Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ccLearn: very promising ideas!

ccLearn was 'publicly' launched during the Sakai conference in Amsterdam in June of this year (picture). Fortunately they have made some progress. ccLearn is partnering with Google to create a so-called "Web-scale open education search". Please check it out at:

Open Education Search — ccLearn
Institutions have done amazing work creating and publishing OERs on the web, but the infrastructure to fully realize the value of these investments is still at the Web 1.0 level. Web-scale open education search is a component of taking the OER ecosystem to the next level, as well as a driver for interoperability and standards across OER implementations. (..) the goal is to increase the visibility and traffic to all specialized
OER repositories. There will always be a need for repositories that
focus on specific subsets of OER or allow for interaction with OER in
specialized ways. Our belief is that web-scale search will enable a
quantum leap in the awareness and utilization of OER by directing
interested users to existing sites more successfully.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Technosailor: what is your profile?

There is a great test for your ego: "Everyone is guilty of ego propping now and then. Some people are more guilty of the practice than others. Below is a test that will analyze how important you think you are."
Go to http://technosailor.com/the-technosailor-self-importance-test.
I am like Matt Mullenweg.... apparantly.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Help NIET mee aan de SURFgroepen campagne

[dit is een oproep in het Nederlands] SURFnet is wel erg druk om SURFgroepen te promoten.... Nu staat er het volgende op SURFgroepen (bron):
"Oproep: help mee aan de SURFgroepen campagne
by SURFgroepen Portal Site Administrator 19/09/2007 16:58
Misschien heb je de radiospotjes al gehoord, of de advertenties gezien: SURFnet voert campagne om docenten en onderzoekers bekend te maken met SURFgroepen.
Graag roepen we de aangesloten instellingen op om mee te doen."

Ik zou de collega's in het land willen oproepen om NIET mee te doen aan deze campagne!
Wil je weten waarom ik deze oproep plaats? Omdat ik vind dat SURFnet hiermee nogal inbreuk maakt op wat er gaande is in onze instellingen, waar we net met veel moeite een Electronische Leeromgeving hebben geïntroduceerd.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

[Dutch] Spotlight on Gerard Bierens

Gerard werkt aan Fontys Hogescholen, en heeft goed weblog, vind ik! Zie bijvoorbeeld dit bericht over video en powerpoint. En Gerard gooit er meteen ook maar tien tips over wiki's tegenaan.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Intro to Open Education

David Wiley, who works at Utah State University (USA), has a great weblog, called iterating toward openness. This title is quite right I think; only by iterating, which implies making mistakes etc, we will reach more openness. One other aspect of David Wiley that I like very much, is that he sets an example of who to "do" openness. He just does it!
So, today he is starting his "Introduction to Open Education" course! There are already over 20 participants, from all over the world, signed up.
David is using a wiki to manage his course, nothing else. he expects that participants use weblogs to work on their assignments. How about that? We don't need fancy virtual learning environments, with all those roles.... Blackboard, eat your heart out ( I am referring to their claim on a certain patent here ).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wordprocessing on the web

We all know Google Docs (do we?). But innovation moves quickly in this era of Web 2.0. So, the next big thing is Buzzword. On eHub they call it The First Real Word Processor for the Web. The killer feature of Buzzword, apparantly, is that that what gets printed is exactly what's on your screen (or the other way around). Buzzword does this by using Flash technology. Don't get excited, yet, Buzzword is still in the invitation stage, which means that only invitees get to see and use it (and ofcourse they should write about it, as eHub did).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How social software gets mainstream...

... gets mainstream by 'funding' by, in this case, the German central government. More at heise online - German Wikipedia receives state funding :
"German edition of the open Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia will be receiving state funding. Germany will be setting aside part of its budget to improve information about renewable resources in Wikipedia. Over the next few years, several hundred articles will be written on this issue."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Image mosaic made easy

Originally uploaded by wytze
Just a quick note here. Recently I discovered Image Mosaic Generator. This is a really great tool (dunno if it should be labeled social software though, is it?) for creating beautiful mosaics. What do you think of this picture? I like it and it is really damn easy to create.
I just wish that you could ask to make a mosaic based on just your own photo's on Flickr, so that copyright infringements would not be an issue. Or am I being paranoid here?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Why wiki?

