In any given day I read and listen to a lot of different things, many of which turn out to interdigitate in unexpected ways. Today’s cases in point: I read a blog posting at Savage Minds pointing to STSWiki, which got me started thinking about History of Technology again (I taught a course on that subject in 1999). If I was setting out to teach a History of Technology course in 2005, I’d do it differently: I’d surely use the Wikipedia page as a springboard –and have the students do projects which would extend the page and pages it links to. And I’d also use STSWiki as an adjunct, following how the site develops as members of the conversation elaborate on the beginning.

That’s just obvious, but how did we get there/here?

That question was uppermost in Stephen Downes’ recent opening keynote “On Being Radical” at the Saskatchewan Association for Computers in Education –PowerPoints also available… This from one of the last slides:

To be radical is to grasp empowerment and define a vision based on that empowerment for a better, freer society…
“…a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence.”

The whole presentation, like everything I’ve heard Stephen Downes do, is continuously and consistently interesting and fresh –not just the same ideas over and over.
I extracted three quotations:

Doug Kaye’s keynote address at Portable Media Expo (about ten days ago) offers a quick update of the directions of the absolutely essential ITConversations (“Listener-supported audio programs,
interviews and important events”). He covers some of the same territory as that traversed by Stephen Downes, and their perspectives are complementary. I extracted one bit from his very interesting talk, on the value of free (1:40).