February 15, 2006


Tony Vincent[Edit][Delete]: Annoucing Our City Podcast!, Learning in Hand [Edit][Delete] February 15, 2006
[link: Hits] Ah, this is the sort of thing I love. "Our City Podcast is an audio program for kids and by kids. Students from around the globe are invited to submit a recording all about the city they live in (with the help of their teachers or parents)." It would be nice to see these evolve from travelogues to recurring reports about live in their city - something that people in the city could listen to instead of the evening gossip news. [Tags: Children and Child Learning] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

: EduGlu on Eduforge.org, February 15, 2006
[link: Hits] Now we're talking. Better than some basement project any day. D'Arcy Norman writes, "I've gone ahead and requested a new project on Eduforge.org to host the mythical EduGlu application development. I've got no idea what this thing might be - not even what language it will be written in - but I'm sticking a flag into the sand to say I'll help build this sucker." I will contribute my code to this as soon as I figure out my way around it (I've never been one of the Forge people - don't know wny, it just never happened). Not that I'm saying that what results should look like or even be in the same language as my work, I just want to be clear about contributing the concepts and ideas to the community. [Tags: Project Based Learning] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Alan Levine[Edit][Delete]: The Dissonance of Blogs in Education, Cogdogblog [Edit][Delete]CogDogBlog [Edit][Delete] February 15, 2006
[link: Hits] This is exactly right: "This notion that an educational blog is something unique and separate from our whole experience is jarring to me. Our lives are strung together from an array of overlapping experiences that transcend boxes, yet we continue to advocate these boxes for learning experiences." I think educators need to learn how to adapt what they are doing to be a part of their students' lives, not apart from those lives. If that means a loss of control, so be it. [Tags: Web Logs, Experience] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Learning for Development, Commonwealth of Learning [Edit][Delete] February 15, 2006
[link: Hits] The Commonwealth of Learning's draft Strategic Plan for the next three years is available and open for comments. It is interesting to note that while the authors comment, "disappointing track record of pure eLearning (i.e., online learning) in the industrialised world risks creating doubts about the effectiveness of ODL (open and distance learning) generally," they also note that, "must engage resolutely with eLearning because in the longer term it holds great promise for developing countries." Which, I think, is right, on both counts. The report also interesting notes that COL should "focus on implementing its own programme and cease bidding for contracts from development banks." It's pretty easy to get caught up in that whole 'competition for scarce resources' thing, and to lose sight of what you are doing, and so I would say that this is probably the correct approach (and that funding agencies should turn their attention to finding, for themselves, the best projects, rather than to listening to the best marketers). [Tags: Online Learning, Project Based Learning] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Derek Morrison[Edit][Delete]: Biting the WebCT bullet?, Auricle [Edit][Delete] February 15, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] With the Blackboard-WebCT merger now approved, the institutions who use WebCT now face a problem: what next? One option is to do nothing, and wait for Blackboard to unveil some new merged application and a migration strategy. Or, as Derek Morrison writes, "Don't be passive and wait for a vendor to determine your future. See this as an opportunity to review your options. Take some risks and don't just stick with the status quo. I've suggested in previous Auricle postings that even if a magic wand was to remove all, what we now call VLEs, from the planet then e-learning would still survive, and may even thrive. If they still want to go down the VLE route then there's now lots of choice, whether that be proprietary or open source." [Tags: Online Learning, Blackboard, Open Source, Mergers and Takeovers] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Graeme Daniel[Edit][Delete]: Web 2.0 and Education, WWWTools [Edit][Delete] February 15, 2006
[link: Hits] Discussion of the concept of Web 2.0 in learning, loaded (as is the usual WWWTools fashion) with references and resources. Worth noting is the take on the exchange of views between myself and Stephen O'Hear, a writer for the Guardian. A good place to start if the concept is new, and may provide some new references for those more attuned to developments in this area. [Tags: Web 2.0] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jon Mason[Edit][Delete]: E-Framework Newsletter, JISC - DEST [Edit][Delete] February 15, 2006
[link: Hits] Two issues of this new newsletter have appeared, the most recent being the January-February edition, which features a look at e-portfolios within the context of the e-framework. Drawing on a presentation from Peter Rees Jones, the article looks at how "to re-engineer the data so that wherever you are in the education system the individual learner can demonstrate to another institution, an employer, or to a parent, what they have done, how they are succeeding and who they are." The work that has been done so far suggests that a monolithic specification, such as IMS LIP, "is complex, therefore costly and probably impractical within current resources." More. [Tags: E-Portfolios, Online Learning, IMS Project, Newsletters, E-Framework] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tony Karrer[Edit][Delete]: eLearning 2.0: Informal Learning, Communities, Bottom-up vs. Top-Down, eLearning Technology [Edit][Delete] February 15, 2006
[link: 7 Hits] Discussion of my own e-learning 2.0 paper along with Jay Cross's thoughts on informal learning. The author also draws from Marcia Conner, who adds to the mix the distinction between intentional and unintentional learning. This sets the stage for a discussion of how to manage the outcomes of informal learning. Writes the author, "I am used to thinking about prescribing a blended learning regime that my learners will be asked to follow that at the end of the day, I'm confident will result in knowledge transfer and performance." The problem is, in my thinking, that knowledge doesn't "transfer". That is why there is a distinction to be drawn between writing or speaking with purpose, and being able to control the outcomes. See also What is eLearning 2.0?. [Tags: Online Learning] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

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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


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