June 22, 2006


Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: CCL Conference on Adult Learning, June 22, 2006
[link: Hits] I am at the Canadian Council on Learning conference on adult education in Fredericton. Though I had expected this would be much more management and administration focused than it was, I found it to be a refreshing blend of adult educators and academic working for change. This to me was a very welcome delevopment, as it represents a broad resistance against the idea of learning as commodity, something that can be sliced and diced and measured and sold by the seat-hour to the developing world (whee, I'm all activisty now).

I blogged the keynote address by Maude Barlow and four sessions today; there's a bit more to come tomorrow. The format of the four sessions (each devoted to a different aspect of adult education) was to have an academic present the research report, and then to have a practitioner comment on it. This worked, in my view, really well, keeping the academics honest and the practitioners involved. Anyhow, here's the blogging:

- Maude Barlow
- E-Learning
- Learning Communities
- Social Movement Learning
- Culture

I hope you enjoy these reports as much as I enjoyed writing them. This really was a fine day, really good for my spirits. In our world of electronic learning we are sometimes isolated between the corporatists and the technologists. But it's nice to see a firm representation of (shall we say) the humanists out there. [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jon Boone[Edit][Delete]: Royal Society Tests Free Access to Papers, Financial Times [Edit][Delete] June 22, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] I covered some of the discussions around this late last year (here and here) and so am very pleased to report this turn of events. "The world's oldest learned society will today tear up its 340-year-old business model with the launch of an "open access" journal allowing people to read its new scientific papers free of charge... it will allow authors to pay for costs of publication themselves." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Lois Romano[Edit][Delete]: More Students Pursue Degrees Online, Washington Post [Edit][Delete] June 22, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] From the article: "Online enrollment jumped from 1.98 million in 2003 to 2.35 million the following year, accounting for 7 percent of postsecondary education, according to Eduventures, a Boston firm that studies trends in education." I love the openly biased journalism in the second half of the story as the author cites unnamed "critics" to slam online learning, says obliquely that recently closed e-universities "did not offer what some students wanted" and then (blatantly falsely) asserts that "most elite schools have looked down their noses at online degrees." Amazing. But we're supposed to distrust online content, and trust the professional media. As if. Via University Business. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Roger Hiemstra and Ralph G. Brockett[Edit][Delete]: From behaviorism to humanism: Incorporating Self-Direction in Learning Concepts Into the Instructional Design Process, New Ideas About Self-directed Learning [Edit][Delete] June 22, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Cited this week in DEOS by Gail Taylor, this paper from 1994 discussing self-directed learning and its origins in humanist philosophy is well worth a review. The humanist tradition, characterized in contrast to positivist and empirical approaches to learning, is based in rationalist and Platonic thought, characterized by reference to phenomenonogy and self-actualization, and is found in thinkers such as Piaget and Gagne. For me this was an interesting read because my philosophical roots are in the empiricist tradition (though solidly post-positivist) and yet my own approach has a great deal in common with the humanist approach. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Julie Lindsay[Edit][Delete]: Blogging and Podcasting NECC, eLearning Blog [Edit][Delete] June 22, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] The bloggers are organizing themselves prior to the upcoming NECC conference in San Diego. This is quite an impressive array and included several bloggers who are new to me. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Michael Feldstein[Edit][Delete]: Conversations About Learning Design, E-Literate [Edit][Delete] June 22, 2006
[link: 12 Hits] The Sakai pedagogy discussion list tends to be, as Michael Feldstein reports, "technologist-heavy and teacher-light." So he posed some questions from the Sakai discussion list on when (and if) learning design is appropriate to the LAMS discussion list. Worth a read, especially for the longish responses from James Dalziel. And where can we read the Sakai discussion. Alas, we can't. Perhaps that explains why the Sakai discussions are "technologist-heavy and teacher-light." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Douglas Coupland[Edit][Delete]: High School Confidential, The Walrus [Edit][Delete] June 22, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Douglas Coupland's recollections of high school are similar to my own. This says a lot, I guess, about both of us. [Tags: ] [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.

What I'm doing, where I'm doing it, and when.

Newly updated! A collection of my photographs. Suitable for downloading as desktop wallpaper.

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About the Author

Stephen Downes

Copyright � 2006 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada

Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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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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