Sunday, January 14, 2007

It's learning seminar

Last Thursday I attended a seminar on the norwegian VLE It's learning. All in all it was not extremely exciting. The most inspiring part was the talk by Wim Veen on the net-generation students. I hadn't heard one of his talks for a while and it was interesting to see that his homo zappiens had been incorporated into a lot more developments (for example the net-generation students). The ideas set out by a number of trend watchers are coming together. He also incorporated ideas on networked learning and the gift economy. Although some of the concepts sound idealistic, it does give the feeling that society and therefore learners are changing. Strangely enough learners are becoming more social and Dutch higher ed is becoming more competitive.

It's learning seems interesting as a VLE, but I do not know a lot about it. I must give it a try so at least if a say something about it, it will be grounded in truth ;-) My colleague Jos Jaspers is planning to give it a try, so I will definitely hear him out.
I was intrigued by the fact they are offering it's learning through the mobile phone. They are also incorporating a blog facility. Social Software is entering the VLE domain :-)

The presentations on It's learning were not all that exciting, it does appear to be a VLE like many others, although the incorporation of a portfolio in the system is certainly a bonus for the Dutch market. I missed the final demonstration of a link with Sharepoint which is an interesting facility a large number of Dutch institutions will be looking for with their respective VLE's.
One thing I did find very noticeable was the hosting model they offer. In principle they advise you to use their hosting. I can imagine this to be a good idea. At least this saves you a lot of hassle and you are always up to date and patched. Of course there are also disadvantages (stuck to their code, dependant on connections, data is elsewhere). I must note that you can also run a local installation if that is what you prefer.

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