Web 2.0 & Your Own Learning and Development (Stephen Downes)

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I’m currently listening to a video recording by Stephen Downes titled “Web 2.0 and Your Own Learning“. Stephen mentions that we should blog about his talk… so here I am, taking his advice. I have long been interested in learning and for me personally, a fairly eclectic learning. I am very curious about many things, and I am continuously seeking information about these many things. The question I have though, is how effective is my learning. Stephen is speaking to how I might improve my own learning world.

What I am taking from this video, is that we should create our own centre of learning… to pull what it is we want into this space. I must admit, I read a lot from many different places and I rarely collect it in one place. It might be of use to bring all the subscriptions I have into one place. Stephen also talks about summarizing and commenting on what we read and learn. I have to agree with this. I know that in my experience when I teach something or paraphrase it, I have to think more deeply about it.

One important learning piece that Stephen speaks to is the use of unofficial sources. I have been doing this for a while now. I don’t even have television at home. I do access most of my news from unifficial sources and I believe I am better informed than many of my friends, family and colleagues. By “better informed” I mean with a more balanced view, as much as I do correct and detailed information approach.

So there we have it. The video is done and it was a worthwhile viewing. It will take some discipline, but I will work to take some of Stephen’s advice. I have placed the link in the text above, but you can find the video at

Happy learning!


Written by sjdixon

November 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Community priorities and planning

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The city of Fredericton (New Brunswick, Canada) recently opted to enforce a bylaw restricting an individual to ride a skateboard on city streets. In the media, it was reported as a “nuisance bylaw“. I think it is important to note that in this instance, we are not talking about groups of skateboarders jetting out into traffic and attempting tricks and jumps, or building ramps on curbs, but that we are talking about an individual using a “longboard” as a mode of transportation.

Our community, local and regional, faces many challenges, including pollution, traffic congestion, obesity and poor health as a result of a sedentary lifestyle. As a community, we have identified these issues as important. We put money time and resources toward their elimination and/or solution. And then when an obvious solution lands in our lap… we arrest the provider and throw them in jail… amazing. Longboards, like bicycles, rollerblades, scooters (human powered) and our walking legs, provide solutions to the above mentioned challenges. Clearly our community leaders and administrators do not currently posses the ability to think creatively enough to recognize solutions when they present themselves.

Thanks to the skateboarder who has stepped up to the challenge to shine some awareness on our current transportation shortcomings. Our community leaders/administrators must think differently in order to truly create a healthy and sustainable city. We must all be interested and open to new ideas. It is natural for our “older” city leaders and administrators to have their limited perspective. It comes as no surprise that creative and innovative solutions will come to the forefront from our younger citizens. It is time for our “older” community members to learn from our “younger” citizens.

So here is to longboards as a mode of transportation being just the beginning of a long list of paradigm changes in transportation that we need to get started on. Our transportation system should gradually phase automobiles out as the dominant vehicle. Long term community planning can make this a reality.

Written by sjdixon

May 17, 2008 at 7:02 pm

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Frederictonians uncivilized?

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If anyone actually reads this blog, they may wonder what kind of joke I am about with this heading, but I am dead serious. I believe we as a municipality are not yet fully civilized. And to understand where I am coming from, we need to define the term “civilized”.

See Wiktionary:

Showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement; humane, reasonable, ethical.

So if we can agree that civilized refers to social development more than it does technological development, I think we are on the right path. To the crux of the matter then… would a civilized society allow people to die on its streets when, in most cases, it could be prevented? For those who are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you will understand that before you take care of the self actualizing needs, a la theatre improvements, or monuments on the green, you take care of basics like food and shelter.

Simply put, we need the political will to want to help those in our society who are less fortunate for one reason or another. And hey, wouldn’t you say that a human life is more important than mowing our lawns?! There are literally thousands of items Fredericton spends its budget on… among the most obvious would be to ensure that those who live here don’t go hungry and/or without shelter.

Oh… and don’t dismiss it by saying it’s another level of governments problem… morally, it’s not. We are a community… period.

Written by sjdixon

February 17, 2007 at 11:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized