assumptions of a traditional learning environment - 'groups', for example, that are not isomorphic with classes and programs. By Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, August 17, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

RSS Magic
The blog conversation on the use of blogs as conversation continues (you almost think they're doing this deliberately to make a point). Will Richardson makes an important point: "Without a fundamental understanding of RSS glue, distributed conversations are fundamentally illogical. How can we call Alan and David's separate posts on this topic a conversation?" But the results generated by RSS readers are not yet sufficiently robust to make this connection clear; we need RSS Referencing to do that. Brian Lamb, citing Gardner Campbell, asks whether today's instructors risk being left out of the conversation altogether. "If we wait for a generational change, we'll be waiting until today's 19-year-olds get their Ph.D.'s and join the academy--if there is an academy by then." It seems, then, that we need more than just a story about digital immigrants - we need working RSS conversations, soon. By Will Richardson, Weblogg-Ed, August 17, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Software Patents Don't Compute
Could you patent a pri nciple of mathematics - 2+2=4, say? No, it wouldn't make sense. Then what to make of this argument, which says, in a sentence, "No clear boundary between math and software exists"? The rest of the article draws out the argument, making the point clear. But, of course, it should have been already clear to anyone who has studied mathematics and logic. Via Stuart yeates. By Ben Klemens, IEEE Spectrum, August 17, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Four Reasons Why the Blogsphere Might Make a Better Professional Collaborative Environment than Discussion Forums
Continuing discussion on the choice between blogs and lists for online conversations. The title pretty much summarizes Dave Warlick's contribution. Alan levin looks at Warlick's four reasons and modifies them slightly. And Miguel Guhlin calls on mailing list owners to abandon the format and to instead create networks of blogs. By Dave Warlick, 2 cents Worth, August 15, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Open Source Software and Schools: New Opportunities and Directions
Great summary of an article from the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (which really needs RSS feeds). After recounting the problems faced by schools using commercial IT, the benefits of open source in the same environment are outlined. " A school could immediately realize significant cost savings by strategically substituting OSS application packages for proprietary packages." By Miguel Guhlin, Mousing Around - MGuhlin.net, August 16, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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