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by Stephen Downes
August 5, 2008

An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube
I finally found 55 minutes to watch Michael Wesch's anthropological introduction to YouTube. Media, says Wesch, isn't about communication or content. It's a way to mediate relationships between people. Which means that when the media changes, so do the relationships. What's happening is that we are becoming increasingly individualized, connected only by roadways and TV, and we long for community. And culture is increasingly commercialized, and we long for authenticity. Barry Wellman: Networked Individualism. And YouTube gets in the middle of all this. His study of YouTube - Participant Observation - you don't just observe the thing being studied, you participate in the thing beings studied. It was interesting to hear the remarks about being able to just watch people - it's the same sort of feeling I got when I was just surfing random websites. Look at this set of random LiveJournal posts, and compare it to what people are seeing on YouTube. Michael Wesch, YouTube, August 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Corporate E-Learning Adoption Issues
This 13-page PDF is a quick read and is pretty basic, but would serve as a good introduction to someone unfamiliar with the topic. Via Dave Boggs. Rita Benninck, Website, August 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Blogging As a Method of Communication May Be Over!
According to Sarah Perez from ReadWriteWeb, "What's taking its place? Lifestreaming." Hm. This would be a combination of Twitter posts, Facebook status updates, and various oddiments form the mobile phone camera. According to Perez, "Lifestreams are short and sweet, yet still provide the same insight into a person's life as yesterday's casual personal blog did." I am a fan of the short post, as any reader of OLDaily will attest. But I think talk of one form replacing another is silly. They serve different purposes. TonNet, education and tech, August 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

DC-HTML Profile Becomes DCMI Recommendation
As Pete Johnson announces, "DCMI announced today that the document Expressing Dublin Core metadata using HTML/XHTML meta and link elements has become a DCMI Recommendation." This changes the way Dublin Core elements are placed into Meta tags at the head of HTML pages. "It means that metadata encoded in XHTML headers using the conventions of this profile is automatically mapped to an RDF graph and becomes available to GRDDL-aware RDF applications." Pete Johnston, e-Foundations, August 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Who Are the Low-Achieving Pupils?
Another study, same result. "Figures show that among the one in five pupils who failed to make the grade in this subject, there was an overwhelming link to either special needs or poverty." Sean Coughlan, BBC News, August 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Take My Class for Free-Seriously
An academic offers his course for free online. However, "I am only going to do this if I have the right group of people and the right number. I think perhaps between 5-10 committed students. Less than five the discussion is not so productive, more than ten and it can get out of hand." Well maybe. Oh, and - if you're going to offer your course for free online, put your name on your blog. Or your syllabus. Or somewhere! (I finally found it while being rejected by the McDermott Library). Dave Parry, academHacK, August 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Best Way to Learn in an Online Course
I have been paying more attention to the concept of the online course since agreeing to teach in one this fall. Susan Smith Nash offers a nice perspective on the subject, offering advice to the student in how to benefit from the online course. This is an approach I endorse. I don't think the providers of the course should be doing all this for the students; the students should be doing it for themselves. Susan Smith Nash, e-Learning Queen, August 5, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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