Tuesday, 29 March 2005

What can we learn from this? A request for participation

Boing Boing has posted

an interesting tale of an enterprising web page developer, [Mr. Hank Mishkoff] who had set up a fan page for a local mall. The mall developer sued to shut him down, he registered a number of *sucks.com sites (including one directed at the developer's attorneys) and represented himself pro se in the litigation (he eventually had the assistance of counsel) and WON. [I recommend reading the condensed version...the full version is extremely detailed]

[quote taken from http://nip.blogs.com/patent/lawsuits/index.html]

The counsel assisting the Mishkoff is Paul Levy with the Public Citizen Litigation Group who was introduced to Mishkoff by Ronald J. Riley of www.InventorEd.org and also President of www.PIAUSA.org. Riley has an account of his story at a comment to false positve (the second comment).

Request for participation

This is an interesting story and I have spent 6 hours reading through the web pages.

Without legal training myself, I must have picked up a few legalese along the way. But it would be more interesting to note what I have learnt from this reading. The point here is that different people, with different background and interest will read the story and gathered different key points. I am using a technique I used before here. I shall write the lesson I learnt in the next few paragraphs and rendered them in white. If you want to read them, just high-light them. However before you do this, please do the following:

  • do NOT read any comment to this blog until you have done the rest of these bullet points

  • bookmark this page so that you can come back later

  • go and read the story (mind you, it is a long read)

  • come back here and post your lessson(s) learnt in the comment

  • high light the white space below to read my lesson learnt

If sufficient people pick up my request and post their comments here too, you should be able to compare the differences of these different lessons learnt. Say after a week, I may ask you to come here again and post a background about yourself and explain why what you have learnt is relevent to you. I hope it will be a vivid demonstration of the importance of learner's background to learning to those who are still struggling in the instructivitic domains.

-- Start of my lessons learnt, read by high-lighting the following "white space" --

I have a web-site http://www.scormplayer.com [in order to prevent the links from appearing and instead of creating a different CSS class, all the links to websites are not linked here!]. SCORM is a registered trademark of ADLnet.org. Interestingly, http://www.scorm.com exists and is operated by Rustici Software, LLC. apparently not related to ADLnet. The use condition of ADLnet for its name and logo stipulated that
[quote]While ADL encourages organizations to describe their adoptions of SCORM in their product descriptions and literature, the use of SCORM in a product name is strictly prohibited.[/quote]
Hence, the product for SCORMplayer.com is called Course player and usually prefixed by SCORM Course player because this is a player specifically designed to deliver SCORM-compliant courses.

I read with interest this story, trying hard to verify from the legalese that my use of the reference to SCORM does not violate any trademark owned by ADLnet.

I learnt that, by selling course player's professional license (the course player itself is NOT open source, but is free to use), the fact that I am in Australia does not remove my potential of being sued by someone in a USA court in civil proceedings if anyone in USA has brought any one of my license.

Although Mishkoff eventual won the case, it is obvious that corporate with a huge legal war chest has a significant upper hand. Without the help of Levy, the result of the case would be very different.

Another case I remembered is Lindows vs Microsoft. See for example http://www.linspire.com/lindows_news_pressreleases_archives.php?id=2&all=1 and the series of press release about the ligitation between Lindows and Microsoft. Even with a first bag of gold from mp3.com, the founder of Lindows could not fight against Microsoft when MS started court proceedings in whatever countries that Lindows try to sell to. Although failing to apply an injunction in American proper, by initiating proceedings in various countries were defined a huge blow to resource of Lindows. Eventually, the case was settled (see their press release http://www.linspire.com/lindows_news_pressreleases_archives.php?id=69&all=1 on 29th September, 2003) and Lindows is now called Inspire.

Another interesting case to watch will be SCO against IBM.

When I first incorporate Fablusi P/L into a separate entity last year (before that, it was a business unit running under Digital Learning Systems P/L), the legal fees involved in the transfer of rights of the Fablusi software (i.e. move something I have from my left pocket to my right pocket - ok, there also involved different people who can put the hands in left pocket from the right pocket) was huge (relative to the resource we had at the time).

