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by Stephen Downes
June 11, 2009

Is It Who You Know or What They Know?
One of the dangers of the whole network approach to learning is the tendency to say things like "it's not what you know, it's who you know," which from my youth has always been seen as a disparaging remark. I've always distrusted the whole concept of "who you know" (probably the consequence of deep unpopularity in school). And I've always been careful to distinguish between knowledge that's created by a network and knowledge that's obtained by having the 'right' friends. On the other hand, there's no denying the learning mechanism that consists, essentially, of calling up someone you know and asking them. So. A bit of both worlds? David Armano, Logic+Emotion, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Eye-Fi Card Adds RAW Uploads, Computer Transfers
This is really neat. It's a flash memory card, just like the ones you put in digital cameras or are in USB drives. But it has built-in WiFi. That's right. The card (and not the device it's in) will connect with your computer and (after authentication) upload data. Glenn Fleishman, TiDBITS, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Review of The State of e-Learning in Canada: or life in a parallel universe
More on the Canadian Council on Learning's disappointing report on the state of learning in anada (and, you know, I haven't heard anything back from CCL on the welt of criticism that followed its release. Tony Bates writes, with vigor, "The CCL loves rankings (it has produced a Composite Learning Index to measure how well a nation learns), but if you are going to do rankings, you'd better have damned good evidence on which to base the rankings. However, since the CCL report did not produce any justifiable quantitative data about the extent of e-learning in Canada compared with any other country, how can it come to the conclusion that Canada is going to hell in a handbasket with respect to e-learning?" There's more; I quoted the tame stuff. Tony Bates, e-learning & distance education resources, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Individual Value Required : eLearning Technology
Tony Karrer cites Aaron Fulkerson, CEO of MindTouch on collaborative networks: "Rather than focusing on socialization, one to one interactions and individual enrichment, businesses must be concerned with creating an information fabric within their organizations... Collaborative Networks are focused on groups accessing and organizing data into actionable formats that enable decision making, collaboration and reuse." Which sort of echoes something from Harold Jarche: "Once inside an organization it is necessary to focus our group work on a task or mission and that requires collaboration. Collaboration is what organizations should primarily focus on." OK, fine. Let's say that. Then: so much the worse for organizations? I mean, it begs the question, doesn't it? Tony Karrer, eLearning Technology, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

EDEN 2009 - keynote Speeches
Ignatia is covering presentations at the EDEN 09 conference in Gdansk, including this keynote, "Learning and Creativity in a New Environment" by Anna Valtonen. "She ends with an interesting question: What happens with creativity at the universities. She mentions interdisciplinary actions and people and ... architecture.
She mentions that students as well as staff could get space in the uni to play and develop their ideas, so whomever got an idea, could ask to develop it... that sounds really now and good!" Inge de Waard, Ignatia, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Kathy Sierra Lives
Gardner Campbell does a nice job coming in out of the bullpen as a 'designated blogger' (true baseball fans know that this is a mixed metaphor, but don't blame me) to cover Kathy Sierra's presentation to the new media Consortium. There's a bit softness either in the presentation of the coverage - having the audience stand on one leg isn't really that new or provocative. I get the point - "total immersion jams. Yes! Only total immersion gets to peak experience" - but I prefer a bit more crispness in the presentation. Why is total immersion important? What subsystems does it invoke, what form of experience does it create, what mechanisms does it use? Read the article, and you'll see what I mean. For another take on the same presentation, see Chris Lott's presentation. Gardner Campbell, Gardner Writes, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Reputation - Its More Important Than Ever But What Exactly Is it?
From Mark Oehlert: "The whole idea is reputation-based currency. Instead of money, your ability to move through society is based on an aggregate score of how people regard you and your actions." Well, fine. But, see, here's the thing. Why do we want to assess reputation as an aggregate? My reputation is worthless (trust me on this) among a set of basketball aficionados. but (presumably) it's a bit better among online educators. My 'reputation' (properly so-called) is not an aggregate property, but rather a relation between you and me. Which makes a mash of any misplaced idea to create a 'reputation currency'. Mark Oehlert, e-Clippings, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Got PubMed? Pubget Searches and Delivers Scientific PDFs
I have mixed feelings about PubGet. On the one hand, it's really nice to see such a smooth service allowing researchers to access open access articles smoothly and without fuss. But it also allows you to select your institution and add your institutional library subscriptions to the search. This, of course, is a feature that's useless to people who are not a part of an institution with library subscriptions. Can such a public-private journal search work? Well, yess, so long as the money doesn't start affecting search results. And what are the chances of that? Via Open Access News. Kevin Davies, Bio-IT World, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Using the Twitter REST API
If Representational State Transfer (REST) is a big mystery to you, have a look at this article. In particular, be sure to paste the URLs they give you (like this one) and have a look. The principle demonstrated in the article is the use of variables in the URL to request different XML and Atom representations of Twitter status updates. The concept is no more complex than that. Even if you don't follow all of the details, this article should at least demystify REST for you. Brian M. Carey, IBM developerWorks, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

CCK08-Connectivism: Networked Student...The Movie
I linked to this video in the Connectivism course last year, but I don't appear to have even listed it here. This post makes up for that. The link is to a video of the common craft variety that outlines the theory of connectivism. From the same site: Google Wave, networked learning and PLEs. Wendy Drexler, Teach Web 2.0, June 11, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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