Two delicious tools: improved search, and an online portfolio

First, del.izzy, which addresses one limitation of the standard delicious search, enabling you to search all of the content of the pages you bookmarked. But they claim they need your password for this.

Second, a clever way of setting up an online portfolio on delicious. Michele Martin outlines how it works, using the optional tag description field to head the page with an introduction, and then tagging anything you wish to show up there.

A neat idea: not the most beautiful, but it works, and is easy to update. It has two other benefits, says Michele Martin:

  • The del.icio.us feature that shows how many other people saved the item acts as a kind of “recommendation” system. […]
  • If people sign up for the RSS feed to this tag, they can automatically be notified when I add new items to my portfolio.

And then of course there’s the RSS feed to do other things with, if you want to take it one step further and embed that somewhere, have it post automatically to a blog… etc

Learning gets personal — but always has been?

Go easy on the hype about personalised learning environments (PLEs) as something new, advises elearning expert Chris Yapp. His hypothesis is that learning always has been personal(ised) and always will be.

It’s the organisation of education that hasn’t been so personal, he suggested at a lecture last week.

He put his finger on something here. I suspect that student satisfaction is determined partly by the level of individual attention they receive from lecturers, tutors, support staff and the rest. How much is hard to say… as, too, is how much that level of individual attention in turn affects students’ learning.

Yapp, former head of public sector innovation with Microsoft, focused more on economic scaleability — and the hope that technology could make personalised learning (more) possible on a larger scale. He reckons it would take 30 years for elearning to transform the experience of education in this way, in a widespread and ‘embedded’ fashion. If so, I might be around to see it happen…

One example of research on PLEs (sometimes characterised as another step on from VLEs, virtual learning environments) is the PLE project at Bolton University.