Archive for August, 2009

“Online Learning, at a Pace”. Grrrrr!

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The article is worth reading and the idea has merit, but I’m going to go off an a tangent, OK, I’m going to have a rant.

It’s the headline “Online Learning, at a Pace”. Really?  This is “online learning”? 

It’s a branching quiz delivered by email, that’s all.  It’s clever and worth a look, but to use the term online learning is just wrong.  I can do the same thing using the postal service, alright, it wouldn’t be as efficient, but the basic learning design would be the same. 

You might have guessed I have a problem with the term “online learning”   

It is like having an umbrella topic in called “Numbers in business” that covers accounting, financial management, risk management, trading, in fact any subject that has uses numbers in relation to business, at any level from preschool to U3A .   It doesn’t mean anything.  It can be interpreted, researched and evaluated in anyway that suits your own particular circumstances and bias.  
Imagine the confusion if people who didn’t have a deep understanding of “Numbers in business” started bandying the term around, or perhaps started making policy decisions based their surface understanding of the term.

It drives me nuts!  Anyway back to the article.

“Launched in May, SpacedEd allows users to develop courses on topics ranging from “Core Cardiology for Medical Students” to “Bartending 101.” Enrolled students receive a set of questions as frequently as once a day, via e-mail or RSS feed (text messaging and instant messaging are in the works). All the teaching is done through a trial-and-error testing method: Answer a question wrong and it repeats; get it right and it repeats less often; get it right multiple times and it disappears. An algorithm adjusts for the student’s level and content knowledge, based on his or her score as it develops.”

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/05/spaceded

What to do when Word corrupts your reseach paper.

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

 This is a useful article, but what I would add is always save your important stuff on the network drive not on your computer hard drive.

10 Ways to recover a corrupted word file

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=952

Confused by Second Life – start here!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

 A problem with new technologies is it is hard to know what use they are until after you become familiar with them.  If you want a guide for getting stuck into Second Life check this out.

“This guide offers a basic overview of how to get started along with some tips on how to facilitate learning in this space.   One of the difficulties with Second Life is that there is too much to learn by going through every menu or button systematically.   It is better to pick up a few basics as outlined in this guide and experiment, rather than to get lost in the pursuit of mastering the detail of the environment.”

 http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/gettingstartedwithsecondlife.pdf