Learning online is different from learning in a classroom. Using tools like blogs and wikis, students do more than merely absorb content, they engage in conversations with a community. But how does that help? Why isn't it just a chatty waste of time? It is arguable that the use of the internet creates better conditions for learning. In this presentation, Stephen Downes outlines those conditions and explains how employ them in the design of online learning.Keynote, Jul 19, 2007.