Leigh Blackall: Digital Literacy: How it Affects Teaching Practices and Networked Learning Futures - A Proposal for Action Research, The Knowledge Tree November 1, 2005
Looking a little like the revolutionaries have taken over the castle, the 2005 edition of The Knowledge Tree launches Thursday with some great content, including this article in which Leigh Blackall discusses "digital literacy, the impact of open source software and the place of content within the worldwide rapid publishing and networked learning revolution (Web 2.0)." If you are in Australia or insomniac, check out the launch event online. here's a direct link to the issue's Contents. [Tags: Online Learning, Paradigm Shift, Networks, Open Source, Web 2.0] [Comment]

Ulises Mejias: A Nomad's Guide to Learning and Social Software, The Knowledge Tree November 1, 2005
Useful article that delivers what its title promises, but without the wandering. After a look at social software - which interestingly includes things as old as MUDs - the author considers the tension between online social networks and those we form offline. The true potential of social software, he argues, "lies in helping us figure out how to integrate our online and offline social experiences." [Tags: Experience, Networks] [Comment]

Brian Alger: Curriculum: The Design of the Prerequisite, The Experience Designer Network November 1, 2005
Via Harold Jarche comes this nice essay about the foundation of, and death of, curriculum. No doubt there will be contrary views (not the least because it's a large industry) but the death of curriculum seems to be a good thing. "One of the effects of curriculum design of any kind is confinement. And the confinement of human experience is an act of violence. A common example of this confinement via curriculum leading to violence is bullying. Another effect of curriculum is exclusion as seen in the large numbers of students that leave the school system." [Tags: Online Learning, Schools, Experience] [Comment]

Nils Peterson: ePortfolio with FOAF and Atom -- Proof of Concept, EDUCAUSE Blogs November 1, 2005
Scott Wilson pondered, "I'm interested in finding out WHY something more complex [than FOAF and Atom] would be necessary." This project concludes: it's not. "Scott's conjecture that FOAF and Atom are sufficient for making an ePortfolio seems well founded." [Tags: Project Based Learning] [Comment]

Frances Moss and J.D. Solomon: Teaching the Fourth ‘R’ of Science Education: Research, T.H.E. Journal November 1, 2005
They're calling it the fourth 'R' but if you ask me, it's the big 'M': marketing. I think it's good that Elsevier is providing selected science high schools with free access to ScienceDirect, though it seems to me that the selection - "based on measures of student achievement in science and math, such as their number of AP students, National Merit Scholars, and winners of leading science competitions" - is an instance of the rich getting richer. More to the point, one wonders why these high schools don't direct their students toward open access research publications, thus allowing everyone to have access, and the sort of access that won't disappear when they graduate. [Tags: Academic Publications, Schools, Research, Marketing] [Comment]

Announcement: E-Health Resource Repository, University of Calgary November 1, 2005
Gotta like this: "The Health Telematics Unit (HTU), University of Calgary... is creating and working to sustain a digital repository of e-Health resources to support research... it is committed to providing access to the most current and critical information for those working in the e-Health field." The repository is using DSpace, so contents can be harvested and syndicated, and the spirit seems to be to promote open access to these important materials. [Tags: Learning Object Repositories, Research] [Comment]

Stephen Hoare: Breaking with Convention, The Guardian November 1, 2005
Interesting proposition: "UK universities are becoming confident in delivering degrees by distance learning thanks to lessons learned from the collapsed UkeU, the ill-fated government-sponsored project conceived at the height of the dotcom boom to exploit an expanding overseas market for e-learning." I don't see anything in the article that would constitute evidence that the proposition is true, however. My own view is that Britain has developed e-learning expertise in spite of UKeU, not because of it. [Tags: Online Learning, Project Based Learning] [Comment]

Press Release: U.S. Consumer Spending For Online Content Totals $987 in First Half of 2005, Online Publishers Association November 1, 2005
Interesting report, even though it stretches the definition of 'content' to include such services as online dating and online gaming. Here's the breakdown (in $ millions):
$264.8 - Entertainment, including music
$245.2 - Personals and dating
$159.1 - Business and investing
$73.3 - Research
$58.0 - Personal growth
$54.4 - Games
$39.3 - General news
$32.7 - Community-made directories
$23.2 - Sports
$22.7 - Greeting cards
$14.1 - Credit help
Excluded from the survey were porn and gambling sites, software purchases, illegal scams, and ISPs. Online learning appears neither as a category in this survey nor as a type of content that is excluded, an odd omission. The full report is available online as a PDF. [Tags: Books and eBooks, Online Learning, Ontologies, Games and Gaming] [Comment]

Mark Russinovich: Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far, Mark's Sysinternals Blog November 1, 2005
This is the sort of thing people worry about when they worry about digital rights management. This article is quite technical (you can read the populist version, Dear Sony: Why Are You Acting Like a Criminal?) but the gist is clear: running a DRM-enabled CD from Sony (specifically, Sony BMG’s 'Get Right with the Man' CD by the Van Zant brothers) will result in disruptive (and apparently badly written) software being installed on your computer. The 'rootkit' files installed are cloaked from the user, yet open the computer up to hacking attacks, and can disrupt other applications or operations. As Mark says, "To paraphrase the cliché, friends won't let friends buy Sony CDs. Or, put another way, isn't hijacking a machine like this an act of... piracy?" [Tags: Web Logs, Hackers and Hacking, Digital Rights Management (DRM)] [Comment]

James Robertson: 10 Principles of Effective Information Management, Step Two Designs November 1, 2005
I do not typically endorse lists of principles - usually there's something I object to - but this one has my seal of approval. I can think of instances where each of these ten principles has been violated, with unfortunate results. This is solid advice; print this article and nail it to the manager's door. Latin version optional. [Tags: Information] [Comment]

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I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence.

This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward. - Stephen Downes