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by Stephen Downes
February 13, 2008

How Memory Works
Inspired by a CBC Ideas broadcast Friday night, I studied and summarized a paper by Eric R. Kandel on the molecular and synaptic basis for memory. This content is consistent with what I have read elsewhere, but what I really valued was the way he describes the process at the molecular level. My intent was to make Kandel's work accessible and then to draw the inferences from his work to my own theories of learning and pedagogy. Stephen Downes, Half an Hour February 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Demo at the Metadata and Digital Repositories SIG
Catherine Howell makes some positive comments about Scott Wilson and FeedForward and links to the useful FeedForward blog - on which we find there is an early test release available. Goody. More on the demo Howell attended, including Wilson's slides. Catherine Howell, EDUCAUSE Community Blogs February 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

We Need Experimenters, Not Leaders
As a kid I dreamed of being Prime Minister. As an adult I realized I would have to give up too much of myself to do it, the best part of me. This was the first wedge that led me to question my value set. It took me a long time to learn, but I have discovered, as Dave Pollard says, "We don't need 'leadership' or 'leaders'. What we need is experimenters.The way to create working models that work better than the dysfunctional ones we have now, in a complex system where no one is in control and no one has the answers, is to try things. A lot of small-scale experiments, bold, different, even wacky." What's beautiful, and what totally aligns with my own vision of humanity, is that this is something everyone can participate in, not a select few. Dave Pollard, How To Save The World February 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Any Free Hosted CMS or LMS? (Yes, Obama Says!)
Good list of free hosted LMS services "that you might want to explore, before considering investing hardcore money on a commercial alternative." And he channels Obama: "The free (at least partially!) global formal learning network ecosystem is complete. What a wonderful world! Can we do it! Yes, we can!" Zaid Ali Alsagoff, ZaidLearn February 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Advocacy or Congratulations?
Tom Hoffman comments sharply on what appears to be another foundation-supported Cape Town style 'open education' meeting: "Will anyone on this list strongly advocate for the use of free software in the learning sciences? I doubt it." Tom Hoffman, Tuttle SVC February 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Harvard Opts In to Opt Out Plan
Harvard Arts and Science faculty have voted to support open access publication of their finished academic papers. As Stevan Harnad notes, this is the world's 38th such mandate. The plan, which essentially grants the university a worldwide license to make each faculty member's works available free of charge, was supported unanimously by the staff. It includes an opt-out clause that must be explicitly invoked by staff members. So it falls short of mandating open access, but gives the university leave to make the program virtually universal. More coverage from the New York Times, Harvard Crimson. Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed February 13, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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