October 10th, 2006 by Martin

After checking some final organizational issues in a nearby (and very inspiring, maybe due to Mythos) tavern with Stephan and Martin on Sunday, the “Joint International Workshop on Professional Learning, Competence Development and Knowledge Management” took place on Monday (more information as well as the workshop proceedings can be found here).

We had 7 paper presentations (unfortunately, one paper couldn’t be presented due to a broken leg) and about 20 participants, and what is the most important thing: We had a lot of very inspiring discussions!

Workshop Discussion
Copyright © Paul De Bra

For me, the most interesting topics and questions discussed in the workshop were the following:

  • Which role will PLEs (as presented by Scott Wilson, see also the award-winning short paper “Developing a Reference Model to Describe the Personal Learning Environment”) play in the future? Will PLEs “just” be a new world completing traditional LMS (or VMS)? Or will they break this “dominant design” and substitute them someday?
  • How can users be motivated to CONTRIBUTE in a system?
  • Which information from and/or about users/learners can and should (let’s not forget privacy issues!) be used for personalization? How will this information be used?

There will be some more posts in the future about these issues.

Back from EC-TEL

October 6th, 2006 by Martin

So back again from Crete, where the first EC-TEL took place (the online proceedings can be found here). A lot of interesting results and ideas, not to forget the inspiring surroundings. There will be some postings in the next days about what I consider to be the most interesting stuff that happened.

20061005 Kreta 001

I will start with the keynote from Chia Shen: “From Clicks to Touches”. She was reporting about some MERL (Mitsubishi Electric Reserach Laboratories) projects about tabletops, presenting some project results (mostly by showing really impressive videos) about how tabletops can be used, e.g., for collaboration or navigation in GIS environments. For me, it’s not yet obvious for which kind of scenario or use-case these developments might be of real use (except of being fancy and nice), and this also seems to be an open research question for the MERL group.

Anyway, there’s definitely a need for good and intuitive interfaces, especially when it’s about collaboration. And I’m sure that the results presented can be very useful, e.g., in a virtual desktop environment. Now I just have to convince my boss to buy such a cute table, because it’s maybe a good opportunity to develop some EXCITING knowledge or document management system ;-)


Further information can be found at the homepage of the DiamondSpin Tabletop Toolkit Project (providing a rich Java toolkit for tabletop development), and here is a Demo Video.