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by Stephen Downes
March 11, 2008

Meme: Passion Quilt

I'm not one to follow the 'memes' that edubloggers occasionally pass around. Partially, it's because they aren't memes at all - memes, properly understood, (a) do not have designated recipients and (b) do not have rules. The more proper designation is 'chain letter', but if they were called that nobody would propagate them. And partially because they're so high school cliquish - you're not supposed to partake in one of these memes unless you are named, which mans that (a) everybody picks favorites, and (b) somebody is inevitably left out. But in this case I was named along with Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton. I enjoy a good parody as much as the next person, so above, see my photograph, taken from today's visit to the Combat Training Centre at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, my contribution to the passion quilt, along with the advice: "In diversity, harmony". The rest of the rules, of course, I ignore. P.S. sorry about the empty newsletter a couple of hours ago - it was sent by accident when I restarted my computer after returning from Gagetown. Darren Draper, Drape's Takes March 11, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Imagine There'S No Courses
Discussion of a post from George Siemens on the elimination of courses in learning (I think what was meant was 'classes' (groups of people who study the same course in order to obtain a credential) and not 'courses' (series of related presentations or lectures), though there is today a good deal of overlap). What would replace the credentialing? The article looks at four possibilities: reputation points, recommendation systems, assessment and certification, and testimony. Jeff Cobb, Mission to Learn March 11, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Zoho People
This is very interesting. I've been creating slides on Zoho, but I never thought of it as a human resources services. Until now. Jane Hart, Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day March 11, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

4 Technologies for Portability in Social Networks: A Primer
The four technologies are hCard; XFN and FOAF (Recently used by Google for the Social Graph API); OpenID; and OAuth. These aren't restricted to social networks, though that has been the domain of discussion to this point. Once they gain wider currency (and all are showing signs of becoming mainstream) they will overlap into other areas, including education. Introductory article only. Via Jay Cross and Mohamed Amine Chatti. Sean Ammirati, ReadWriteWeb March 11, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Institutions, Web 2.0 and the Shared Service Agenda
Andy Powell points to a basic contradiction in the use of Web 2.0 shared services in academia: "Web 2.0 services tends to leave the institution much less in control of what is happening than they would be in a traditional outsourced 'shared service' approach." With this in mind, he projects a period of adjustment. "I think we have to start by acknowledging that we are entering a period of disruption caused by the use of external Web 2.0 services." Andy Powell, eFoundations March 11, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Scribd has been getting some good edublogger pres recently. This is a service that allows you to upload documents and presents them in a browser-friendly document viewer. I've mentioned them before. Harold Jarche compares it to LearnHub and points to the Scribd history of Tim Horton's. And Jay Cross talks about discovering Scribd from Curt Bonk and of uploading 30 PDF articles to the site. Various Authors, Website March 11, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Learning Long Distance
This article surveys the state of distance learning in universities in Canada. It's good enough so far as it goes, and it touches on all of the 'usual suspects' in the field - but it is also something that could have been written in 1995 (quoting the same people, even). Gives me pause. Tim Johnson, University Affairs March 11, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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