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P2P

Overview

Peer-to-peer computing is part hype and part reality. Napster, the most famous P2P platform, shaped the way people looked at resource acquisition and sharing. The concept was great, except for that small copyright thing...

P2P is a structure for information sharing. To optimize the process, the current central repository model of client/server is not used. Instead, any computer can function as a client or server of information. P2P essentially focuses on:

  • Sharing assets (Napster)
  • Distributed computing - where many computers pool their spare CPU power to solve major computing problems
  • Collaborative work
P2P, in concept, is a natural tool for educators. P2P allows for collaboration, sharing of resources, and a constructivist approach to learning. As P2P platforms integrate incorporate presentation features and integrate with LMS, elearning will have its first "complete" tool.

Resources

Groove
I've used this program extensively with students, colleagues, and for collaboration with peers across Canada and USA. I think Groove has the potential to transform student/teacher and student/student interactions. Excellent program. Free preview edition available.

Peer-To-Peer: The Next Hot Trend in E-Learning?
"Video, CD-ROM, discussion boards, synchronous classrooms. It seems that every couple of years a new technology comes along that takes on the challenge of being the "next hot trend" in learning. It’s hard to imagine a technology or technique that we haven’t already exploited. Well, get ready. Some new kids just moved on the block--Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks--and they plan on being major players in e-learning."

P2P and its Impact on the Enterprise
"Peer to peer is, first and foremost, an architecture model for information systems. Its main aim is to optimize resource sharing on the network. To achieve this, the peer-to-peer model stops making the distinction between computers that publish resources on the network and those that consume them. So it's goodbye to client/server… and hello to peers."

P2P, or not P2P?
"P2P applications are hot nowadays because they allow users to share the massive amount of computing power and storage available on the Internet. In effect, the Internet becomes one big disk drive, one big computer or one big real-time chat room. P2P technology has the potential to increase productivity and save money, but it also has a downside: P2P apps introduce a whole new class of security issues that network and security managers must deal with."

Learning swap shop
"Peer-to-peer technology, in the form of systems such as Napster, created a popular revolution that just for while threatened the smug complacency of the media industry and spawned talk of the next 'Internet revolution'. With Napster on the retreat in the face of a barrage of lawsuits, the P2P bandwagon may be grinding to a halt, but the potential for positive application of the power of peer-to-peer communication over networks is still alluring, not least to the e-learning industry. In this article, Clive Shepherd looks beneath the P2P hype to see just what can be achieved by removing the chains and allowing learners to 'do it for themselves'."

EduCommons
A P2P project allowing instructors to share learning objects.

Splash
P2P learning object repository.

CenterSpan
"Distributing digital media has been a challenging proposition for both enterprises and service providers. Loose security, uneven file quality, unreliable delivery, and prohibitive costs associated with intensive bandwidth requirements and hardware infrastructure add significant complications to content distribution. C-Star Technology breaks down these barriers to offer unprecedented operational efficiencies and cost savings."

eZmeeting
"eZmeeting software makes document sharing quick, simple, and secure. With eZmeeting, teams of people working online anywhere in the world can view, mark up and comment on any document in real time. A low-cost, no-maintenance application, eZmeeting can save your business time, money and mistakes."

Engenia
"Engenia Software, Inc. provides innovative enterprise solutions that use intelligent “software agents” to integrate the planning, execution and reporting functions of complex organizational processes."

   

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