I have to believe that the hope and the faith of a people will conquer their adversity and despair, to rise again, with renewed strength and a deeper understanding of what it is to believe, what it is to hope. I have to believe this, because to believe otherwise is to abandon New Orleans, and all the people who live there, and I'm not willing to do that. Let not one single child fall without protest, without struggle, without hope.

Photo: Survivors, pulled from their apartment building by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer, sit on the floor of an HH-65 Jayhawk rescue helicopter here today (August 30, 2005). U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 2nd Class NyxoLyno Cangemi.
By Stephen Downes
September 2, 2005


Stephen Downes: Best of OLDaily, Stephen's Web September 2, 2005
Welcome to the weekly readers, who have missed out on the great move to the new system. Today I flex it a bit, beginning with this page, which lists the most popular ten links from the last week. You'll also see the beginnings of my rating system, not fully operational (use the 'Back' button after you vote) but generally functional. Also, if you mouse over the author's name and the publication, you'll notice that they, too, are links to pages featuring links from those respective sources. This is still just the beginning of the new functionality - what we went through this week was much more than a design change. I'll update the code listings before I leave for Britain on Sunday (but again, this is still very much a work in progress). I arrive in Manchester Monday afternoon; I might do a newsletter but don't count on one until Tuesday. Meanwhile, I'll see some of you at the Edu-Bloggers Meetup Tuesday evening. [Comment]

Leigh Blackall: The Real TAFE Homepage, Teach and Learn Online September 2, 2005
Leigh Blackall has a happy discovery while giving a presentation at TAFE NSW Illawarra. "I came across the usual things that make TAFE a bit of a joke... access denials, not being set up to play MPEG4 movies, and other stuff I can't really recall just now, but then the joke turned on me! It was when I was up to the bit about wikis - using wikipedia, wikiversity, and the South African Curriculum wiki as examples. I thought I'd be smart and type in 'TAFE NSW' as a search in wikipedia. Cocky as always I pre-empted the results expecting a no show for my search when BAM! There it was! A wikipedia entry on Technical And Further Education in Australia!" [Comment]

Sam Easterby-Smith: Alt-I-Lab 2005 Demonstrators, CETIS September 2, 2005
Scott Leslie summarizes: "While this writeup does put some more meat on the bone and help us understand more about Learning Design, Tools Interoperability Profile and repository interoperability, I can't help but think that recording some of these sessions (and maybe some screen recorded demos too) would be helpful for spreading the word and illustrating the concepts to a wider audience. Maybe next time ;-) Still, seems reason to hope that we're moving along from abstract specs to support interoperability to actual working systems, hooray!" [Comment]

Dave Pollard: The Ten Most Important Trends in Business, How to Save the World September 2, 2005
Good list of important trends, including open source business, complexity, social networking and the wisdom of crowds. This is also a pretty good list of important trends in e-learning, and regular readers will have noted that i return to these themes again and again, trying to tease them out and explain what they mean. [Comment]

J. Shankar: Technology in Schools - Children and Computers, Digital Opportunity Channel September 2, 2005
Description of the development and deployment of s number of e-learning titles by the Azim Premji Foundation along with a summary of a study. "The findings of this research carried out over a twelve-month period by the Spastic Society of Karnataka,showed that there were improvements in social intelligence, social behavior, communication and motivation in most children. This finding is echoed across the other research findings. Moreover, these aspects are also reinforced with anecdotal evidences that one comes across on visits to these schools." Thanks to Roger Casselman for the link. [Comment]

Corey Murray: Students Tackle Math Via Fantasy Football, ESchool News September 2, 2005
This is a pretty good example, it seems to me, of how to use games productively in learning. Instead of trying to create a game specifically designed to teach math, a teacher has adapted an existing game - fantasy football - to draw out those elements that foster the learning of math. The idea here is that the foundational knowledge is not taught on its own, and in the abstract, but rather, that it emerges through the process of attempting to succeed at some other (more interesting and relevant) activity, in this case, fantasy football. [Comment]

Various authors: Visions 2020.2 - Student Views on Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies, NetDay and the U.S. Department of Education September 2, 2005
Report based on 'Speak-Up Day for Students' held in late 2004, an event where students were asked to describe their (ideal) use of technology, and Visions 2020, a polling of some futurists on what they expected to see. A profile emerges. "Every student would use a small, handheld wireless computer that is voice activated. The computer would offer high-speed access to a kid-friendly Internet, populated with websites that are safe, designed specifically for use by students, with no pop-up ads... In completing their schoolwork, students would work closely and routinely with an intelligent digital tutor, and tap a knowledge utility to obtain factual answers to questions they pose..." The profile feels a little massaged to me, and I wonder whether the questions or context didn't lead them on a little. Still, by 'safe' the students meant, mainly, no viruses, pop-ups and hackers. And by 'intelligent digital tutor' the students seemmostly to have meant 'robot'. PDF. [Comment]

Barbara Crystal: CDW-G Teachers Talk Technology 2005, CDW-G September 2, 2005
Another one of those 'impact of technology on teaching' studies is released as the research agencies line up to be included in 'back to school' specials in newspapers and magazines. This one reveals by now familiar trends: "Computer technology has changed teaching 'a great deal.' (but) Teachers increasingly cite computers as effective teaching tools, but just over half integrate computers into daily curriculum." Via EdNA. [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.

Stephen Downes

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.

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Stephen Downes

Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada

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