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by Stephen Downes
April 17, 2008

Liveblogging an Online Conference
A great question, and an even greater answer. Wendy Wickham asks Christy Tucker, who is live-blogging a conference, "are you using 2 computers (one for blogging, one for the conference), or just one?" Tucker replies, "I am using two computers. I run an open source program called Synergy that lets me share the mouse and keyboard back and forth between the two. It's effectively a virtual KWM switch. This is my usual setup for working. I do a lot of switching back and forth during the day between my laptop and PC." The Synergy site says, "Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It's intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s)." I know, other people probably know all about this - but it's new to me. It would be interesting to know more about the workflow. Tucker does talk about the live-blogging experience: it's pretty intense, she says. Christy Tucker, Liveblogging an Online Conference, April 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

Wave-Particle Duality
This post is a pretty good link to hang some of my recent thoughts about knowledge on. Here is what I have been thinking: specifically, that all knowledge is tacit. And therefore, that no knowledge is explicit. That what we think of as explicit knowledge - statements of fact, formulas, generalizations, etc. - are at best abstractions that incompletely capture some (salient) aspect of our (much more fine-grained and ineffable) awareness, and are additionally necessarily context-dependent, or relative to the frame or model in which they are expressed, and in which the abstractions (the words and symbols) obtain their meaning. OK, this doesn't really relate to Snowdon's post - but I wanted to get it out there, and it's at least sort of in the same subject area. Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge, April 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

The Furture of the Internet and How to Stop It
I like the way this book is presented online, in such a way as to allow readers to read the entire book for free and to comment on each paragraph. As Seb Schmoller summarizes, Zittrain "argues that the Internet is on a path to lock-down, 'ending its cycle of innovation, and facilitating new kinds of control'." I agree that this is a concern - content publishers have long wanted to be able to control the platform (the way telephone companies control the phone) so they can regulate what's done on it. The book looks worth a read; you can buy the dead tree version also if you want. Jonathan Zittrain, Website, April 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

This Just In: The Experiment Works!
I'm a bit late covering this (no fault of theirs - they emailed me ages ago) but I think it's still worthy of note. "The Tech Virtual Museum Workshop, launched in December, is Museum Director Peter Friess's grand experiment in open sourcing the museum's content development process. His idea, that is, is to fill the halls of a major museum with exhibits conceived entirely by outsiders, prototyped in Second Life, and licensed under Creative Commons for all to use." Robert Stephenson wrote to me to say that the experiment worked: "Three months after launch we have 154 members, 69 projects for exhibits, 42 exhibits built or abuilding in Second Life and four winners selected for installation in the (real life) Tech Museum." Robert Stephenson, The Tech Virtual Museum Workshop, April 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

CoSN Senior Delegation to Scandinavia
Mitch Weisburgh sent me this link to a COSL report on visits to schools in Scandinavia. The story is by now familiar: while there is no simple explanation for student success in these countries, contributing factors include the wider social safety net, the high pay and status of teachers, pervasive (and unfiltered) access to the internet, and much less emphasis on testing. Keith Krueger, CoSN, April 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Learning Objects
Basic paper that introduces the motivation behind learning objects, some thoughts on the classification of learning objects, and some considerations regarding their development and design. This paper will be review for many readers, but is a good introduction to the topic if it is new to you. You'll want to open the PDF version of the paper, since the website only posts the introduction in HTML (why? are they saving bits? browser space?). Posted as a FutureLab report - FutureLab is exactly the sort of site that would really benefit from an RSS feed, sinc eit publishes infrequently, but inexplicably does not have one. Ken Allan, FutureLab, April 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Grandparent Games
Roger Schank writes, in an email, "I have just launched a new site... that allows grandparents (and divorced parents and others) to see and hear their grandchildren; this alone is easy, but talking with a two year old is difficult; so I have created methods of teaching a child to read, and learn basic math and visit virtual zoos aquariums and such." There's also a blog. The site charges a hefty subscription fee, which is too bad, because it makes what is basically a good idea essentially unusable. Roger Schank, Website, April 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

If you have been wondering what has been happening with LOM (Learning Object Metadata), in the words of Phil Barker, "the LOM has been reaffirmed as an IEEE Standard, will be corrected through a corrigendum, is converging with other metadata approaches and may possibly be renewed in the light of what we have learned about metadata since it was designed." From where I sit, any other result was structurally and methodologically impossible, any such discussion being 'out of scope'. Phil Barker, Phil's JISC CETIS blog, April 17, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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