My unease feeling is whether that is all necessary? and if yes, to what cost? Can small independent people, like me, ever able to do anything?

The Mishkoff case, on the surface, is a positive note - but when I think slightly more, I think he was basically very luck that help was there when it was really critical. For me, being in Australia and with our government leaning towards USA so much, if anything happens to me, the result would be quite obvious. Filing chapter 11 or declaring bankruptcy is a very likely prospect.

Hence another lesson learnt is that I should avoid any ligitation at all cost. I may have chosen to settle the case when Mishkoff was offered the 1000 dollars compensation despire of the additional "after-the-fact" addition of conditions of the proposed settlement.

-- end of my lessons learnt --

Thursday, 24 March 2005

Welcome 20,000th Visitor

Last Wednesday, I thought I would welcome my 20,000th visitor in a day or so. It happened today, a week later!

When I last checked, the counter is 20,005. So I went to the log and located my 20,000th visitor who did not leave me a message. However s/he has spent 68min 55sec on this blog, visiting 9 pages using Internet Explorer 6.0 running on a Windows XP.

My offer of a one year free subscription (6 issues) to "E-Learning Magazine" is still on the table. Please come forward to claim your lucky prize. If it was you, please identify yourself by telling me your entry page and your exit page in the 20,000th visit to my blog and leave a way for me to contact you.

Wednesday, 23 March 2005

Claiming my feed at Feedster

No Need to Click Here - I'm just claiming my feed at Feedster

Towards a Players' Education

In Fablusi, we refer to play in three ways: play as in "playing with fun", "play acting" and "play with possibilities".

We believe that we learn better when we are having fun learning.

From the post linked to this title (by Patrick Mark Kane), it touches on most of the aspects of the way we see play, not necessarily group the concept in the same way as we do. For example:

The role of play for the grand theorists of educational psychology – Piaget and Vygotsky – was to act as a 'practice venue'. Playtime was the zone where children could ready themselves for more organised kinds of representing and symbolising (reading, writing and arithmetic).

To us, this is the notion of "play acting" where the role play simulation acts as a backstage where a player (taking on the persona of a role in the simulation) practices the behaviour in preparation for real world tasks.

As long as the "game", or simulation in Fablusi's case, is engaging, the challenge and problems faced by the gamers/player are part of the challenge which the gamers pay to enjoy. This point brings out clear and sharp by Patrick.

game designers depend on millions of people being prepared to undertake the serious amount of learning needed to master a complex game. If their public failed to learn, they'd go out of business. Kids who talk about 'hard fun' don't mean it's fun in spite of being hard. It's fun because it's hard. Learning happens best when one is deeply engaged in hard and challenging activities.

[my emphasis]

Game designers risk a lot of money in designing games that are engaging. Educators may learn a lot from the game designers.

Yet, the key message from Patrick is that traditional educator should not fight against the game culture.

Australian educational thinkers Allan and Carmen Luke have proposed that the strong emphasis on print literacy in early years education, right across the northern and western world, is actually a kind of generational backlash. And it is directed against new forms of techno-literacy, mastered by children yet mostly baffling to their adult teachers.

and later Patrick continues:

Yet the wider societal context to this is important. This new techno-literacy – which kids are assembling by themselves in their own largely unregulated time and space – is an honest response to a fundamental shift in the structures of post-modern life: the life of flows and networks, the power of culture and ideas, summed up by the 'information age'. Almost entirely autonomously, children are using play to make themselves imaginatively capable for this new world.

Let me just summarise, using Patrick's words again:

The post-modern labour market isn't just constantly producing new and unexpected kinds of job; it also allows children to think about creating their own kind of productive life, one that blurs or morphs all existing categories. The potential life journeys of these young players, full of surprises and performances, should be inspiring for teachers – and especially for those new teachers who might also happily regard themselves as 'digital natives'. How can they develop children's capacities, energies and resilience to thrive in this much more open, risky world?

