Horizon Project 2009-2010

The new report is out for the Horizon Project for new media studies:  http://horizon.nmc.org/wiki/Main_Page

Present on the Web

Found these new free sites to add interest to any blog or learning endeavor. On MakeBeliefsComics, you can create your own cartoon.  On Slide.com you can create your own online slide show .  The funky themes and eye candy are a come-on for younger users, compared to other online slideshow sites such as Slideshare.com   .

Free Software for 2009

As the buzzword for late 2008 to early 2009 seems to be ‘recession’ , I would like to counter the pessism it connotes by offering some resource links to those who need to cut their budgets for acquiring new tools, but believe in using good technologies to move their learning–or their business–forward. 

Visit http://directory.fsf.org/ , the Directory for Free Software, for a treasure trove of free applications  for education, business, content management systems and other possible uses, at relatively little or no cost to us.

Is M-Learning Still Alive?

M-learning was a trend based on the the rise of handy, Net-enabled mobile phones. It was considered to be the most popular, most promising blending learning methodology as the portability of the device helped reinforce learning in ways that classroom teaching could not.   2008 was heralded as the year of m-learning in e-learning circles.   

 However, in the most popular technology article for 2008 in TrainingZone.co.uk,  m-learning  was proving to be elusive as people didn’t know how to maximize the use of these devices.  So what is the trend at this time? Find out more by visiting the article’s site.  

Facebook Apps for Ed: Teach the People

Now that I’ve finally been caught in the web-within-the-web social network of Facebook , tried poring over the applications if there’s anything on e-learning.  A quick scan shows FB applications such as Study Groups (whose developers look like teenyboppers to me!) ,created by the members themselves. 

Then there’s Teach the People.  As reported by Crunch Base, the application lets anyone with specific subject knowledge or a useful skill set share it by setting up a Teach the People learning communities with 1gig of free storage. So if you have a burning question on a topic of interest, you can inquire from the bigger virtual community.  With people coming from different countries, backgrounds and influences but brought together by a passion for a single cause, diversity should breed innovation and real learning.

But as an FB user for less than 45 days, I feel that FB works best if you leverage the power of the exisiting, face-to-face network and continue the conversation thru FB.  There are definitely a thousand and one tools to enrich conversations, engage learning with those cute applications, personalize the experience with so many synchronous communication tools.  It would be a challenge for the online community developer to try to elicit conversation between members with weak links/social ties to engage them to interact, or if they are from different cultures and countries! 

The FB experience thrives on nostalgia and memory-flooding, as evidenced by the flashbacking exchanges of alumni members.  What keeps them hooked is the surprise element of finding someone you haven’t seen in 20 years, then reliving memories.  It’s definitely addictive at times, but sometimes to the point of being irritating if people feel comfy enough to send you unsolicited information, poke you virtually, or invite you to some cause of theirs in the middle of trying to nudge some learning in the process.

Teach the People already received a  cool USD25,000 for being one of the top 25 finalists, besting 600 other applications developers.

Webquest: Exploring Online Tools for Motivation, Collaborative Networks in E-learning

Found this great site  from Learningshare.com.  Filled with a rich mine of links from credible sources for teaching and learning via the Net. Includes links to other learning communities, free readiness assessment self-tests, research sites,  everything e-learning.

Revisiting the Role of Instructional Design in E-learning

After my Big Paper on evaluating learner support for a global, blended learning program is finally passed, marked, bound and archived in Sheffield U  I’ve been doing a re-visitation of old e-learning concepts that flit into the real world practice of designing for learning.  Came across George Siemen’s old article Elearnspace’s post on how instructional design figures in e-learning.  A refresher article on some of the classic ID frameworks:

