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by Stephen Downes
July 23, 2007

Web 2.0 and Your own Learning and Development
Presentation by Stephen Downes, British Council, Online to London, UK, [Link]

How the Net Works

So this is what I look like when I am presenting by video conference using large sheets of paper so that participants won't have to stare at a black screen while the slides load. So here are the slides, even though they were never seen by the audience (maybe I'll photograph the paper slides). Kate Tyrwhitt, the artist, was also kind enough to record the audio after my recording system died - it's fuzzy but a whole lot better than nothing. There's video, I'm told, but it's not available yet. Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web July 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Boundary Characteristics of Game, Simulation, Drama and Role Play Learning Environments
Article proposing a theoretical framework for understanding pedagogical games. I liked the division of four types of 'space': physical space, virtual space, augmented space, and imaginary space (one wonders what Kant would have said). The list of "Boundary Characteristics" (boundary conditions?) of games is also interesting, through probably incomplete. The idea of these boundary conditions is that they are range-like properties of a game that may have pedagogical implications. Take, for example, the 'permeability' of a game. Does outside wisdom and knowledge impact game performance, the way it does in Jeopardy (and not so much in checkers)? Do existing power structures impact game performance (the way, say, playing golf against your boss is different from playing golf against your best friend)? The article mostly just lists the concepts; some more explanation would have been useful. Albert Ip, Random Walk in Learning July 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Top 10 Tools
Jane Hart is collecting lists of Top Ten tools. This is mine. It's interesting to look at the styles represented. Jane Hart, Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies July 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Waves of Innovation: From Open Source to Open Learning
Interesting article, mostly correct from my perspective, describing successive waves of commercial software, open source software, and open content, in (corporate) online learning. "This third wave is just visible on the horizon and includes technologies that are designed to be used by the learners themselves. The goal is collaborative learning, and there is no instructor per se. Every contributor is both a teacher and a student." I'm not totally convinced about every aspect of this description. See the chart near the top. I'm not sure 'value proposition' should be 'community', nor should key output be 'expertise maps' nor should the 'primary goal' be 'social networking'. It's easy (and popular) to over-emphasize the social aspect of open learning. Sam S. Adkins, Learning Circuits July 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Researchers' Use of Academic Libraries and Their Services
So where do researchers look for materials online? No, not journal-based sites, like Citeseer or Citebase. Neither do they check open archives listed in OAIster. No, they look in the same place you and I look - in Google. This finding, which is replicated elsewhere - here, for example, and here - is part of a general study of the use of library services by academic researchers. The study shows a general lack of awareness of open access - especially among those working in humanities and the social sciences. At the same time, the percentage of researchers visiting the library is falling, falling (see figure 8, p.20). The size of the survey (2250 researchers and 300 librarians) is pretty good, but some of the questions seem suspicious - it would have been nice to see a copy of the survey to see what choices people had when responding. Oddly, author information for this study isn't on the PDF; find it on this web page. Via the JISC repositories discussion list. Sheridan Brown and Alma Swan, Research Information Network and the Consortium of Research Libraries July 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Turning the Ivory Tower Into an Open Book
The Globe and Mail covers open access. I like the nice, catchy lede: "This year, the University of Toronto's library system will spend $20-million on acquisitions. But less than one-third of that money will go to books. The majority will pay for the rising subscription costs of academic journals." While looking at Canadian sources the author would have done well to interview Stevan Harnad. He could have countered this disinformation provided by the publishers, specifically, that "open access will never have the clout of traditional houses." This is aleady false, as various studies have shown. Elizabeth Church, Globe and Mail July 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

Implementing Elgg in HE :: Blog :: A Shared Learning Environment?
Does the personal learning environment leed to be supplemented by a 'shared learning environment'? Stan Stanier writes, "I can't help feeling there's something missing or simply something wrong with the terminology? We cannot escape the fact that, in order to learn, we need other people. Both formal and informal learning requires human interaction." To me, it does not follow that because an environment is personal that all other people are shut out; what is it that he thinks all those links are connecting to? Anyhow, Stanier suggests, " it does strike me that there's a wider entity beyond the PLE and VLE – the idea of sharing learning – helping others in a mutually supportive community to foster learning and encourage participation – to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts – a shared learning environment." Also, Dave Tosh picks up on this post and highlights Stanier's concept diagram. Stan Stanier, Weblog July 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Four Convergences, Two Views of Education, and One Future to Choose
This post brings together the Voices form the New American Schoolhouse video, a nice dramatization of a short talk by Alan Watt (someone I read a fair amount), and some extensive quoting from Ivan Illich, leading to the proposition, as I write, that "The task we should be undertaking is not one of trying to stuff more and more knowledge into students' heads, but rather, finding more and more ways they can make meaningful contributions to society." Clay Burell, Beyond School July 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Showdown Over File Sharing
Things may change in the U.S. Senate but the homage to the RIAA continues as legislators look at ways to bend colleges to the will of the music industry. This article looks at recent initiatives, including the recent move by the University of Kanasas to permanently terminate student Resnet access after a single instance of "downloading copyright material". Well worth reading is the first comment in response to the article where Kenneth C. Green of the Campus Computing Project srgues that "the comments by Mitch Bainwol, chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, misrepresent the RIAA's own data on who is engaged in illegal downloading and which (broadband) networks are being used for illegal downloading." Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed July 23, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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