By Stephen Downes
August 23, 2005

Talking with Stephen Downes about online learning and Web 2.0
I join the Ed Tech Posse for a conversation. Here's the MP3. By Rob Wall, The EdTech Posse, August 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Donald U
I could be rich. But then I'd be like Donald Trump, fawning, pleading, selling, cajoling. And I think nothing is worth that. By Jay Cross, Internet Time, August 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Who Wants to Own Content?
This article starts from the premise that the content-hoarders have lost and that "the army of all of us, the ones who weren’t in charge, the ones without the arms — won." What does that mean? "The value is no longer in owning content or distribution. The value is in relationships. The value is in trust." I think this is true but also that it's a lot more complicated than it seems at first glance. 'Conversation' is the sort of thing humans do easily, like recognizing friends and knowing when to put on a jacket. But in the world of software and algorithms, these easy things are hard. Think, for a moment, about recognizing your friend on the street. How did you do this? Did you organize all your friends into folders? Did you put a little lable (or tag) on all your friends? The obvious answers don't work. And yet (to paraphrase David Hume) it's something even little children can do. By Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine, August 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

GoogleOS? YahooOS? MozillaOS? WebOS?
OK, this post is mostly speculation, but it's informed speculation, and even though it's a little out there, it is beyond neither comprehension nor reason. The idea, in a nutshell, is that the applications we normally store on our computer - things like MS Words, email, PowerPoint, and the like - will in the future be hosted on the web. This will mean that we're not bound to Microsoft, that our applictaions will work the same (and be the same) no matter what computer we're using. But as the author notes, "the reality of it will probably be a lot messier and take a lot longer than most would like." The take-home here is that the boundary between online and offline will get fuzzier and fuzzier over time, and that applications will have to interoperate as easily between websites as they do doday on your desktop. By Jason Kottke, Kottke.org, August 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Response to article 'EdNA Groups or the Open Network':
EdNA Services Assistant Manager Mark Tranthim-Fryer has posted a response to an article covered recently here in OLDaily regarding the question of whether EdNA groups should be open. He writes, consultation with all sectors of the Australian education and training community has strongly endorsed the provision of both open and closed online community spaces" and that "group owners make the decision about the appropriateness of whether their Group is public or private." He also notes that "usage in the last six months has grown steadily to over 350 Groups and 3000 members." By Mark Tranthim-Fryer, EdNA, August 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Gwybodaeth - rich definitions of knowledge
A knowledge of Welsh isn't necessary in order to understand this post - but it would probably help. In short, the idea is that the Welsh use several different words for 'knowledge', and that this classification serves to inform the current discussion. By Graham Attwell, The Wales-Wide Web, August 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Contexts, Boundaries, Asymmetry
Scott Wilson clarifies his recent remarks. "In the special case of a teacher-initiated conversation (the topic of my post), there is a need to create an initial agreement based on the topic and the participants; unlike the kind of conversation we're having, a course usually starts with the students having no knowledge of who else is taking it... So, consider 'agreeing the context' in my earlier post as talking about initial scene-setting by the teacher." By Scott Wilson, Scott's Workblog, August 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogs, Forums and the Nature of Discussion
(Just click on 'Login as a Guest' to read.) The people at Moodle are going through the same sort of reasoning I have regarding blogs, comments and forum posts. Martin Dougiamas writes, "We need to think very deeply about forums, blogs and the other types of posts Moodle allows to come up with a unified idea that is so simple that anyone can understand it straight away (these are the hardest ideas to think of)... the best we could come up with was to remove the comments from blogs and extend the blog trackback system to keep track of links between blogs and between blogs and forums etc." There's a lot of discussion in what follows, not all of it complimentary to the idea - or to blogs in general. I will have more to say on this; it is an issue, in my mind, of fundamental importance. But I have to finish coding first. Via Auricle. By Martin Dougiamas, Using Moodle, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

If You Don't Build It, They'll Build Their Own...
Brian Lamb - who manages wiki support at UBC - runs across a bunch of UBC students pondering their own wiki in a conversation at LiveJournal. He offers the official services, but is told, "using a UBC-hosted wiki requires us to comply with a certain set of standards and forces us to give UBC the final say in content... a wiki should be democratic, and any university-owned pages and servers aren't." Maybe so, maybe not, but the message is clear: students want the final say over their own web content. And, really, who wouldn't? By Brian Lamb, Abject Learning, August 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Right Ways and Wrong Ways of Podcasting in Education
Short article with supporting podcast (or is it short podcast with supporting article?) on the right way and the wrong way to do podcasting in education. The keeper: (Don't) "require students to listen to the podcast while staying tied to a computer." Ack, I can't even imagine the horror. And Reynolds emphasizes: "I'm not a believer in 60-minute speeches..." Sure, I can see that, even though that is the format I've employed thus far (mostly because that's the audio material that I've had available). By Rob Reynolds and Susan Smith Nash, XplanaZine, August 23, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Music File Sharing to be Offered Legally
In an experiment worth watching, an ISP is bundling the cost of music file sharing with the cost of internet access. While there are good reasons to be wary of access providers also acting as content providers, this approach nonetheless seems infinitely better than the current mechanism that involves broken CDs and suing your customers. The content, moreover, becomes the leader that sells the service. If this works, expect a wide range of content, including news and learning, to be bundled with internet access. Is it back on to the gravy train for the media monopoly? Via digital-copyright. By Owen Gibson, The Guardian, August 22, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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