December 9, 2005


Various authors: News from the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Wisconsin Center for Education Research December 9, 2005
If you find there's nothing on the radio over the weekend - or over the next month - you can settle in and listen to the 60 podcasts uploaded to this blog. Most of them are pretty short and topics include assessment, school reform, professional development and more. [Tags: Web Logs, Assessment, Schools, Podcasting] [Comment]

Terry Anderson: Online End of Class Party, Virtual Canuck December 9, 2005
I enjoyed this description of the sorts of things taken into account in the design of a successful end-of-year party. I especially liked the descriptions of what (in previous years) did not work, such as: "asynchronous parties do not work!" This article is worth reading - it's like the common expression, you learn more from the party than from the class. Heh. [Tags: ] [Comment]

Jeremy Price: Object-Centered Sociality, or the Act of Being Kicked, Smelly Knowledge December 9, 2005
Good point about online communities I think needs highlighting and clarifying. "The fallacy is to think that social networks are just made up of people. They're not; social networks consist of people who are connected by a shared object... it's like the idea of an attractor in a dynamic system." (If you want a fun read, look up 'strange attractors' in Google - that's the sort of thing he means here. Anyhow, the clarification: even though the members have an interest in an object in common, it does not follow that you can define the community in terms of that object. The object is just what brings people in; the community develops a life of its own after that. The definition of the community is found in the connections, not the object. [Tags: Online Learning Communities, Google, Networks] [Comment]

Joshua Schachter: y.ah.oo!, / blog December 9, 2005
Yahoo! acquires and another Dot Com developer makes good. Good commentary from ZD Net. [Tags: Web Logs, Yahoo!,, Mergers and Takeovers] [Comment]

Ira Fuchs: Needed: an 'Educore' to Aid Collaboration, Eduforge December 9, 2005
"The single biggest obstacle facing colleges and universities that want to use open source," argues Ira Fuchs, "appears to be the uncertainty about future support for and improvements in the software. Many administrators and trustees simply cannot accept the idea of relying for maintenance and support on people with whom they have no contractual relationship." Thus he proposes as a solution "the creation of a coordinating body, perhaps called Educore [which] would coordinate the development and maintenance of open source for the benefit of higher education." It's a good idea but as always the governance of such an initiative is the central question - it would have to be global and inclusive. Via David Wiley. [Tags: Web Logs, Open Source, Open Content] [Comment]

Lisa Young and Donna Rebadow: Reusable Learning Objects: RLO The Movie, MCLI iForum December 9, 2005
Link to video from the presentation, presented during a conference session called 'Stop Reinventing the Wheel and Share Your Best Instructional Resources: Reusable Learning Objects,' in which Maricopa staff described their efforts to help staff understand, find, and use learning objects. Also a link to the interesting Ocotillo Learning Objects blog. This item and the next via Alan levine. [Tags: Online Learning, Learning Objects, Web Logs] [Comment]

Vincent Tinto: Student Success and the Building of Involving Educational Communities, MCLI iForum December 9, 2005
"Successful education, not retention, is the secret of successful retention programs." Thus argues Vincent Tinto. "Institutions of higher education are like other human communities. The essential character of such communities lies not in their formal structures, but in the underlying values which inspire their construction." [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Stephen Downes

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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