November 28, 2005


Stephen Downes: Options, Stephen's Web November 28, 2005
In addition to some design changes (most noticable to GMail readers, and still in progress) you should notice a new 'Options' link at the top of your newsletter today. Over the weekend I filled a large hole in my website software by rewriting the login script to manage subscriptions and user options. You may be interested to note that the script now supports FOAF (both as input and output), albeit in a minimal way. It is now also a fully-functioning mIDm application - more about that tomorrow. In the mean time, the major change for you is this: you now have to log in to unsubscribe. I hesitated to do this, but the way it was before, someone could set up an automated script and unsubscribe everyone. If you want to unsubscribe, click on the options link - if you have lost your user ID and password, you can have it emailed to you. Anyhow, if you have any problems at all with login and options, please let me know - it should be working properly, but you know me and software... [Tags: Newsletters, Subscription Services] [Comment]

Rob Wall: EdTech Posse Podcast #009 - Breakfast chat at SACE with Stephen Downes (part 1), The EdTech Posse November 28, 2005
The first part (of three or four) of my breakfast conversation with two members of the Ed Tech Posse at SACE in Regina last week is now online. In it we talked about open content, music, and political change, all themes following from my talk at the conference the preceding day. As a bonus, listen also to Rob Wall's solo podcast recorded the previous evening as he wandered outside the hotel. [Tags: Chat and Chat Rooms, Open Content, Podcasting] [Comment]

Dave Cormier: What is this Whole School Thing About Anyway?, Dave’s Educational Blog November 28, 2005
Two strands of thought come together in my mind, and this strand - the question of whether we need education-specific environments (such as the PLE) is one of them. The other is the ongoing discussion circulating around the education blogosphere about schools blocking weblogs and other websites (see here, for example). Both revolve around the same idea: in learning, we want access to the internet, but not necessarily all of it - there's a lot out there that would aid learning, but a lot that, frankly, gets in the way. My own belief, and I need to expand on this in the future, is that peer-based networks (a bad name, and I'll change it) are the way to go. These are not blocked from the rest of the internet, so censorship doesn't become an issue. But at the same time, there is a strong bias toward resources relevant to (as you would expect) one's peers. [Tags: Online Learning, Web Logs, Schools, Networks] [Comment]

A.J. Hirst: Social Bookmarking Interoperability, OUseful Info November 28, 2005
Good discussion of how the metadata produced by various social bookmarking services (such as and Connotea) can interoperate. The major difference between the two service is (naturally) how they link to the resource - linking directly, Connotea linking to an intermediate page (the latter has become the staple in the blogosphere as well). Also worth noting is the increased use of the Dublin Core subject field to record tags. [Tags: Web Logs, Linking and Deep Linking, Interoperability, Metadata,] [Comment]

Lisa Galarneau: Could I Have Your Attention Please?, Relevancy November 28, 2005
Lisa Galarneau is right to point to this presentation by Tantek Çelik (the same person behind about Attention.xml. This is a clear example of what I have been calling 'second party metadata' - the idea here is that the use of a resource is as important, if not more important, as the nature of the resource. From technorati, Çelik tends to favour XHTML rather than, say, RSS, which isn't quite the way I'd go (I'm open to see what develops, though). But the format isn't the main thing; the concept is. [Tags: Metadata, Technorati] [Comment]

Jim McGee: Davenport, Prusak and Cohen are Blogging, McGee's Musings November 28, 2005
Links to three more edublogs (I'll need a rolling counter if this keeps up). Albert Delgado meanwhile points to Richard Kassissieh's new blog (started in July). That makes four. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment]

Christoph Schiller: The Adventure of Physics, Motion Mountain November 28, 2005
It's not the most user-friendly download ever (by definition, being a PDF) but it's hard not to be impressed by this. Motion Mountain is offering this complete physics textbook as a free download. The sound you hear is textbook publishers cashing in their stocks and laying off their physics authors. [Tags: Books and eBooks] [Comment]

Stuart Yeates: Royal Society Has Come Out Against Open Access Journals?, EDUCAUSE Blogs November 28, 2005
As you can imagine, people are disappointed by this stance, though the author of this item expresses doubt that it completely represents the Royal Society. Stuart Yeates writes, "The issue is challenging for the Royal Society, because like many scholarly societies they currently derive a large portion of their income from selling journals to institutional libraries." I'm sympathetic, though I caution, the purpose of academic publishing is not to keep organizations like the Royal Society afloat, much as they may feel otherwise. [Tags: Academics and Academia] [Comment]

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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.

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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