One further tradition of play, properly recognised and identified, could begin to dissolve those fetters. In the process, we could begin to comprehend the kinds of destructive (and self-destructive) alienation from education that growing numbers of young people exhibit. For the one value of play not yet mentioned is that of play as selfhood and freedom – the protean spark, as it were, that animates our embrace of and participation in all forms of play. Just as those who must play, cannot play, can we adapt this for education: those who must learn, cannot learn?

Learning using Portable device

Elliott Masie sent out a "xLearn Lab Video report" on Device Based Learning on SONY Portable Playstation.

Here is the specification of the Portable Playstation from a SONY press-release:

It has 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD (16.77 million colors) on a 480 x 272 pixel screen. The dimensions are 170mm x 74mm x 23mm with a weight of 260g. It also comes complete with the basic functions of a portable player such as built-in stereo speakers, exterior headphone connector, brightness control and sound mode selection.

PSP also comes equipped with diverse input/output connectors such as USB 2.0, and 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless LAN, providing connectivity to various devices in the home and to the wireless network outside.

PSP adopts a small but high-capacity optical medium UMD™ (Universal Media Disc), enabling game software, rich with full-motion video and other forms of digital entertainment content, to be stored. The UMD is 60mm in diameter but can store up to 1.8GB of digital data. There is a build-in copyright protection system has been developed which utilizes a combination of a unique disc ID, a 128 bit AES encryption keys for the media, and individual ID for each PSP hardware unit for content protection.

With that capability in an affortable price range (US250 according to the media), Sony Portable Playstation may be a good device for e-learning. However, how can be used and for what it can be used are still at a very early stage. Elliot suggested that it may be used as a new employee orientation device, or a sale's information/training as well as presentation tool.

He mentioned several times that SONY Portable Playstation can also communicate with nearby SONY Portable Playstations creating a possibility of collaboration, albeit in a small geographical range.

The immediate question I have is how available is the information needed to develop material on such a device and is there any "blank recordable" UMD and the associated writing device available for us to put our training material on it.

ps After doing a bit more research, here is the specification of the UMD:
UMD Specifications
Dimensions: Approx. 65 mm (W) x 64 mm (D) x 4.2 mm (H)
Weight: Approx. 10g
Disc Diameter: 60 mm
Maximum Capacity: 1.8GB (Single-sided, dual layer)
Laser wavelength: 660nm (Red laser)
Encryption: AES 128bit
Profile: PSP Game (full function)
UMD Audio (codec ATRAC3plus, PCM, (MPEG4 AVC))
UMD Video (codec MPEG4 AVC, ATRAC3plus, Caption PNG)

Look like we can burn UMD using a DVD writer if we can the media in that size and the appropriate software!

Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Pedagogy-Agnostic Standards and a Much Needed Rant

For a title like this, the first thing I need to do is to look up the meaning of "agnostic", especially, its religious implications. [English is my second language!] Here is what I find:

Suppose you are to answer the following two questions:

(1) Does the sentence "God exists" express a proposition?
(2) If so, then is that proposition true or false?

If you say no to the first question, then you may be classified as a noncognitivist with regard to God-talk. If you say yes to it, thereby allowing that the given sentence does express a proposition, then you are a cognitivist with regard to God-talk. (Let us henceforth abbreviate these expressions, simply using the terms "cognitivist" and "noncognitivist".) All theists, atheists, and agnostics are cognitivists, so the second question applies to them: is the proposition that God exists true or false? You are a theist if and only if you say that the proposition is true or probably true, you are an atheist if and only if you say that it is false or probably false, and you are an agnostic if and only if you understand what the proposition is, but resist giving either answer, and support your resistance by saying, "The evidence is insufficient" (or words to that effect).

(from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theodore_drange/definition.html)

This is a bit long, but it gives us a good understanding of what is agnostic. Wiley continues to write:
I purposely choose “agnostic” because of its religious implications: a pedagogy-agnostic standard “doesn’t know if there’s a pedagogy or not.”

