Thursday, July 06, 2006

So, did someone use a ruler to invent the centimetre?

Today I'm at Atomwide in a room full of LA and school users... I have the agenda in front of me and some of the interesting bits are...

  • Phil Chapman *is* a weatherman for a dayLive video feeds from birdboxes (warning: no birds yet...) and networked weather stations (neither strategic but both fun)
  • VLE/MLE/Portal/e-Portfolios/Blogging/Moodle/elgg (this wasn't really covered in the end, but Mark Granger from West Sussex and I came up with some plans for over the summer and the deployment of Moodle 1.6)
  • Moodle training courses and support
  • m-Learning, a report from the SEGfL study on mobile applications (again, not strategic but very cool)

The weather data is something that (at the risk of sounding like a thirtysomething going on twelve) is crying out for a Google Maps mashup - the ability to track an event (a cold front, any other climate event) over an area, initially in London but potentially over a wider area from data held in schools wouldn't be a new thing, but would still be good.

Which came firstOver lunch I had an interesting discussion with a couple of people and the question was posed - how were all of the tests for the Learning Platform framework specification drawn up? Assuming that all of the tests have been successfully completed by a learning platform at some point... what does that mean? Was it one learning platform in particular, or did a number of learning platforms achieve different tasks and hence the completion of these tasks were aggregated into the specification as tests? It seems that no-one knows, or at least no-one will tell. So are systems being measured against an existing (mythical?) system - but what was that system measured against? Which came first?

I also got to play with my own Moodle 1.6 (with Elgg integration) on the Atomwide test server - some of the new features in 1.6 are fantastic, the database module is great, blogs are useful and lots of the behind the scenes stuff are good. The Elgg integration is fairly basic, and critically Elgg itself appears not to be too configurable (as in "not enough" rather than "not too much"), but West Sussex and us will probably experiment with the integration over the summer and into next term, and may run Elgg separately from Moodle to ensure that it's what we need, and tackle the integration when Elgg is more mature (and our approach is, too). Plus, I'm meeting Ben Werdmuller next Thursday. But then, Capita use Moodle and Elgg - as someone said today, is this something that should encourage or discourage us from doing so? winkJoke!

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