Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why Personal Learning Environments?

There already has been quite an extensive online discussion (debate?) on a great post by Graham Attwell that really is worth a read. At least you should read the article on Personal Learning Environments (PLE) that he published a few weeks ago: "This paper will not answer all (..) questions. Instead it seeks to explain why the idea of the PLE is so appealing and what are the social and educational ideas which underpin the concept of the PLE. Secondly it will look at some of the issues that need to be resolved in a little more detail. Thirdly it will suggest some of the principles which should underpin PLE development and implementation and finally suggest what further developmental activities might be undertaken."
I personally see a strong connection between this PLE-debate and the kids of the net generation that will be flocking our campuses shortly. On this new generation of students enough has been said and published. Prof. dr. Wim Veen recently has taken this one step further by translating this to needed changes in education: "In het onderwijs hebben we de laatste twee decennia gedacht dat ICT een handig hulpmiddel was. Nu gaan we ontdekken dat we de invloed van ICT hebben onderschat. De gevolgen reiken verder dan we dachten." Read the complete story (in Dutch).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Stephen Downes on Flickr

Stephen Downes is back from hiatus for some time already. Always great to read his weblog (or even better: his RSS feed in my Bloglines account).
Stephen writes about what is happening with Flickr. The fact is that they are getting more and more into the Yahoo way of doing things: "So typical. A small company (Flickr) is bought by a large company (Yahoo!) and becomes coarse, unreasonable and insensitive (...) This sort of problem is the big question mark I see in hosted services - and hence, a lot of the approaches that typify what people think of as Web 2.0." Again, Stephen is exactly right on an important issue. Time will tell....
Actually, I must say that I am still a happy user of Flickr, as well as del.icio.us and Bloglines (all 3 of them are not indepedent anymore, right?). Oh yeah, and some more 'free' Web 2.0 services that I am quite happy using are Google Calender, Netvibes, Pageflakes, Feedburner, Suprglu and 30boxes, to name a few.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Croquet on the move

On the excellent eHub site by Emily Chang I just found out that they recently have added Croquet in their listings, which is cool: "Croquet - A new open source software platform for creating deeply collaborative multi-user online applications. It features a network architecture that supports communication, collaboration, resource sharing, and synchronous computation among multiple users. "
I saw Croquet in action at the last annual Educause conference and I was impressed. There is a Dutch article available on Croquet, in case you are interested.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Netgen en E-merge Consortium

Here we are again! I had a great time in Vancouver, where I met a lot of interesting people. Reports of the presentations that I visited can be found on the other weblog, http://sakai-nl.blogspot.com. One thing that really inspired me was a talk by Charles "Chuck" Severance, who was appointed Executive Director at the conference. Together with Andreas Wittke we made quite some progress in the programme of the 1st European Sakai Day which be held in Lubeck next September. Chuck will deliver a talk there!
Getting back to the business of this weblog: I just found a very readable report (in Dutch) by the E-merge Consortium in which they connect two trends that are visible in todays society, which are
(1) the new student, the netgen, makes integrated use of digital sources and devices and expects that education also works that way; and
(2) employers expect from their employees that they have an entrepeunerial attitude)
The authors, Wim Veen and Fieke Roozen, argue that the HE should act on those two developments. They describe examples of use of ICT that are in line with these developments.
The full report.