January 9, 2006


Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: MyGlu, January 9, 2006
[link: Hits] Sites like SuprGlu portend the expressive power inherent in RSS and Web 2.0 but it - and other sites like it - frustrate me because they tie the user to their website, their service (and their business model, their advertising, and ultimately, Yahoo!). They seem to work like magic, but what they are doing is not magic - unless, perhaps, it's a magic of PR. This link is to a script I wrote today (yes, it represents exactly one day's work, though I'll clean it up and add to it over the next week or so) which performs the functionality of SuprGlu - that is, it brings together different RSS feeds into a single display - does it in such a way as to allow you to put your Glu on your own site, allows you to use feeds other than your own, and lets you filter the output. No magic; the base code is ripped from Edu_RSS and has been around for a while. Eventually (in a couple of days) it will also take this output and upload it to your Blogger account (and WordPress, if I can manage the api - haven't tried that one yet). Only, unlike these online services, I make the script available (and it's pretty simple to run). And don't have to use my site - or SuprGlu's - at all. Web 2.0 is supposed to be all about empowering the user and distributing content, not the manifestation of some eyeball-driven business plan. I wish more coders (and pundits) would recognize that. Anyhow, enjoy, and if you have any feature requests I'd be glad to add them. [Tags: Marketing, Web 2.0, Yahoo!] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Terry Anderson[Edit][Delete]: PLEs Versus LMS: Are PLEs Ready for Prime Time?, Virtual Canuck [Edit][Delete] January 9, 2006
[link: Hits] Terry Anderson cautions, "Although there is something quite compelling about the vision of a lifelong learning environment that is centered upon and perpetually belongs to the learner, I think we are some distance from being able to operationalize that vision." Still, "the PLE future seems to be more secure than that of any monolithic LMS." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Rob Wall[Edit][Delete]: EdTech Posse Podcast #012 - The Last Remains of Our Breakfast Chat at SACE, The EdTech Posse [Edit][Delete] January 9, 2006
[link: Hits] The world's longest breakfast wraps up with the fourth and final podcast of my breakfast conversation with the Ed Tech Posse in Regina. Listen and enjoy. [Tags: Podcasting] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

David Wiley[Edit][Delete]: RIP-ping on Learning Objects, Iterating Toward Openness [Edit][Delete]Iterating toward openness [Edit][Delete] January 9, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] David Wiley writes, "I don't think I care if learning objects are dead or not." Now if that doesn't get you to click on the link I don't know what will. Wiley recounts the reusability paradox he outlined a few years ago, and yet underlines the value learning objects were supposed to bring. He writes, "As I've thought about that need, I think it is best expressed as easily localizable resources." So where was the problem? "In retrospect, the primary weakness of this definition was supposed to be the keyword it all hinged upon: 'reuse.' [which was] almost unanimously interpreted by this group as 'technical interoperability' with no thought for the pedagogic, semiotic, or other contextual dimensions of the term." For Wiley's money (and mine too) "the technical interoperability of content doesn't need to go much further than 'can be properly rendered by most web browsers.'" I might push for an RSS feed too. But Wiley essentially captures what a lot of us feel. [Tags: Online Learning, Learning Objects, Usability, Interoperability] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Matt Pasiewicz[Edit][Delete]: Open Educational Resources at the Internet Archive, Educause [Edit][Delete]EDUCAUSE [Edit][Delete] January 9, 2006
[link: Hits] Interesting. From Internet Archive: "The Open Educational Resources Archive is a collection of educational content including coursework, study guides, exercises, and recorded lectures. It is meant for students, teachers, and self-learners at all levels." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Christopher D. Sessums[Edit][Delete]: The Beginnings of a Manifesto for Reforming Education in the U.S., January 9, 2006
[link: Hits] I don't see why the author would limit his attention to the U.S., but this short article starts off on the right track, I think. Sort of. This bit is good: "This political movement requires âxoeemergence,âxx where change is initiated from below, not handed down from above." But this isn't: "For the act of teaching and learning to change at both an institutional level and an active, social level, teachers need to join together and form a unified vision of working conditions and compensation." No. The whole concept of emergence requires that invividuals form autonomous visions and goals. Now this is a bit tricky, because, as the author says, " The call for autonomy of public education is a political act of secession from a government that has clearly failed in its task of defending the real interests of the community in terms of public education." So we have a challenge here. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Shashwat Chaturvedi[Edit][Delete]: India: E-learning's Knight in Shining Armour, CIOL [Edit][Delete] January 9, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] This might surprise some readers: "India has a near monopoly in the e-learning services domain." According to the article, "if you are a writer, a software professional, a graphic artist or a management professional, living in one of the metros [in India] chances are you must have received an email or a call from the headhunters offering a job at one of e-learning companies." [Tags: Online Learning] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Sohini Bagchi[Edit][Delete]: The E-learning Boom Is Here!, CXOtoday [Edit][Delete] January 9, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Cheerleading article, useful because it points to market leaders (Wipro, Satyam, Accenture, Convergys, ING Vysya Bank) and points to some weaknesses ("the biggest growth and adaptation inhibitor is not lack of solutions or their quality, but the need for an internal change management. At the same time its penetration has not been phenomenal in all sectors in the country, cautioned Joseph. This is especially true for the government sector..."). Via The Learned Man. [Tags: Online Learning] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tom Hoffman[Edit][Delete]: My Blogging Resolution for 2006, ESchool News [Edit][Delete] January 9, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] Tom Hoffman pledges to be honest about his biases in 2006, a good thing, and while pointing to the mostly worthwhile philosophies of the Coalition of Essential Schools he makes most clear, I think, his disdain for some more recent (or as he says, "ersatz") theories of learning. He writes, "Nothing, not a single damn thing I've learned about technology has changed what I've always believed about teaching and learning by humans." I wish I knew so much that I could be so certain about my fundamental principles and beliefs. Via Christian Long. [Tags: Schools] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Vincent Tinto[Edit][Delete]: Learning Communities: Building Gateways to Student Success, National Teaching and Learning Forum [Edit][Delete] January 9, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Mentioned in passing by Alan Levine, Vincent Tinto is a good source for information on learning communities in traditional settings. In this article, from 1998, he identifies several types of learning communities and observes, "The responsibilities and roles of the faculty and students, and of student affairs professionals, become less distinct, more blurred as each attempts to negotiate meaning with the other." He hits the mark elsewhere as well, discussing the importance of diversity and learning communities in this 2004 paper, and their role in promoting student retention in another (the source for which, the National ACademic ADvising Association, is also worth a look (and could use an RSS feed)). [Tags: Learning Communities, Online Learning Communities] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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Copyright ďż˝ 2006 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


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