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by Stephen Downes
July 5, 2010

Facebook & The Semantic Web
I think it's a bit of a stretch to say Facebook has embraced the Semantic Web, but they've become a bit more semantically oriented. This article from ReadWrite web examines Facebook's open graph. "Eeach web page can now become an 'object' in Facebook's social graph (which is Facebook's term for how people connect to each other in its network). This means that pages can be referenced and connected across social network user profiles, blog posts, search results, Facebook's News Feed, and more." the nice part is, other people (like me) can see the markup in these web pages, and use it for our own purposes, which is exactly what the open web is supposed to support (of course, Facebook will get mad at you if you start harvesting semantic data from their website, but that's another story). See also the W3C's response. Richard MacManus , ReadWriteWeb, July 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Frash lets Flash content play on iPad whether Jobs wants it or not
In the end, the iPad is a computer, which means there always would be a way to play Flash on it. That mechanism has now arrived in the form of the badly-named "Frash". Of course, you would have to "jailbreak" your device. I'm not sure people want Flash so badly they're willing to risk the wrath of Apple. Lee Mathews, Download Squad, July 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

The Gaping M Shaped Void for DIY Education
Alan Levine's review of DIY U finds good bits but "there's a certain wafting odor I cannot escape from." It pretends to be objective well-researched journalism, he writes, but "t wavered from obviously highly researched sources where every sentence was footnoted followed by a sentence of sweeping generalization that was just left hanging out there." It leaves the reader wondering whether Kamenetz is describing the state of affairs or advocating something. "Does the author wish to be part of the movement to revolutionize education? Does she have a stake?" And the gap is, "just like Anya paints that the current college system favors those with a pre-disposition to succeed; what we have now in the prototype DIY U also seems to favor people with other pre-dispositions to do well in this different environment." Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, July 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

The sounds of English and the International Phonetic Alphabet
One of the most valuable things I did while learning French was to repeat pronunciations over and over. It's essential to get pronunciations right, otherwise you don't learn from reading (because you don't associate words with sounds) and you have difficulty understanding the spoken language. Also, getting the pronunciation right means that you will have much less of an accent when you speak, which makes you easily understood by others. Here is a set of English language pronunciations, with audio examples. If you are studying English, I recommend you use this guide regularly once a day for several weeks. Various Authors, Antimoon, July 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

My ISTE Reflections
It appears that ISTE this year was evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. Chris Lehmann comments, "There was no big new social tool like Twitter that everyone was trying to learn. This year, to me, it felt like there was a deepening at work." By contrast, though, Dave Warlick argues that the word was "revolution" - "one word that kept popping up in conversations." Or maybe it was something else. "I don't know that "revolution" gets us there. I see its appeal. But I think we we're trying to do might be harder than that." I like the model; of sowing seeds. Tom Hoffman suggests the word might be Finland. Chris Lehmann, Practical Theory, July 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Role Shift
Harold Jarche looks at the shifting roles of teacher and learner in networked learning. The only part I really disagree with is the lower right-hand corner, where he characterizes a new learner role as a "Seeker of truth" and "Engaged professional-amateur." I don't think we need to ascribe such disinterested motives to learners. The shift in motive from "job, money, fame, power, desire to appear smart" will remain "selfish" in a sense, but will find a new form as personal self-development, personal growth, or as the Greeks called it, arete. Harold Jarche, Weblog, July 5, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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