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by Stephen Downes
October 10, 2007

The Knowledge Management Landscape
Interesting but odd diagram of the knowledge management - in PDF, for some reason, and not a useful image format - in which the one visual element employed - the size of the ovals - has no significance. Yet I still think it's worth sharing. Go figure. Ray Sims, Sims Learning Connections October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Artificial Networks See Illusions, Too
I have always considered many optical illusions to be evidence of the neural structure of the brain - not simply that it is made out of neurons, but that those neurons are organized in a certain way. But this is the first actual evidence I've seen of that theory - proof that neural networks see optical illusions too. Dave Munger, Cognitive Daily October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The Must Join Calendar Group!
What's interesting about this post is not the group - it is Yet Another Social Network For Edubloggers (sheesh, are we done yet?) - but rather the syndication of events using RSS. Take a look at this example (you may have to 'view source' in order to see the RSS script). Notice the way xCal is embedded in the RSS statement. Now it's not exactly how I would do it - but it's good enough. It's calendar data in RSS. It's not iCal (I looked for an Cal feed but didn't find it) but it's pretty easily translated into iCal. But - and here's the kicker - wy should you have to submit your event into Yahoo, where it's only useful to Yahoo? What we want - and will get, mark my words - is a way to designate any blog post as an event announcement. This allows an application that harvests RSS feeds - like, say, Edu_RSS - to create a calendar of events. Not only that, this allows people to cover an event by linking to it (and not using some arbitrary tag). Vicki A. Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Freedom Sticks For The Classroom
This is a great story of how one teacher used simple technology - an AirPort and some USB sticks - to get around the IT limitations in schools that blocked useful emails and locked them into Internet Explorer. 'Distributing these USB sticks to teachers is done as an interim measure. For now, this will allow these teachers to get to many great resources and will allow them to use powerful Web 2.0 tools... I have dubbed these loaded USB devices 'freedom sticks' as this was exactly what was gained from this experience." Alec Couros, Couros Blog October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Blogs: Enhancing Links in a Professional Learning Community of Science and Mathematics Teachers
This article reports on a smallish study of the use of blogs in learning. The authors look at blogs strictly from the perspective of community-building, ascribing an overtly constructionist purpose to their use, "which emphasizes a social or situated process of learning and personal construction of knowledge, including 'modeling, coaching, scaffolding, articulation, reflection, and exploration'." They then studied the posts written by a small population. Surprisingly (and not plausibly) they found that "the majority of the blogs (over 75%) posted by the participants demonstrated an in-depth level of information processing." This may be true of teachers but not the wider population. they also suggest that inductee teachers do not comment as much on their peers' blogs, and thus need more formal introductions to blogging. But I don't think this is a problem specific to the technology - I remember in 1986 in John Baker's philosophy of Mind class doing something (on the university mainframe) something very much like blogging (I still have every page, every post, all bound together) - and there was a great deal of discussion, even though we had never been formally introduced to the medium. Cathleen C. Loving, Carolyn Schroeder, Rui Kang, Christine Shimek and Bruce Herbert, Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Editorial: Developing Technology Policies for Effective Classroom Practice
This editorial describes a ""technological pedagogical content knowledge" (TPCK)" framework and proposes it to frame the use of digital video in the classroom. Their point is, "the full range of possibilities should be employed, matching the tool to the pedagogical goal and need." And they conclude, "Guidelines for best practice within the framework of TPCK, based on solid research on learning outcomes in classroom use, are needed to realize the potential of technology." Well yeah, but - is the best use of digital video in the classroom? Is the best use of digital technology in general in the classroom? The framework defines the outcome, which means that their call for "solid research" is already compromised. Via Helge Scherlund. Glen Bull, John Park, Michael Searson, Ann Thompson, Punya Mishra, Matthew J. Koehler, and Gerald Knezek, Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

GTE's Classroom of the Future (1987)
A set of three videos depicting, um, online learning, as seen through the eyes of GTE. The computer monitor is funny, the voice-commands are quaint, and the keyboard looks exactly like today's. As for the online learning, it seems boring and trivial. What is needed is the community - and that's exactly what distinguished real online learning from that depicted by GTE in 1987. Matt, Paleo-Future October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

In Some Schools, iPods Are Required Listening
While iPods are being banned in some schools, they are being given out in others, especially as an aid to language learning. This is a good idea; learning a language typically requires developing 'an ear' for the language, and a good way to acquire that it so listen to it constantly. Via Judy Breck. Winnie Hu, New York Times October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Fair Use Confusion Threatens Media Literacy
The doctrine of 'fair use' ('fair dealing' in Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore) allows teachers to make substantial use of copyrighted materials. But according to a report, most teachers misunderstand fair use and interpret it much more narrowly than the courts require, which means they miss out on using many resources available for student. This, of course, is exactly what publishers want and why they have been front-and-center seeding misinformation aout fair use. (Note: as of this writing, the entire story was available on eSchool News without a registration window. This isn't always the case, so if this changes, please let me know, and I'll stop linking to their articles. I do not link to sites that require registration.) Meris Stansbury, eSchool News October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

Google: Why Jaiku and Not Twitter?
Google has acquired Jaiku, a microblogging ste remarkably like Twitter (though as one commenter notes, "Twitter seems to essentially be a communication/microblogging tool. Jaiku, on the other hand, seems to deal in what they call presence management i.e. consolidating the multiple activities/identities that one has around the 'net and collecting them all in one place.") What Twitter has, though, is users, which is norally what makes it a good acquisition. But Twitter was co-founded by Evan Williams, the creator of Blogger, which was acquired by Google. So maybe Google doesn't feel like making him rich - again. Matthew Ingram, Weblog October 10, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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