The University of Manitoba is offering a free “Connectivism Online Conference” from February 2 – 9, 2007. Similar to K-12 Online from this past fall, the event “is an open online forum exploring how learning has been impacted by ongoing changes.” Confirmed presenters include Stephen Downes, Will Richardson, Terry Anderson, George Siemens, and Bill Kerr. It is exciting to see more open, professional development workshops like this being offered which are sure to provide many opportunities for in-depth learning about (among other things) effectively engaging digital natives with web 2.0 tools!

The University of Manitoba is also hosting a face to face event on January 26th titled “Personal Learning Environments: A one day exploration of the changing nature of today’s learner and the implications for teaching.” I hope content from those sessions (which will also include George Siemens, but additionally Clarence Fisher and Darren Kuropatwa) will be recorded and freely shared subsequently in a podcast feed.

The University of California at Berkeley is one of several colleges that is modeling “best practices” for 21st century idea sharing, through the resources shared on “UC Berkeley on iTunes U” as well as other websites and media feeds. Anyone (whether they are formally affiliated with UC Berkeley or not) can download audio and video versions of lectures shared by a host of distinguished guests, as well as a mind boggling array of free course content. An example is Dr. Alex Filippenko’s “Introduction to General Astronomy” course. Click on and view one of the “CC” (closed captioned) web streams. These videos include the presenter’s slides, intermittent shots of the professor in front of the class, and a text transcription of his lecture at the bottom of the window. Sharing high-quality content like this takes quite a bit of post-production work (at least it seems to based on my limited experiences) as well as bandwidth… but WOW! What an amazing world of content is here! While this work is NOT explicitly shared with permission to redistribute / reuse / modify the work in any way, I can’t help but think resources like this portend a move toward more open content and perhaps the ethic of open digital content.

I’m looking forward to listening to the ideas shared at the Connectivism Online Conference, and hopefully participating in the conference moodle dialog. Register for the conference online and you’ll receive email updates about the activities and events. 🙂

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