September 1, 2006


Stephen Downes[Edit][Delete]: South Africa - Australia - New Zealand, September 1, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] I am writing from Toronto International Airport, waiting for my flight to Frankfurt. It's the first leg of what will be a month-long global tour that sees me in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

I will begin at the WWW Applications Coneference in Bloemfontein, South Africa, offering a workshop on Web 2.0 and e-learning all day September 5 and opening the conference with a morning keynote of learning objects September 6. After a short break in Kruger National Park I will be heading to Cape Town, where on Tuesday the 12th I will offer a Lunchtime seminar (E-Learning 2.0: Tools for Meaningful Learning) and an afternoon seminar with Joseph Hardin: Learning Technologies: The Next Five Years, both at the University of Cape Town (contact Tony Carr for info).

Then it's to Australia, where I will speak on September 15 twice, once on e-learning 2.0 and then (I discovered today) on digital rights management. This is the Association of Independent Schools Conference in Sydney; contact Melanie Hughes for info.

Then it's across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, where I will meet up with a group of fellow travellers from around the work and travel around the country doing seminars, giving talks, and more, widing up at e-fest in Wellington September 27-29, where I will give another keynote. Then it's back home for a breather before talks in Fredericton, Toronto and Barcelona in October.

Huge thanks to everyone involved in setting this up, and especially my colleague Sophie Leblanc, who has negotiated my path around the world with her usual expertise. I am excited about this trip - and I'm travelling with the complete road kit, including video cameras, two computers, editing software, the works. I am planning to bring you with me, through video, webcasting and more. I won't know what I can do until I'm on location, but I've got the gear and I'm ready to roll.

Meanwhile, if you are waiting for email, or articles, or web pages, or reviews (about eight items in the queue) - I'll be on airplanes for two days, so it'll be a bit, but I have your number and I'll be crafting content en route.

So... they're calling my flight. See you on the other side... [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tony Hirst[Edit][Delete]: OU Releases Creative Archive Content - But So What?, OUseful Info [Edit][Delete] September 1, 2006
[link: Hits] I like the OU Creative Archive Content project. And I like the license - except for one condition: you must be in the U.K. And I have to say - what? Does someone at the Open University think the U.K. is the only country producing open content out there? Do I put a stipulation on my work that you can't use it if you're in the U.K.? This clause should be rethought - it's a bad condition, brought about by somebody who pays more attention to petty politics than common sense. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

cel4145[Edit][Delete]: Get Your RIAA Propaganda Here! Learn What the RIAA Will Do To You!, Kairosnews [Edit][Delete]KairosNews [Edit][Delete] September 1, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] The gauntlet has been dropped, and we should soon see the remixes of the RIAA propaganda video surfacing on YouTube and Google Video. Heh. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

: FAQ on Understanding the Blackboard Patent, Blackboard [Edit][Delete] September 1, 2006
[link: Hits] Blackboard has posted a second FAQ. As Michael Feldstein says, "I am thrilled that they have now put these statements out in public (as opposed to just whispering them in their clients‚xTM ears privately) because it finally gives us an opportunity to address them head-on. The truth is that their claims about the scope of the patent, while literally true, are highly misleading." [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

