Jeff Longland

Relax, don't worry – have a home brew!

Archive for June 2006

Lest I forget the WebCT Portfolio

As I mentioned in my previous post, WebCT has released the Application Pack 1 with a variety of new features.  Included within this pack is the WebCT Portfolio (after you pay an additional license fee).  Again, I think the addition of this tool bodes well for those moving to Vista 4/CE6.  I haven’t had a chance to try any of this yet…  so my opinion may change when I’m on the other side.  If you’re looking for some info about portfolios or blogfolios, you may be interested in the work being done at UBC.  You can check out an archived preview of the WebCT portfolio via HorizonWimba.

Advertisements

Written by jlongland

June 30, 2006 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

WebCT Vista 4/CE6 Application Pack 1

Woke up this morning to a handful of automated messages from WebCT about various feature requests that have been included in the Vista 4/CE6 Application Pack 1. I wasn’t aware that WebCT had posted info publically about this pack yet, so I’m pretty jazzed to see an official feature list rather than grapevine mumblings. Some really interesting features coming up:

  • Class blogs
  • Student journals
  • Class roster that allows students to have a profile
  • Grading rubrics
  • Date rollover for instructors to easily update dates from term-to-term
  • Administrator “enroll me option” (LONG OVERDUE!!!)
  • Customizable environment/settings

I know a lot of the naysayers will pipe up to say that most of these features can be accomplished using other tools. Yes, I know (d’uh). It’s the integrated nature of these tools that excites me. WebCT listens to their users. WebCT has been paying attention to current trends. WebCT is trying to take the best points of social networks and bring that inside the walled garden that is the average LMS. I see these as positive steps towards a better VLE that puts the student in the driver’s seat.

My happiness is somewhat restrained though. I’ve heard that this pack has been in the works for some time and going through the features I noticed a few that I thought were destined for Vista 5… so I was a little surprised to see them in this application pack. Perhaps this application pack is essentially the culmination of features/plans that were afoot prior to the Blackboard acquisition?

Written by jlongland

June 30, 2006 at 7:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

WordPress MU 1.0 Release Candidate

The hard-working folks over at mu.wordpress.org have tagged the first release candidate for WordPress MultiUser!  Haven’t had a chance to upgrade yet but eager to give it a shot when time allows.

Written by jlongland

June 30, 2006 at 7:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Map of Sakai Stakeholders

Via Scott Leslie’s EdTech blog, another great use of Google Mapsmapping all of the Sakai users in the world. As Scott commented, it would be great to see a Google Map representing Moodle users – but better yet, a map of all LMS users! Might put some perspective on the whole Blackboard-WebCT situation.

Anyhoo, I’m away from the office this week on vacation. I expected it might result in more blogging but I’ve been relatively non-digitial thus far:

  • Hiking (and a turtle burying eggs!)
  • Errands, groceries, etc.
  • Installing Moodle 1.6
  • Upgrading MySQL (and a million dependencies)
  • Playing video games and reminiscing: NHL 94, Mario Bros, Zelda, Blades of Steel, Excitebike, etc.
  • Catching up on RSS feeds
  • Playing with the cat
  • Sleeping, sleeping, sleeping

Written by jlongland

June 27, 2006 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NetDrive – Mapping Windows Drives to WebDAV Folders

A blog-worthy moment and another recommendation.  I had to make changes across a few hundred files in a WebCT section today.  So I logged into WebCT, grabbed the WebDAV URL for the section, opened NetDrive, mapped X: to the URL and connected.  Opened all of the files and a quick replace-across-all, and my changes were done.  Props to Novell for providing a tool that effectively WebDAV enables older applications that don’t support WebDAV.  Heck, I even opened up a command prompt and was able to navigate around.  NetDrive + WebCT w/ WebDAV + cmd.exe = l33t.  Or something.

Written by jlongland

June 20, 2006 at 9:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Pedagogical Patterns

Want to know what I do to relax at the end of the day? Surf the Wikipedia! So I started out looking at their page on Design Patterns. Then I noticed a related page link to Pedagogical Patterns. Which quickly lead me to The Pedagogical Patterns Project. A Computer Science / Software Architecture practice applied to teaching – excellent! The examples would be even better if formatted like the ELI 7 Things You Should Know About… series – perfect for instructors on the go.

Written by jlongland

June 16, 2006 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Show some love for Netbeans

I’ve been absent from this blog for a couple of weeks – got a lot on the go and a lot on my mind… but I’ll save that for another post when there’s enough time for me to comprehend it to put it into words. Today I want to yammer a bit about another favourite tool.

I’ve been using Netbeans as my IDE of choice for a few years aside from a few exploratory tours of JCreator, JBuilder, Eclipse, etc. All in all, Netbeans suits me best. It may not suit you best, but for what I need to do – it’s great. And with some of the slick features coming up in Netbeans 5.5, I suspect the Netbeans userbase will continue to swell. Want to see why?

Check out the rest of Roumen’s blog for more demos and other interesting tidbits. Geertjan’s blog also has some nifty pieces about Netbeans & Wicket.

Written by jlongland

June 13, 2006 at 9:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized