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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Just signed up for FET8610 and one of the first tasks is to produce a personal web page with the answer to the question, "Why enrol in FET8610?"

Well, looking at the suggested enrollment patterns, I have to take 4 level 8s from the professional studies section. The project is compulsory so 1 down. I've already partially covered FET8611 (will contine it later)strike 2. This only leaves EDU8415 and FET8610 remaining, so there is no option to choose otherwise.

That said, I don't really care as it's all good.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Oh, so true!

Geni - Genealogical Social Networking

Recently joined the Geni social networking site and found this software quite interesting. It functions as a genealogical tool that also has a social networking aspect.

You invite your family, via maual entry or email address book mashup, to collabroatively create your tree. It has all the usual aspects of a social networking profile page but also ties up with a calender function to remind you of birthdays, anniversaries etc.

Any family occasions can be entered and photo albums linked, so no forgetting that wedding party where you fell asleep and woke up with your face painted on!

You can also invite friends to view your profile, as with other social networking sites, but they can't see your family network. At present still some glitches with adoptive links and western-centric views of kinship and family but the forums said that they were looking into these. Future aspects also include an import/export function for remote editing. Ideal for anthropological fieldwork.

Some problems that could arise, and with family they always will, might be sensitivite aspects like family viewing of paternity issues and what information should be recorded/ kept secret but all in all two thumbs up.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tube map for web 2008

And you thought the KnowledgeWorks map (or the tube map for Miss South Carolina) was complicated! The check this out.

blog it

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Well, I'd heard people talking about Twitter before but being that it's blocked in the UAE, I never paid it any mind (what you don't know won't hurt you). Anyway, JanetBradley found this nice little piece of software called AnchorFree which allows you to get around the proxy ban by creating a VPN so now the Twitter is out of the cage.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

E-Learning Excellence in the Middle East.

I saw this elearning conference in Dubai orgainised by e-tqm and supported by the Minister for Education about a week ago and was initially quite excited. Somebody in the region is finally going to push elearning. However, after looking at it in detail, the shine seems to be coming off it.

Now call me spoiled but after the excellent CLTI2007 conference I'm starting to expect certain standards from elearning events. Firstly, this may seem obvious, but I want the option to attend online as a webinar! There are a number of reasons for this. I hate travelling to Dubai. One takes one's life in one's hands every time you venture onto the motorway from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and I don't fancy dying just yet. Also, the price of hotels are so expensive and this is a 3 day affair. But the most important is the backchannel. I find this so useful for urls or just general ideas as discussed on Tony Karrer's blog. Also, recorded webinars allow you to browse back through the conference, reflect on points that were made and generally enable you to get more out of it than being forced just to use one's memory.

The next gripe I have is that there is no pre-conference wiki. One of their briefs for the conference is the ability to network. Indeed they promote this as one of the reasons for the conference and, given Siemens' work on the importance of the network and PLEs, rightly so. So, given this, where is the wiki page for attendees at the conference to add their name, details and links to their respective sites? Where is the discussion board space for attendees to talk over what has been presented and collaborate in the shared definitions of what has and is happening? No read/write web here!

As to what is going to be presented, there appears to be quite a diverse list of topics and quite a few business related. As for presenters, a number appear to be from the company organising the conference. Keynote speakers include a few names in industry (Richard Straub) but no trenchline bloggers that I could find. However, that may be down to my ignorance rather than their lack of celebrity.

In my defense, I did google the co-chair and came up with links to two blogs - eduspaces and blogger. However, the first had no posts and the second only had two entries and these were from August and September 2006! The August post had 196 comments - mostly spam for viagra. As for hits, still nobody else has marked it. All does not bode well.

They also say that they will be launching elearning journal?(s) - the International Journal of Excellence in e-Learning and the e-Learning Grid.

Verdict - I don't want to be too downbeat but this seems to have a lot of conference1.0 attributes. Attendees drive to a fixed location, sit passively while experts broadcast their version of the truth. I applaud them for setting this up (though at 1,500 AED/ c. 300 euros for the basic 3 day conference they aren't exactly altristic) but I feel that they could have done this a bit better. After all, it is supposed to showcase E-Learning Excellence in the Middle East!