What a rollercoaster ride the first two days of our new open course have been. After a fantastic start yesterday, with a lot of new registrations and the first participants connecting their blogs to the course homepage, the unthinkable happened this afternoon. A digging accident in the east of Sweden damaged two major fiberinternet cables, resulting in unaccessibility of our university homepages, including our course homepages. We actually chose our university’s servers to run our homepage over an external webhotel, for safety reasons. What an irony.
After six hours of uncertainty and mild to high levels of stress, the internet connection is up again and so is traffic on our course homepages. Hopefully, this was the first and the last major technical hick-up during the course, but it certainly shows how dependent and vulnerable we are. When I think about it, the incident makes another completely unexpected argument for a personal learning environment, instead of the LMS. As our LMS was down, Twitter and Youtube, where up, where our video lectures are stored, the blogs of the students were up and learning in a distance course would still have been possible.
Tomorrow, we will have a kick-off meeting for the officially registered students in the course and I am really looking forward to meeting some of the participants in person. I am also very curious about what day three of our course might bring.