12 March 2008 6 Comments
OK plug over, now on to what I thought of the event…firstly Silverlight itself may be interesting but I’m not sure what it gives me over Flash, although it’s XAML under the bonnet and the benefits they claim are to do with the fact that design and code can be brought together better through it and also that it’s powerful, for example you can change the XAMP and push out design changes rapidly through it to allow easier methods of customisation.
There was a lot of 3D visualisation and rendering stuff which was fantastic to watch but not my area of interest. The Deep Zoom technology is cool. See The Hard Rock Cafe site for info.
To cut a long story short however the event was targetted at developers and designers not Academics, in my opinion a bit of a mistake as the event ended with a demo of Grava. You wont find much about Grava online but it’s Microsoft’s Academic authoring environment and anyone who has seen the LAMS environment or eve the work done by Grainne at the OU on Compendium LD will know about work being done on Learning Design authoring tools which may seem like competitors to this tool, however this tool seems to be very much based on rich media. I don’t see much pedagogy behind it and I’m a bit concerned that Microsoft are creating yet another tool built from the inside out and not asking people about how they’d like to learn. It’s a very broadcast centric view of the world. The tool maybe has a niche and it might prove to be very useful at filling that niche but I’m not sure that it’s built on solid principles of the learning experience. The activities are very sequential and there’s no framework to assist with the design process.
I’ll write more on this later (and on the venue which was great and very inspriational!)