Unfortunately, I am not only religiously agnostic. I intend to ask one more question. If after showing that question 2 is true, there is a question 3.

(3) How many gods are there?

I am polytheistic - pedagogically speaking. Different people learn best differently under different situation with different subject matter.

IMS-LD is an instructional design expression. I would not call it a pedagogical design language. What is the difference? Instructional designs describe how instruction(s) is/are delivered. They do not address how learning actually occurs, what kind of learning has occurred and how effective is the learning. After all, learning happens between the ears. Short of opening of the skull and taking some measurements before and after the process expressed by the IMS-LD, can we tell if there is any change? If yes, is the change will be useful for the individual later in his/her life?

Wiley pointed out an interesting use of IMS-LD:

A key to good empircal work is replicability, which we almost never get in educational research reporting. You get garbage like “our constructivist approach worked better than traditional classroom instruction” without enough detail to ever dream of replicating either approach, let alone the study. If all reporters of educational research used IMS-LD to describe their methods, it would go a long way toward bringing needed rigor to our field.

One of the reason given by Wiley for any use of IMS-LD would be to automate "human activity". He gives an example, asking
Is it because people are so excited to use the automated support option when they call Dell after their Windows machine blows up?

Terry Anderson, in a comment to the post asks
how many people would perfer to use a human teller at a bank – especially one with a long linup in front of it, compared to using an ATM.

I would decide to use or not to use LD, in fact, any learning technology based on the subject matter and the context. Whether the learning partner at the other end is a real human or a software agent is not the issue.

One of the great promise of learning technology is "re-usability" and the ultimate objective of lowering the cost of providing effective instructions (ie situations that result in valid, enjoyable and memorable learning experience). I am not optimistic in the current approach to the design of learning standards and processes. In a previous post, I suggested that we should

forget about the notion of "pedagogical free" learning objects and framework. Let us try the other way around. Identify powerful and effective pedagogical approaches (learning structure) and implement solutions to these approaches. Instructional designers/teachers/course developers who subscribe to a particular pedagogical approach will be supported by the implementation solution based on that pedagogical approach. Hence there will be little or no compromise in terms of delivering the best pedagogy.

Sunday, 20 March 2005

E-learning, What are we talking about?

Just like the term "learning object", I believe we can start a debate on what is "e-learning" and will never end with an overwhelmingly acceptable conclusion.

Are we talking about the use of learning technology (information & communication technologies in particular) in formal education? Are we talking about building innovative companies, supporting the growth of the bottom-line of these companies? Are we talking about the informal, life-long growth of a personal nature, taking any direction an individual desire?

Sure, these are all "learning". Sure, information and communication technology are being used, to varying degrees.

Some thinkers emphasis the "information" part of ICT. Communication is the "delivery" of information.

Others advocate the "communication" part of ICT. It seems that by providing a group with some social software, learning will happen magically.

Some see ICT as an agent of change. They want to push some other agendas along the way.

Other feel the changes introduced by ICT being fundamental. They are struggling to look into the future and figure out what the new future will be.

I AM CONFUSED. Can some wise soul enlighten me?

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Welcome 20,000th visitor

This blog will be welcoming the 20,000th visitor in the next day or two. Can this lucky person leave me a message? I will give him/her a free 1 year subscription (6 issues) of e-Learning Magazine.

BECTA's Packaging and Publishing LOs: Best Practice Guidelines

via Stephen Downes.

I share with Scott Leslie that it is

frustrating about documents like this and its ilk is that the various standards and specifications are presented to users as something to be concerned about outside of the context of specific content development tools and practices... there's neither an overwhelming array of good development tools which support this standards-based vision, nor well documented (or well practiced) instructional design processes that marry reusability with learning effectiveness as dual goals of the content creation process.

I am also quite disappointed that this "Best Practice Guidelines" does not make the distinction between "learning object" and a special case of "learning objects" - SCO as defined by SCORM. Narrowing down the over generalised "learning object" concept to a specific implementation (i.e. SCO) is a step forward, but we need to acknowledge that distinction and should not confuse readers in thinking that SCO is "learning object".

