Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Windows Live Writer Review

From Maish’s E-learningpost Aug. 18 links:  Robin Good has created a video to demo the new Windows Live Writer blog tool. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY6gf5aa93E

Try it out, let me know what you think!

More Reviews on iBlog 2. . .iBlog 3 in the Works?

Ms. Janette Toral of the Philippine Internet Review was nice enough to mention Architelago's review on iBlog 2. Thanks, Ms. Janette.

All the more, I am convinced that this move to WordPress is a great,wonderful thing. Wouldn't have known about Janette's comments if not for the meta features of WordPress. 

Her post led me to the intriguing article of  Erwin Oliva of Inq7.Net that  blogging is still seen as an 'elitist' activity.  This is an opinion by  Dr. Ronald Meinardus of My Liberal Times. He says that in the Philippines, blogging is limited to those who are educated, have access to technology, and earn higher incomes. In physical resources, yes. But there is nothing like the blog that has encouraged so much citizen's journalism here and worldwide, that it  is definitely far from elitist. The conference emphasizes how much privilege and responsibility bloggers have in sharing both their physical resources and intellectual capital. A little knowledge need not be a dangerous thing.

So, Ms. Janette, how do you see Pinoy Bloggers moving forward with i Blog 3? How do we keep our community growing and glowing?

iBlog: 2nd Philippine Conference April 18

Finally, iBlogph’s 2nd conference is happening this April 18. I just signed up–I’m really dying to see how bloggers have been using, networking and benefitting from taking their virtual soapboxes. As an online community researcher, I’m dying to know how I can overcome this virtual cloak of silence when I see ‘0 comments’ appear in most blogs’ comment box.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of E-learning

Kevin Kruse of Elearning Guru gives us a refresher course on e-learning. I do agree with Kruse that e-learning will find its place in an overall training strategy. Computers can never completely eliminate human instructors and other forms of educational delivery.

What I don’t agree with is his statement that with e-learning, you cut down time to learn by 40-60 percent. I think on average, you may spend the same time learning as you would online.

Sometimes online learning time is even longer: if you are a reflective learner, you would pore over reading materials for hours. Then you’d have to meet in WebCT and reply to asynchronous messages from classmates half across the world, in different time zones! That takes another hour. The main benefit that is clear is that you get into the habit of self-managed learning.

What do you think? Do the benefits outweigh the shortcomings of e-learning? What has been your experience?

More Online Resources to Support Classroom Teaching

Found a really cool site for more materials for your class teaching. E-learning Centre‘s products and services links gives a range of tools, usually in producing online tests, quizzes and games.

A good number are free and looks fun to use. There’s Castle Toolkit for creating online interactive multiple choice questions. You don’t need to be a programmer to use Power Point Games. There are 30-day trial versions such as the ones found on Quia.com. Try out the free sample interactive games from eGames Generator. You may have come across some of the products listed there, but it’s a great site for getting e-tivities to weave into your class activities.

What free or paid-for sites have you recently used in your teaching? What was your experience in using any of them?

iBlog: Where did they go?

I’ve been wondering what happened to iBlog after the first summit last 2005. I thought they had a good cause to start forming a community of Pinoy Bloggers. But, alas, the last entry of iBlog’s blog was July 2005! Can anyone give us an update on the group and its activities?

Perhaps Abe Olandes and the Sassy Lawyer, Connie Veneracion, who seem to be the more virtually visible Pinoy bloggers, may have some feedback about this group. I really seriously considered joining iBlog!

Free Tools: Presentations and Software Tutorials in the Wink of an Eye

From Edubloggers Network: interesting link to software that creates tutorials for how to use software. Try out Wink at this site. Wink is free, so you can try downloading a copy. Let us know how you managed to use it!