(via elearnspace) Stephen Downes does a nice job of framing the Web log experience for novices and veterans alike in this piece, but I’m especially intruigued by his assertion that:
The next educational use of blogs will be for the distribution of learning content. Blogs form an ideal medium for the distribution of professional development and other learning resources. Some initiatives have already started as places such as Maricopa College and the University of Calgary are experimenting with the use of RSS to distribute learning objects and learning object metadata. Coupled with a standard web browser or email client, or using a dedicated RSS headline reader such as Amphetadesk or Carmen’s Headline Viewer, a learner may be presented with a selection of learning objects supporting day-to-day or preprogrammed study. This allows a learner to access resources from a wide variety of sources, including not only education providers, but also companies and individuals offering specialized learning opportunities.
This is a vision that is still a couple of steps beyond where I can get with it, but it certainly makes sense. It really sets the stage for individualized learning to a great degree. But for me it still comes back to that whole idea of getting the information that’s relevant to your needs in an easy way.
Earlier today as I was discussing the school Web site project here with my connected-at-the-hip Systems Analyst, we were envisioning what the future might be like here. I’ve always pictured student and teacher startup screens on our Intranet as being driven by RSS feeds of all types, whether it’s timely school news or the latest sports results. But Stephen’s post helped me to see that we can do that with content area learning “objects” as well to spur further understanding or practice of concepts that kids might be struggling with. And then couple that ability with the use of Web logs-as-online-portfolios to illustrate the learning, and you really do have what he refers to as the “best the web has to offer.”
Because they tap into the heart of one of the web’s great strengths, personal expression and control, and because they draw on the communication capacities inherent in an inter-network, they have become an effective means of distribution [of]any digital content and at the same time a highly selective filtering and classification system for that content.
That’s a great way of looking at it.