The guideline does point out important aspects of VLE (page 9).

VLE has five other core functions:
• content is mapped against an appropriate curriculum
• learners can be assessed
• learners’ progress can be tracked
• it offers methods of communication (e.g. a discussion forum)
• it provides tutor support tools.

Unfortunately, I don't see how VLE can map content against any curriculum. It is the course designer's job to map the course against any curriculum.

Via SCORM, VLE can capture the responses of the learners' assessment and track learners' position relative to the course. Again, knowing the position of a learner in a course is NOT the same as knowing the progress of this learner. Together with some formative evaluation, we may know a little about the progress of the learner.

The reporting of the assessment data and "progress" are implemented differently among VLE. The interpretation of the data, if available, is an art than a science. Much has to be learnt in this area.

Equally, most VLE implements the communication differently. Some offer discussion forum as a global cafe type of space where everyone can join. Other offer course related discussion forum limited to the participants of the course. Yet some have both. However, most of the discussion forum is offered in parallel to the SCORM course and the integration/linkage between the course content and the discussion is non-existent. It is up to the tutor to bring the content into the discussion area.

That also brings to the last point - tutor support tools. I am yet to see good implementation of tutor support tool. I would appreciate anyone pointing out some implementations for us to have a feel of what tutor support tool is.

Standardisation in the level of SCORM course and SCO is a tiny step forward. However the limitation imposed by such standardisation is already overwhelming. We need to think outside the current square to come up with a better inter-operability approach. The first thing I would suggest is to forget about the notion of "pedagogical free" learning objects and framework. Let us try the other way around. Identify powerful and effective pedagogical approaches (learning structure) and implement solutions to these approaches. Instructional designers/teachers/course developers who subscribe to a particular pedagogical approach will be supported by the implementation solution based on that pedagogical approach. Hence there will be little or no compromise in terms of delivering the best pedagogy.

The most fundamental idea of inter-operability is to reduce redundancy in development efforts. But when standardisation equals compromises in innovation and effectiveness, we need to think again. Which is more important, standards or effectiveness?

ps The current SCORM model does do a good job for a particular pedagogical model - delivery of information. So we should keep it that way and use it appropriately.

Monday, 14 March 2005

SCORM delivery in alternate format

Susan Nash's comment to my last post prompted me to open up the can of worms which I have been avoiding so far. Ok, the devils are out!

About 9 months ago, I started a project SCORMplayer which will enable delivery of any SCORM compliance course from a CD. Running beta is available on the website. [Note, the download version has timed out, but if you download the sample course, the player in the sample course has the timer switched off. So get a sample course and replace the SCORM sample course in the SCORMcourse directory with yours to run.] The project was put on hold because of my over-commitment in other areas/projects. I hope I can have a break from some of my current work so finish off the CoursePlayer soon.

Here are some of my thoughts about SCORM delivery in alternate formats.

CD/DVD based delivery It can be done and is available for free via the SCORMplayer website!

The major issue is the collection of AICC interaction data captured from the learners and the sending back of these data to the institute/instructor. CoursePlayer does that using email. AICC data is captured and encrypted. At the end of the session, the learner is asked to initiate an email to send the data to the designated email account. CoursePlayer uses a template concept to handle the look n feel of the course. It automatically reads in the manifest file [a file which defines the course structure using IMS content packaging standards] and generates two simple navigations: a table of content type of tree for going to any SCO and a Previous-Next navigation. By using SCORM-SSS, the SCOs also pick up the look n feel from the template.

