Educational uses for Rev

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Thu Aug 12 15:31:53 EDT 2004

 >>I agree with Richard.  I would go considerably further and say that
 >>web-based interactive learning materials have not lived up to their
 >>hype.  My rule of thumb is to use the Internet to (1) make getting and
 >>sharing information convenient for students and (2) deploy learning
 >>vehicles only if they involve interactions among them.
 > Thanks, Gregory, for this insight.
 > I find it particularly interesting given that I just finished a
 > master's in instructional design & technology... in which the
 > mantra seemed to be "web uber alles".  And, like you, I tended
 > to disagree.
 > I think the problem with the web uber alles folks is that they do not
 > possess the ability (much less the interest, I guess) of producing
 > standalone interactive courseware.  So what we get is alot of form
 > trumping function.

One sadly pervasive problem is that too many self-described 
"authorities" on e-learning mistake the Internet for the Web.

I can understand why they didn't stumble across my "Beyond the Browser" 

But it's hard to imagine how anyone who claims to be an authority on 
e-learning could not stumble across any of the dozens of related 
articles I cite there.

The Web, of course, is but a subset of the larger collection of Internet 
protocols.  But moveover, the HTTP protocol that defines the Web is not 
limited to use in generalized browsers, but can be -- and regularly is 
-- used by a wide variety of more specialized software for specific 
tasks, such as delivering courseware materials.

RevNet is but one example of how completely trivial is it to use Rev to 
make a custom client for delivering interactive materials.  The new 
RevOnline is another, and there are many more floating around.

And Rev isn't alone in this:  using HTTP for content delivery within 
interfaces more specialized than a generic browser has been done with 
RealBASIC, REBOL, Director, Flash, and others.

I'd like to think any "authority" would be able to connect the dots here. :)

So all it really comes down to is nothing related to any inherent 
"magic" in a generic browser, but the more interesting question of 
providing an interface that supports a given task optimally.

Many large companies also mistake the Web for the Internet, and in 
providing materials via HTTP to their employees they find e-Bay, Amazon, 
and a million news and entertainment sites competing for their 
employees' attention.

Making a more focused software experience in a custom HTTP client would 
save organizations billions in productivity annually, while providing a 
more useful software experience for their users.

Much of that holds equally true for e-learning and other specialized 

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  Rev tools and more:

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