Tuesday, May 01, 2007

JISC webinar - Monday

The JISC Web 2.0 webinar started yesterday (Monday) by looking at issues around institutional use of Web 2.0, and how it might (or might not) link in with institutions' VLEs and MLEs. The two presentations (Stan Stanier, on Elgg use at University of Brighton and Terry Wassall, University of Leeds) provided a range of useful issues to discuss that institutions are facing.

The 'InstantPresenter' tool allows for simultaneous presentations of slides (don't know whether it just does MS Powerpoint or can cope with, for example, OpenOffice Impress), audio track, video window, interactive messaging, and a list of who is in the virtual space at any one time. Apart from a couple of technical hiccoughs, the 'live' sessions went well.

There was a lot of discussion of Elgg, with Brighton having integrated with their VLE (Blackboard), but with a note that they were 'looking to break their dependence on Blackboard' and the fact that they wanted to give their students 'proper blogs', something Blackboard did not allow. Some interesting, albeit predictable, issues were raised about differences between (younger) students' and (older) academics' uses and attitudes arose.

The discussion fora, within Moodle (which were used even before the presentations had started, and have had a reasonable amount of input), threw up discussion of, for example, whether 'traditional' VLEs continue to have any relevance if students and staff can set up their own Web 2.0 spaces anywhere, and how use can be encouraged.

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