There is some great stuff to be found everywhere on the web. The last thing I found (thanks Wilfred!) is a video on how and why to use a wiki. The video is made by CommonCraft, a web strategy consulting firm based in Seatlle (WA).
So here is the 4 minutes of video:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why I renewed my Flickr account

Last week I got alerted by Flickr that my Pro account would expire soon. This means that I have been using Flickr for 2 years already. Time flies when you are having fun.
This alert started me to think why I should renew my account. Well, here are my reasons:
1/ I love the usability of Flickr! This is how a website should work. It is really so thought-out. There are (almost) never too many clicks to do things you would like to do. And also the sleek, simple, but powerful Flickr Uploadr is such a timesaver for me.
2/ I enjoy the beautiful photos that I come across at Flickr.
3/ Flickr makes it so easy to really trace what your 'friends' are up to. So, I really like the social networking aspect of Flickr.
These three reasons alone make it worth to spend the 47,99 US dollars for the next two years of fun at Flickr for me.
Ofcourse there are some things that annoy me. The two things that come to mind:
1/ The recent move to the Yahoo account system.
2/ The bulk download functionality that still isn't available.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What university libraries should do, really...

I am catching up on quite a few weblogs through Bloglines. I see
several posts on the joy of using RSS and readers like Google Reader. But that is not what I want to address here.

I would really like to point you to an interesting post on the blog of Erik Duval. I am a regular reader of the blog by Erik Duval, of elearning standards fame. He is from Belgium, if you didn't know yet.

Erik is really right on the spot regarding his university library that recently has moved into a great new building. Which is completely irrelevant to him, because he nevers visits the library!

But what is relevant to him, is not delivered by the library: "Why don’t they [the library] inform me when someone is downloading my papers?
Referring to my papers? Why don’t they alert me to papers I will
probably want to know about?" Are you listing over there in the library?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


This a short message. I am Away From Keyboard (AFK). Will be back in a few weeks. And this is also post # 100 in this weblog!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Netvibes as PLE (again!)

Sometime ago I wrote (I think) on this weblog something about Netvibes as the means of creating a Personal Learning Environment. Now, Michele Martin brings this theory into practice, and writes about Reorganizing My Personal Learning Environment . A great read! And a recommended weblog too, which I have added to my Bloglines right away.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Social software in organizations: so much to gain!

George Siemens points to a very interesting post on the weblog by Ross Dawson. I've seen Wilfred Rubens refer to this post by Ross also.
I particularly like the comment that Siemens makes: "Organizations (..) are generally too unaware of
themselves and their strengths and expertise. Social software can
greatly aid the "coming to know oneself" that most larger corporations
need...but too often, hierarchy and information secrecy reduce it's
Yes, indeed: so much information that doesn't flow, well it flows, but only to certain persons in certain meetings... I see what he means!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Every CEO should be blogging !

This is just alittle sidenote... Well, not really. This is about blogging within an organisation. Sun Microsystems is a great example. The recent restructuring of the company was announced through a weblog. See also this article in Dutch in Emerce - Business nieuws: Sun Microsystems reorganiseert via weblog CEO

"Technologiebedrijf Sun Microsystems neemt de organisatie van het bedrijf grondig op de schop. In een voor topbestuurders ongebruikelijke actie maakte de hoogste baas van het bedrijf, Jonathan Schwartz, het nieuws nagenoeg direct bekend via zijn weblog."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Collections on Flickr

Yesterday I was posting some pictures on Flickr, when I noticed a new feature. It is called Collections. This is the answer to a question that has been around for a looooong time, about nesting of sets, and subsets etc. So I created a Work-related Collection for you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

YouTube: the stage is yours

YouTube is getting (we all know that) a lot of attention these days. Recently a Dutch education institute joined YouTube, instead of creating their own videochannel or whatever. Check out this channel. A quote in Dtuch: "De CABK, ArtEZ academie voor beeldende kunsten, is eigenwijs zoals een kunstacademie behoort te zijn en denkt: if you can’t beat them, join them. Is het huidige internet exhibitionistisch, wij kunnen dat beter. Is het huidige internet smerig, wij zijn viezer Is het huidige internet een generatiekloof, wij zijn generatieklover..."

