EC-TEL day 1 and 2

The only way to blog about the things going on here is to do it during a session. Wireless is not available in my room, and outside my room, I prefer talking to others. Or just enjoying the surroundings ;-)

Anyway, Monday started with an interview between Teemu Arina and me about Web2.0 and social technologies. It was fun and I’m really curious about how it will look like - a link will follow as soon as it’s online! In the afternoon, I took part in the workshop WWWrong: What Went Wrong? What Went Right? Exchanging Experiences in Technology Enhanced Learning. It’s difficult to give a summary of the contributions and discussions - a lot of the problems are very similar to the ones we face in the area of Knowledge Management. In my opinion, the technical aspects are not the main issues, although there is still too less focus on interoperability and the ability to be adaptable to a changing environment. The main point is: We have to think about the interests of all stakeholders involved when introducing some new technology! Why should somebody use it, especially when this means changing habits? Will users have a benefit? What about the (middle) management? There are lots of cultural issues and personal interests one has to take care of. As computer scientists, we usually tend to neglect this and focus far too much on technology.
Another interesting thing to talk about is the meaning of “success” - when do we consider a project to be successful? There are many dimensions, such as attracting a significant number of users, educating people (also the ones involved in a project!), doing some basic research, building great prototypes, getting funding…and you surely can’t have all of them. It will be interesting to follow the discussions on the Wiki!

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On Tuesday, Eric Ras, Martin Wolpers and me organized the 3rd LOKMOL workshop, where we had some very inspiring talks and discussions. The main question was how the use of context can bridge the gap between Knowledge Management and E-Learning. Especially: How can information about people and context be represented and used later? In my opinion, we have to be very careful about what what we are trying to formalize (e.g., competencies) and in which way we intend to exploit it. There are some things that should be left up to be interpreted by humans! Especially when it’s about defining profiles of people!

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Last but not least: The poster session in the evening. Nice setting, isn’t it? The ALOE poster fitted well into the surroudings, and it looks as if there are several possibilities to integrate it into other approaches - or the other way round.

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