September 2011 Archives

Geo URI: location as a resource

Just a bit than one year ago the Internet Engineering Task Force has released the RFC5870 that specifies how references to locations have to be written in the URI scheme. This basically provides a technical standard for sharing locations in a human and machine readable way. This is extremely cool because now you  can embed references to locations in space just like you would link normal HTML documents.

This standard is an important step to move location-based services from prototypes to the mainstream. In this article I outline a few ideas how existing web-solutions can lead to new usages using this standard.  

Limitations of Awareness Support in Education and Learning

Last week the SURF Academy organised a seminar on learning analytics. Hendrik nicely twittered from the event, so I was able to follow it. After he posted a comment about measuring the performance of teachers I needed to respond. My prime criticism is that the type of analytics that he describes is not learning analytics, but pretty boring performance benchmarking and that this if done by the wrong people might has legal implications that are beyond what Hendrik and Wolfgang outlined in their presentation

I worked on the topic for several years, although I do not use the currently popular term "learning analytics" because it emphasizes the statistical procedures over the actual or potential use and usefulness of the resulting data. Instead, I prefer the term "awareness support" because it includes the purpose of how the data should be used and helps to focus on appropriate solutions. The entire topic is very new and needs some clarification. In this article I try to focus on my understanding of what "learning analytics" is about. 

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