ePortfolio 2005

October 30, 2005 | Leave a comment

Team ElggTeam Elgg: David Tosh, Misja Hoebe, Ben Werdmuller (l-r).

I’d say this was a productive conference, all things considered. It was great to meet Misja and have a face-to-face discussion between the three of us; it was also nice to meet all these other people who for the most part have been disembodied names and ideas floating around the e-learning sphere. We’ve come away rejuvinated and eager to implement our second roadmap, as well as to solidify some of the contacts and relationships we’ve made. There are exciting times ahead.

I will not be resting: as well as fulfilling my technical duties, in a month I’ll be attending the JISC/CETIS e-Framework 2005 conference, and there are more to come.

Dave Tosh on the learning landscape

October 28, 2005 | Leave a comment

(This entry was live-blogged during Dave’s talk at ePortfolio 2005 in Cambridge.)

DSC02808Most people running eportfolio systems seemed to think they were social software – an interesting development! I’m not sure this would have been true this time last year, but as more people actually implement these systems and learn the problems and discover what engages their students, I think more people will come round to this idea. However, as it is, less than half of the audience had heard of RSS – we have work to do in order to share the knowledge of what’s going on in the wider web. Dave says “let’s learn from social practice” – if e-portfolios are social, we must adhere to this I think.

Dave sums it up: in the learning landscape you can make it do what you want it to do when you’re ready to make it happen, and you can do it in the way that’s best for you.

Some audio of him talking about the learning landscape: {{file:1744}}

Some video: {{file:1745}}

Questions: “There is so much ‘them’ and ‘us’” – what about the idea of a university? How can we flatten the landscape and all engage together?

A thought: e-portfolios are different from learning management systems.

Simon Grant: perhaps a critique of current social practice would be useful. He doesn’t think blogging will ever become a majority activity – I think I disagree, but it’s a useful to think about the vast majority of people who currently haven’t even heard of blogging, let alone use it. Regardless, however, Elgg is not a blogging system.

Newsnight story on Web 2.0

October 27, 2005 | Leave a comment

Did anyone else see the Newsnight story on Web 2.0 just now? It’s interesting to see the mainstream media frame these technologies in a way that the unaccustomed can easily understand. It might be worth discovering more of these in the future – you can build the coolest tool in the world, but it’s no good at all if you can’t get the idea across.

(If you missed it, you can watch online for the next 24 hours.)

ePortfolio 2005

Today has been interesting to say the least. Lots of people (a capacity audience) talking about all kinds of different issues surrounding e-learning and e-portfolios.

I’m very interested in topic maps, which have come up several times; the trick is going to be creating a friendly user interface for them. This kind of thing – you’re basically asking a user to create directional graphs – is necessarily complicated, but they need to be streamlined down as far as possible. They’re not going to be useful if they scare people off.

There was also a lot of talk about aggregating from all kinds of disparate sources where a user might have created content in order to draw everything together as a true portfolio. I think this is definitely the way to go, and has been a part of the learning landscape vision from the start; Dave is going to underline that tomorrow during his presentation. I’m looking forward to it.

From a personal perspective, the presentation from France Telecom R&D explaining how they’re using Elgg to experiment with new methods for facilitating knowledge management was very interesting indeed. One of the wonderful things about open source is seeing people take your tools, modifying them and harnessing them for new purposes.

Meanwhile, it’s been great to meet up with Misja Hoebe. The three of us outlined some ideas for the future development of the system that I’m very excited about. On top of that, he’s a really nice guy, and I’ve enjoyed hanging out during the conference.

Next Page »