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by Stephen Downes
January 16, 2007

Turning Flickr Upsidedown: FlickrBackup
The website move proceeds apace. With luck, the email difficulties of yesterday are a thing of the past. The RSS 2.0 page is up and running but the 0.91 is lagging (sorry). A lot of the content is back up and the comments are working. In the meantime, because I will be depending on Flickr a lot more than I used to, this service - a backup for Flickr - seems especially relevant. Ewan McIntosh, edublogs January 16, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Learning Light, Sheffield - Jane Hart and Vaughan Waller Move On
Good luck to Jane Hart and Vaughan Waller who have left Learning Light to found their new venture, wallerhart. Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing January 16, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Blackboard's Social Bookmarking Service
"I am sure they will get demonized for this." So opines Scott Leslie as part of his reaction to Blackboard's new Blackboard-only social networking service. Me, I think that if the only people in your circle of friends are Blackboard users, you need to get out more. As Leslie points out, the companies aren't alone in the blame for this sort of thing. "But the customers (that's you, right) have got to demand this, not expect vendors whose whole business model is 'lock in' to simply just provide it." Quite right. And as he says, "for some reason I still can't get a simple OpenID plugin for Wordpress." 2007 is shaping up to be, I think, a pushme-pullyou between open distributed systems and the silos that dominate the corporate and commercial approach to the online world. See also Mark Oehlert, who cites Khoi Vinh: "This fretting about the overhead of social networks seems especially important if, as some suggest, the path to success for these networks will be exclusivity." Yeah. Pushme-Pullyou. Scott Leslie, EdTechPost January 16, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Repositories and OpenID
Some buzz is beginning to build around OpenID, which is good, as it (or something like it) is the best (and only) hope against the morass of logins we've found ourselves in. here's the question: "Why don't we just use OpenIDs as author identifiers in institutional repositories?" Some indications of what the institutional response (which must own everything) will be: "I'm not sure that Traugott was very impressed... possibly for good reason! He was particularly concerned about legacy issues for example." Yeah, well, were I a student I would be worried about an institutional ID that isn't portable and that disappears when I graduate. See also Wesley Fryer on OpenID. Dave Tosh also mentions it in passing. Also worth a look is this short (4 page) summary of the Identity management Summit (people have to stop calling their private discussions a 'Summit'). Andy Powell, eFoundations January 16, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

TALO 2006 - The Future of Learning in a Networked World TALO 2006 - The Future of Learning in a Networked World
A most remarkable book - and I say this despite the fact that I have three or so items in it - collecting writings and photographs from the Teach and Learn Online tour through New Zealand in 2006. My own thoughts on groups and networks are included, along with Artichoke on openness, Stanley Frielick on power and Konrad Glowgowski against grand narratives. You have to register to get the Lulu download, which is really annoying, but it means you can buy the print version. The book is accompanied by a DVD - here's a preview (I don't have a Lulu address for it yet). Related: Professional Development for the Knowledge Era a draft article in a wiki by Michael Coghlan (with contributions from other TALO members). Leigh Blackall, ed, TALO January 16, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Predictions for 2007
eLearn Magazine's annual prognostication is out with the usual round of suspects. I like the way it begins, with Don Norman: "Finally, something might happen within the educational scene. Why? Because business leaders are now seriously worried." Elliott Masie jumps on next year's HD-TV trend with a meaningless buzzword: "a new model of High Definition Learning." Yeah, maybe when the viewers come down below the thousands of dollars. He also gets Web 3.0 into the same hyndred words. Sheesh. Michael Feldstein sees happy news coming from the Supreme Court (happy, that is, unless you work for Blackboard). Ray Schroeder is big on mobile learning, with a focus on Zune and the iPod. Well, maybe with iPod; Zune is nobody's favorite toy. Saul Carliner says "Experimentation in the design of e-learning programs will be more practical," but I see no good reason to believe that. Allison Rossett says, "Revolution is too strong a word for where we are today. Intimations, hints, glimmers, and possibilities-those words describe it better." Yeah, but hints and glimmers of what? Of... revolution, perhaps? Jay Cross touts the year of pull, the unconference, and cites Moore's Law. Me? "The internet is ripe for something new (and no, that something is not Second Life)." Lisa Neal, eLearn Magazine January 16, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Re: Grid Computing, Facebook, and YouTube
Stephen, I cannot find any link since the new interface is on... Anymouse, January 16, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Micromedia&E-Learning 2.0: Gaining the Big Picture
Proceedings (large PDF) from last year's Microlearning conference, held in Innsbruck, Austria. My own paper is not included in the volume (as I recall, they wanted me to make changes), however, you can find work from most other presenters, including Martin Lidner and Norm Friesen. Worth a look in particular is Nikolaos Korfiatis, Miltiades Lytras, "Deploying Recommender Systems for Microcontent: An approach using Social Network Theory". I also enjoyed Alex Hickey and René Wicks, "Mind Shifting or Shape Shifting?" which describes the Virtual Learning Centre in Newfoundland and Labrador. Theo H. Hug, Martin Lidner and Peter A. Bruck, eds., Innsbruck University Press January 16, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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