Sausages and mash(up)

I'm sat here at the University of Applied Social Sciences, in Darmstadt, Germany, (land of the sausage - we sampled some great ones last night!) surrounded by bright young things - around 30 post-graduate students from Germany, Poland, UK, Ireland and Latvia, all studying at Masters or PhD level in computer science. Leading this event for the European Union funded Atlantis University project is Professor Udo Bleimann, who is for want of any better word - 'dynamic'. Udo seems to be able to generate innovative e-learning and computer based projects on the fly, and is a real 'ideas man'. Udo works as a consultant for the University of Plymouth, is a member of the Information Security and Network Research Group here, and he has graciously invited me out to observe what goes on in their face to face meetings. The essence of Atlantis is 'learn your own way' - and the University provides a flexible and blended (extended blended actually) approach which also incoporates collaborative project based learning.

For their project, one of the groups of bright young things has come up with an idea they have called Wiki ++. I ask politely what the "++" stands for, and they show me... it is an extended open architecture in which several versions of a wiki page exist simultaneously, so there is potential for endless mash-up, ? multiple versioning and possibility of editing beyond text into other media (hmmmm...). I need to find out more about how this will develop, and at first glance, it appears to be an overcomplication of a simple idea. However, I am open to how it might contribute towards better collaborativel learning in online environments, and will watch as it develops....

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