May 3, 2006


Various authors[Edit][Delete]: Emerging Technologies for Learning, BECTA [Edit][Delete] May 3, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] Released in late April, this booklet, containing short articles on five topics (mobile learning, ambient web, human computer interaction, social networking and the broadband home) offers a good and insightful look at trends in learning technology. I like this: "For today s class we will be building a 3D map of the village. First, we'll collect pictures, sounds and anything else of interest from each street. Split into teams of four and take your camera-phones with you. By mid-day we will have built our own virtual map, and then we can get together to plan which parts to research further." Yeah. Forget math and geography and one-hour classes. Move out of the classroom and into the real world. Connected and mobile, integrated into society and learning about it. [Tags: Online Learning, Research, Networks, Interaction] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Albert Ip[Edit][Delete]: What if Everything We Think About School is Wrong?, Random Walk in E-Learning [Edit][Delete]Random Walk in E-Learning [Edit][Delete] May 3, 2006
[link: 13 Hits] "A wild animal, as opposed to a caged animal, knows chaos and can adapt to it." These words conclude this video, well worth watching, about Fairhaven, an alternative democratic school. A lot of my own thoughts are captured here. For example, "Learning is what happens when you're doing something else." And I like the thoughts, expressed here, about how being forced to learn leads you to allow yourself to be forced into other things later in life. Albert Ip also quotes some comments - this one struck me: "The world is not run by democratic process, and you usually CAN'T do what you want to do..." Well, yes, most of the world is undemocratic. But this is the problem. And we will not counter this by silently acquiescing to authoritarianism, either in our schools or in our lives. [Tags: Schools] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Rob Wall[Edit][Delete]: No Webmail For You!, StigmergicWeb [Edit][Delete] May 3, 2006
[link: 8 Hits] I just want to note this item briefly to show how priorities can become completely skewed: "The crackdown was sparked by concern that some students were wasting their academic potential by spending class time writing e-mails to friends, officials said Friday." The day reading and writing are considered to be 'wasting academic potential' is the day rules have replaced rationality. [Tags: Academics and Academia] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Heather Ross[Edit][Delete]: TLt 2006 - Wow, That Was Great, McToonish [Edit][Delete] May 3, 2006
[link: 9 Hits] Some good stuff from Saskatchewan. I enjoyed the Ed Tech Posse's live podcast - not a whole lot that was new, but a fun listen. Also, here's a link to David Porter's presentation, Building Contemporary learning Communities (PDF, bleah). Also don't miss Heather Ross's own presentation on blended learning. [Tags: Podcasting] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Rachel Heery and Andy Powell[Edit][Delete]: Digital Repositories Roadmap: Looking Forward, Ukoln [Edit][Delete] May 3, 2006
[link: Hits] An ambitious paper that will challenge your thinking. "This roadmap presents a vision for 2010 in which a high percentage of newly published UK scholarly output is made available on an open access basis and in which there is a growing recognition of the benefits of making research data, learning resources and other academic content freely available for sharing and re-use." That's where it starts, at least, but as you get into the depths of the paper you see more and more discussion of the bundling of complex objects, digital object identifiers, and of digital rights management (see esp. section 6.3). Like this, for example: "Access to institutional and other repositories will be controlled within the same 'single sign-on' access management framework adopted for other internal and external resources." In what sense is this open access or "freely available for sharing and re-use"? Certainly, there will be some people saying we need these things - but just who, exactly, needs them? [Tags: Learning Object Repositories, Research, Digital Rights Management (DRM), Academics and Academia] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Terry Freedman, ed.[Edit][Delete]: Coming of Age - An Introduction to the New World Wide Web, May 3, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] It's nice to see a publication like this made freely available. The book is an overview of Web 2.0 technologies for educators and features contributors from a number of people with expertise in the field. This is one of those projects that is good for everybody - readers get a valuable reference, while the contributors benefit from the exposure and the networking that such a project supports. More information is available here - note that the navigation on this page is to the left and is a bit difficult to use. Anyhow, my congratulations to everyone involved. [Tags: Books and eBooks, Usability, Project Based Learning, Networks, Navigation, Web 2.0] [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.

Lectures, seminars, and keynotes in a wide variety of formats - everything from streaming video to rough notes.

All my articles, somewhere around 400 items dating from 1995.

Audio recordings of my talks recorded in MP3 format. A podcast feed is also available.

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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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