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by Stephen Downes
August 26, 2008

Instructional Design Clients...Gotta Love'm
Sad to say, I've seen it. Enjoy this video and have a happy Tuesday. Via Karl Kapp. Unknown, YouTube, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Whatever Happened to Performance Support?
"Performance support is blossoming in organizations today under the label of Web 2.0," writes Jay Cross. "Remember the original premise of PS, making information available to workers instead of forcing them to memorize it? That's how we use Google and corporate wikis and instant messenger." Jay Cross, Learning Blog, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Web Futures - Who Ordered the Pragmatic Semantic Orgamism with Fries?
Andy Powell disagrees with my explanation of why we will complain about the Semantic Web. "Success or failure of the Semantic Web does not rest with context - there is plenty of semantic work in that area it seems to me, typically referred to as the graph or the social graph." Ah, but no. The 'social graph' is not context - it's just another layer of semantics. In pragmatics, meaning varies with use - the meaning of a term is not found within the symbol set, but only exterior to the symbol set. You can describe context with language, but you cannot create context with language -- just as you can describe a knowing glance with language, but you can't create a knowing glance with language. The route to pragmatics does not lie through semantics (let's call this one the 'cognitivist fallacy'). Andy Powell, eFoundations, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

The Campus Is Under Seige and I Go to Facebook???
This short post epitomizes the change in perspective that's needed. "I question the idea that students will automatically log into their FB accounts if a dire emergency is underway." Well of course not. But, you send the notification to Facebook because the students are already there as the emergency is unfolding (they were probably there in class, before the emergency even started). It's the difference between having one place for information, where everybody goes, and having many places for people, where the information goes. Anna M. Gould, EDUCAUSE Connect, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

New Schemas for Mapping Pedagogies and Technologies
I think there's something to this paper, and I spent quite a bit of time with it, but it really needs to be clearer (expunge writing like this: "whereas businesses transformed their systems and practices through embracing the potential of technologies, educational systems did not"). Also, I think the frameworks for mapping the tools and pedagogical principles need to be rethought - the former, because the dimensions depicted (such as individual to social, information to experience) are not linear; and the latter, because the categories (evidence and demonstration, or experience and activity) are not cohesive. It still remains true that "there has never been a closer alignment between the current practices of Web 2.0 technologies and what is put forward as good pedagogy" while at the same time "there is an inherent tension between the rhetoric of Web 2.0 and current educational practises." Grainne Conole, Ariadne, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

PTO Denies Blackboard's Suspension Petition
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected Blackboard's request to suspend the re-examination of its patents. The Office rejected the claims in a non-final action back in March. This decision signals that the re-examination will proceed. Unattributed, Desire2Learn, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Using Facebook to Learn
Udutu launched its application (and associated media campaign) while I was in Soain. It's worth a mention - the application allows you to create a course and sell access through Facebook. Udutu already offers a standard course authoring tool and platform. They will also be using Google's OpenSocial Framework to implement their service in LinkedIn and MySpace. See also e-Learning Central. Michael Specht, Weblog, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Brian Harrison sent me email advertising this today (I read these advertisements and promotional emails so you don't have to). Glubble is a Firefox add-on that allows parents to select web contents appropriate for their family. Seems like a good idea, perhaps. But the system works just as well for branded advertising; witness the Disney Glubble, which "offers movies, printable coloring pages, games, music, live events, travel, characters, and Disney XD." Various Authors, Website, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

IMS Global Learning Consortium Current Activities
Useful page that summarizes and links to the IMS Consortium's major activities at the moment, including Access for All, Content Packaging and Common Cartridge, among others. Various Authors, IMS Global Learning Consortium, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Mind Over Matter
Coverage of the 'Mind over Matter' seminar by Martin Westwell using a tool called "Cover it Live". The talk is really interesting - I recommend it - but the tool is really awkward - it's a tiny block of Flash text in the middle of my screen that I'm constantly scrolling and constantly clicking to view slides. (Would be nice to have the author's full name on the post somewhere.) KerryJ,, August 26, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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