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Monday, April 15th  
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My Blog has moved
To all my loyal blogreaders:
I have just started up a new blog using a blogger blog. You can find it at: http://keithrussell.blogspot.com

The RSS feed can be found at: http://feeds.feedburner.com/KeithRussellsBlog

This blog will be online for a while but I will not be posting any new items...

November 13th, 2006 - 05:12 pm | permalink

Commenting now disabled on this blog :-(
I am very sorry to say that this blog has been consistently abused for posting comments to commercial sites. As the code for phpblogger does not have a tool to combat unwanted commenting I have been forced to take some hard steps.

For all phpblogger users that might be interested:
I have disabled the comment action in the code. Simply turning of the comment function through the admin interface still leaves the commenting open through the urls. There were so many comments I ended up removing all comments files in the data directories from the command line... Long live Unix commands :-)

This does mean I am afraid I will probably be shifting blog soon. I am now snooping around (and I expect it will be a blogger blog, but only if I can do some mashups :-) If anybody has any suggestions, please send me an e-mail...

November 5th, 2006 - 12:25 am | permalink

Interview on SAKAI
So why was it so quiet regarding Open Source? This was my first question to Chuck Severance, executive director of the SAKAI foundation. It was a very interesting interview and was great to a chance to speak to Chuck.
» Listen to the interview

It was good to hear the sensible stance SAKAI is taking on its development. They are continuing the steady planned approach to their development. I am also pleased to hear they now working in a more service oriented approach. I have the feeling this will slowly start to pick up on more fronts, although by no means as fast as some people expect it to work.
If I look at the big bonusses we have and desire in our Blackboard installation these are almost all related to links between services and databases. So I suppose SOA is not all that new at all (except that it is the new buzzword of cour... more

October 19th, 2006 - 09:50 pm | permalink

Bad feelings regarding the Blackboard patent
While I was at Educause I could not keep my curiousity at bay. So I visited the townhall session organised by Blackboard which was specifically directed at explaining the background of the patent. There were not a lot of surprises. Legally and commercially it makes sense, but that is not the language that is spoken by the people involved in teaching. The general impression it left me with is that staff fear the near monopoly position that Blackboard already has reached and they worry that the patent will limit further innovation and development. The sector would rather have a competitive open market in which the companies are working hard to produce the best product for higher ed and they are listening to the demands of the institutions. I suppose they want to go back to the good old days of 1999 when the patent was filed and Blackboard and WebCT were competitors trying to beat each other on features...

Later in the week Blackboard organised a small meeting specifically for th... more

October 19th, 2006 - 09:38 pm | permalink

Back from Educause - general impressions
I have finally managed to find some time to sit down and digest everything I saw at Educause. All in all it was a very interesting conference, although, as so often is the case, the most interesting things were discussed outside of sessions.
First of all I would like to thank my fellow 'Edutrippers' for all their contributions, it should be a good basis for my report.

Before I get that written down there are a number of things I can mention already. This year there was not a new big hype. A small hype appeared to be recording lectures and offering these in a streaming format and of course as a podcast. Open Source was not the hype it was last year. On the other hand, there were a few sessions on switching VLE (or CMS if you are from that side of the pond). They was unease about the Blackboard patent, but more about that later. Open source seems to be a quiet flow un... more

October 19th, 2006 - 09:22 pm | permalink

Away from my Weblog
My weblog will probably be rather quiet in the coming week. I will be attending the Educause conference in Dallas Texas. Of course I will be engrossed in what's happening in ICT in higher Ed, but I will probably be keeping track of these developments elsewhere. So cast your eye on:
» The WIKI of the Edutrip which will be maintained by the Dutch delegation
» The Edutrip weblog which also contains narratives, photos and podcasts of interviews and much more...

And just to give an idea how we are getting on: the weather and time in Dallas can also be found on the weblog.

October 6th, 2006 - 02:10 pm | permalink

The ultimate environment for the future
Taking all the different developments into account I sat back and tried to blend these into a single complete package:
I now proudly present www.mylife.com (sadly somebody has already claimed the domain).

What it is: it is a complete, customisable web environment in which every user can create tabs for the various aspects of their life: family, friends, sport, weblog, portfolio, learning, etc. Under each tab the owner can add any service he or she wishes to subscribe to. When I say services I mean every single service that is around and a lot more which are still to come: rss feeds, podcasts, list of friends, messages, discussion boards, lists of who's online and the possibility to chat, favorites, photos, video's, music, calendar (birthdays!), weather forecast, etc. Storage is getting cheaper every day, so why not.
You can structure your services under tabs but everything will be instantly accessible for the net-generation to use. Commenting and tagging is of course ... more

October 5th, 2006 - 10:31 pm | permalink

Mediasite new options
In a search for software to support the recording of lectures I keep on running into the product Mediasite, built by the company Sonic Foundry. I received an email promoting the new version of their software and I was pleased to see that it incorporated two important features I was looking for in their software:
- Remote management of lecture recordings
- User Management
- Improved reporting on viewing presentations
- Podcasting
For all those interested, follow this link to the presentation.

October 5th, 2006 - 10:18 pm | permalink

Einstein generation revisited
Last Friday I attended a symposium based on the Einstein Generation and what their presence in our classrooms will mean for our education.
This was extremely apt as a number of Dutch Educausers (myself included) have been asked to comment on the concept of the Net-generation: is it an applicable concept for the Dutch situation?
I am confinced that the youth is different in many ways. I can imagine their exasperation dealing with the ambitious and 'forever young' generation X. They are much more social, they work together and are not just interested in material things but in authentic and real people. ICT is not all that interesting to them: it is there and it works. And if it doesn't: why bother using it.
So what is the difference with the net-generation? For one thing the Einstein generation is not based on technology alone, but is based on a broader perspective include social and cultural background. One aspect Inez Groen descibes is the amalgamation of cultures. Generati... more

October 5th, 2006 - 09:58 pm | permalink

The VLE, boundaries crossed, 2
I am now starting on a quick catch up on some old news. Wilfred, Pierre and Willem already wrote on this meeting so I will stick to the most important points:
» View the presentations
SURF organised this meeting on the future for VLEs in Dutch higher Ed. Noticeably it was the second time this meeting was held and also noticeably in only one year's time a number of accents had changed.
SAKAI gave a serious presentation. It certainly was positioned as a serious product with a serious perspective for the future. Rather than being directed at it's own development the accent had shifted to open, service oriented. In this res... more

October 5th, 2006 - 09:33 pm | permalink

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