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by Stephen Downes
January 9, 2009

The 21st Century Interactive Poster?
I played with these a bit this morning - I love these things. The site is called Glogster and people log on and create interactive posters - filled with music, video and whatever. The posters are visually stunning, can be embedded into web pages, can be sent to friends - and you have to know they'll eventually connect to value-added services, such as (say) printing (caution if you're using Firefox, especially on Ubuntu, the Flash took me down more than once). Jeff Whipple, Whip Blog, January 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Networked Link Journalism: A Revolution Quietly Begins in Washington State
The point of this story - which meanders a bit - is to show that "By forming a network, newsrooms can discover not just a greater volume of news, but a greater volume of relevant, high-quality news than one person, one newsroom, or one wire service could alone." Same applies to learning. Josh Korr, Publishing 2.0, January 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Beyond Blogging: a Lesson for Groundswell
I quite enjoyed this article, which begins with the question, why do people still read blogs? The premise for this question is ostensibly a poll showing that blogs are the least trusted source for information. Only 16 percent trust blogs, writes heather Green in Business Week. "Are they worth doing?" Well, they might not be, if the question meant anything at all. But I doubt that only 16 percent of my readers trust me - why would they even bother reading? Probably there are people out there who don't trust me, maybe even a majority. But trust is based on some sort of acquaintance, and most people in the world have never heard of me! Oh, but hey - I'll bet the majority would trust me to tell them what time it is, or to report whether or not it is snowing right now in Moncton (it is). So what do we even mean by "trust"? It's am empty word, unless we give it some function and some context. Jon Garfunkel, Civilities, January 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Time to Tearn?
Wayne Hodgins expands on a theme I've touched on frequently, the idea that everyone - through open practice - can be a teacher. He writes, "We no longer have sufficient time to create the formal learning tools and environments, such as masters and doctoral programs, textbooks, and credentialing systems, to address these significant changes in technology or methodology. We need experts to teach us about new programming languages, new equipment, new approaches, and new ways of communicating no matter how quickly they appear on the scene." Quite so - and (I argue) we make this work using the system described in Resource Profiles. As Hodgins says, "I think a lot of the same technology that we apply to content could be applied to people. Metadata, such as characteristics, words found within, the audience it was written for, who else looked for this content, etc., could be applied to people and skills." Wayne Hodgins, Off Course - On Target, January 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Slow Browsing Using Firefox On Ubuntu
I became completely frustrated with the slow pace of Firefox on Ubuntu recently and finally snapped, sending a plaintive note to Facebook, " why is the speed of Firefox on Ubuntu becoming unbearably slow? Ajax takes forever, javascripts grind, Flash video is awful." Thanks to Pauline Crook, who sends me to this page. The problem is, Firefox is set to use IPv6, wait until the request failed, and then try IPv4. But ISPs are still in the process of rolling out IPv6, which means that Firefox is often unbearably slow. Now - this doesn't solve the problems with Flash (which have been getting progressively awful, so much so I wonder whether Adobe signed a deal with Microsoft) but at least it made my pages load faster. Corey, Thoughts by Techxplorer, January 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Engelmann Module
Continuing an ongoing conversation with Ken De Rosa (which can be very frustrating at times, because his understanding of knowledge and inference is radically different from my own) I had the opportunity to review this site on Engelmann's work on direct instruction. It's definitely worth a look - though I must confess that the examples left me more convinced of my criticisms of Engelmann than anything else. I wish I could link to additional modules from this course, but they are blocked by a login. Joseph Parsons and David Polson, Athabasca University, January 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Types of Meaning
I was doing a little Google research on the subject of meaning today and I noticed the 'promote' and 'remove' icons by the search results. I do a fair amount of searching, and so it made sense to promote a useful item and to remove a Britannica link which (disingenuously, because it deliberately fools Google) takes me to a paywall. Sadly, the resulting 'search wiki' produced by Google is viewable only by myself - I can't share it with anyone. Nor can I know whether I can get rid of all Britannica paywall results by getting rid of some Britannica paywall results (that would be nice). Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, January 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Using Google Maps Image Viewer to Post Large Images Without Resizing
I don't know whether an iframe will work in either email or RSS, but let's try it anyways...

Now, if this worked, what you should see is a Google Map interface with one of my photos (specifically, Spring Garden Road in Halifax on December 31, just before the snowfall, seen here). If you don't see it, try clicking the title of this post to see it on my website. This technique was found in the excellent How to embed almost anything on your website pointed to by Scott Leslie. If you have your own website and can play with this, I really recommend it. It's a great exercise - not just for using APIs and creating maps. I finally saw how to run Java .jar files on my computer (there were, of course, errors - Java never runs clean - but it ran!). Scott Leslie, EdTechPost, January 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

What We Measure
Doug Noon makes the case for - and against - measurement in learning. He is exactly right, and gets to the core objection to standardized testing: "We already measure many sad truths kids are learning, We count high school dropouts, teen pregnancies, drug arrests, incarceration rates, mean family incomes, child welfare statistics, and a host of other social dissonance indicators. And all of them indicate there is a problem outside the schoolhouse. And there is NO evidence that a steady diet of testable basic skills, disconnected from any reality in the known universe outside the sterile confines of an education policy think tank, will have any impact on THOSE statistics." Doug Noon, Borderland, January 9, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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