Another issue in CD/DVD based delivery is the fact that the whole course is on the CD/DVD. While I don't have any problem with that, some vendors do feel that their content may be copied by others. Here is my response. CoursePlayer is able to encrypt the HTML part of the SCOs so that only the CoursePlayer with the correct accompanying license will be able to decode the SCO. The media (any graphics/flash etc) used in the SCO, unfortunately, cannot be encrypted. After all, CoursePlayer is still using the regular web-browsers to display the content. I suggest that for maximum reach of potential learners, graphics should be used sparingly and only used when they contribute materially to the content delivered. In this case, graphics and flash will be content specific. Any body taking your graphics without the content will find the graphics out of context. OK, eye candies may be important in some cases, but please treat them as such and consider them disposable.

Portable devices I don't have any experience in this area. My feeling is that there are two additional considerations we must take into account when delivering SCORM courses to a portable device: display and connectivity limitations. I would love to see some discussion in this area.

Sunday, 13 March 2005

The Problem with Learning Objects in Courses for the Military

When I first saw the title, I have the expectation to see some unique references to the special needs of military education/training. As I read through the article, the use of the word "military" in the three places I can find is completely unnecessary. The statement(s) apply to non-military situations as well.

That said, it is a good overview of the state of "learning object" - some times ago.

I believe that the military, at least the US, has standardised on SCORM. Hence, to the military, we can now narrow "learning object" to SCO - shareable content object in the SCORM palance.

In the SCORM context, the SCOs have solved ONE major interoperability issues: the ability of any SCORM-compliant content to engage a standardised usage tracking via the SCORM communication API with the learning management systems. Of course, any SCORM package should be able to be delivered by any SCORM compliant LMS.

I have solutions to two other impediments of reuse of SCO: the look n feel issue of SCOs in relationship with the new course in which it will be used, and hosting of SCO from machines/domains other than the that of the LMS. (see various papers in Implementation Issues of SCORM)

In a papers, we argued that reuse also depends on the role one takes in the production chain of courses. SCO is not an ideal unit of reuse for developers, but I would suggest it is a good unit for people responsible to assembling lessons into a course. For people responsible for creating a bundle of courses to meet an identified skill gap, finding SCORM courses may be a solution. In this case, the reuse unit is a course by itself.

That is the fundamental problem in finding things. If a repository claims to contain everything, it contains nothing useful. Consider two specialised repositories (assuming that they exist), one stores courses, and only SCORM courses, and the other SCOs. I would expect the schemas for them would be very different, with highly specialised tags and values catering for the need of the special users they each serve. As pointed out in the paper Single Instance Reuse of Sharable Content Objects, there are significant advantages in using a repository to store the SCOs of a course, hence the course repository I referred to above may actually not store any actual SCOs, but pointing to the SCOs selected by the course designers from the SCO repository.

Given the similarity of the underlying software to support resource discovery, there is no reason why an instance of a repository cannot be both a course repository AND a SCO repository. However, this conceptual partition (based on the role of the designer in the course design/assembling chain) be made clear. So, the fundamental problem I was referring to in the last paragraph is a logical/preception/schema issue, rather than a software implementation issue.

Susan Smith Nash also touched on the issue of "modifying learning objects". Again, if we boarden to address the yet-to-be-agreed learning object, we shall be going nowhere. Put in the context of military application, i.e. within the SCORM environment, it is an achievable goal and it also relates to the issue of course maintanence.

SCO is the basic unit of tracking by the LMS. It can be as large as a whole course (if you don't want to know anything about how a student is advancing within the course) or as small as a page. Up to SCORM v1.3, the LMS will only track one SCO at a time for each user (for an instance of a course). So the smallest unit of a SCO is a webpage. It is hardly the best reuse unit for course developer.

Technically, SCORM has solved the interoperability issue of SCOs, i.e. in the smallest unit sense, inter web-page interoperability. But it is completely silence on the interoperability of building blocks within a webpage, intra-page interoperability. I have proposed a "virtual apparatus" framework couple of years ago (and the website has disappeared too) which was based on "liveconnect" and some javascripts to support communications of web page building blocks created by common web-based technology. It has been a couple of years now. I suppose a better method of doing the same thing may be available today.

These are technical level interoperability issues. Nash pointed out that the "educational" and "culture" levels of interoperability have not been addressed. We shall leave for another occasion.

