By Stephen Downes
August 18, 2005

Deconstructed Distributed Conversations
Another entry in the ongoing conversation about using blogs in con versations, as Will Richardson recaps. It seems to me that there's a real skill in writing such recaps, and that if you want to learn about a topic in a hurry, following and summarizing such conversations (whatever the topic) is a good way to go. Mind you, it's a lot of work would require, I would say, quite a bit of motivation. Which is why so few people do it. By Will Richardson, Weblogg-Ed, August 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Learning Should Be Hard Fun
Albert Ip point to, and quotes at length, Clark Quinn in this article on games in learning. "Learning can, and should, be hard fun!" Quinn lists a set of principles that serve this objective. "The principles work," he observes, but "there's a lot of 'finesse' behind the application." It is this 'finesse' that keeps game design an art form and (consequently) defies mass production. For now. Ip, meanwhile, makes the useful point that game goals and learning objectives are different (and I would add, it is this difference that makes games distinct from mere 'educational games'). By Albert Ip, Random Walk in E-Learning, August 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Nifty personal page design which should give you some neat ideas. Via Albert Delgado. By Various Authors, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Lecture - A Teaching Strategy or Cop-Out?
The author offers a short post considering the pedagogical benefits of the lecture as a prelimimary to joining the "Triple A Lecture Invention" learning object project. As she notes in a later post, participants have been drawn from Manitoba, Canada, China and Australia. So a portal site has been set up providing general project information, an invitation to participate and the links to the collaboration areas. By Susan Lister, EDUCAUSE Blogs, August 17, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

McGraw-Hill Chooses Zinio for EBooks
Since there is almost no demand for e-books (it turns out consumers hate them so much Adobe is pulling its its eBook packaging and distribution software, Adobe Content Server, from the market) publishers naturally see them as a good venue for textbooks. I wonder whether these publishers think there's some sort of long-term advantage in turning education into a miserable and frustrating experience. Because I sure can't see the short-term upside. Oh, you know what there is a demand for, right? Google. So naturally, the publishers want to block that. By Bill Rosenblatt, DRM Watch, August 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Elgg's Podcast Launch!
ELGG laiunches its podcast service and begins on target with an interview with George Siemens. I haven't listened to this (who has time?) but at least Dave Tosh posts the questions he asked. But for people who have five minutes rather than half an hour, something - even summary notes - should be posted in text to supplement the podcast. By Dave Tosh, ELGG, August 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Digital Youth: How today’s students use digital content in school vs. at home.
The fall issue of Threshold, Cable in the Classroom's magazine, is out and this article is the most interesting of the bunch (the rest of articles don't go a lot of depth and tend to repeat pretty much the same points). In this article, students comment on how their use of the internet at home differs from that at school. Check this: "We can never find any good information online, since they set the site blocker’s level so high. If we can’t accessthe sites we need, we have to wait until we are at home. Some schools, my own included, have really strict rules about the use of electronic devices, so we have to use those at home as well." See, you can wire a school, but that doesn't mean your using the internet. As for the magazine as a whole: it should have an HTML version, instead of user-hostile PDFs, it should have an RSS feed so we know when new articles are available, and it should lose the $4.99 subscription fee. By Unattributed, Cable in the Classroom, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

An Interview with Richard Wyles about Eduforge
I haven't listened to this but the subject sounds interesting: "coverage of an interview with Richard Wyles about Eduforge. Listen in as he highlights a range of topics about open source including moodle, php, and more." By Matt Pasiewicz, EDUCAUSE Blogs, August 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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