Educational Modelling Language – Introduction

Posted: September 29th, 2003 | No Comments »

With EML, educator can specify instructional designs, based on different pedagogical models, for e-learning applications. More than ordering and sequencing resources used in e-learning, EML adds the ability to integrate instructional design to enable more advances e-learning applications. Currently there is no integrative framework to model “units of learning”, integrating all types of learning facilities (tests, communication services, learning activities, learning objects), which one would come across when modelling e-learning applications.
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The Swiss Centre for Innovation in Learning

Posted: September 29th, 2003 | No Comments »

The Swiss Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL) started operations on 1 March 2003 (received some CHF 6 million as seed money) at the Uni St.-Gallen devotes itself to the sustainable use of new media and learning technologies in universitiy education. In the eyes of the scientific director Dieter Euler, the strategic dimension of the new learning culture is important if a significant improvemet in the quality of teaching is to be achieved. “Seperate projects, as found in the Swiss Virtual Campus, are individually laudable and demanding. But they offer no promise of permanence if they are not anchored in the structure of the teaching institution. [...] It is therefore a key task to develop it further, as well as to ensure the long-lasting impact of e-learning in universities through the creation of qualification and advice services”.

Project for Public Spaces

Posted: September 29th, 2003 | No Comments »

What makes an effective and meaningful public place? The Project for Public Spaces is dedicated to creating and sustaining public spaces that build communities. The site contains a number of best practices information on such places as parks, plazas, streets, public buildings, and public markets that will be of great interest to planners, civic officials, landscape architects, and anyone seeking to restore meaning and usability to a wide variety of places.

Small World Project at Columbia University

Posted: September 29th, 2003 | No Comments »

In 1967, social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted an important experiment to test the hypothesis that members of any large social network would be inevitably connected to each other through short chains of intermediate acquaintances. His results, now a part of popular culture and common parlance, was that the average lengths of the resulting acquaintance chains was approximately six. This “six degrees of separation” hypothesis is now being tested in the Small World Project by Professor Duncan J. Watts and his colleagues at Columbia University. Professor Watts and his team hope “to test not only average properties of lengths of acquaintance chains, but also the distribution of lengths, along with the effect of race, class, nationality, occupation, and education.” Source: The Scout Report

eLearning Systems Architecture

Posted: September 28th, 2003 | No Comments »

At this year’s Pan European Portal Conference, Stuart Sim talked about his experience on developping portals in higher education and the challenges of eLearning. A few notes:
Challenges: eLearning business collapsed. eLearning specifications are not standards. Multiple legacy system environments. Accessibility constrains. Complex pedagogy
Define problem: Technology is a tool, not an answer
Issues: How do we foster communities. What does student-centered mean. What will the next generation of online learning systems and portals look like. Accessibility. Secutity
Model the solution: Understanding the demand with UML, generic framework, XML for data representation

Elements of Successful uPortal Implemenation

Posted: September 28th, 2003 | No Comments »

At this year’s Pan European Portal Conference, Adam Rybicky defined elements to take into consideration for a uPortal implementation.
Project planning: develop and interactive release schedule
Risk management: secure a budget for new staff, hardware, software, consulting and training. Avoid large releases. Document requirements and obtain approval. Need a roadmap for development. Eliminate dependencies
Misc: Use of LDAP/EduPerson. Make code reviews. Designate developer mentors (J2EE best practices)
Capacity planning: Define target audience size (enterprise users, occasional users). Peak time number of users of enterprise portal is 8% of the entire user population

Sources:, Unicon Academus

James Carville's Quotes

Posted: September 27th, 2003 | No Comments »

Hehehe… James Carville‘s metaphors will always make me laugh…

“Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”

Who Needs Standards?

Posted: September 26th, 2003 | No Comments »

Each visit at the EPFL (see previous) offers small unique moments of contemplation.

URLManager for a Shared Link Tracking System

Posted: September 26th, 2003 | No Comments »

URLManager, developped by Matthias Laux, would be perfect to us in an application that keep track of the links and comments I make on all the web documents/articles I read thru the day. I use a friggin low-tech text file for the moment. The package contains:

  • URLManage: manages all interactions with the link data in the RDBS
  • URLCheck: automatically checks the links stored in the database against the network
  • URLPublish: creates web pages
  • I could even make it as a shareable article link manager where people in a community (e.g. a blog community) could post/submit the links of articles/documents they read and share comments. This could be integrated into and distributed in every community members’ weblog (the same way the shoutblog is).

    J2ME & Gaming

    Posted: September 22nd, 2003 | No Comments »

    J2ME & Gaming is a GPL book for Java programmers who are interested in game mobile game development. Being written by jasonlam604.