Met dank aan Margreet van den Berg.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Vista revisited

Jaaaaa, er begint iets te borrelen op de UT. Lees de ingezonden brief van Casper Hulshof in de UT Nieuws van 8 maart 2007: "Met enige verbazing en ergernis las ik het
korte interview met Sander Smit (UT-Nieuws, 22 februari) over Windows
Vista. (..) Terwijl de gemeente Enschede op
open-source software overstapt schenkt onze zogenaamd innovatieve
universiteit een miljoen of wat aan Microsoft, met als drogreden dat
medewerkers er behoefte aan zouden hebben."

Friday, March 02, 2007

xFruits: handy stuff!

Through Stephen Downes i noticed the word "xFruit". Clicking on it, i arrived at a great example of a Web 2.0 service. Didn't you always want to have a handy tool to convert your weblog in a readable PDF (including working links)? Or to create an email notification based on RSS?
Well, then it is the right time to start experimenting with xFruits. They offer these kind of services. I did this already. Neat features: you can create and share your creations with others, you can search for others (socalled xFruiters), you use tags to describe your xFruits. Social software avant la lettre!
This service is brought to us, free of charge, by a French company (as far as I can see on their website).

Friday, February 23, 2007

Who's is innovative

A very interesting post by Willem van Valkenburg (in Dutch) on the way a teacher made use of a wiki and Google docs.

Check out Docent te modern : "Het komt niet vaak voor dat de studenten klagen dat docenten te geavanceerde tools voor ze gebruiken. (..) zeker omdat het om informatica-studenten gaat, die bezig zijn met hun master."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Netvibes contender... as opensource download!

I just found a great Netvibes contender, which is called eyeOS. A quote from their websi: "Welcome to eyeOS.info, where you can create and use your own eyeOS Virtual Desktop. With eyeOS.info all your data is available where ever you have Internet access and a standards compliant browser."

This is really something here.! Let me explain. You can download the source for this virtual desktop and install it on your own server. And since it is opensource, you can tweak it to whatever you like.

There are some 7 communities in different countries already. There is one The Netherlands already. This really worth investigating. Which I will start to do right after this post....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What would Marja have heard here?

I just read the weblog by Marja Verstelle. She is present at the ELI 2007 annual meeting, as far as I understood. I wonder what she picked up at this presentation:

EDUCAUSE | ELI 2007 Annual Meeting | Father Google and Mother IM: Confessions of a Net Gen Learner

Ofcourse, if others want to fill in here, that's fine with me.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Repositories are so 2006! Or 2005...

D'Arcy Norman, from the University of Calgary (Canada), has a great weblog for everyone interested in elearning and such. There's is always something interesting on his weblog.

One of his last posts is about CAREO, a repository that was offline for 9 months. His post is pretty disappointing: "(..) I think it's a pretty impressive statement about Institutional Repositories that something that was once trumpeted as The Next Big Thing can be out of action for 9 months without many people even noticing. Relevance of top-down, centrally ordained institutional Repositories?"

D'Arcy goes on to say that he still puts his links in del.icio.us and his pictures on Flickr. He doesn't need a repository. Also read the comments on this posts, for some more valuable discussion about repositories and the likes.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More social software in education!

So, this must be the year 2007 then! This will be a great year. There are lot of predictions for this year pouring in through my Bloglines. One recurring prediction is that social software will finally get mainstream for and in education. I sure hope so!
A teacher in Seattle, Mark Ahlness, starts of his new year with a great illustration of the aforementioned prediction:
"My 8 and 9 year old third graders (..) are alright with web 2.0. Many of them take it for granted. A third of my classroom has blogged from home over Christmas Vacation. (..) These kids are comfortable in the medium. My job is simply to give it to them. My resolution for 2007 is to give them more. They will not waste the opportunity."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

One laptop per child (OLPC) video

Ben Werdmuller (of Elgg fame) pointed me to a great video. It shows off the user interface of the the OLPC - One Laptop Per Child - project. It really looks great, and has some similarities with the Elgg user interface. Ben writes on The Internet is People: "This social networking UI for the One Laptop Per Child ($100 laptop) project is amazing". See for yourself what you think.

The video referenced by Ben has been made by "90 percent of everything", which is a blog about usability.