January 23, 2006


Brian Thill[Edit][Delete]: An Idea Too Dangerous to Ignore, Inside Higher Ed [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] I would like to invite the same organization to put up $100 to each of my readers who spots and sends in some instance of bias or political affiliation on this site. And to my readers, I pledge to offer a steady supply, to keep you all in cash. Or we could all recognize that having a point of view or perspective is fundamental to the very idea of being an academic, that such points of view are sometimes, and necessarily, out of the mainstream, and that the very principle of freedom of expression rails against the idea of punishing people - whatever their positions - for their political views. And today, in this country, it is a good day to be reminded of that. If you haven't voted yet, vote. And wherever you live, stand up and be counted, and do not those who would urge you to be silent carry the day. [Tags: Academics and Academia] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Techlearning Blog, TechLearning [Edit][Delete]Techlearning [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Announced last week, this weblog - associated with Techlearning - features the writing of David Warlick, Terry Freedman, Miguel Guhlin, David Jakes and Wesley Fryer (it took me a bit to find it because Warlick's initial announcement didn't contain a URL to the new blog - tsk). I think these writers are better separately than together, and I don't have a lot of faith in magazine-based group blogs (I have been involved with some) - sooner or later the independence of the blogger clashes with the image of the magazine (or the sensibilities of the other bloggers) and mayhem ensues. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Mudasiru Olalere Yusuf[Edit][Delete]: Problems and Prospects of Problems and Prospects of Open and Distance Education in Nigeria, Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Frank look at the implementation of open and distance learning in Nigeria and the problems faced by the service. Most of the problems are what would be expected - poor electricity service, postal service and telecommunications. Also facing Nigerians are inconsistencies in implementation and an inadequate ICT infrastructure. The author correctly argues for the need for stakeholder involvement and of finding ways to communicate with students in order to offer support. More articles from the current issue of the Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education are now available. [Tags: Online Learning] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Heather J. Ruskin and Ray Walshe[Edit][Delete]: Emergent Computing, ERCIM News [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: Hits] As the editors summarize in this introduction to this special issue of ERCIM News, emergent computing is "highly complex processes arising from the cooperation of many simple processes, ie high-level behaviour resulting from low- level interaction of simpler building blocks." If you are wondering about the sort of theoretical background I am thinking of when I am thinking of learning networks, this is it (won't fit on the two page project approval template, though). As my discussions of the next two articles show, there is still a lot to think about in this field. But this special issue is a nice survey of some of the thinking involved. [Tags: Project Based Learning, Networks, Interaction] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

: Collaborative Online Development of Modular Intelligent Agents, ERCIM News [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: Hits] This article picks up from Marvin Minsky's work and proposes a 'SOML' (Society of Mind Markup Language). "Natural intelligence is likely to be composed of multiple diverse algorithms and knowledge representation formats, with hundreds (or thousands) of specialised subsystems collaborating in some network (or 'Society of Mind'). This is in contrast to the 'one size fits all' approach of many popular algorithms in Artificial Intelligence." Yes - but, these do not need to be (and should not be) designed a priori. In my own approach, the society of mind outcome is generated by creating the conditions that foster and support diversity in the network. Agents, in other words, not only operate autonomously, they define themselves autonomously. [Tags: Networks] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Akira Namatame[Edit][Delete]: Collective Intelligence and Evolution, ERCIM News [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: Hits] We need to distinguish between 'selfish' behaviour and 'autonomous' behaviour. It is not obvious (and probably false) that self-directed behaviour will be (strictly) self-interested behaviour. Why would ants teach other ants, otherwise? How would self-sacrifice ever have emerged as a moral good? So this article, I would argue, is fundamentally misguided, and that the effort to "investigate the loss of collective welfare due to selfish and uncoordinated behavior" is something different than described here. I argue, indeed, that it is 'managed behaviour' that creates the loss of collective welfare, not autonomous behaviour. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

WCSDTechie[Edit][Delete]: Related Sites and Info for Stephen Downes Session, Techie Ramble [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: Hits] If you're still working through my 10 hours of podcast from Edson, you may want to refer to this page, written by one of the attendees, collecting the links mentioned in our discussion. Here is where some attendees posted the address to their brand-new blogs. Some said they would continue blogging - that would be nice to see. [Tags: Web Logs, Podcasting] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Curverider, January 23, 2006
[link: Hits] Curverider launches today. "Curverider offers commercial support for the Elgg open source community enabling platform" and was founded by the developers of Elgg. Harold Jarche comments, "For the end-user, this business model is a dream. You can get the developers to support you, but if your needs change or you want to work with someone else you are free to leave with your source code." Dave Tosh posts an announcement on his blog, along with a list of Elgg upgrades. [Tags: Web Logs, Open Source] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Darren Kuropatwa[Edit][Delete]: Safe Blogging Resources, A Difference [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] We talked in Edson about how to keep students safe in a world of blogging and social networks. And then along comes Darren Kuropatwa with this nice list of safe blogging resources from a variety of courses. [Tags: Web Logs, Networks] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Mark Oehlert[Edit][Delete]: TiddlyWiki Rocks!, E-Clippings [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: 16 Hits] I don't think it rocks quite so much (I have my doubts about the utility of loading an entire wiki into your browser in one go) but it's interesting enough to link to. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Dan McCrea[Edit][Delete]: Ajax Office Review, Innerphaze [Edit][Delete] January 23, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] I have mentioned Writely in this space in the past - it is a web-based word processor you write in using your browser. This article offers a very good overview of seven similar services, including gOffice and ThinkFree. I can only surmise that the number of these services will increase, as it is not rocket science to create one. If you are choosing one, just make sure you have some way to export your data to another service - portability will be key. Table version. [Tags: Operating Systems, Linux, Open Source] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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Stephen Downes

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You know, the ones that appear in refereed journals of Outstanding Rank.

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Stephen Downes

Copyright � 2006 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


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