By Stephen Downes
September 1, 2005


Announcement: Replacement of the EdNA Administration Site, EdNA September 1, 2005
From EdNA, this notice: "EdNA Online will be releasing its next generation data repository and administration platform this Sunday September 4 2005... The new system will support a range of content types such as learning objects, news items and calendar events and a range of metadata schemas including AGLS, Dublin Core and Learning Object Metadata (LOM). The system also has the ability to store content in any data type, such as Word and PDF documents, images and movies, in addition to support for future content types such as e-portfolios and learning designs." [Comment]

Susan Kuchinskas: Google Extends Book Scanning Operation, CNet News.Com September 1, 2005
Google's book scanning project is rolling ahead. "On Tuesday, the search goliath rolled out stand-alone book search services in 14 countries. The same day, the Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA) became the latest publishers' organization to call Google's opt-out strategy backwards." It is interesting to observe that the United States, with stricter copyright regulations, is simply being left behind by Google. [Comment]

Maureen C. Minielli and S. Pixy Ferris: Electronic Courseware in Higher Education, First Monday September 1, 2005
The authors offer an extended definition of three major types of educational technology: the learning content management system, the learning management system, and the course management system. It is interesting to note that the use of course management systems is greater in the U.S. than elsewhere. They then offer seven "pedagogical lessons" derived from their student of this technology, ranging from new roles for instructors to new approaches to learning content. A bit introductory, but reasonably clear. [Comment]

Michelle M. Kazmer: Cats in the Classroom: Online Learning in Hybrid Space, First Monday September 1, 2005
We tend to restrict our thinking to the computer screen (or the mobile device) when we think of online learning. The author of this paper offers the useful recommendation that we consider the wider environment. "Each student and instructor is involved in a shared learning experience, but all students and instructors are also lodged in idiosyncratic local environments that shape their experiences and indirectly shape the experience of everyone else in the virtual classroom." Drawing on student comments, the author offers some preliminary reflections on how the computing environment shapes the online experience. In general, people enjoy the freedom customizing their own space offers. "By embracing customization, we allow students to adapt their individual spaces to maximize their own comfort. Students can sit in comfortable chairs, wear pajamas, eat dinner, and let the cat walk on the keyboard." Nice kitty! [Comment]

Steve Jones and Camille Johnson?Yale: Professors Online: The Internet?s Impact on College Faculty, First Monday September 1, 2005
Summary of "a nationwide survey of Internet use by U.S. college faculty." According to the authors, "Faculty are catching up to their students in other technological skills, like instant messaging, as well. But the advantages of some of these communications technologies may be limited to venues like online?only courses, which are still a small percentage of college courses overall. Issues raised in the findings fall into three categories: infrastructure and professional development, and teaching and research." [Comment]

Sheri Crofts, Jon Dilley, Mark Fox, Andrew Retsema, and Bob Williams: Podcasting: A new Technology in Search of Viable Business Models, First Monday September 1, 2005
You know, it's funny how the first question always seems to be, "how can we make money off it?" I look at podcasting, and what I see is a way to do something I couldn't before: to preserve my talks and make them available to a wider audience. And if you look at the social drivers - the ability to time-shift audio content, freedom from an excess of advertisements, access to diverse content - it isn't the commerical aspect of podcasting that is driving its popularity. Anyhow, this article offers an abridged history of podcasting, explores the social drivers, and then outlines some business models: sponsorships, advertising, donations and subscription fees. The usual unimaginative selection. [Comment]

Charles M. Vest: Clair Maple Memorial Address: OpenCourseWare and the Emerging Global Meta University, Educause September 1, 2005
In my recent talk, Principles of Distributed Representation, I drew on Charles Vest's talk, and specifically, the properties he attribues to successful university systems. Vest's talk is now available online as an MP3. [Comment]

Projects & Collaborations
Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

About Me
Bio, photos, and assorted odds and ends.

You know, the ones that appear in refereed journals of Outstanding Rank.

Lectures, seminars, and keynotes in a wide variety of formats - everything from streaming video to rough notes.

All my articles, somewhere around 400 items dating from 1995.

Audio recordings of my talks recorded in MP3 format. A podcast feed is also available.

What I'm doing, where I'm doing it, and when.

A collection of my photographs. Suitable for downloading as desktop wallpaper.

Stephen's Web
Since 1995

About this Site
Why this site exists, what it does, and how it works.

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About the Author

Stephen Downes

Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada


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