Mashups and Personal Learning

MashupThis has been circulating for a while now: Hitler & Gmail (youtube vid, dutch subtitles).

It’s a mashup I created to have a swing at one of the low hanging fruits of our ICT department: the inability for students to access their e-mail through the POP3 protocol. Since the services switched to Microsoft Exchange, this ‘feature’ is only available for university staff.

But I don’t want to talk about the POP3 issue itself ; It’s quite funny to see something I cooked up on a morning in time which could have been spent better get so much coverage. It attracted the attention of one of my professors (Erik Duval) too, since he has been featuring the vid in several presentations on the topic  of Personal Learning. More behind the cut.

Personal Learning is something I first encountered last year in a course about User Interfaces. All the Duval-courses I follow involve heavy use of Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Wiki’s and any kind of hip service we can get our hands on to inform the professor and other students on what we’re doing, when we’re doing it and why we’re doing it.

And I generally like this approach. It might seem very cumbersome to watch and update so many streams of information, but with the right tools (RSS/Twitter clients/…) it’s manageable, and the return value is very interesting: by following the course Twitter feed (#mume09), I can monitor what other teams are doing and which problems they encounter.

I don’t know if I would like it if all of my courses were organized this way: it still is quite a big time-commitment to be so actively involved in the whole course: reading other people’s blogs and thoughts, replying to them, … In an ideal world with heaps of time, this would be the perfect way of learning, but in real life, some kind of filter is needed.

We’ll see where it goes. Check our team blog for progress in the Multimedia09 course. Here’s a vid of our android app:

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