February 8, 2006


Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: Mental Images, February 8, 2006
[link: 2 Hits]

Photo taken at Nikolaj Udstillingsbygning Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

James Farmer[Edit][Delete]: WebCT Attempts to Outdo BlackBoard on Blogging System!, Incorporated Subversion [Edit][Delete]Incorporated subversion [Edit][Delete] February 8, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] WebCT's version of blogs: "They are locked behind WebCTâxTMs password protection; They cannot be made publicly visible; Comments can only be made by internal WebCT users using the same installation of WebCT; The blogs donâxTMt have RSS feeds." No doubt the institutions love them. [Tags: Web Logs, Blackboard] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Zack Rosen[Edit][Delete]: Sakai vs. Moodle, Zacker.org [Edit][Delete] February 8, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] If you want to feel some ire rise in your craw, scroll through this list of comparisons - users, vendors, traffic, business readiness, and the like, and then look at the comparisons in funding. "Moodle: $0 initial funding and ~ $12,000 a year from individual donors. Sakai Project: $2,200,000 initial grant from Mellon Foundation and Hewlett Foundation and $4,400,000 from core partners." So what is going on, why didn't the funders support and existing (and successful) project, and who's taking home the dough? Via James Farmer. [Tags: Project Based Learning, Culture Jamming] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Terry Freedman[Edit][Delete]: A Response to Stephen Downes, and Some Examples of Real Greed, February 8, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Terry Freedman responds to my lengthy (though cut-off) comment on his article and adds this item, documenting greed on the part of publishers. Well, I know that the commercial press is, shall we say, less than avove-board in its dealings with authors. From my perspective, the people who complain the most about 'pirates' are themselves the worst offenders - I saw the other day (maybe I mentioned it here?) an item pointing to the reality that copyright laws are intended to protect the corporations from each other; we (the rest of us) are simply caught in the crossfire. I have commented before on the inherent amorality of the corporate world, but it bears repeating here. Instead of seeing what I write as a personal attack, I think that Freedman should look at the structure and ethos of the system he is defending (and which provides his livlihood). [Tags: Books and eBooks, Copyright and Patent Issues] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jay Cross[Edit][Delete]: Push and Pull, Informal Learning [Edit][Delete] February 8, 2006
[link: Hits] Good article on the distinction between 'push' (which is what spammers, advertisers, and other assorted low-life do) and 'pull' (which is what I've advocated for some time). Not surprisingly, as this article makes clear, traditional learning is 'push' and new learning is 'pull'. Summary of a talk by John Hagel at eLearning Forum. [Tags: Push versus Pull, Marketing, Spam] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Catherine Howell[Edit][Delete]: The Most Popular Educational Technology Diagram, Ever, EDUCAUSE Blogs [Edit][Delete] February 8, 2006
[link: 27 Hits] I didn't catch the significance of Josie Fraser's post when it came out, but this article helpfully contrasts the diagram it describes to the E-Learning Framework diagram "(which quickly became known as: 'Another Brick in the Wall')" and links, in turn, to a fascinating Flash visualization of some of the approaches in the educational space. I think there's a story being told here, in many ways (as the author suggests) a personal story, but also too, one of transformation. [Tags: Online Learning, Visualization, Ontologies] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Javier I. Ayala[Edit][Delete]: Electronic Portfolios for Whom?, EDUCAUSE Quarterly [Edit][Delete] February 8, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] I couldn't say it more plainly myself. "The literature doesn't discuss e-portfolio use to meet student needs and concerns but to support administrative efforts to solve long-term curricular issues." And I agree with this assessment: "Implementers who have not thoughtfully addressed the key issues outlined here will eventually come crashing down." The author writes that there is hope - but how much damage will the institution-centered initiatives cause in the mean time? More articles from the current EDUCAUSE Quarterly, freely available online (yay). [Tags: E-Portfolios, Assessment, EDUCAUSE] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Will Richardson[Edit][Delete]: Reinvention Chapter 2--I Quit, Weblogg-Ed [Edit][Delete]Weblogg-ed [Edit][Delete] February 8, 2006
[link: 14 Hits] Um, wow. Here is Will Richardson: "After 21 years in public education... today I notified my superintendent that as of May 15 I would be leaving the district for parts somewhat unknown. To put it simply, I quit." Yesterday I tried to put the case forward to OECD representatives about the barriers and hurdles placed in front of individuals in our field. Today we see Will Richardson leaving behind the institution that (apparently) has become more of a hinderance than a help to his work. "We need to get everyone, and I mean everyone access to the knowledge and people and ideas that now make up the Web. Educators need to be a part of this evolution, and maybe the revolution, too." Here's to you, Will! Good luck and godspeed. I am with you now, more than ever. [Tags: Paradigm Shift] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources, February 8, 2006
[link: 96 Hits] OK, so I messed up the link yesterday for the slides and audio for my presentation in Malmo. Corrected: Here now are the Powerpoint Slides and an MP3 audio recording. [Tags: Sweden, Podcasting] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Rob Koper[Edit][Delete]: Current Research in Learning Design, Journal of Educational Technology and Society [Edit][Delete] February 8, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] In learning design, writes Rob Koper, "The major research issues are at the moment [are]: a) the use of ontologies and semantic web principles&tools related to Learning Design; b) the use of learning design patterns; c) the development of learrning design authoring and content management systems, and d) the development of learning design players, including the issues how to use the integrated set of learning design tools in a variety of settings." This article introduces a special issue of the Journal of Educational Technology and Society on the topic of learning design, freely available online (yay!). I can't read it all now, but it is noted for future reference. [Tags: Research, Semantic Web, Content Management, Ontologies] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Aaron P. Campbell[Edit][Delete]: In Blogging, the Benefits of Exposure Are Worth the Risk, TESOL [Edit][Delete] February 8, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] I, too, can avow that the benefits of blogging far outweigh the risks. Yes, there are risks - but I guess there are risks in any human interaction. But how else would I have been able to find a community like this, with friends around the world, a meeting of minds in common purpose? "So stop fearing online encounters, and give your students the freedom to explore the world through blogging. Allow them to use the language instead of merely studying it, and help them achieve the autonomy that will be beneficial to them and the society at large." Yes. Via Bee on weblogging. [Tags: Web Logs, Interaction] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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

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Stephen Downes

Copyright ďż˝ 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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