Institution vs individual environments

    Have just completed writing for a course on eportfolios. I remain a bit sceptical on these, at times they seem little more than a set of prepared fields for web publishing. In terms of academic practice they can be seen as part of a general shift from the institution to the individual. Along with blogs, social bookmarks, individual portals, etc the emphasis is less on providing students with all their ICT requirements and rather on incorporating their existing tool set into the institution. This viewpoint sees its apotheosis with the Personal Learning Environment (CETIS PLE Project). Now if I had doubts about eportfolios, they are nothing compared to the ones…

  • portal,  VLE


    I had a good Skype chat today with two academics in the Netherlands who are interested in the Open University’s Open Content project. During the discussion one of them pointed me at Netvibes. This is great, it’s an individual portal tool. What I really like about it is the way it blends tools and information feeds. This is what web 2.0 is all about! It also takes us one step closer to a really service oriented approach to VLEs. In this future the VLE ceases to exist, and one can view it as simply a portal to a set of tools, which may be provided by the institution or the…

  • VLE

    VLE workshop

    I gave a presentation today at the VLE workshop at the OU. It went quite well, I tried to cover a range of general issues, while others talked more specifically about our implementation of Moodle. I used it to put forward several ideas in my upcoming book, particularly the idea of succession and VLE 2.0 (ie what would a web 2.0 VLE be like?). Download VLE_presentation.ppt presentation

  • Dad,  Film

    Thunderbirds are go(ish)

    Ellen (my daughter) has a new favourite film, Thunderbirds. This was widely panned on release, and in truth it’s not a classic. But I understand why she likes it. This is a tough sell, but I’m going to argue that Thunderbirds is a better film than The Incredibles. Well, it’s a better film for kids. Ellen didn’t really get The Incredibles, but Thunderbirds is aimed directly at kids. Which is why of course adult film reviewers don’t get it. Kids apply a different set of criteria. All the adult in-jokes that have become the stock in trade of Pixar films are lost on kids. This has a secret island, lots…

  • PLE

    Clients are the new flares

    I spent some time in a session on Personal Learning Environments recently. The issue of PLEs aside, what intrigued me was that most of the talk focused on the development of rich, desktop clients. In fashion they say if you stay still long enough, trends will come back around to where you are. This is true with educational trends also I guess, so for some it seems that clients, like flares, have come around again. Some of you will remember the early e-learning days where you had a plethora of different clients for each functions – email, discussion forums, online simulations, etc. Then the web came along and the web…