  • ADDIE – refers to Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate. 
  • Algo-Heuristic  “The theory specifies that students ought to be taught not only knowledge but the algorithms and heuristics of experts as well.”
  • Dick and Carey Model – “The Dick and Carey model prescribes a methodology for designing instruction based on a reductionist model of breaking instruction down into smaller components. 
  • Robert Gagné’s ID Model -Gagné proposed that events of learning and categories of learning outcomes together provide a framework for an account of learning conditions. 
  • Minimalism ” The Minimalist theory of J.M. Carroll is a framework for the design of instruction, especially training materials for computer users. The theory suggests that (1) all learning tasks should be meaningful and self-contained activities, (2) learners should be given realistic projects as quickly as possible, (3) instruction should permit self-directed reasoning and improvising by increasing the number of active learning activities, (4) training materials and activities should provide for error recognition and recovery and, (5) there should be a close linkage between the training and actual system.”
  • Kemp, Morrison, and Ross Nine step instructional design model.
  • Rapid Prototyping – “Generally, rapid prototyping models involve learners and/or subject matter experts (SMEs) interacting with prototypes and instructional designers in a continuous review/revision cycle. Developing a prototype is practically the first step, while front-end analysis is generally reduced or convereted into an on-going, interactive process between subject-matter, objectives, and materials ” Thiagi – Rapid ID
  • Epathic Instructional Design – 5-step process: Observe, capture data, reflect and analyze, brainstorm for solutions, develop prototypes

Coming from the networked collaborative learning viewpoint, my classmates greatly emphasized that e-learning is NOT instructional design.  It is hard though to ignore ID’s prominence in e-learning.  For many, it’s probably the best introduction to e-learning as it informed previous curriculum design courses.  I feel that the challenge of ID is to bring together the current batch of media-rich, complex, yet accessible grassroot technologies as defined in my earlier post on the 2008 Horizon Report, incorporate it into cohesive, blended learning courses and stimulate further the growth of knowledge and collaboration networks that build on the course like a foundation.  In Siemen’s post  ID’s role is  to incorporate through a systematic design process appropriate instructional technology tools , but emphasize that doing so is secondary to designing for learner needs and learner experience.  But Siemen’s old post needs to be updated with the incorporation of the current grassroot collaboration pedagogies.  When one looks now at Facebook, Google Documents (which is a dream for more mature learners who wish to update their IT skills in a web-based environment), Multiply, and the Horizon time to adapation for learning is a year or less, ID becomes a tool to practice what I call technology literacy. That is, to resist the lure of peppering your courses with every New technology that emerges on daily basis, and to discern which technologies, methods, or pedagogies would best accomplish the learning objectives.  

E-learning Metatrends, Key Emerging Technologies 2008

YouTube, podcasting, Facebook, Google Docs, data mashups, collaboration webs, grassroots video. . .the implication for learning, teaching and creative expressions can be found in the 2008 Horizons Report. Many thanks to Angelo Agujo, Philippine E-learning Society’s Board Member, for leading us to this highly exciting, informative report.

10 Ways to Use Your Edublogs to Teach

I just visited Edublogs.org to look for an introductory video for my learners on how to blog. Then I found this list on using the blog for teaching your students: 

1. Post materials and resources

2. Host online discussions

3. Create a class publication

4. Replace your newsletter

5. Get your students blogging

6. Share your lesson plans

7. Integrate multimedia of all descriptions

8. Organise, organise, organise

9. Get feedback

10. Create a fully functional website

May I lift this whole section from the posting, as I find it speaks a lot of truth:

One of the great things about Edublogs are that they are much, much more than just blogging tools. In fact, you can use your edublog to create a multi-layered, in-depth, multimedia rich website – that hardly looks like a blog at all. So, if you’d rather create a set of static content, archive of important information or even index for your library – you can bend an Edublog to suit your needs.

A Harvard Leadership Course for Parents in E-learningforkids.org

Visit http://www.e-learningforkids.org for a pre-screened resource for building skills in math, science, reading, and keyboarding.  It’s a site for parents, kids, and educators, specifically children from 5-12 years old.

What’s intriguing is the free leadership course for parents from the famed Harvard Business School Publishing

 Parents, if you haven’t tried e-learning, take this course from Harvard Online for free! There are 2 modules:  one on Managing Your Time, and the other Coaching for Results.   

I tried the coaching course.  The module site’s well-designed interface, nuggetted content, and ability to navigate back and forth, yet maintaining the needed linearity to take you through the stages of each module, allows you to enjoy the e-learning process as much as the knowledge built thru it.  I like the embedded audio link from Professor Linda Hill. I think this is the way of settling the parents into understanding how it’s like to make their own kids go through a an aided e-learning program via the Silver Cyberscreen.  Way to go! Any other courses you’d like to share?

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