George Siemens: Connectivism and Web 2.0, Elearnspace October 21, 2005
I read the slides last night but I guess the audio version only came out today. So I haven't heard that. But on the basis of the slides along George Siemens's connectivism presentation is worth a look as he advances his thoughts on language, knowledge and meaning and makes the point that learning today is a far cry from anything like connectivism. [Tags: Connectivism, Web 2.0] [Comment]

Doug Kaye: Pop!Tech Day One, Blogarithms October 21, 2005
If you're at the EDUCAUSE conference you're missing Pop!Tech, which is also on right now. No worry, you can access the live feed by following this link. If you're at neither - well - never have people who are not at conferences been able to share in so much. It's not exactly a beer with Gardner and Bryan - but it will do. [Tags: Online Learning, Web Logs] [Comment]

Ross Mayfield: Ward Cunningham on the Crucible of Creativity, Many2Many October 21, 2005
Interesting thoughts on blogs and (mostly) wikis. Like this: "the blogosphere is a community that might produce a work. Whereas a wikis a work that might produce a community. Itís all just people communicating." The speaker - Ward Cunningham - talks about the importance of trust in building a wiki (interestingly: it's not clear that the wiki could be invented today). There's also some discussion of reputation systems (an idea that seems to be gaining traction - but I wonder whether reputation wouldn't be too easy to spoof). [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment]

David Merrill: Hypothesized Performance on Complex Tasks as a Function of Scaled Instructional Strategies, IT Forum October 21, 2005
I really hated the title and wasn't expecting much as a consequence, but this turns out to be a pretty good paper, readable, informative and insightful. David Merrill's quest is for "an integrated body of research that supports... interrelated principles (of learning) as a whole," where the principles consist of five major categories: demonstration, application, task-centered, activation and integration. Whether this works as a taxonomy is open to debate (and I would argue there is some cross-categorization at work here). Still, from these principles Merril advances a set of hypothesized performance inprovements based on testing with specific learning outcomes in complex tasks. Of course, a good part of the theory is embedded in the testing methodology; "Instruction requires a specific goal to acquire a specific skill," he writes, and "it is necessary to be clear about the type of learned performance is prompted by these principles." Hence, most informal learning is not even testable via this methodology, and so is unlikely to emerge as a viable alternative. Well, instructors measure instruction, I guess, but empirical advance is not going to be possible until we can measure learning. [Tags: Ontologies, Research, Online Learning] [Comment]

Sam S. Adkins: Wake-Up Call: Open Source LMS, Learning Circuits October 21, 2005
Great article, filled with depth and insight, on the balance between open source and proprietary learning management systems (LMS). Arguing that open source systems can compete when the market reaches commodity stage and when open source becomes more innovative, author Sam Adkins suggests that we may be at that crossover point. And with major open source installations such as the University of Sourth Africa's Sakai installation (thanks Seb) buyers are beginning to see the alternatives. Adkins also interviews some LMS professionals to get their take, and particularly worth noting is the response from Comcourse's David Grebow, who identifies three major hurdles for open source: really bad interfaces, poor documentation, and endless feature creep. Sounds like my recent experiences with Ruby! Also worth noting is the potential for an LMS-SIS merger, as noted by an anonymous commentator in my discussion area. "Eventually there will be an SIS/LMS purchase/merger that will create a full service SIS/LMS system for higher ed. SCT Banner/BB OraclePeoplesoft/BB BB/Jenzabar ??" [Tags: Open Source, Experience, Project Based Learning, Ruby] [Comment]

Various authors: Blogger Survey 2005, Technorati October 21, 2005
821 of 30,000 Technorati subscribers responded to this survey, so it's likely to be skewed (not sure in which direction, though, probably toward properties of professional bloggers). Most interesting finding: bloggers find information about corporations distributed through PR firms less trustworthy than information sent straight from corporations. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment]

Alorie Gilbert: Tech Firms to Tackle Linux Desktop Standards, ZD Net Asia October 21, 2005
Via Slashdot: "Adobe Systems, IBM, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, RealNetworks and Red Hat are all backing the new Linux standards effort led by the Free Standards Group." The standards would address basic elements of Linux functionality, including applications, runtime management and installation. The Linux world needs this. [Tags: None] [Comment]

Grant McLean: Perl-XML Frequently Asked Questions October 21, 2005
Pretty comprehensive, reasonably up to date, accords with my own experience. Don't bother unless you parse XML in Perl. [Tags: Metadata, Experience, XML] [Comment]

Bud Gibson: xFolk Veg-o-matic Alpha, The Community Engine Blog October 21, 2005
Kind of an interesting hack, not for everyone, and unfortunately branded to a specific tool (Reblog), but nonetheless this application points the way to the future: "It slices and dices information into the stream you want. By default, you can publish this stream as a web page or various types of RSS feeds that can in turn be republished in a blog." [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment]

Tarleton Gillespie: Between What's Right and What's Easy, Inside Higher Ed October 21, 2005
The author looks at the recent announcement that the Copyright Clearance Center would integrate a 'Copyright Permissions Building Block' function directly into Blackboard's course management tools and raises the question of whether clearing rights when clearance is not required, as in cases of fair use, is a good thing. I can see both sides of this one. Easier copyright clearance is obviously a good idea - but clearance should be invoked only where it applies. The danger the author cites is, in my view, real, and the Blackboard-CCC system should be held to account and required to default to 'no clearance' when appropriate. [Tags: Blackboard, Copyright and Patent Issues] [Comment]

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