Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Learning in a time of abundance - In Response to Erik Duval

Erik Duval talked about the information revolution and how it impacts our learning, in his presentation. What he is talking about is a topic that forces people to really consider the implications of all the information and how we as humans filter it effectively.

One example of how the information has caused issues for us as learners is that we need to double check our research. So if we were to google something and on one website, we read a fact, the second step is to find the exact fact on other resources (other websites, books, etc). The reason is that not all the information is true or correct or altered. Due to the amount of information that is availble on a topic, it really causes us as learners to pause and ensure during hte learning process that the information is correct and up to date. As a result, the amount of time spent looking for information and resources can increase...

Digital Scholarship - In Response to Martin Weller

Martin Weller presented Digital Scholarship as an alternative to traditional academic scholarship. Here's a link to see what Digital Scholarship is all about: http://www.bloomsburyacademic.com/view/DigitalScholar_9781849666275/chapter-ba-9781849666275-chapter-005.xml;jsessionid=543AAE770E2327FAFF05AA94554E28FE

I think Digital Scholarship is a great idea, as it has significant benefits for the learners. Anyone around the world can access something that they wouldn't otherwise be able to access via traditional scholarship. The only problem as a learner that I identify with is the credibility of the scholar, as we have seen with a resource like Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not considered among the academic world as a reliable source of information, mainly because anyone can go in and edit the content.

I do hope that as technologies develop, we will see significant developments that would allow for removing the unreliable information from the reliable information.

Mobile Learning - In Response to Zoraini Abas

Zoraini Abas presented his experience with Mobile Learning at Open University Malaysia. You can view more details of what he presented here: http://eyeonlearning.blogspot.com/

Basically the University took some classes as a sample and had the professors/Tutors communicate via SMS with students upcoming assignments, test, and other course related information. At the end of the semester, the students were asked how their experience was and most were happy with receiving text messages of updates in the course. It provided them with an assignment.

My take: I think this was a really good example of how mobile devices can be used effectively in a learning organization. Students were given a sense of motivation and encouragement by the professor and allowed them to feel a sense of belonging within the course. Often, with distance education, it isn't easy for students to stay motivated and complete the required work, as most are working full time. And the technology used is very simple and not very new anymore, but the use was effective. In other instances, we have seen examples of social media being utilized for distance courses and face to face courses, as a supporting tool for students.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Video Conferencing Example

I used to work at a College in Northern Alberta, Canada, they had campuses scattered all across Northern Alberta. The challenge was to offer classes to the students in these locations. The solution was Video Conferencing. So the instructor would be in one location and have the other students attend using a Video Conferencing System. So in theory and for the most part this worked well. Instructor was able to see and hear the students and vice-versa, instructor would have a PowerPoint and present to the students, watch a video with the class. Some of the issues experienced were, Video Conferencing would not work smoothly, system would breakdown, bandwidth was limited at times, and prompt support wasn't given. In addition, when the instructor is delivering Video Conferencing classes, some didn't know how to do it properly, as there are etiquette one should follow when delivering, but some of the instructors weren't that experienced with delivering via Video Conferencing and instructors weren't trained much with using Video Conferencing. In Northern Alberta region, the government has fiber optics hooked up and extremely high speed Internet (SuperNet), which enabled Video Conferencing. The future for Video Conferencing especially in a rural region like Northern Albert is very bright and if the technical support is provided, it can be a solid substitute for face-to-face delivery.

Here's a sample video to KhanAcademy.org founder, it's published on TED Talks. http://www.khanacademy.org/video/salman-khan-talk-at-ted-2011--from-ted-com?playlist=Khan+Academy-Related+Talks+and+Interviews