Thursday, February 24, 2011


We offered a Web Technologies course in the past semester. We opted this time for a more self-organized learning event by giving our students more control over the whole learning experience. The students took an active role in the organization and assessment of the course. They gave talks on different emerging Web technologies and worked on their own projects using their preferred technologies. They also evaluated each other talks and project presentations. The result was quite impressive.
To be honest I learned much in this course. You can find slides of the technologies presented in course on Slideshare. Some videos of the developed projects are available on YouTube, tagged with webtech1011.

Below are the topics covered in this course:
- Web Standards
- Server-side Technologies (PHP, ASP.NET, JSP/Servlets, Symfony, Struts, Rails)
- Client-side Technologies (RIA, Flash, JavaFX, Silverlight, AJAX, JQuery, Dojo, GWT)
- Web Services (SOA, REST/SOAP, Web APIs, Mashups)
- Emerging Technologies (Mobile Web, Android, iOS, Augmented Reality, Cloud Computing, Web Mining, Recommender Systems)

It's not that everything went as expected. We got several suggestions for improvement that we will definitely take into consideration in the next iterations of the course.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The 2011 Horizon Report

The 2011 Horizon Report is now available (.pdf).

Monday, February 07, 2011

CfPs: The PLE Conference 2011

Call for Papers: The PLE Conference 2011

Following the highly successful inaugural event in Barcelona (#PLE_BCN), the next PLE Conference will be held at the University of Southampton, UK (#PLE_SOU) from July 11th to 13th 2011, and will have a lively social programme as well as a highly interactive and innovative technical programme.

The Personal Learning Environment (PLE) Conference is intended to produce a space for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, experience and research around the development and implementation of PLEs – including the design of environments and the sociological and educational issues that they raise. Whilst the conference includes a traditional research paper strand, we also encourage proposals for sessions in different formats including workshops, posters, debates, cafe sessions and demonstrations aiming to sustain the dynamic and interactive discussion environment established by the opening event in Barcelona in 2010.

A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) includes the tools, communities, and services that constitute individual educational platforms learners use to direct their own learning and pursue educational goals. This represents a shift away from the traditional model of learning, and towards a model where students draw connections from a growing matrix of online and offline resources that they select and organise. To gain something of the flavour of last year¹s conference search for #PLE_BCN and see


Deadline Saturday 26th March

The conference organisers welcome 500-800 word abstracts for full or short research papers. Submissions for other types of presentation, such as workshops, symposia, demonstrations and installations are also encouraged. These can be submitted electronically via ConfTool . The full guidelines for submissions can be downloaded here.

Conference themes include (but are not limited to):

  • Theories and frameworks for Personal Learning Environments
  • Technologies and software for developing Personal Learning Environments
  • PLEs in Practice (case studies, approaches to using PLEs)
  • Educational institutions, change and PLEs
  • Pedagogical approaches to managing personal learning
  • The development and management of Personal Learning Networks
  • Mobile PLEs and augmented reality
  • Supporting informal and contextual learning
  • Using PLEs in organisations
  • Using PLEs for Work Based Learning
  • Mash-up PLEs
  • Presentation formats
  • Future visions: Quo vadis PLE?

The PLE conference is especially looking for originality and relevancy of ideas and for creative proposals, in both form and content. Formats for publication and communication of research are two different things! Independently of the publication format you decide to contribute, full research paper, workshop etc., the organising committee encourages interactive and creative ways of communicating research.

Hence, we invite you to submit your contribution in the publication format you prefer and select your preference regarding the type of presentation you wish to make (e.g.: round table discussion, bring your own laptop, cafe session, etc.) in the submission form. Once the review of papers is concluded, presentations will be organised by topics and session chairs will start liaising with participants regarding the organisation of their session. Our goal is to create spaces for meaningful discussions. In short, the purpose is to create opportunities for delegates to interact with each other and achieve real communication. We aim to promote dialogue and interactivity throughout the conference.

We welcome submissions and ideas for videos, photo collages, podcasts, cartoons, posters – or any other kind of artifacts you can think of. In celebration of User Generated Content we will have a Mediacast Contest during the PLE Conference 2011 with awards for the best three mediacast productions on Personal Learning Environments.

A separate call for pechakucha sessions will be released shortly.

Review Process
All proposals will be subject to a peer review process and all proposals accepted will be published electronically with an ISSN number. In addition to the proceedings, we intend to publish selected conference papers in special editions of the journals that support the conference.
Please note that all submissions should be licensed under a Creative Commons licence.

Each registered participant may submit one full or short paper contribution to the conference, although further proposals in different formats are welcome.

The deadline for proposals is March 26th, 2011.
You will be notified if your submission has been accepted by April 30th.
For those submitting proceedings papers, the deadline for the receipt of the full paper is May 28th.

Full Papers:
If your abstract is accepted, the full paper should be between 3000 and 5000 words. words (including references, tables and figures).

Short Papers/ Extended Abstracts:
The short paper proposals are especially designed to encourage the presentation of work in progress. Short papers should be between 1500 words and 2500 words.

Workshops, Posters, Symposia, Demonstration, Installations, BringYourOwnLaptop sessions and other Formats:
Please submit your proposal indicating that you intend to make a contribution in one of these alternative formats.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us:

Conference Chairs:
Programme Committee Chairs: