February 21, 2006


David Wiley[Edit][Delete]: As We May Interact?, Iterating Toward Openness [Edit][Delete]Iterating toward openness [Edit][Delete] February 21, 2006
[link: 9 Hits] David Wiley asks, of Web 2.0 tools, "With the number of users of these tools, and the others in each of these categories, why on earth would we create a new tool in any of these spaces? When critical mass is the single most important part of a network, why would we build another 'walled garden' collection of applications?" Quite right, and the world does not need another walled garden. But I still think we need to explore and understand better the nature of distributed applications. Tools like Flickr, Friendster and Technorati each try to become, if you will, a destination for people, to aggregate as many users as they can. We need to focus less on these big centres and more on how even unpopular tools can be mashed up and aggregated. There needs to be, if you will, a long tail of Web 2.0 tools - but nobody knows how to do that yet. [Tags: Networks, Ontologies, Web 2.0] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jeremy Hiebert[Edit][Delete]: Personal Learning Environment Model, HeadsPaceJ [Edit][Delete] February 21, 2006
[link: 25 Hits] I don't think I've covered this (sorry if I have) and I don't want to risk it passing by without comment. In this item, Jeremy Hiebert revises his Personal Learning Environment (PLE) model. I'm not quite sure I'm there with it. I like the idea of trying to get at the function, rather than the type, of applications involved. But a lot seems missing. Where is personal identity? Where is community? I want to see 'who am I' and 'who do I know' as prominant in such a diagram. Because, I argue, it is this structure that defines the structure of the information network, not the information itself (that's why libraries always puzzle me - all that information, organized by subject, while I'd really rather have it organized by what might interest me right now, regardless of subject). [Tags: Networks] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tim Stahmer[Edit][Delete]: Web 2.0 Is Anti-American, Assorted Stuff [Edit][Delete] February 21, 2006
[link: 10 Hits] This came out a couple of days ago, but I cannot resist passing along the (somewhat odd) opinion that Web 2.0 is somehow anti-American. That it is communist. Web 2.0 "suggests that everyone - even the most poorly educated and inarticulate amongst us - can and should use digital media to express and realize themselves." Why, that would be communism! Tim Stahmer quite rightly takes Andrew Keen to task for this piece of, um, writing. [Tags: United States, Web 2.0] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Mike Klonsky[Edit][Delete]: Pay for Florida Teachers Based On a Single Test--Bad Idea, February 21, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] I think that half the problems (maybe more) in educational reform is that those doing research and those making policy really do not understand the principles of cause and effect - not in simple environments, and certainly not in complex environment. Which results in policy being driven by myth and urban legends, rather than anything based in reality. I mean, why don't we pay our decision-makers according to poll results, or the quality of life index? Or better yet, pay them whatever the poorest person in society makes. Oh yes, there's be a lot of sputtering about 'multiple factors' and 'indirect effects' then. Sheesh. Want to help education? Note this: "FCAT scores correspond more closely to parents income than to the work of any single teacher." And "kids who have at least two nourishing meals each day, score much high(er) on standardized tests." The talk about quality indicators and standards-based testing is meaningless if you're not willing to make sure children are properly fed. [Tags: Assessment, Research, Children and Child Learning, Quality] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Unattributed[Edit][Delete]: Create Your Own Firefox Extension, LifeHacker [Edit][Delete] February 21, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Something to keep handy, should I free up some coding time. "The people at Rietta Solutions have posted a tutorial for beginners who want to create their own Firefox extension. The tutorial has been constructed as a step-by-step guide providing many examples." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Alan Levine[Edit][Delete]: Social Software In Action (No Real Software Required), Cogdogblog [Edit][Delete]CogDogBlog [Edit][Delete] February 21, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] I have talked in some contexts recently (for example, the OECD open educational resources conference) about the 'production' of a resource being the starting point, not the end point, of an open educational resource network. This post illustrates perfectly what I mean, as the resources from a conference presentation becomes a much larger (and more valuable) set of resources, with contributions from around the world. [Tags: Networks] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Kathy Sierra[Edit][Delete]: Brain Death by Dull Cubicle, Creating Passionate Users [Edit][Delete] February 21, 2006
[link: Hits] Several people have linked to this item. In a sentence, the point is that if you spend most of your time in a dull environment, your brain will not grow new neural connections, making it harder to learn. I think this is basically right. And yes, I think this is a good reason to get students out of the classroom. But even more importantly, it's a good reason to get yourself out of wherever you are and to go experience new things. [Tags: Experience] [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

About Me
Bio, photos, and assorted odds and ends.

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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