Stephen Downes and Kevin Cox

Stephen Downes’ Weblog/Writing site is one of the best sources for ideas about education, technology and web standards. In Meaning, Use and Metadata, Downes speculates about how the Semantic Web debate echoes previous Wittgensteinian debates. He writes:

In my view, the massive efforts underway to tag, to carefully sort, classify and describe, learning object metadata is misplaced. It is misplaced not because t is wrong or misleading (though that possibility is certainly built in by assumption). It is misplaced because such metadata descriptions can, at best, represent only one point of view of the description and the application of a learning object. We will not be able to approach the usefulness contained in the promise of learning objects – and of the semantic web more generally – until we get past this idea that we can define it (and in passing, all of human knowledge), a priori. We can’t. The very best we can do is establish (through, say, RDF) relations between intended meaning of terms. But at some point, we need to step back and observe how these entities are being used, and to capture that as our definitive metadata.

Downes has an Ouevre page and apparently writes one erudite article each week. Definitely on my blogroll.

Kevin Cox writes a web tools newsletter which addresses other instructional technology subjects. His articles emphasize cool relevant hyperlinks than on musing.






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