ePortfolios and Weblogs: One Vision for ePortfolio Development. A relatively brief overview guaranteed not to scare the horses.
We are always looking for ways to build partnerships between the University and the private sector, so when I saw the title of this article from a corporate-oriented ezine, Collaborating With Universities to Create a Continuous Learning Culture, I had to check it out. What struck me though was the section on informal learning:
"Although formal learning and especially learning leading to educational credentials is a critical tool for developing your employees, you also need to acknowledge and address head-on the fact that most work-related learning occurs informally, on the job. A 1998 study by the Center for Workforce Development estimated that more than 60 percent of the most critical knowledge and skills are learned at work, not in a classroom.
The trick for employers is to learn how to encourage informal learning and provide more opportunities for informal learning to take place. Examples of such opportunities include: cross-training; peer training; working in teams, especially cross-functional ones; problem-solving sessions; rotational assignments between departments; [and] mentoring relationships."
I found myself wondering to what extent universities ever thought about structuring informal learning within their administrations, particularly within IT departments.......
We're trying to do a better job tracking discussions about the costs and benefits of open source software. This week we stumbled on Choosing and Using Open Source Software: A primer for nonprofits, by Michelle Murrain, which seems overall to take a fairly positive view of open source software for non-profits in the near-term. Also cited in the Primer is Realizing the Promise of Open Source in the Non-Profit Sector by Jonathan Peizer, CTO of the Open Society Institute, published in September 2003.
We've been talking quite a bit here yelling, screaming, kicking and biting about who is best equipped to manage the creation of metadata; as if any sane person really wants that job! Sarah Currier has recently published an article on the cetis website, Metadata Quality in e-Learning: Garbage In - Garbage Out?, which discusses the collaborative mode where metadata is jointly created by the educational practitioner and information scientist, and the strengths and weaknesses of such a model. She includes this uplifting quote from Simon Pockley's Metadata and the arts: the art of metadata:
"Just as the production of feature films has been characterized by the concept of assembly or montage, so we could consider metadata production to be the result of the combined efforts of quite separate skills. Perhaps it is time for the Metaphiles to talk more about the art of metadata, about how images and sounds can also be metadata and about the new literacy of this emerging form of expression."
More bedside reading. David Wiley is the Director of Utah State University's Open Learning Support (OLU). OLU builds on educational materials such as MIT's OpenCourseWare and provides the social interactions necessary for learning to take place. Wiley has just published on his blog the draft of a book chapter on Scalability and Sociability in Online Learning Environments. ".....for learning environments to scale to numbers larger than faculty can control, and still remain necessarily social, we must rely on principles of self-organization to emerge within the group." Also on the bedside table is Wiley's Learning Objects: Difficulties and Opportunities.
Industry Canada has compiled this list of Web-based resources that catalogue assistive devices, their manufacturers and vendors and service providers and practitioners in the fields of assistive technology, rehabilitation and research.
Some people have said that this may not be a good idea. The author, however, may be missing the point. Although the concern over the current usefulness of the scope of the searchable material is perhaps valid, Google's service is more of a beta test than functional software.
I personally like the ability to restrict my searches and filter the results from the outset. Google already allows people to restrict results to specific domains, so why not the ability to restrict results based on more abstract filters? I agree with the author that this policy "sounds good," but I think Google should be given more leeway as the technology develops and DSpace (and other institutional repositories) become more common.
Robin Good interviews Ross Mayfield about using alternative collaborative solutions like wikis and blogs for effective group collaboration inside business organizations. "Computer-mediated communication is the lifeblood of social software. When we use e-mail, instant messaging, Weblogs, and wikis, we're potentially free to interact with anyone, anywhere, anytime.....These are tools that take more explicit approaches to building relationships, where connection comes before content. They raise different privacy and transparency issues than tools that encourage people to opt-in to conversations and participation in different ways."
