• e-learning,  Open content

    The Cape Town declaration – some thoughts and suggestions

    A group of experts, charities, commercial organisations and interested parties got together in Cape Town to look at the issue of openness in education. The output is this declaration. Before coming on to criticism of it, here are some of the key points: Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. We could argue that, but they’re right to bring attention to the growing OER movement. They are also planting the seeds of a…

  • Web/Tech

    Google answers existential question ‘Where am I?’

    Tony has a post on Google’s new My Location service. It uses mobile phone cell tower identification (so no GPS required) to give you your location on Google Maps for mobile. Reminds me of my favourite Einstein story – he once rang his wife Elsa and asked ‘where am I? And where should I be?’ If only he’d had Google…

  • e-learning,  VLE

    Do you need to love a tool for it to be useful?

    A recent survey over at the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (via John Dale) had responses from elearning professionals, asking them their favourite tools for learning. Can you guess the top 5? Here they are: Firefox Delicious Skype Google Powerpoint Now, given our recent VLE debates, on to the interesting bit. Where do you think Moodle came? Answer, a respectable 12th. And Blackboard? It didn’t make the top 100. Now, there are several things to consider here. Firstly, these were e-learning professionals that were surveyed, and their responses may well be different from the vast majority of other educators. The point being that Blackboard isn’t aimed at elearning professionals…

  • Weblogs

    Who needs money in the blogosphere?

    Over at Read/Write web there is a piece on why there is no money in the long tail of the blogosphere. I wouldn’t necessarily argue with the conclusions, but my reaction was similar to Hugh MacLeod’s twitter response ‘duh… Hello 2003’. The author concludes by asking whether the long tail of blogging is stable. The implication being that people are only blogging to make money and as soon as they realise they can’t they’ll go elsewhere (presumably they’ll think pyramid selling schemes are a neat idea). I rather thought we’d gone beyond all this. People making money from blogging are obviously in the minority – but so are people whose…

  • Books,  e-learning,  web 2.0

    Wealth of Networks session

    On Friday John Naughton ran an interesting session around Benkler’s Wealth of Networks. It was particularly welcome as I feel rather guilty that I’ve never actually finished Benkler’s magnum opus. John first set the context for the book, talking about the semiotics of the title and borrowed Castell’s term about informed bewilderment to describe our current state when we look at the changes around us. That is, we have no shortage of data about what’s happening, but we are still unsure as to what it all means. Benkler’s book can be seen as an attempt to cast a scholarly light on this state of bewilderment. Part of the reason for…

  • e-learning,  Learning Design,  web 2.0

    LAMS presentation as slidecast

    The world’s least engaging voice returns with another slidecast. This is the presentation I gave to the LAMS conference (via Skype). It looks at the differences between web 2.0 and higher ed and how learning design can help bridge the gap. I’ve covered this in previous posts, but just in case you want the semi-live version. | View | Upload your own

  • Weblogs

    I’m an Edublog finalist!

    I have been nominated (after dropping some hints) in the Edublog awards and am a finalist in the Ed Tech Support category (not sure that’s where I fit, but not going to argue). It’s difficult to relate how chuffed I am about this! I’m pleased to see Tony is also nominated. Anyway, it looks like Mobile Technology in TAFE is running away with it, so purely in the interest of making a competition of it, if you fancy swinging by and casting a vote for me, that’d be great. Many thanks to those who nominated me – I now get to have a cool badge for my site:

  • Asides,  Football

    Gordon Brown is the Steve McLaren of politics

    I don’t ‘do politics’ in this blog usually, but really, the analogy is too good to pass up. Look at the similarities: Both were second in commands Both took over from someone who had been in post for a long time. Both of their predecessors left on a wave of unpopularity Both enjoyed brief periods of (unexpected) success. Both then made a series of strategic errors I think the foot and mouth outbreak was Gordon’s draw with Macedonia, the election that never was his away defeat to Croatia, and this week’s armed forces attack his away defeat to Russia. If the analogy is to be played out in full, that…

  • Web/Tech

    Filesharing and the attrition of centralised systems

    I’m a dog with a bone now… Following on from my previous post about the annoyance of mailbox size limits, this post from Judy O’Connell caught my eye – Fileurls just lets you upload and share files for up to 9 days, which can be password protected. So if anyone is planning on sending me an email with an attachment, can they just use this instead please (or Google docs is fine too)? Which got me thinking – in our recent debate around loosely coupled systems one of the arguments against them was that educators wouldn’t want to do it. But I think the way it happens is that we…

  • Web/Tech

    What Mailbox limits reveal

    Grainne posted recently about the frustration of continually getting the ‘Your mailbox is over its size limit’ in our OU email accounts. I can’t tell you how annoying this – sometimes I am just trying to send a quick response to someone before I have to dash out of the door, but it won’t let me because I have to find and delete any attachment over 2K to free up space. Grrrr. This isn’t OU bashing, I’ve heard the same from people at other universities and also people not in higher education (I know, they do exist apparently). It’s a small thing but it reveals a number of more important…