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by Stephen Downes
February 21, 2007

Two Great Tools
I just got email saying my proposal to CADE/AMTEC has been accepted (good thing - it was the only paper submission I sent out this year!) so I'll be in Winnipeg in mid-May. This is a good time to take a break, as I have other travel plans as well: Toronto at the end of March, Boston (e-learning Guild) and Bogota for conferences in April, Holland at the end of May, Taiwan in June and Anaheim in October.

But right now I'm tired. I need a vacation. Don't panic, I'm not going anywhere - it's just I've lost the will to fight against winter and so will be posting out of the home office for the next couple of weeks. That will allow me to ignore my work and look at interesting things - like these two resources, one an alternative to second life, the other a social site for interacting with podcasts. Neat-O. Jennifer Wagner, Thoughts From A Technospud February 21, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

ePortfolios, Distributed Storage and Personal Repository Caches
Tony Hirst opines on the future of storage and repositories. "Search based navigation - or content rediscovery - will become increasingly common as desktop search becomes as fast as Google search (which is the case in Vista). How this will affect the way in which users mentally organise their content is unclear to me..." I also like the concept of 'found storage' - it's kind of like the way the carrying bag on my bicycle seems to have become the permanent home for some of my tools. Tony Hirst, OUseful Info February 21, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Asking to Be Kidnapped
Nice take on the metaphor I use to describe formal learning, written with humour. Worth noting are the 'ten frames' that characterize the way traditional learners are "captivated by conformity". Tom Haskins, growing changing learning creating February 21, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

WorldCat Institution Registry and Identifiers
Good articulation of the author's thoughts around the WorldCat Institution Registry service provided by OCLC. What interests me here is that the 'info' protocol being used creates the same sorts of questions in his mind as the use of Handle in things like CORDRA creates in mind. We both wonder, "Why not use HTML?" because "I can't - at least without some additional information - take one of those URIs that has been given to me by email, by telephone etc, and obtain a representation of the resource. While the info URI scheme shares some of the characteristics of the http URI scheme as an identification mechanism, there is no widely deployed mechanism for dereferencing an info URI. While there is no global method for dereferencing info URIs, the info URI scheme does provide for individual 'namespace authorities' to specify dereferencing mechanisms for URIs on a 'per namespace' basis, and to disclose those methods via the info URI Namespace Registry. Clearly that introduces additional complexity - and ultimately cost - for dereferencing." And... and... control. Read IETF's spec: "The 'info' URI scheme applies to a class of resource identifiers whose Namespace Authorities MAY or MAY NOT choose to disclose service mechanisms." Why oh why oh why can't OCLC use real live URLs? There's a lot of people out there with real control issues, and they are determined to break the internet for the rest of us. Pete Johnston, eFoundations February 21, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Identity Management at the University of Florida
A one-slide PowerPoint presentation describing, as the title suggests, identity management at the University of Florida. I like this resource because of the presentation of the information; the university's approach isn't particularly unique (and I find myself asking, of course, how OpenID can fit into this, or why it wouldn't) and perhaps that's why the slide is useful. Mike Conlon, EDUCAUSE Resources February 21, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Kingdom of Taxonomy
Cute. I especially like the "People's Republic of Folksonomy". But there should also be a 'Shoals of Standardization.' Patrick Lambe, Green Chameleon February 21, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Media Education Week
"Explicitly or implicitly, the mainstream media convey ideological messages and notions of values, power and authority." This is true, and many of my 'radical' positions are based on questioning some of these messages people take for granted. That is why I have always been a supporter of media literacy. Media Education Week was last November, but Alec Couros linked to it this week, and a few months' delay never bothered me. Various Authors, Media Awareness Network February 21, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Science of Learning
Clive Shepherd lists some practical points offered about teaching and learning from cognitive neuroscientist Dr Itiel Dror of Southampton University. I have written a rejoinder; don't take it as deep criticism, as it's just me riffing on what I thought was an interesting summary. From what I've read of Dror's publications (a few papers and a few abstracts) he knows what he's talking about, though I most certainly do not share his enthusiasm for criminology and military psychology (be warned that 'Why experts make errors' has a very disturbing and graphic image). Clive Shepherd, Clive on Learning February 21, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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