Scott Wilson: Architecture of Virtual Spaces & the Future of VLEs, Scott's Workblog October 6, 2005
Scott Wilson takes us from the theory of artificial and natural spaces to an examination of similar structures in the world of online learning (echoes of what Jay Cross is saying here). "In an LMS, the architecture of virtual space is derived from the model of the institution... In a PLE, the architecture of virtual space is a web of connections centred on the learner." Why, then, do we drift toward the LMS? Because of a fear of the internet, and a desire for control. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but "control should be flexible, negotiated, personalized - not simply imposed. (And) iInstitutions have found the control provided by the LMS more of a burden than a joy. In any case, learners can simply find ways around it, and form their own connections." Great slides (wish I had the audio). [Tags: Personalization, Online Learning] [Comment]

Alec Couros: Subscribe To The Educational Technology Conference Calendar (RSS. iCal), Couros Blog October 6, 2005
Alec Couros is right to repost his RSS Ed Tech calendar, which will be a useful resource for those using RSS aggregators. It's great. But here's the thing - you need to go to the calendar in order to add an event. Well, OK, I suppose you need to enter data somewhere. But what I want to see is a calendar - perhaps like that offered by Couros - that aggregates RSS event feeds from other calendars. And I want to see structured event data, so that one event (say, a seminar) can be related to another (say, a conference) and another (say, a blog post about the seminar). And the conference RSS should be on the conference website, the blogger's RSS on the blogger's website, and so on. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment]

Derek Morrison: Innovations in the Reuse of Electronic Learning Materials - Drivers and Challenges, Auricle October 6, 2005
This is a great article. Blogging his own talk (it's interesting to read an almost third-person view of what he said) Derek Morrison takes us on a romp through the alternative 'rip-mix-feed' version of online learning. It's hard to believe that anyone would leave the talk neutral - and more, with a dizzying array of resource sand arguments, Morrison paints a compelling picture of the new environment, with elements familiar to us all but with elements (and a voice and a perspective) that is uniquely his. [Tags: Online Learning] [Comment]

Andy Carvin: Text of Al Gore's We Media Speech, Andy Carvin's Waste of Bandwidth October 6, 2005
Former American Vice President Al Gore, in this podcast recorded at the We Media conference yesterday in New York, argues that the concentration of media voices, which transformed dialogue into a one-way (and uniquely compelling) broadcast, has led to the demise of civil discourse in that country. Humourous, intelligent - this is not a talk to be missed. Both transcript and MP3 are available. "And it really matters because the subjugation of news by entertainment seriously harms our democracy: it leads to dysfunctional journalism that fails to inform the people. And when the people are not informed, they cannot hold government accountable when it is incompetent, corrupt, or both." I quite agree with this, and I believe it applies not only in news media but also in education, where monolithic voices may not be more pervasive, but where they are more dangerous. [Tags: Podcasting, United States] [Comment]

Various authors: RAMLET (1484.11.4), IEEE-LTSC October 6, 2005
The IEEE learning Technologies Subcommittee (LTSC) is due shortly to release the badly-named RAMLET specification (or Resource Aggregation Model for Learning Education and Training). It's not what you think (which is why the name is so bad): it doesn't appear really to have to do with resource aggregation (or harvesting) per se, but rather, the combining of documents of different formats into a single format, much like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Compound Document Framework. That's pretty much all I know for now; it would be nice if the IEEE-LTSC adopted a more open process. Let's hope they open the wiki soon. Via CETIS mailing list. [Tags: None] [Comment]

Unattributed: California Software Maker Grabs Centra for an Estimated $60M, Mass High Tech October 6, 2005
You can pretty much figure which direction Saba will head now as the learning management systems company announces an acquisition of Centra, the distributor of online synchronous conferencing software (on Centra's site it's announced as a 'merge' while on Saba's site it's announced as a 'combine'). More coverage. [Tags: Conferencing, Online Learning] [Comment]

Scott Mace: Asterisk - Open-Source VoIP PBX, IT Conversations October 6, 2005
I listened to quite a good interview today with Brian Capouch, the author of the forthcoming book about Asterisk, an open source internet telephony exchange (aka PBX). What will catch the interest of many a listener is his description of Skype as "evil incarnate" - and though I really like Skype, I have to admit, he makes a pretty good case. [Tags: Open Source, Books and eBooks] [Comment]

Helen Richardson and Helen Richardson and Rob Ward: Getting Ehat You Want: Implementing Personal Development Planning Through e-Portfolio, Centre for Recording Achievement October 6, 2005
The document looks like is was a draft left hanging (why not put the authors' names and the date at the top of the paper?) but it contains useful information. The paper "provides a generic summary of things to think about, questions to ask, and people to talk to" in the area of e-portfolios. Looking at the 'key messages' section, it is clear that product developers have yet to embrace lifelong learning, sharing, personalization and standards (though all will no doubt inform us that such 'features' are in development (as though they weren't core to the very concept of the e-portfolio)). Via JISC. MS-Word document. [Tags: Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), Personalization, E-Portfolios] [Comment]

Bill Olivier, Tish Roberts and Kerry Blinco: The e-Framework for Education and Research: An Overview, Jisc October 6, 2005
Certainly one of the clearest papers on the E-Framework initiative (nee E-Learning Framework, or ELF). Diagram 3 (p.10) is especially useful. The authors additionally capture the most pressing problem with the E-Framework thus far: in so many words, nobody knows what's going on. Thus, they write, "coherent map is needed." No argument from me! What I'm also sensing in the E-Framework is a bit of a loosening of control. Check the statement of principles at the end of the document, calling for a service oriented approach (instead of monolithic applications; and as long as 'services' is not meant to mean only 'SOAP' I'm fine with it), open standards ("platform independent, vendor neutral, extensible, reusable, publicly accessible, and not encumbered by royalties"), open and transparent processes (can the E-Framework development wiki be far behind?), engagement with communities and flexible deployment. Perfect. [Tags: Open Standards, Accessibility, E-Framework] [Comment]

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