EdTech Talk #20 from http://worldbridges.com/livewire/
Guests: Stephen Downes & Will Richardson

Two-hour podcast, in two pieces:


A few outtakes of particularly trenchant talk:

downes1.mp3 [2:15]: how Web 2.0 changes everything: "breaks down the intermediaries, breaks down the dependency on a service provider, on an authority who will tell you what you can and you can't do. It breaks down the idea that you're a consumer of content on the Web, and it lets you join the conversation --you put your own content into it, as much as taking content out of it. It makes you a part of the Web in a way that people weren't before."

downes2.mp3 [4:50]: new models of publication; quoted from SD's 1998 Future of the Web: "education in the future will be much less class-based and much more topic-based: the idea is that learning is not [paced?] so much by teacher as it is by the student's own capacity to acquire material. What will make this possible is the development of educational delivery technology, the primary purpose of which will not so much be to teach as it will be to manage learning. Topics will be selected by student interest, aptitude, educational level and societal need: the Quest model."

And where are we now? headed for user-directed education; in transition to non-formal/informal learning; designing informal learning spaces; "the learning itself is beginning to change shape"

downes3.mp3 [5:45]: comparison of US and Canadian approaches to assessment, and to enterprise organization "We also approach freedom differently here, because we have the tie to Britain, and in Britain you can be eccentric ...we can be free in ways you can't be free in the United States... there was more of a culture of control under the American managers than under the Canadian managers... the United States is this melting pot, and so everybody adopts the same way, everybody adopts the same culture, and when I'm in the States I really see that sort of invisible pressure to conform to that culture..."

downes4.mp3 [3:12]: Web 2.0 killer app still to come: "..the front piece to all of these back pieces, where the connections are still loose, they're still API- and REST interface-based, rather than a tight integration, but from the user's point of view there's one window, and it's through that one window that they access Blogger or Flickr or anything like that. That's the killer app. It's gonna come, sometime within the next 18 months... Personally, I expect it any day...