Open Archives Initiative Data Providers - Part I, Gerry McKiernan's eProfile column from the Apr 04 issue of Library Hi Tech News: "In this first of a series, we profile more recently established Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Data Providers whose content is not only 'harvestable' by OAI Service Providers.....but perhaps more importantly, offer open access to institutional and discipline information resources in a wide variety of publication and media formats."
Reposted from slashdot (14 Apr 04):
JasonFleischer points out this "interview with Leonardo Chiariglione, digital video pioneer and founder of the MPEG standards committee, is available on the public access section of Scientific American's website. In the interview Chiariglione explains the motivations and hopes for his new Digital Media Project -- an attempt to integrate existing technologies to create a transparent, universal, non-proprietary system for digital rights management. Of particular interest to some
/.ers may be his old article from Linux Journal that talks about the relationship between Open Source and MPEG standards."
Another interesting HP Information Dynamics Lab project is Social Harvesting of Community Knowledge (SHOCK). "Shock is designed as low-cost, extensible, flexible, and dynamic peer-to-peer knowledge network that helps address this problem. The system is designed to protect the privacy of user's personal information, such as email, web browsing habits, etc., while making that information available for knowledge management applications. It reduces participation costs for such applications as expert-finding, allows highly targeted messaging, and enables novel kinds of ad hoc conversation and anonymous messaging. The system is tightly integrated with users' email clients, taking advantage of email as habitat."
Reblogged from Marcus Zillman:
OSVDB is an independent and open source database created by and for the security community. The goal of the project is to provide accurate, detailed, current, and unbiased technical information on security vulnerabilities. The project will promote greater, more open collaboration between companies and individuals, eliminate redundant works, and reduce expenses inherent with the development and maintenance of in-house vulnerability databases. This will be added to Security Resources 2004 Internet MiniGuide.
Nine Rules for Good Technology: good technology is always available; good technology is always on; good technology is always connected; good technology is standardized; standardization promotes interoperability; good technology is simple; good technology does not require parts; good technology is personalized; good technology is modular; and good technology does what you want it to do.
The National Cyber Security Partnership has released Information Security Governance: A Call to Action, which urges corporations, nonprofit organizations, and higher education institutions to integrate effective information security governance (ISG) programs into their organizational processes. Contributing to the report was the EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Computer and Network Security Task Force. "Information security is of critical importance for the conduct of both research and education in today's networked environment. A successful security program will require that the boards and executive leaders of our colleges and universities assume appropriate, active roles in information security governance." (Mark Luker, Vice President, EDUCAUSE)
Featuring the latest developments in wireless LAN technologies together with the latest MPEG-4 hardware compression codecs and a new Head Up Display, the VisiWear ST3100 is built to meet your needs for remote collaboration.
A pilot project is underway, between Google and 17 universities currently running DSpace, to make those institutions' collections of scholarly papers searchable through Google's advanced-search page. (Chronicle of Higher Education, 9 Apr 04)
The conservative Institute for Policy Innovation released an issue brief on 4 Mar 04 by Tony Healy, entitled Has Open Source Reached Its Limits?. "Pushing the open source concept too far into areas where it's not applicable will lead to universities and taxpayers shouldering the cost of software development for business, and doing it less capably than specialist software development firms." A rebuttal was published by Leon Brooks on 6 Apr 04 (How independent is independent?). IPI's reaction follows.
The presentations, summary and outcomes for the DSpace User Group Meeting (10-11 Mar 04) are now available.
Rethinking GIS and (Homeland) Security, by Jeremy W. Crampton, in the Apr 04 issue of GEO World. ""The war against Iraq in 1990-91 was the first full-scale GIS war." (Neil Smith, 1992). The same issue also contains a review of Oracle 10g.
A Manifesto for Collaborative Tools, by Eugene Eric Kim, appears in the May 04 issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal. "All of the conceptual and technical ideas I've proposed in this essay share one thing in common: They won't make a difference unless tool developers work on them together. Creating a shared conceptual framework is a truly collaborative problem. It will not be solved by a single person in an ivory tower and forced upon the rest of the community. It will require constructive, passionate dialog, open minds, and much experimentation. It will require respect for other people's work and ideas. Most importantly, it will require a shared desire to make the world a better place by improving the way we work together."
The Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) has launched its Pervasive Computing Community. "For too long, computers have purported to serve us while in fact, requiring us to serve them. We have pampered them with air-conditioned rooms; learnt their language, in order to talk to them; and been required to manipulate them with awkward tools like keyboard or mouse.....This Community is aiming to bring together an unusually wide range of participants, including academic researchers, students, industrial partners and other organisations to explore some of the major challenges that stand between us, and a networked wireless world where hundreds of miniaturised computers are at our beck and call all around us."
Reblogged from sindikk.aeshin:
I came across two interesting experiments involving location metadata and media today.
First, scientists Roberto Cipolla and Duncan Robertson at the University of Cambridge are building a system for inferring location from image content:
Roberto Cipolla and Duncan Robertson have developed a program that can match a photograph of a building to a database of images. The database contains a three-dimensional representation of the real-life street, so the software can work out where the user is standing to within one metre.Their project is the inverse of the Mobile Media Metadata project, which aims to infer image content from contextual metadata (including location). It is interesting to consider how the technologies might work together: taking a picture of a building tells the system where you are (South Hall). Knowing where you are tells the system what you are doing there (attending class), from which it can infer who the people in the picture are (your classmates)…
Second, artists Pall Thayer, Sara Kolster, and Pete Gomes are playing with the concept of geocinema, using open-source tools to superimpose GPS coordinates on video on real-time. Cool, but how much more interesting would it be if they could:
- convert those coordinates to higher-level semantic location metadata ("the place I passed out last night"), and
- use that metadata not just for superimposing on the video but as input for determining the structure of the video narrative?
Free Play: The Politics of the Video Game, by Kevin Parker, appears in the Apr 04 issue of Reason Magazine. "Computer games, as a class, do appear to favor civil and economic liberty not because they simulate sweatshops (no more so than, say, music lessons do) or capitalist exchange but because of the same human tendencies that free players from domineering storylines and inflexible rules. Games naturally turn players against contrived limits and inconsistencies. And this mind-set necessarily takes on a political aspect as games themselves grow more political."
Andrew Vestal lives in Japan and teaches English to Japanese high school students. For an assignment, he provided them with comic strips and invited them to create their own dialog. Thus was born the Penny Arcade Remix Project.
A Balancing Act? Openess and Security on Campus, an interview with Jeff Schiller, MIT's network manager and security strategist, appears in the April issue of Syllabus Magazine. "With open source, if there�s a problem I can fix it as the consumer. Obviously I have to have the skills to do that, but I do have the ability the access to do it. With closed source I don�t. I�m literally at the mercy of the vendor to fix it."
Blog-Fu highlighted this visual text mining tool on 7 Apr 04. "txtkit is an Open Source visual text mining tool for exploring large amounts of multilingual texts. It's a multiuser-application which mainly focuses on the process of reading and reasoning as a series of decisions and events. To expand this single perspective activity txtkit collects all of the users mining data and uses them to create content recommendations through collaborative filtering..... txtkit has an open and variable architecture which allows you to add multiple sources in different languages on different servers."
Cory Doctorow's Metacrap: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia was published way back (26 Aug 01), but remains a nice reality check for anyone knee-deep in metadata. "A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be a utopia. It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris and hysterically inflated market opportunities."
CNI and the IMS Global Learning Consortium have released a whitepaper, Interoperability between Information and Learning Environments, which examines "potential interactions between information environments and learning environments, with emphasis on work that needs to be done involving standards, architectural modelling or interfaces..." (Reviews and comments go to Cliff Lynch or Neil McLean.)
"Sun Microsystems Inc. is pondering the possibility of open-sourcing more of its software this time with its next-generation 3-D windowing system, called Project Looking Glass, which is under development." [eWeek, 2 Apr 04]