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What E-Learning 2.0 means To You
September 14, 2005 PowerPoint Slides and MP3 Audio of my presentation today at the Transitions in Advanced Learning Conference in Ottawa. In this talk I discuss the changing nature of knowledge and learning, illustrate how this changing nature leads to what is being called Web 2.0o, and outline the nature and success factors involved in designing learning resources and services in this environment. the presentation is a bit uneven - my brilliant opening fell completely flat, and the more theory-oriented approach didn't resonate (not at first, to be sure). And maybe it was the wrong message for this mostly private-sector group. But - in my view - it's a message the e-learning industry in Canada needs to hear, and if that means a rocky and difficult presentation, then I will suffer it. [Comment]
Learning Trends and the Learning Imperative
September 14, 2005 Summary of this presentation by Elliott Masie, president of the Masie Center, at the Transitions in Advanced Learning Conference in Ottawa. To be involved in learning today, argues Masie, is to be involved in the process of change. And this requires a different and powerful view of learning - extreme learning. This talk describes six dimensions or components of extreme learning. [Comment]
Managing the Tyranny of Choice
September 14, 2005 Summary of this presentation by Lynette Gillis, president of Learning Designs Online, at the Transitions in Advanced Learning Conference in Ottawa. Gillis defines 'blended learning' and then offers a metric that enables designers to obtain the best possible mix of learning technologies. [Comment]


Harold Jarche: SCORM 2004 Enhancement for Moodle, Jarche Consulting September 14, 2005
This is worth noting independently of the lesson on open source development offered by Harold Jarche. With this extension, developers now have access to a free tool that makes SCORM-compliant learning resources. [Comment]

Marc Rettig and Aradhana Goel: Designing for Experience: Frameworks and Project Stories September 14, 2005
Maish writes, "This presentation made by Marc Retting and Aradhana Goel is one of the finest examples of using down-to-earth methods and practices to create engaging user experiences." My view is that Maish's description is actually an understatement; you will want to linger over and savour this presentation. I would add one thing: that the sort of approach described by the author can be applied much more informally to smaller problems. Like, for example, the organization of coffee lines or buffet tables. Or simple web pages. The who point here is the two-step process: understand, then attempt to fit. And in the unstated third step: try to imagine the steps people go through in order to complete a task. Like making coffee. Like finding a resource. Like building a rowboat. PDF, but it doesn't matter - I love the design, I love the presentation. Brilliant. [Comment]

Various authors: e-Portfolios@UBC Project Portfolio, September 14, 2005
Dave Tosh points to this website providing extensive background and information about the use of e-portfolios at UBC. "e-Portfolios are online collections of your work that you choose to represent your skills and interests to diverse audiences." Take note especially of the lessons learned from two years' experience. For example, "Students are looking for a very structured approach (template) when they first start out, but as they become more comfortable with the concepts and the software want more control over look and feel." [Comment]

D'Arcy Norman: Large Format Printing with iPhoto, D’Arcy Norman Dot Net September 14, 2005
This is totally cool. D'Arcy Norman demonstrates a program that merges digital images together, Autostitch, in order to form one gigantic high-quality image, which he can then print as wall art for about $30. The future of companies publishing and selling posters: grim. The future of companies helping users produce their own wall posters: bright. [Comment]

Berwyn Clayton, Thea Fisher and Elvie Hughes: Sustaining the Skill Base of Technical and Further Education Institutes: TAFE Managers’ Perspectives, NCVER September 14, 2005
From the summary: "This report examines the approaches managers and leaders in 16 TAFE institutes have undertaken to sustain, develop and renew their workforce and build their organisation's knowledge. It finds that TAFE managers now recognise that maintaining and developing their organisation's skill base is imperative, but that finding approaches to sustain TAFE in the longer term requires more attention." Maybe they'll make their staff sign up for thirteen week courses. ;) Actually, the reality is worse: "One simple option was the recruitment of teachers with recent industry experience." Not surprisingly, the authors of the report concluded that "other options were seen to be needed." Right. Still, I think the exercise is useful and interesting - one wonders what the result will be for TAFE students as adminstrators and staff undertake the exercise of educating themselves. [Comment]

Various authors: Google Blogsearch, Google September 14, 2005
Google has launched a blog search tool. I gave it the usual test, searching for myself. I got 748 results, which is even lower than Technorati and a lot lower than other blog search engines. And the results - as is typical Google fashion - are chronologically disordered, making it difficult to find recent and relevant content. Verdict: the blog search engine field is still wide open. [Comment]

Karen Rivedal: Can Public Universities Stay Public?, September 14, 2005
I have long maintained that the university crisis will occur as if overnight, after building up over a period of a number of years, a crisis created as legislators decline to fund an increasingly expensive and inefficient system of learning. This article notes one more element in the build-up - the overnight crisis isn't here yet, but it is getting closer. As I have said before, the crisis will suddenly 'appear' when universities lose their exclusive hold on credentials - something bound to happen as alternatives appear on the scene. Related: this item, in which a study reports that the U.S. position in education is slipping. Via University Business. [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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