31 janvier 2020

Gender Differences in Career Choices: Why Girls Don't Like Science

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Gender Differences in Career Choices: Why Girls Don't Like Science
I was ready to get all negative about this item, but it does appear to be well grounded (no crockus here) and the overall assessment, "cultural or environmental factors, rather than biological ones, affect girls' interests and career choices," is in accord with my own understanding. It's worth noting, in passing, that when we pay 'special attention' to the advancement of girls and women in science, it is to balance the countervailing 'special attention' that created the need in the first place. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:14 - - Permalien [#]


International Conference On Preservation of Digital Objects

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. International Conference On Preservation of Digital Objects
If you are interested in digital archives you will want to survey the wealth of material in the conference pages in this conference. Some highlights: the description of China's efforts to preserve foreign (ie., our) scholarly material, by Xiaolin Zhang. Also, Seamus Ross says that archivists need to stop building that agitating buzz and start working on concrete solutions. Also, Zhixiong Zhang spoke on creating an e-journal archiving system using Fedora. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:14 - - Permalien [#]

Details Revealed: Google OpenSocial To Launch Thursday

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Details Revealed: Google OpenSocial To Launch Thursday
Here's the Slashdot discussion. Due to launch tomorrow, Google's OpenSocial will be "a set of common APIs that application developers can use to create applications that work on any social networks (called 'hosts') that choose to participate." This will allow users to manage user information, their social graph, and activity information, which will be available on multiple sites. One of the nice things is that "developers use normal javascript and html (and can embed Flash elements)." This is being depicted in some quarters as an alliance against Facebook and Microsoft. But Mark Andreesen (Ning, one of the partners) depicts it as the next step in a process initiated by Facebook. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:44 - - Permalien [#]

Behind the Scenes: How Did He Do That?

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Behind the Scenes: How Did He Do That?
Dean Shareski shows us how he did the 'green screen' videos for his K12 video (scroll down to see it) - specifically, in addition to the green background, he used Pinnacle Systems software to create the effect, and Visual Communications software to create comment bubbles. Interestingly, he is producing his video on a Windows machine. I got a Mac specifically for video, and I must say, I am not impressed. The one redeeming feature of iMovie is that it automates loading the video from the camera (until iPhoto 08 blocked that). Final Cut will do everything, but you can't see what you've done until it has been rendered, and it takes forever to render. So I don't have good video editing on the Mac. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:43 - - Permalien [#]

OpenLearn2007 Conference October 2007

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. OpenLearn2007 Conference October 2007
Nice use of Yahoo Pipes to collect and display blog posts covering the OpenLearn conference. One of the features of Pipes that I like, and that I use in edu_RSS, which makes you almost impervious to spam, is to aggregate content from a selected list of feeds, and not the entire world. You can, if you want, open things up to the wider world by aggregating a del.icio.us feed (the OpenLearn feed doesn't do this). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:42 - - Permalien [#]


Performance Support and Connectionism

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Performance Support and Connectionism
OK, I need to clarify what I think has become a confusion. People like George Siemens and Jay Cross and others are talking about "knowledge that's stored outside your head". This is an incorrct depiction of knowledge, one that perpetuates the idea that knowdge is atomic, like 'facts', that can be moved and stored, as though it were some sort of object. We can see how ridiculous this picture is when we ask how we can 'know' something that is not 'in our head'. We are being asked to create some sort of elaborate fiction here.
In order to understand how knowledge works with complex tools, it is helpful to consider how knowledge works with simple tools. Consider, for example, the knowledge that "Stephen is 6 feet tall." This is knowledge that is 'stored' in the measurement device. But of course, the knowledge does not exist until a person actually uses the measuring device. The 'knowledge', properly so-called, resides in both the tool and the person doing the measuring. It would not exist without either. In the same way, knowledge provided to us by the GPS, the social network, or any of these 'outboard devices', exists, not as objects to be moved about, but as a distributed series of connections between ourselves and these devices. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:42 - - Permalien [#]

Coase's University: Open Source, Economics, and Higher Education

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Coase's University: Open Source, Economics, and Higher Education
Michael Feldstein interprets open source through the lens of economic theory. It's a nice paper, and this sentence caught my eye: "We typically reduce all of economics to supply and demand, but it could be equally well formulated in terms of cost and benefit. Every system of production, whether it is a company, a market, or an open source community, has its costs." That's a good point, and of ourse, the economic advantage of open source is that it lowers costs. But that got me thinking: supply-demand, cost-benefit... could there be other pairs of variables that explain economics equally well, if not better? Economics is, at heart, the science of the trade-off. How about, then, pairs like desire and dislike? Hope and fear? Because, after all, the driving force of the economy might not be money at all. It might be something more intangible, like love or fear. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:41 - - Permalien [#]

Joint IEEE LTSC-DCMI Task Force Meeting

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Joint IEEE LTSC-DCMI Task Force Meeting
I missed this meeting but the use of FlashMeeting - and especially the posing of the meeting for public viewing - makes me all the more inclined to go to the next one (I am not a part of this workgroup specifically but I am a member of IEEE-LTSC). Indeed, I would venture to say that this sort of public deliberation ought to become the norm in standards-building. People may say that some people may not want to contribute in public meetings, but my response is that such people should not then be defining open standards. So that attempts to gerrymander the process are seen in public view. And so that communications between groups are easily maintained without a whole lot of fuss and bother and secrecy. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:40 - - Permalien [#]

(Re)Presenting Community 07

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. (Re)Presenting Community 07
OK, it's official. I do not have good video editing software for the Mac. I know that may seem astonishing, but I have to say, the stuff I was using on Microsoft - from MovieMaker to Camtasia to everything in between, worked much better (ie., worked) and much more smoothly. Mac's iMovie 08 is a disasterous piece of software - it is unstable, it assigns audio tracks to the wrong clips, it is slow, and it is stupid. Final Cut Pro, which of course does everything, in fact does nothing, or at least, nothing I want it to do (such as, say, preview a video without taking 10 minutes to render it first). Snapz Pro worked pretty well as a screen capture tool, without the limitations of Jing, and managed to create a 5 gig video without crashing, but is a lot more awkward to use. So the USQ audience is still without a video - one does exist now, and I'm going to try to clean it up and get rid of the echo before posting it, and then see what I can do about getting NRC to give me a good Windows machine for video editing. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:40 - - Permalien [#]

When Wikipedia Is the Assignment

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. When Wikipedia Is the Assignment
This article covers an EDUCAUSE presentation describing the use of Wikipedia for student assignments. Neat project, and what's also interesting is that an EDUCAUSE conference presenation is getting coverage in a newsmagazine website. Oh I know, it's far from the first - but given that these conferences run almost every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, there is it seems to be, a gold mine for the press to follow and report on - and a much better way to report the news than the more traditional focus on politics, conflict, innuendo and unnamed sources we see in newspapers and on television. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:37 - - Permalien [#]