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by Stephen Downes
May 14, 2007


Photos from London. Stephen Downes, Flickr May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

CADE/AMTEC - Connections in the Global Village
I'm in Winnipeg where I presented 'The Meaning is the Message' today. It wasn't very good. I didn't feel comfortable or confident going into the talk and though the audience was generous with comments and questions I don't feel like I came across as knowing what I was talking about. So I'll have to think about that. I don't mind failing - that's why I am willing to stretch myself - but I don't like having failed. Slides and audio, of course, will be posted when I get back home (Friday). Dave Cormier, meanwhile, blogs what was a lacklustre keynote from Derrek de Kerckhove. "Giantly long quotes on the front screen of a room filled with… oh… 500 hundred people." At least I had nice slides (too much art, maybe, and not enough thinking). Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Report On The WWW 2007 Conference
Summary of the WWW conference just completed in Banff. Worth noting is the concept of 'linked data' which is (or seems to be) a semantic web "in which data can participate." By, um, being linked? "Tim [Berners-Lee] described the Tabulator generic data browser which he had developed (note that this prototype works only in a suitably configured FireFox browser and its functionality can be difficult to understand - it brings together data from disparate sources)." Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Top Ten Missing Features of Second Life As an Educational Simulation Platform
See? I could have been a lot more critical of Second Life last week. By asking for thing like "Dynamic AI Characters, with which participants can repeatedly try new behavior to see how they react," for example. Or any of the other nine things Clark Aldrich thinks (reasonably) is missing from Second Life (I'd love to see a HUD). Clark Aldrich, Weblog May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Open Complimenting Closed?
Link to a discussion on the linkage between personal leaning environments and learning management systems - "open complementing closed". The idea, writes Fraser, is that the PLE is being used to supplement the weakenesses of the learning management system - and specifically, personalization. But there are various aspects to customization and personalization, and it's not exactly clear you can just join some web 2.0 apps to an LMS. Via Marion Manton. Also worth thinking about is the personal learning network as described in The Illuminated Dragon. Josie Fraser, SocialTech May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Dave'S Top 10 Musings On the Encouragement of Community in Multi-User Virtual Environments
Some interesting thoughts on the topic. I don't agree with some of the musings - "There should be shared or mutually supported goals," for example (why do people always insist on shared goals? meaning, of course, their own goals, that everyone should share). Others make good sense to me, like "Members need to be able to control the presentation of their identity." Ten muses in all, all of which are worth, um, musing. Dave White, TALL Blog May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Edtags: Educational Bookmarks
EdTags is a social bookmarking service for educators; it works a lot like Digg (yes I know, it's not the first such, nor will it likely be the last). Also from Jorge Goncalves is a link to the Bazaar, "a community portal for people who want to use, exchange and share Open Source Software and resources to support learning." Jorge Goncalves, Learning Online Info May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Another Life Unexpurgated
Jay Cross offers quite a good overview of the use of virtual worlds in business (and especially business learning) applications. "The thoughtful application of VW technology," he writes, "will significantly enhance the experience and transfer of learning." How? Co-creation, social sandboxes, and enriched experience. He surveys a number of companies offering virtual world services, including Second Life, There, Multiverse, and Forterra, among others, and looks at some implementations, including IBM, Apple and the New Media Consortium. "It is premature to invest a ton of energy in VWs," he says, but "we encourage you to dip your toe in the virtual water." Jay Cross, Informal Learning May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Mobiles, Micro Content and Personal Learning Environment
Critical reflections on personal learning environments. "I am pretty critical about the concept of PLE," wrtes Teemu Leinonen. "I am critical about it because it doesn't put in a center community, but emphasizes content." I personally think that community as such is vastly overrated - community (group) implies a sort of conformity with which I am not comfortable. But content is also vastly overrated, so Leinonen. What do I think should be emphasized? Choice. Control. Autonomy. But I agree with him when he says "I want better tools for dialogical teaching, learning and research." Teemu Leinonen, FLOSSE Posse May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Personal Learning Environments
George Siemens did a preconference session on personal learning environments and posted his notes to a wiki. More of the same (not that this is a criticism - the concept is being built iteratively). "A PLE is characterized by the freeform use of a set of lightweight services and tools that belong to and are controlled by individual learners. Rather than integrating different services into a centralized system, the idea is to provide the learner with a myriad of services and hand over control to her to select and use the services the way she deems fit." George Siemens, elearnspace May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Microsoft Takes On the Free World
In a move that should surprise nobody, Microsoft has played the patent card in its ongoing battle against open source software. As though this will make Vista an attractive alternative. Leaving aside the audacity of the move if any company has depended on copying others, it is Microsoft) the strategy depends not so much on actually having original intellectual property as it does on the threat of a huge software giant suing the competition. What Microsoft wants to d is create both risk and cost to the use of free software. As a business strategy the tactic may well work even though some heavyweights (such as IBM) are behind free software. But what Microsoft - and its customers - should understand is that the company is very deliberately acting against the public interest in order to improve its market position. Which means that its success will only be as far as its legal reach. Which - in the long run - will not be nearly enough. Just ask the RIAA. Roger Parloff, CNN May 14, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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