£1.9m digital e-learning project launched

Interesting News in the Computer Weekly today.

A £1.9m government-supported digital e-learning initiative has been launched.

The Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute, Bridgeman Education and Lexara have joined forces to deliver the Project Silver initiative.

Project Silver will deliver next generation Web 2.0 and artificial intelligence technologies to schools, universities and businesses as part of an interactive learning experience.

£1.9m digital e-learning project launched

The interesting part isn’t so much about the funding, but more about how this system is expected to work.

Together, the organisations will develop a software learning system that builds on Web 2.0 and artificial intelligence technologies to allow teachers and trainers to collect, organise, experiment and interact with multimedia.

This is beginning to become really really interesting.

At one level we have Connexions, who are probably the first to bring open-source learning to the web. An 18-minute video presentation about about Connexions is presented by Richard Baraniuk. It makes for interesting viewing, especially the last part, where review and validation comes into play.

Wikipedia has (and is) trying hard to overcome this reliability issue for some time.

Along comes knol, from Google.

George Seimens suggests a good reason for the launch of knol:

[…] with the rise of Wikipedia, Google serves little value to its users by simply linking to the site (though as one reader commented, it’s not only the first link, but the many different search results that are of value). Why not just go directly to Wikipedia and skip Google? Well, it appears Google realizes its vulnerability.

It is obvious that content still rules and everybody who can, wants to “own” content – in some form or the other. This is probably a very interesting development for publishers – who always will remain “true” owners of content. The question , however, will always be about quality control and review. And as a colleague pointed out, that is what publishers take responsibility for (and charge you for).

Question remains, why are publishers staying away from similar initiatives? It is, I believe a question of identifying an appropriate revenue model. A related article by Scott Karp, about Why Online Advertising Economics Are So Messed Up


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