Ilse's weblog of random thoughts


Will Google Wave kill learning management systems?

Lately, everyone is buzzing with excitement about Google Wave. Some are enjoying testing it, others are desperately hoping that someone tosses them an invite (including me *waves her arms at anyone who can invite*). Google Wave is said to be a mail killer, but these last days, people are even suggesting it could also replace learning management systems.

Google Wave combines instant messaging with wiki and document sharing functionalities.And since many institutions are already using Google mail and docs on campus, it’s not hard to imagine seeing them take an extra step by using Google Wave in their classrooms. However, The Wired Campus’ journalist Jeff Young still thinks most institutions will continue to use Blackboard or some other LMS as a core system.

Other bloggers are also hesitant about the immediate integration of Goog Wave on campuses. David Middleton writes: ‘From my experience working with Faculty on online course development, as well as with technology for its purposeful uses in the classroom and for hybrid and online learning, it seems to me that this is a few years off. Strategies for best practices, management, support, training and then managing the culture shift for faculty and students alike will need to be planned, piloted and investigated before we dub Google Wave a “Course Management System” killer.

I agree with Cole Camplese, who argues that although Google Wave sure has some potentials, it seems to lack many features teachers rely upon in an LMS, like roster management, group pages, assignment tool or dropbox functionality. On the other hand, our current course management systems are not the strongest in the field of real time collaboration and open publishing space, unlike Google and other web 2.0 tools.

Want to make up your own mind about Google Wave but haven’t got an invite (yet)? Have a look at this one-hour demo!


Chicks rule the (social) web!

Statistics on Brian Solis’s website regarding the most popular social network sites, reveal that women outnumber men in most web 2.0 tools. A few tools, like LinkedIn, Del.icio.us and YouTube have an equal share of male and female users, but on most social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Ning and MySpace, women are far more present than men (up to 64% on MySpace). There seems to be one exception to this rule, and that is the content sharing site Digg. For a more visual overview of the figures, check out Information is Beautiful.


Still not twittering?

For those of you who are still not sure whether Twitter could be useful for them too, here is a short video about microblogging made by JISC? They have several other interesting videos one web 2.0 subjects, like RSS and podcasting.

Want to know more, then check out this nice overview from Educause, 7 Things You Should Know About Microblogging. And just like JISC, they have more useful info on other topics.


Web 2.0 starts to bark

Now that almost every person on the planet who uses the internet regularly has found his or her way to social software tools like blogs and networking sites, it’s time to expand web 2.0… to the animal world for instance. It seems a Flemish site has found a new niche and launched a social network for dogs, and their owners of course. At honden.be, you can create an account for yourself and your four legged friend, keep a doggie diary, join special interest groups, look for vets or dog schools in your neighbourhood, and much more.  The dogs each have a profile, with interesting details like whether they prefer to sleep or run a lot, whether they like to catch a ball, whether they are rather dumb or smart and whether they like to bite or prefer to give you a friendly lick. If you like a dog, you can leave it a message or give it a cookie or paw. Isn’t that much more friendly than all those people throwing food at me in Facebook!


On Twitter, tweeps and retweeting

Like some of you might have noticed, I have given Twitter a second chance. Many months ago, when I created my Twitter-account, I was not convinced of the benefits of micro-blogging. But I’m willing to give it another go, and  up until now I like what I have read and start to appreciate this versatile tool. And, all by all, the amount of posts from the type: ‘Im drinking coffee’ is fairly minimal. Although that could be due to my strict selection of tweeps.

Tweeps you ask? Well yes, if you use Twitter you must familiarise yourself with the Twitter-vocabulary. A quick search on the internet has taught me the following new exiting words, which will soon make it into Webster, no doubt.

Continue reading this entry »


Teachers, leave my Facebook alone!

Lately, I have seen various blogposts and suggestions by teachers to use Facebook as a learning platform. At the CLT, the Centre of Languages where I studied Spanish, staff members are wondering if they could bypass the fact that they don’t have a proper learning platform by using Facebook with their students. From one of the teachers’ comments on Facebook itself, it seems that the students are not so keen on this idea. For them, Facebook is personal, and shouldn’t be used in the classroom. Continue reading this entry »


A fresh start…

Since I’m going to leave the university and start a new job at bibnet in October, my ‘old’ K.U.Leuven blog will be inaccesible for me in a couple of months. Therefor, I thought it wise to create this brand new one, and start filling it up, so it doesn’t look like an empty box.

I’m leaving my current job with mixed emotions, but I’m looking forward to a fresh start… and an empty mailbox.