J. Ritchie Boyd[Edit][Delete]: YouTube Launches Colleges Feature, Digital Latchkey [Edit][Delete] September 1, 2006
[link: Hits] Worth noting: "YouTube has just launched a new feature, Colleges on YouTube, which provides closed communities for students, staff, and alumni of US colleges and universities. Just like Facebook, users must have a valid .edu address to participate... Members have access to private video ‚xoepools‚xx, which could include party videos and clips from college sports games." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Christian Dalsgaard[Edit][Delete]: Social Software: E-learning Beyond Learning Management Systems, European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning [Edit][Delete] September 1, 2006
[link: Hits] Dave Cormier links to this article, pleased to find a reference to his own work in the academic paper. I'm pleased to, because it is good to see the recognition, even in academic writing, of the original work being done in the field. The article argues (as have we, for a while), "it is necessary to move e-learning beyond learning management systems and engage students in an active use of the web as a resource for their self-governed, problem-based and collaborative activities." And, following people like Cormier and others, "The purpose of the article is to discuss the potential of social software to move e-learning beyond learning management systems." [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Ulises Mejias[Edit][Delete]: Video Games, Authority, and Problem-based Thinking, i d e a n t [Edit][Delete] September 1, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] Ulises Mejias is talking about online games, but his critique of rationalism is delicious: "The thing with rationalism is that it inverts the problem-solution relation in such a way that only problems that have solutions it can handle are made relevant. Problems, in other words, are subordinated to solutions." Quite right. Now consider this observation in the light of the current testing and outcomes phenomenon. Then go read John Ralston Saul's Voltaire's Bastards.

A large part of my objection to the standard approach - you know, semantic web, ontologies, curriculum, outcomes, standards, imstructional management - is that I am an empiricist. Always have been. Not a logical positivist, but an empiricist in the sense of David Hume, John Stuart Mill, maybe even William James.

The problem with the Rationalist approach is that it is rooted in language. And it is language itself that is changing. Mejias writes, "Not sure I see the connection between democracy and literacy as appropriation." But look: "Appropriation and annotation are becoming our new forms of literacy." What does that mean? I've said this before: these multimedeia objects (images, videos, animations, blog posts), which have to be appropriated to be used, are becoming the new vocabulary, the new words in a post-textual language. Like this. It is a language that could only be spoken by the media elite (the directors, the filmmakers, the musicians) before. Before the internet.

Now, this language belongs to the masses; a mass literacy is developing. And with literacy comes... democracy. Via Brian Lamb. [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Niel Rovertson[Edit][Delete]: The Increasing Tail, Parallax [Edit][Delete] September 1, 2006
[link: Hits] Joachim Niemeier calls this a "must-read post". I thought it was pretty good. "This piece is about an old theory that was revolutionary (increasing returns), a new theory that has a lot to tell us (the long tail), and how we can glue the two together to predict some winners in the near future. Consider this my ode to IT 2.0." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Maged N Kamel Boulos, Inocencio Maramba and Steve Wheeler[Edit][Delete]: Web 2.0 Could be Used in Health E-learning, E-Health Insider [Edit][Delete] September 1, 2006
[link: Hits] Article with a link describing a paper published in the BioMed Journal proposing that the new technologies, known collectively as Web 2.0, could be used to support e-learning. It's good stuff, butt I am concerned that the authors (who have obviously consulted books, journals, and wikipedia, but little else) are unaware of the work that has been done in the field to date. They write, "We would therefore like to invite educators/researchers to experiment with these tools in some formal way and report back their results to the medical/health community, so that we may start building a proper evidence base." Sure, we'll get right on it. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Doug Lederman[Edit][Delete]: Changing the Report, After the Vote, Inside Higher Ed [Edit][Delete] September 1, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] What you should notice about this article is not merely that vigorous lobbying from Microsoft caused the Commission on the Future of Higher Education to back away from endorsing open source, but also the manner in which this change was achieved - by making the case, not during the committee discussions, but as an amendment after the meetings had concluded and after the document had been approved. "The commission would go with Duderstadt's compromise language, which he called 'an improvement in the draft' that 'does not require and will not be put to a vote.'" This is hardly unusual on the part of Microsoft. It is typical of the ongoing lobbying campaign against open source. The rarity is that it was reported.

David Wiley, covering the same article, points out that open source still made it through, despite the Microsoft lobbying. "The long and short of it is that the commission *is* recommending the creation of incentives to promote the development of open source and open content." Yes. But it is important to note, that without Open Source, we don't get open content. The one needs the other. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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Copyright √ff√,¬Į√f,√,¬Ņ√f,√,¬Ĺ 2006 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