Saturday, 12 March 2005

Separation of look N feel and content

I wrote about using CSS and Learning Objects back in September last year. In that post, I referred to a beautiful website called CSS Zen Garden. Now a book The Zen of CSS Design has been written describing how each of the designs were done. See a review of the book here. Here are the interviews of the authors Dave O'Shea and Molly E. Holzschlag.

CSS is an important technique for separating content and look and feel. Fablusi makes extensive use of the technique. Here are two views of the same simulation using different CSS template:

You may notice that the look and feel of the two screen captures are very different, but the content is exactly the same. The navigation is also different, one has the communication tools on the top while the other is at the end of the menu blocks.

Friday, 11 March 2005

CopyRight or RightToCopy?

My rescension from altLaw Forum:

A comic that talks about copying as culture, and how art, music and other forms of creativity rely on copying. This comic is a rescension/parody/counterdrama of the comic published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

from http://www.altlawforum.org/lawmedia

*rescension = A re-telling, a word taken to signify the simultaneous existence of different versions of a narrative within oral, and from now onwards, digital cultures. Thus one can speak of a 'southern' or a 'northern' rescension of a myth, or of a 'female' or 'male' rescension of a story, or the possibility (to begin with) of Delhi/Berlin/Tehran 'rescensions' of a digital work. The concept of rescension is contraindicative of the notion of hierarchy. A rescension cannot be an improvement, nor can it connote a diminishing of value. A rescension is that version which does not act as a replacement for any other configuration of its constitutive materials. The existence of multiple rescensions is a guarantor of an idea or a work's ubiquity. This ensures that the constellation of narrative, signs and images that a work embodies is present, and waiting for iteration at more than one site at any given time. Rescensions are portable and are carried within orbiting kernels within a space. Rescensions, taken together constitute ensembles that may form an interconnected web of ideas, images and signs.

Wednesday, 9 March 2005

Effective corporate e Learning

Anol Bhattacharya, author of SoulSoup, has posted some good guidelines on elearning for the corporate world. While Harold Jarche found resonance with the first point "The business world is not about learning, it’s about doing business". I found the fourth point being a topic I have been looking at repeatedly.

4. It’s not about Technology - it’s about effectiveness and culture
During the first era of e Learning, we made an egregious mistake of treating e Learning in the same way as CRM, ERP or any other enterprise technology. We forgot that e Learning is about LEARNING and not about the ‘e’. It is about learning to be more effective in today’s complex knowledge economy - an ecosystem that is continuously changing and evolving. Learning is not a system, which can be installed be done with.

[my emphasis]

It is not useful (if not wrong) to focus on the technology instead of the learning. It is also not correct to assume that by using one tool (or a particular technology) will automatically qualify you to be an elearning promotor of one particular pedagogical inclination. I agree with Anol with the speed of change in the environment we are in. It is almost like there is no more room for a prescription which will work more than once. As Marie Jasinski always says: Improvise!

Tuesday, 8 March 2005

Invitation to participate

Like to take up a challenge? I have set up a little competition here with a small prize attached.

It is about the creation of a demonstration animated PowerPoint (theme: "how to use animated PowerPoint to teach story telling") All the instructions to get the technology free are in the post. This competition closes on 28th March 2005. My decision of the winner is final, OK?

Friday, 4 March 2005

e-learning Magazine

Yours truely is the executive editor of a new print magazine for the e-learning community in Australia. The first issue will be in the news stands in June 2005 for AUD7.95.

This magazine is trying a new copyright arrangement. Since the magazine is bimonthly at this point, the articles will be published in print form with all rights reserved for the first two months after publication. After two months, we shall put the articles online with some form of creative common license as chosen by the author(s). We hope this will balance the need of the print media as well as making the article available.

If you like to contribute an article or two, please contact me (albert AT elearningmagazine.com)

Tuesday, 1 March 2005

Our world is changing, our schools are failing,....

"Why the current education system (at least for the developed countries) fails" is not the question we should be asking.

The question should be

What should the education system be?