||Wednesday, September 07, 2005
BCcampus selects The Learning Edge to power repository.
Early this year we went (back) out to RFP for software to power a 'learning object repository' for BCcampus. OpenSchool BC and the Alberta Online Consortium, both from the K-12 world, were also partners in the RFP.
In May we reached a decision to go with The Learning Edge,
an LCMS product from Australia. There were many good proposals, but
overall we were very impressed with the maturity of the solution (which
given the history
became increasingly important), its support of standards, and its
interoperation with existing repositories and CMS (all of WebCT,
Blackboard and Moodle are supported out of the box). It also comes with
a Java-based WYSIWYG editor, which has the potential to greatly assist
with re-contextualizing and re-using content from the repository,
though in the multi-institutional settings all three organizations
inhabit we are cautious about how much uptake of that tool we will see.
Really, though, the fun has just begun; we are now proceeding to get
our instance up and running and configured. The challenge isn't the
software - that's also one of its real strengths, a very powerful
administrative interface - the challenge is the process pieces,
workflows, schemas, etc. We aren't starting from scratch, much of the
work we did last year will still apply, but I'm also not expecting to
get it perfect on the first try. Part of the trick will be devising a
reasonable change management process that allows us to innovate some of
the interface and logic while still fostering user adoption and
familiarity. Wish me luck! We are aiming to open the doors in October,
though my expectation is for a 'soft launch' that slowly grows. - SWL [EdTechPost]
2:54:41 PM Google It!.
Remote Question Protocol.
You know there has to be something to this because a) it hasn't been
widely hyped, as far as I know b) they actually seem to be shipping
code and working specifications. What a nice contrast. A high level
description of this web services protocol to provide remote processing
of assessment items on behalf of assessment systems, independant of
specific CMS, can be found in this PDF file.
Apparently Moodle is already supporting this, and it is on the radar
for the people working on the Tools Interoperability Profile. - SWL [EdTechPost]
2:53:34 PM Google It!.
With the latest version of Skype, up to five
Skype users can join a conference call. This combination of
technologies has worked very well. Essentially, with the "Groove +
Skype" combination, you can do just about everything that you can do
with services like WebEX and LiveMeeting. With this approach, cost
savings are incredible and everything can be done over the Internet
(i.e., there's no need to tie up a telephone line).)
[Rick Lillie's Radio Weblog]
2:44:43 PM Google It!.
Open Source Ratings System.
There is a mix of scholarly discussion and excitement associated with
open source software. I think all of us are struggling with
understanding how to move ahead with the constant changes that take
place. As well - we're definitely torn between intriguing new
functionality and stability. In the "institutional" scheme of things --
faculty have already spoken - software has... [Michelle's Online Learning Freakout Party Zone]
2:40:24 PM Google It!.
Apple Launches iPhone.
Motorola and Cingular Wireless today announced the availability of the
worldâ€™s first mobile phone with iTunes, enabling music lovers to
transfer up to 100 of their favorite songs from the iTunes jukebox on
their Mac or PC to their mobile phone. Appleâ€™s iTunes software on the
Motorola ROKR features easy to use menus, simple navigation and
playback, and the ability to simply switch from phone to music and back
again with the push of a dedicated music key. [Science Blog -]
2:34:24 PM Google It!.
David Walker's Awesome "RSS Creator" for Libraries.
A Solution for RSS and Journals
"Here is a prototype system I call 'RSS Creator,' which
allows us to create RSS feeds for any journal or newspaper indexed and
abstracted in our current subscription databases.
The system leverages Ex Libris' SFX and Metalib systems (using
Metalib's XML-based API) to create the feeds, but the idea behind it is
not specific to SFX or Metalib, and could be done with other technology.
Here are some of the benefits:
(1) Gives a library instant access to 20,000 to 40,000 or more feeds.
The system can create an RSS feed for any journal or newspaper
indexed by one of our databases, so long as that database is searchable
via Metalib -- regardless of whether the publisher or database provider
makes those feeds available now.
(2) Requires virtually no discovery, collection, or maintenance.
All of the information about the journals is already available (and
updated) in the SFX knowledge base. A library simply downloads this
information out of SFX, uploads it into RSS Creator, and RSS Creator
takes care of the creation and maintenance of the feeds themselves. All
of the feeds are in one place, conveniently available to our users.
(This takes maybe 30 minutes every three months or so.)
(3) All links point back to SFX
RSS Creator simply creates an OpenURL for each article title, which
links the user to our SFX menu. If a faculty member sees a journal
article they want to read, regardless of whether they are on-campus or
not, SFX will provide them proxied access to the full-text, provide
information about print availability in our library, or even provide a
pre-populated ILL form if we don't have access to the article online or
It is, in other words, a large, free RSS-based table of contents
system. I just need to find some time in between more pressing matters
to finish it up. But I'm hoping to roll it out to our faculty here this
fall." [WEB4LIB mailing list]
David Walker, Web Development Librarian at Cal State San Marcos, put this handy little program together, and it totally rocks! Check out the Flash demo to see how it works. It's actually very elegant, user-friendly, and incredibly useful.
Dang, I wish I had time to play with this right now for our member
libraries. I'm really going to have to start investigating ways to
implement SFX (PDF) for them. [The Shifted Librarian]
2:10:06 PM Google It!.
© Copyright 2005 Bruce Landon.