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by Stephen Downes
June 21, 2007

Trends and Impacts of E-Learning 2.0
Video (on Google Video) of my talk in Taiwan. Remember that you can follow along with the slides if you want. The talk begins with a summary of my own work in e-learning (I was inspired by the timelines of the institutional projects shown in preceding presentations). I then discuss the future of open learning resources, from Web 2.0 to networked learning to the personal learning environment. Stephen Downes, Google Video June 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Consumer Groups Speak Out On WIPO Broadcast Treaty
I would echo the views of these consumer groups. "The consumer groups argue that the treaty is unnecessary for and harmful to Canada, that its scope is overbroad, that its exceptions and limitations are shockingly weak, that it creates a totally new regime for technological protection measures, and that it would harm a range of emerging broadcasting practices on the Internet." Links to the letter and to the proposed treaty. This letter is a stark contrast to the report from the Standing Committ on Industry titled Counterfeiting and Piracy are Theft. More on the Industry Committe report from Michael Geist who calls it a proposal for a "Canadian DCMA". Various Authors, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic June 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Consumer Identity and Profile Management
Another huge development for OpenD as Verisign - which has many inerests in this area - signs on to the patent Non-Assertion Covenant, were it joins Microsoft. "It will not assert any of its U.S. or foreign patents, having claims necessary for the implementation of the OpenID Specifications listed below, against that portion of a product that implements the covered specifications listed below." Via Simon Willison. Announcement, Verisign June 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Another entry in the sequence of diagrams describing the personal learning environment (PLE). Mohamed Amine Chatti, Weblog June 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Blackboard V Desire2Learn - Claim Construction Briefs Filed
The next step in the Blackboard Patent lawsuit has been taken, with Blackboard filing a document describing what it is they think the patent covers and Desire2Learn filing a response to that document. The thrust of D2L's response is that "Blackboard has acknowledged that the small innovation it contends the 138 Patent added to the field relates solely to the concept of using 'multiple predetermined user roles' to provide security to the systems" and cites statements from Blackboard to that effect. Blackboard, meanwhile, focuses on the 'roles' aspect of the LMS, but attempts to construe that as widely as possible. It is also worth noting that D2L cites the Wikipedia History of VLEs page in its response. More from Michael Feldstein. Seb Schmoller, Fortnightly Mailing June 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Repository Listing: OAI-PMH Vs Atom Vs Sitemaps
Some interesting discussion on how to list repository contents. "The usual way for repos [repositories] to enable this is OAI-PMH... The way the rest of the world does it is with Atom or RSS." Quite so, and despite impressive achievements, The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) hasn't had the impact of RSS. Part of the reason for this may be that unqualified Dublin Core records, which are what is produced by OAI, are not useful for resource discovery. And part of the reason may be that while OAI is service-oriented, RSS is resource-oriented (we see this same distincting characterizing Web Services and REST). Another approach is the Sitemap Protocol (Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL). Sitemap isn't widely used, but it carries the useful 'priority' element, which would help aggregators like Google rank its listings. Via Andy Powell. Jim Downing, Coding trombonist June 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

The Redistricting Game
Designed by staff at the USC Annenberg Center for Communications and developed by programmers here in New Brunswick at Red Hot Learning, this exploration into political gerrymandering is a fantastic game, very intuitive and easy to play, one that pulls you in with its simplicity and then traps you with its complexity. First of all, I spent most of yesterday afternoon playing it. I have some minor issues - the transition of one level to the next is a bit ragged, and I would have wanted to get information inside the game while it is in progress (the concept of packing was new to me, for example, and it would have been a neat addition to fed me these resources as I tried to come up with my own redistricting). Still, I'm told "the game engine is designed to support a phase 2 initiative which would be to bring in live redistricting data and allow for the redistricting of actual states," which would be a nice enhancement. Various Authors, USC Annenberg Center June 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Efsym2007 Revisited
Summary of a seminar inside Second Life I attended Tuesday, a follow-up from the one-day conference hosted by Eduserv last month. A couple of things surfaced: first, the use of a moderation system to manage the discussion was less than successful, and second, it was suggested that the Second Life venue didn't add anything over and above a plain text chat such as IRC ("who is looking at the avatars?" asked a participant, "and who is looking at the chat history window?"). Pete Johnston, eFoundations June 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Social Network Methods and Measures for Examing E-Learning
An email exchange (and then some website digging) led me to this paper and presentation from a few years ago on researching networks in e-learning. It's a good standard presentation without surprises. Some nice diagrams and examples. I prefer to use the terms 'nodes' or 'entities' rather than 'actors'. The presentation was part of a larger series on research in e-learning. Another notable presentation was by Nick Burbules on The Logic (and Illogic) of Policy-Supporting Research. Caroline Haythornthwaite, World Universities Network June 21, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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