"Stephen Downes is a senior researcher for Canada's National Research Council and a leading proponent of the use of online media and services in education. As the author of the widely-read OLDaily online newsletter, Downes has earned international recognition for his leading-edge work in the field of online learning. He developed some of Canada's first online courses at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. He also built a learning management system from scratch and authored the now-classic 'The Future of Online Learning'.
At the University of Alberta he built a learning and research portal for the municipal sector in that province, Munimall, and another for the Engineering and Geology sector, PEGGAsus. He also pioneered the development of learning objects and was one of the first adopters and developers of RSS content syndication in education. Downes introduced the concept of e-learning 2.0 and with George Siemens developed and defined the concept of Connectivism, using the social network approach to deliver open online courses to three thousand participants over two years."
"As Internet and online learning become more and more incorporated into our courses, syllabi, and teaching materials, it becomes increasingly important that the impact the Web is having on changing perceptions of literacy carries over to the way we practice teaching and learning. Here we will focus on which collaborative online tools can most appropriately be applied in online and blended courses to foster reading and writing. Specifically, we will discuss some of the freely available social networking platforms and tools, their common features, and how these can help language learners find, aggregate and harvest learning objects while connecting to other people on the Web at large. We will also introduce two web publishing projects, Dekita.org and Writingmatrix, and explain how they function to facilitate this process and encourage connections."
(Barbara Dieu and Vance Stevens, 2007)
Fig.1 Michael Wesch, "The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)" [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g]
2). Barbara Dieu and Vance Stevens (June 2007). TESL-EJ: "Pedagogical Affordances of Syndication, Aggregation, and Mash-up of Content on the Web". TESL-EJ, Volume 11, Number 1. Available online:http://tesl-ej.org/ej41/int.html.
Alan Levine (Maricopa Community Colleges), Brian Lamb (University of British Columbia), D’Arcy Norman (University of Calgary)
Customised collections of learning objects from multiple repositories are achieved with simple, existing RSS protocols, creating access to a wider range of objects than a single source. This provides discipline-specific windows into collections, contextual wrappers via blogging tools, and a system for connecting objects and implementations via TrackBack.