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by Stephen Downes
February 3, 2010

Trends in Personal Learning
I am presenting this evening (or morning in Australia) on the topic of 'Trends in Personal Learning'. "Newer and more powerful collaboration tools, such as Google Wave, are appearing. Individualized applications, such as the Personal Learning Environment, are appearing. Tomorrow's e-learning student can look forward to having a range of powerful tools at his or her fingertips. This presentation outlines trends in the development of these tools, and describes what an education system that uses them will look like." You can join the presentation on Wimba by following this link: - I recommend you start a few minutes early to allow the java Wimba client to install. Stephen Downes, Gaggle, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Get Ready To Be a Changemaker
Even Harvard Business Review gets this, which is saying something. "We are transitioning from a world in which a small elite runs everything to a world in which everyone needs to be a player." What seems to be characterizing this, at the moment, is the abject failure of most of those selfsame elites; when they are not failing as managers, they are demonstrating a loss of any sense of responsibility or ethics. As noted here. "You will need to know how to function in a world that is not a hierarchy but a kaleidoscopic global team of teams, with no boundaries between sectors and change that happens at an escalating pace." Your old frames (wealth is good, fame is good, millions of Twitter followers is good) will no longer function. Your old principles (knowledge is created by filtering) will be dead wrong. Good luck. Bill Drayton and Valeria Budinich, harvard Business Review, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

iPad, Flash, HTML 5 and Standards
Good post describing the mess that is web video. "Although HTML5 defines a standard way to embed video in a Web page, using the element. FireFox currently supports the Ogg Theora, Ogg Vorbis and WAV formats – but not the widely used H.264 format (codex)." The problem is that while H.264 is usable, its license terms could change at any time, and indications are that with use it will get very expensive, something Firefox simply can't support. Companies like Spple, though, like it because ti can be easily decoded, making video faster and lighter. Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Loosing weight, nudging and changing the L&T environment – early foundations of my work
Good post arguing that learning software design is better based on a principle of 'nudge', not management. David Jones writes, "It's my suggestion that almost all of the current institutional attempts to improve learning and teaching suffer the same fundamental flaw. They attempt to herd cats, they focus on what management does, rather than focus on what the teachers and learners do every day and in particular the tremendous problems created by the systems within which they operate." I think the 'NUDGE' acronym is overly cute, but it reflects a good design approach. David Jones, Weblog of (a) David Jones, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Clearing Up the Copyright Confusion
The CBC offers some clarity to its copyright statement; bloggers can quote and link, after all. Chris Ball is answering questions on what appears to be a semi-official blog. Maffin notes, "it's worth noting that under Canadian copyright law, and its fair dealing provisions, you may not legally need prior permission to quote." It's all a bit of a tempest in a teapot, but still, CBC shouldn't be charging fees at all, at least not for non-commercial use. Tod Maffin, Inside the CBC, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

TO./ URL Shortener
It shouldn't work, but apparently http://to./hi5 is now a short cut to my web site. Other to./ addresses are available via its shortener, but I don't think you'll get one as good as hi5 (which I got completely by accident). Unknown, Website, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Learning and the Social Web
A special issue of JETWI has been published on Learning and the Social Web. JETWI stands for Journal of Emerging Technologies in Web Intelligence. Papers include A 2-tiers p2p Architecture, an overview of Connexions, and my own paper, New Technology Supporting Informal Learning. Other papers look at web ontologies, e-text watermarking and performance prediction. Daniel Lemire and Richard Hotte, eds., JETWI, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

A credential is a certification of status or accomplishment. A university degree is a credential; so is a driver's license, and so is a certificate for having completed the Boston marathon. So how should we manage credentials in a personal learning environment. This post, in the Plearn Blog (note the new logo!) is a discussion of that idea. Stephen Downes, Plearn Blog, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

XCRI: eXchanging Course-Related Information
A course advertising XML format is being undertaken in XCRI's Course Advertising Protocol. XCRI stands for eXchange of Course-Related Information. The work is part of a wider landscape of related work, which would address such issues as pre-requisites, portfolios and credentials. Various tools are available, including schemas and aggregators. My thanks to KavuBob for Twitter help. Various Authors, JISC, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Prime Directives for an e-Portfolio
I found this nice 'prime directives for e-portfolios' while looking for something else. Clear and succinct, I think this document is an excellent set of principles for e-portfolio development and personal learning environments in general. Of course, most e-portfolio initiatives violate the very first sentence of the document and wander off from there. R J Tolley, Maximise, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Fighting the System
More on working outside the system, with a link to Papert's Why School Reform is Impossible. But it does not follow that "the way to enact big change is to treat it as an evolutionary process." Evolution works with existing entities (organisms, systems, whatever). But this proposes working outside existing entities. Tim Kastelle, Innovation Leadership Network, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Penzu 2
I like the concept of Penzu a lot. It's very simple - a clean interface that allows you to keep a private journal. But it also allows sharing and photo uploads (if it supported simple drawing it would be perfect). Ah, but there's nothing good that schools can't ruin. Dean Groom writes, "Unfortunately, following PD with teachers it was blocked and didn't get un-blocked, so we did something else." Anyhow, it makes me want to keep a journal. Hm, something to think about. Dean Groom, Design 4 Learning, February 3, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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