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by Stephen Downes
March 27, 2007

Blinc - Blended Learning Institutions' Cooperative
Link to blended learning resources, including a collection of 73 papers on blended learning - no, I didn't read them all, but I did peruse a few, giving up after reading conclusions like "Teaching on the Web involves more than putting together a colorful webpage." Jorge Goncalves, Learning Online Info March 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Scholarship in an Age of Participation
I have thought from time to time about starting a journal but I just can't get myself excited at the prospect. I mean, what would be the point? Perhaps this article will get me going. Then again - any process of 'publication' that involves me doing something over and above posting an article on my website automatically gets my goat. If the article is any good, it will have an impact whether or not it is in MLA style, whether or not it is peer reviewed, whether or not there's a 'formal' or a 'paper' version. And if it's not any good, none of that will save it (though it does seem to get a lot of them published). George Siemens, elearnspace March 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Death Threats Against Bloggers Are NOT "Protected Speech" (Why I Cancelled My ETech Presentations)
Kathy Sierra reports (language and image warning) on some abusive emails and commentary she has been receiving, some of which has been posted anonymously on public websites such as (which has now been pulled off the web). She writes, "I now fully understand the impact of death threats. It really doesn't make much difference whether the person intends to act on the threat... it's the threat itself that inflicts the damage." Right - and that's why it's not "protected speech". The utterance (ie., the saying or writing) of a death threat isn't an expression of an opinion, it's an act, and an offensive, dangerous, destabilizing and illegal act. It is one example of a class of utterances, known as 'speech acts', which are intended to do things (usually, things that hurt) rather than say things. The publication of offensive cartoons, which I discussed last year, falls into that category. The behaviour we tolerate in society is the behavior we should come to expect, and I fear the assault on Kathy Sierra is the result of a general indifference to such behaviour, a lapse we, as a society, will come to regret. Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users March 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Issues in Developing an International Movement On Open Educational Resources
Coverage of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Open Educational resources programme discussed yesterday. Graham Attwell writes, "Discussions, at least in the informal sessions, have focused on three main issues... internationalism and the role of the programme with relation to the developing world... the assumption of the leading role of universities in the OER movement... [and] the role of people and networks as opposed to technology in facilitating the development, sharing and reuse of OERs." Brian Lamb also offers coverage. Graham Attwell, Wales Wide Web March 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Alternate Reality Games SIG/Whitepaper
Scott Wilson links to this White Paper, now stored as a wiki, and comments, "I think I must be a bit unusual in the EdTech sector as I find ARGs fascinating and full of amazing possibilities, but find Second Life as being rather boring and lacking potential. Maybe I'm missing something." My assessment is similar, so I must be missing what he's missing. Adam Martin and Tom Chatfield, eds., igda March 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

YouTube Video Awards
What surprises me is that I have seen five of the seven winners, and even linked to some here. My favorite of the year, Kiwi, won for 'cutest video'. I actually subscribed to Terra Naomi's feed; she won best music video. I had also seen Free Hugs, Ask a Ninja and the OKGo treadmill dance. Which means the awards show functioned perfectly: to validate my selection of videos to watch by showing me that other people watched them too. Various Authors, YouTube March 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

E-Learning in the Trades
Australia's Flexible Learning Network has launched a new site, E-Learning in the Trades. "This is a resource to inspire and support you to take the e-learning path in your teaching practice." The core of the site consists of six case studies. There are also links to tools, examples, and the industry engagement project. Various Authors, Australiian Flexible Learning Network March 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Sense-Making and Path-Finding
I'm not sure that I completely agree with this diagram (it's the linear nature that bothers me), but it would take a subtle criticism to find the flaws. It is certainly worthy of reflection a and for cutting and pasting into your favorite slide show. Like Dave Snowden, "I was also curious about the linking of sense-making and path-finding." Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge March 27, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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