I can second you on that recommendation! The class builder uses an easy drag and drop interface, there is an integrated calendar, assignments and announcements module, its also possible to integrate videos from youtube and google, podcasts from odeo and photos from flickr (if I remembered the list correctly) The new version will also include forums, member to member messaging and a grading system.
Unfortunately for me the interface is English which means that I can't for the moment use it with my elementary school students here in Israel, but I keep checking back just in case :-)
I'm a member of the development team for Haiku LMS. I'm excited by a lot of the conversations I see underway on Classroom 2.0 and would love to hear more from our Ning friends on ways they would like to use Haiku.
I've been working in/with Education Technology and e-classes since my college days in the early 90's. I started as an Education Technology Specialist in higher ed first, but found myself drawn to the needs of primary and secondary schools. They were presented with some challenges that stood apart from what I observed in higher education. Extreme shortages in IT staff, limited time and small budgets provided obstacles for teachers wishing to explore the web classroom.
For the last several years I and Allen Angell (another member of our Haiku team) had been musing about the need for a e-learning system that was simple, balanced and essential. We want to create a piece of technology that centered around curriculum and content rather than software. Our feeling was that the Learning Management Systems we had encountered were too heavy on the 'structures of software', and didn't focus on what the user was trying to say. This resulted in such common complaints as 'too many clicks' and 'non-intuitive'. We wondered if it would be possible to create a tool where the technology centered around the natural flow of an online lesson.
Above all we wanted to avoid the pitfall of 'feature bloat'. We felt that too many features got in the way of a the balance of content-to-technology that we desired to achieve.
We knew that in order to meet this goal we had to create a simple Content Management System that would allow teachers to post information in minutes. We also knew that we had to create dynamic tools that would sustain a vibrant online learning community.
The advent of Web 2.0 technologies such as AJAX and Ruby on Rails seemed to us that at last we had a platform that would support our ideas.
Six months ago we launched version 1.0 of Haiku. In that version we rolled out our drag-and-drop CMS. For version 2.0 (to be released in June 2007) we are unveiling our discussions, secure messaging and dropbox capabilities.
We've been doing user testing with teachers in higher ed and k12 and been getting very positive responses, but I am anticipating with much excitement our version two release. I'll be sure to post a message to this forum when we launch, and would love to get your feedback.
I've run out of time tonight, but I'll come back to this forum again in the next few days and post a response to Skip's message on 'how to set up and best use Haiku LMS in a classroom 2.0 environment.'
Thank you for this opportunity to talk about Haiku LMS!
We are looking into the feasibility of translations of Haiku LMS into French, German, Spanish, and Hebrew this fall. If you know of good translators (particularly with experience with education and on-line learning) who might be interested in participating in a translation project please let us know.
Multi-lingual versions of Haiku LMS builds the kind of community that I hope will bloom and flourish around this project.
Skip started a group within Classroom 2.0 as a place for developers like HAIKU and those interested in Web 2.0 software like ours to interact. Collaboration Clearinghouse
I encourage all interested parties to check out haiku LMS and other Web 2.0 software you use or develop.
haiku LMS v2.0 is due to launch in mid-June. I will post a "Contest" at Collaboration Clearinghouse to encourage Classroom 2.0 members to volunteer as User Testers for us. I will give away several free, upgraded accounts to haiku LMS as part of the "Contest." I would also love to you post links to your haiku LMS websites and share with others how you use our Learning Management System.
Finally, I hope to meet many of you at NECC in Atlanta. Travel safely. In the meantime, I'll see you in the Clearinghouse.