On Being Radical  
November 18, 2005 Opening keynote at the Saskatchewan Association for Computers in Education conference in Regina. Available online are PowerPoint slides and the MP3 audio of the talk. Rob Wall also offers a lengthy blog summary. [Comment]


Steve Outing: Google Base: Now What Do We Do?, Poynter November 18, 2005
Google Base has launched and is sending a ripple of concern throughout the news industry, as in one fell swoop Google could obsolete their classifieds department. This advice, though, is sound and probably reasonable: "An all-powerful Google probably has the capability to wipe out other classifieds -- but I doubt that's the company's intention. Cooperating with it is likely a good thing, but we don't know for sure yet." The same, I would say, goes for online learning providers. [Tags: Online Learning, Google] [Comment]

Various authors:, IMS November 18, 2005
From the email announcement: "IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. has released the IMS Tool Interoperability v1 Guidelines... The IMS Tools Interoperability (TI) approach addresses the growing demand for a reusable mechanism for integrating third-party tools with core LMS platforms." OK. But what gets me is this announcement on the IMS page: "HTML documents may be viewed online, but may not be printed without permission." Wha...? Ooops, my finger slipped... it's printing... oh nooooooo.... [Tags: IMS Project] [Comment]

Reuters: Did Sony 'Rootkit' Pluck From Open Source?, ZD Net November 18, 2005
As you recall, Sony placed virus-like software on some of its CDs that secretly installs malicious software on users' computers. Now evidence has surfaced that the company raided open source software to code the rootkit. There's a lesson here about piracy and large corporations, I think. Something like, "Do what I say and not what I do." [Tags: Open Source] [Comment]

Press Release: Growing By Degrees: Online Education in the United States, 2005, The Sloan Consortium November 18, 2005
According to the press release summary, "Results from the 2005 survey also show slightly more schools use core faculty to teach their online courses than their face-to-face courses and the number of students studying online continues its consistent growth with 2.3 million enrolled in at least one online course in the fall 2004 semester." The full report is available as a free download. [Tags: Online Learning, Traditional and Online Courses, United States, Schools] [Comment]

Claire Hoffman: Anti-Piracy Message Stumbles at Colleges, L.A. Times November 18, 2005
For a good chuckle, read this item on students' reactions tgo the 'anti-piracy' message being offered on university campuses (L.A. Times - may require a login, sorry (but it didn't ask me for one)). "'Arrrrrrr!' shouted a group of students in the front row, prompting a chorus of pirate-like catcalls in the vein of Johnny Depp." And more to the point, and getting to the heart of the issue: "Several of the students said the government should be focusing on eliminating poverty and improving education instead of jailing kids who download movies, music and software." Via University Business. [Tags: Children and Child Learning] [Comment]

Various authors: Acatopia November 18, 2005
Interesting comment, just sent to me by email. "Just search for a book you are reading, or a book you have read. You will then be able to ask any question you have, and help answer other readers' questions." It will be interesting to see whether communities develop around books. [Tags: Books and eBooks] [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.

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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.

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Stephen Downes

Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada


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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