I was asked to review the ePortfolio tool from Epsilen. Here's my page and initial effort. http://ken.plymouth.epsilen.com So far it has been fairly straight forward, but I haven't seen the ability to allow faculty contributions to the portfolio, which I believe would be a requirement in our environment.
Here's a good resource to guage Higher Education activity in Second Life. http://www.simteach.com/wiki/index.php?title=Second_Life:_Universities_and_Private_Islands
I've been in 2nd life for a bit, but I haven't had the time or inclination to really dig in. I understand that they have or are developing voice/conferencing capabilities. That would take the game up a notch for potential impact on distance learning opportunities.
I've been thinking a lot about what a web 2.0 higher ed portal community would look like. Mind you I believe our current portal at Plymouth State is successful, but the challenge is to make it even better. This post by FutureBoy caught my eye as it has some contrary insights. I particularly like this line: "Successful Web 2.0 enterprises are very good at creating accessible walled gardens." Hmmm.
I finally got around to checking out Google Trends. Interesting. Add it to Google Analytics and Alexa.com and one has a pretty good external picture of any site.
Keys: stability, content, usability, functionality and some secret sauce.
I've been involved with the portal initiative at Plymouth State from the inception. It had, and continues to have several operational objectives: provide a secure, single sign-on, role based, environment that aggregates institutional web based services that is self-customizable by the users. The strategic objective was and is to build a more engaged community through "birth to bequest" services aligned with strategic initiatives ranging from developing roles for prospective students through alumni and for good measure, a role for parents. To date, we have been very successful by some measures in the execution of that vision.
That said, the portal is not perfect. The highly integrated environment has been, at times, a challenge to support; when any sub-system breaks it is quite possible that the entire portal performance suffers.
Recently, I had the opportunity to hear some feeback from some of my colleagues regarding areas for improvement.
We are planning to upgrade the underlying technology at the conclusion of this semester. And will be attempting to address many of these issues.
I'll be posting links to assorted trailers for the release of our upgraded myPlymouth here. Comments appreciated. They need to view with PPT.
myPlymouth_t_v4 - This is a draft of the FIRST production trailer for myPlymouth4
myPlymouth_t_v5 - Same as above just faster on the text lead in and the dissolve is slower on the screen capture of the new site.
myPlymouth_t_v6 - Smoother and with tag line.