Feb 29, 2008

Finally... Jotspot back again

After more than a year, Google managed to integrate JotSpot (wiki service) into their other services. You need a Google Apps account in order to use it, which I apparently did (with my TU Delft student account). It is very easy to use, and does not differ much from regular wiki offerings, other than it is integrated with other Google apps. Including widgets into pages is very very easy.

Wik.is (Deki Wiki) will upgrade their technology soon as well, which is probably even better than JotSpot.

The new wiki site can be found on:


Feb 28, 2008

2 Free Online Courses

Last year, I did a free online course called "Introduction to Open Education", a very successful experiment by David Wiley. Now, I saw on his blog a posting about another free course he set up about Blogs, Wikis, and New Media:

Course ImageInnovation continues to occur on the internet at an extremely lively pace. What was once the realm of email, FTP, Gopher, and the Web is barely recognizable a mere 10 years later. Keeping up with the speed of innovation and maintaining a familiarity with the most recent tools and capabilities is handy in some professions and absolutely critical in others. This course is designed to help you understand and effectively use a variety of “web 2.0″ technologies including blogs, RSS, wikis, social bookmarking tools, photo sharing tools, mapping tools, audio and video podcasts, and screencasts.

blog it

Another interesting course, with a much different setup, is the course by Andreas Meiszner (Open University); The ne(x)t generation learner - Skills you need in lifelong learning knowledge and information societies.

The course is supposed to be an open and participatory learning experience that involves practical ‘hands-on' sessions where your learning activities and the things you create will become a part of the course. This is to say that future course participants should be enabled to benefit from your achievements and build upon the things you started, instead of starting from scratch.

The course will allow you to act not only as a learner, but to become an active contributor and co-creator. You will be asked to establish your own course learning projects or to join into course learning projects of others; and you also will have a voice to tell us what you think this course still needs.

clipped from www.netgeners.net

The objective of this course is for you to become a knowledgeable ne(x)t generation learner that:

  1. Is able to update his skills and knowledge self-dependently within a lifelong learning context

  2. Knows how to take full advantage of the web to support your own learning, to collaborate with others and use the tools required to do so

  3. Is capable to find sources at the web and to critically evaluate and analyse them

  4. Is aware about available free online and desktop software solutions that facilitate learning, knowledge exchange and collaboration

  5. Knows how to find online communities, to engage in them for personal support, and to and understands the way they function

  6. Has the today's required soft skills; like to communicate, collaborate and engage in discussions with others, defend your own work and thoughts and present them, know how to manage a project, or how to resolve conflicts

blog it
Further information is available at: I think I might do another online free course, because my previous experience was quite rewarding. The persons that have set up these courses have really put an effort in creating and assembling good resources. The subject matter is really relevant, and I am certain participation will turn out to be quite valuable.

Feb 14, 2008

Learning from nature

This article treats the richness nature has to offer, and its use in innovation. In the article no reference is made to organizing principles seen in nature, and how these are used in organizations. This is unfortunate, because it could be very interesting. On the other hand, the article describes the organization of Janine Benyus, which, in my opinion, has a very interesting setup.

Using Nature as a Design Guide

Janine Benyus, dean of the burgeoning "biomimicry" design movement, helps companies look to the natural world to help take their business green


The nose cone of Japan's 500 Series Shinkansen bullet train is modeled after a kingfisher's beak. Getty Images

Spot the common theme: a bullet train with a distinctly bird-like nose; massive wind turbines whose form was inspired by the shape of whales' fins; ultra-strong, biodegradeable glues developed by analyzing how mussels cling to rocks under water. The creators of each product used nature as their guide. In the past 10 years the practice, known as biomimicry, has yielded a variety of compelling, quirky, and elegant innovations across industries. And as consumers and companies alike find themselves grappling with ever-larger ecological footprints, the design method is taking its place as a core sustainability strategy.
 blog it