29 October 2006

The Educause letter to Blackboard

Inside Higher Education recently published (on their website), the complete text of the letter of the Educause board that was sent to Blackboard on October 9, 2006. A quote from the letter: "One of our concerns is that you may not fully appreciate the depth of the consternation this action has caused for key members of our community." Quite right, I think.
Also read the comments that have been made on the website of Inside Higher Education. Quite diverse!
Read also Seb Schmoller, or Michael Feldstein.

27 October 2006

Open is the buzz

In the last couple of days I came across some really nice developments that are worth getting some more publicity.
The first one the UK's Open University that has launched OpenLearn, their effort to offer free, high-quality online content. This all seems to be handled by the Moodle platform.
As far as I can see, most of the content here is rather boring. I have tried a few 'courses' and they all are mostly just page-turners. A little disappointing. But hey, they also have the OpenLearn LabSpace where the new stuff should be going on. And: their graphical design is quite attractive!
The second pointer that I would like to give in this post, is a sort-of the same. But still different. This is called Education Commons, which originates from UBC (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada). Their website says the following: "Education Commons is a virtual community of academic systems users, designers and systems implementers sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices. The goal of the community is to create an open and transparent system of communication between diverse groups committed to advancing the state of education worldwide." So this is about sharing also, but in a little bit different way.
Not to confuse you any further, eduCommons is something completely different.
Want to know more of the stuff that I discover on the web, then go to http://del.icio.us/wytze and become part of my network!

16 October 2006

Eerste computer van de THT

Just a slight diversion here, but a very interesting one I think. Our department of Computer Science has a short history. 25 Years ago we welcomed our first students for an "Informatica" degree course at Twente University (Technische Hogeschool Twente or THT, as it was called then).
But before this official start 25 years ago, the THT already bought their first computer. In 1964 IBM sent out a proposal for the first computer for the university. The computer could be bought for almost 1,1 million guilders (approx 500.000 euro's). This computer had a memory of 64K! Remember: this was only 42 years ago! This story and other interesting historical facts can be read online (in Dutch) at http://geschiedenisinf.ewi.utwente.nl/ (only in Dutch).
The first computer and the proposal by IBM is here: "Op 19 november 1964 ontvangt de afdeling der Elektrotechniek een aan prof. dr. ir. A.J.W. Duyvestijn gerichte offerte voor de IBM 360/30 die als eerste computer van de THT wordt aangeschaft."

11 October 2006

Edutrip 2006

Just a quick post in Dutch. A large group of Dutch elearning professesionals is present at the annual Educause conference in Dallas. They have a blogger (Gerard Dümmer) that very actively posts about the conference in the Edutrip 2006 weblog: "Behalve deze blog wordt door de deelnemers ook een wiki bijgehouden. De wiki is nu vol op in ontwikkeling. Door verschillende mensen worden artikelen geplaatst naar aanleiding van de bijgewoonde sessies. " Yep, dus op de wiki vind je de verslagen van de sessies.