Sunday, January 09, 2005


It's been a good week at school. I'm really enjoying the readings. I'm happy to report that I've already had a look at the online versions of the readings for Week 3 (aka next week). Peter and I are moderating the class discussion for the week and Peter's email got me motivated to have a look at Building vs. Borrowing and the Good the Bad and the Ugly.

With all due apologies to my buddy Paul who works for Adobe--I really don't like PDF as an application for web-based content. It bears noting that this "problem" has as much (more?) to do with browser behaviour as it does with Acrobat Reader; nonetheless, the 'net-based user will have difficulties (and from my experience they've gotten worse w/ XP) viewing PDF files online. Also note that PDF is the hands-down winner when it comes to faithful reproductions (what comes off the printer will look exactly as it does on the screen) and print jobs.

I've found an html-based version of Building vs. Borrowing

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Many Faces of Constructivism has proven more difficult to find in an HTML version due to copyright concerns. I find this ironic given the "stolen" title and the fact that article is readily available as a PDF file.

As a bonus, whilst looking for the aforementioned html, I happened across this provocative article from 2002. Are constructivism and computer-based learning environments incompatible?, by Stephen Gance.

I'm struck by two things:
  1. Gance's nod to the promise of web-based technologies (he mentions WebCT and Blackboard -- I think webKF is better)

  2. from my experience, online instructors are increasingly "going the distance" to ensure that social constructivism is indeed part of courses that do not have a "face-to-face" component.

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