Confused on the Trail to the Learning Objects Summit

Following Stephen Downes’ recent announcement, I was eager to tune into the webcast for the March 29-30 EduSource Learning Objects Summit— the agenda seems a fair mix of high level overview (yea!) and a pile of technical acronym soup sessions (pass the bowl to someone else). The Canadians really have their act together as far as collaborative approaches to educational technology issues, well at least from the perspective down here in the province of Arizona.

But like most of my attempts to reach or just see the summit of Mt. Hood, what starts our as a clear sunny day ends up in the clouds when you start up the mountain. The front page of the main site reads:

Note that registration is free but required. For those participants who will view via webcasting only, registration is not required.

but on the technical info page it says:

Registration is required for participation via Interwise and it is recommended that you test prior to use.

So what is it? Does one have to register or not to see this web cast? And there is no registration form, just an email and a phone number. I am lost on the trail, just trying to find the right signpost………. watch out for that eeeeeeeeeeeedge………..

Update Thanks to Shannon’s quick email response, now I understand, although D’Arcy’s comment below hinted. To view the webcasts (watch and listen only), you merely link/click to the video stream URL, put some popcorn in the microwave, and watch the show. The registration is required to tap into the sessions via InterWise, which supposedly allows you to also transmit audio and chat with other participants.

Still, the instructions from the web site are murky. This sounds like one of those times when the programmers are allowed to design web pages and instructions.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Video feed worked for me, without registering or anything. Of course, it’s just a test feed looking out over their beautiful parking lot, so they may have turned off authentication or something…

  2. Thanks, but clear instructions go a long way. Maybe I just do not read Canadian dialect, eh?

  3. I note with interest the following at the bottom of your post: TrackBack (0)

    Now of course I am sure you are aware that I posted a response to this post in my newsletter. So why the ‘0’?

    It is, of course, because my system did not ‘ping’ your system to let you know I had replied.

    My system doesn’t ping. It’s not so much because I’m lazy and won’t write the code (though that’s part of it) but because once I get into the pinging game, I have to now write new code for each new blogging software that comes online. Even if they use a standard API, I still ahve to detect these new systems.

    But more than that: why should I have to send you (and everyone else) notification that I’ve written to you. It requires you opening up your system to my input (and conversely, me mine to yours), thus creating a large opening for the roaches you have pictured on your comments board.

    But I created my RSS feed so that I wouldn’t have to make submissions all over the net. Wouldn’t it make more sense to check RSS feeds for comments, and then, should my comment match your URL, post a trackback based on that?

    Such a system, especially if handled through an aggregator (like Technorati or Edu_RSS) is pretty efficient. And it allows you to filter your trackbacks, so that you don’t have to list the track-back from Sex-Toyz-R-Us, even if it is a genuine link.

    Just some food for thought from an undocumented trackback. ;)

    — Stephen

  4. Well, I knew your reply because I regularly read OLDaily, whether by email or RSS.

    Sure Trackback has problems, but there is not much else out there that does the task of reporting back where your work is cited. Even MT bloggers often do not send Trackback pings. And I agreed that it is fertile property for Mr Roachie. I get occaisional TB pings from Radio users, but I am not sure if it is a manual effort on their part.

    I am not sure of the idea you propose. It would call for some sort of crawler to visit a “repoistory” of feeds and report back with info on items that contain matching URLs to an entire published blog? Or is the idea that blog software automically ping a site like Technorati? Not sure how one filters it either?

    I am not disagreeing at all with the problem- we all want better way to draw connections between like information that is related to what we individually post. It is just that I am not steeped in the communication layers and protocola, I just try to grab and take advantage of what is out there.

    So Trackback may be bad, but I will take it better than nothing. It is an area that we need more clever thought since it moves from a static web of just nodes to hope from to one where the nodes communicate back and forth.

    Maybe I will go in and manually register your undocument trackback so we can bump it from (0) to (1).

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