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by Stephen Downes
July 10, 2009

The Edgeless University
The main thrust of this report is that "The forces now confronting higher education have been called 'a perfect storm. They are serious challenges. Universities must offer more varied provision to a growing number of students in an era when they can no longer depend on ever-increasing allocation of funds. These are challenges to institutions set up to cater for a different age." (p. 24) In particular, universities need to respond by reaching out. "Their reputations, networks and spaces are a driving force for research and collaboration. This is the way in which universities are becoming 'edgeless'. They are not disappearing, either into the virtual world or out of existence. They are present in new places, in new ways." (p.34) The good stuff in the report begins at page 55 where the authors discuss the details of managing an edgeless university. Additional commentary on the report from Leigh Blackall, George Siemens, Derek Wenmoth, Rich Hoeg, daniel Livingstone, Steve Wheeler, Brian Kelly and the launch event podcast from JISC. Peter Bradwell, Demos, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , ] [Comment]

A list of 100+ education reporters on Twitter
It's a U.S.-only list, and it's a list of education reporters, which means more politics than pedagogy, but hey, someone out there is interested in this list, right? Meranda Watling, Meranda Writes, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] Sues Facebook: Data Ownership War Breaks Out
Could this court case become important? I don't know - I think, in the end, user needs will prevail no matter what the court rules. Still, the case is interesting. What is trying to do is to allow you to log on to all your social media accounts simultaneously. But Facebook says this violates their terms of service. And in particular, what facebook wants is for people to use the facebook Connect system to log on to Facebook, and not credentials stored in replies that the data belongs to the user and that Facebook has no right to prevent access to it. "Facebook is attempting to prevent Power from providing tools to Internet users that allow those users to exercise ownership and control over their own data." More from Marc Canter. Ben Parr, Mashable, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

e-Framework Technical Approach
eFramework, which was discussed here yesterday, has released its technical model. It contains three parts: the rationale, the technical model itself, and considerations for implementation in an enterprise architecture. The rationale is very similar to that of learning objects: "In the service-oriented view of software design, only one spell check service is needed. This service exists somewhere on the internet, and provides a standard interface by which other applications can make use of it." Sounds good in principle. Collapses under the weight of service architecture, access federations, and localization requirements. That doesn't mean a return to the world of silos. But the model of "one spell-checker to rule them all" simply has too many downsides. Various Authors, e-Framework, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Web 2.0 Learning Environment: Concept, Implementation, Evaluation
Sbout what you would expect from the title, with a good summary of web 2.0 learning environments as defined in the literature along with an example implemented in MediaWiki with connections to external resources executed using Yahoo Pipes. The article then goes on to describe the types of learning that took place in the environment and the roles of students and instructors, with examples. The authors then discuss evaluation, especially as it addresses workload ("only those system components should be integrated for which the contents are graded for assessment") and conclude "the use of Web 2.0 tools does not only contribute to building up necessary knowledge autonomously in terms of content, but users also train the media and information competencies required for working with the respective tools." ingo Blees and Marc Rittberger, elearningpapers, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Learning by Creating
I respond to Bud Hunt, who writes, "that writing, or at least composition, remains about the closest thing to learning in a bottle that I've found so far." Shared as part of the document here. This is an interesting exercise in collective writing using a tool that is new to me. Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

A learning community for teens on a virtual island - The Schome Park Teen Second Life Pilot project
I think a most readers will like this paper a lot, though I found the presentation stilted. It's a case study of an educational project for 13-17 year-olds conducted in Second Life. The authors found, "only approximately one quarter of students accounted for almost all time spent in Schome Park." The authors report that some student learning occurred and that they became more aware of the new role of teachers in such an environment. What I want to know, of course, is what the people who weren't captured by the automatic sensors and wiki logs (ie., the three quarters who didn't participate) were doing. Julia Gillen,, elearningpapers, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Talent competences in the new eLearning generation
This paper looks at some of the competencies that will be required of lifelong learners in a digital era. Competencies identified included filtering competencies, social competencies, multilingual competencies, and civic competencies. It's interesting to compare this list, which feels very traditional, with the lists being offered on the Learning Circuits blog in answer to this month's big question, "what new skills and knowledge are required for learning professionals?" be sure to check out Nancy White's three-part answer. Sylvia van de Bunt-Kokhuis and Mary Bolger, elearningpapers, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Facing a redundancy package from his current employer, Rhys Moult has started a new venture, We-Learn, and launched his personal blog at a new site. It's a tought time to start something like this and we wish him the best. Rhys Moult, Rhys at Work, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

I Remain Certain . . .
Bud Hunt offers a one-line post, "that writing, or at least composition, remains about the closest thing to learning in a bottle that I've found so far," with a link to a fascinating co-creation tool called Etherpad. to record the responses. I like. I posted my own response to my blog as well as into the co-creation site.
Bud Hunt, Bud the Teacher, July 10, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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