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by Stephen Downes
March 23, 2007

I Have Met the Enemy and It Is Tribalism
I have no email right now.

Many of this year's themes have revolved around this idea, from my criticisms of groups to my criticisms of corporations. Jon Udell says, "Tribalism is an aspect of human nature, so it must once have served a purpose, but it no longer does. It's a piece of evolutionary baggage that we can no longer afford to carry around. I don't know if we can let go of it, but we had better at least try." Something like that is true. It's not the only problem, but it's a big one.

Anyhow. Edu-RSS and Learning Networks represent by attempt to define some sort of mechanism for community other than what is here being called tribalism. We need an alternative. I am trying on one hand to define it conceptually, and on the other to define it technologically. I've been rewriting the code over the last couple of weeks (since my vacation). It's almost ready (I am also applying to NRC to open source it - I have verbal approval - but apparently there's a form...). Anyhow, today I made a small change and rebooted my web server - which then ceased to function. Not sure what happened. Anyhow, the site is back, but all my email functions have been knocked out of commission. Of course it happens on a Friday afternoon... Oh well. I have no email right now. See you Monday. Jon Udell, Weblog March 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Emerging Technologies for Learning
My essay Learning networks in practice has been published in Volume 2 of Becta's Emerging technologies for learning. here's how they summarize my paper: "Stephen Downes (NRC) explains network theory, which puts the network at the heart of learning. Learning networks prioritise learning in communities, content creation and context based learning. He explores the emerging concept of the Personalised Learning Environment (PLE), a loose collection of tools, services, people and resources, as a way of harnessing the power of the network. This approach would promote autonomy, encourage diversity, enable interaction and support openness." See also essays by Lee Bryant, Jo Twist, Marc Prensky, Keri Facer, Tim Dumbleton, and David Ley. Various Authors, Becta March 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Map of a PLE
Scott Wilson links to Ray Sims's mindmap of a PLE. Interesting concept. Scott Wilson, The PLE Blog March 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Banning MySpace--at Home
"St. Hugo of the Hills Catholic School students were informed recently that under a new school policy, Think First, Stay Safe, the use of will be prohibited at school and at home." Yeah, you read it right. Apparently, it's not enough to ban MySpace at school. Which moves the issue beyond education and into the realm of thought control. More at Click On Detroit. Tom Wright, Kairosnews March 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

The Web 2.0 Bubble
An Atlantic Monthly article says Web 2.0 will fail (sound familiar?) and for the right reasons: "MySpace does not let users network meaningfully with people outside its walls, and it does not let them import some functionality that promotes or drives revenue to other corporations... as the value of social-media tools becomes inevitably unsexy and commoditized, it may be only a matter of time before the Tila Tequilas of the world, inspiration for millions of page views, decide they might as well go elsewhere." Via The Pulse. Michael Hirschorn, The Atlantic Monthly March 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Homework, the Tip of the Iceberg
Harld Jarche carries the ban-homework campaign here into New Brunswick. "Our children need to prepare for THEIR future now. One way to allow them to prepare is to give them back their personal time." I agree with him. Harold Jarche, Weblog March 23, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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