I am not looking for job, thank you.
But here is an important lesson: "show, don't tell" which is also true in teaching.
29th January 2006 is the start of the Chinese New Year of the Dog. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Chinese New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choy.
The link in this post is to an article in Wikipedia. However, the discussion of this article is a more interesting read.
Images from: www.tangoll.com.hk and www.hku.hk
Posted by Albert Ip at 9:44 am
for those hard-hat like me.
First, it is an open source project. The license is even more liberated than GPL. You can basically do anything with the software except sueing the developers and keeping it open.
Second, it is a peer-to-peer collaboration platform with nice 3-D interface. Yes, 3-D interface.
Third, it is cross-platform, of course!
Fourth, it is in pre 1.0 release at the moment. That's why you find it out here instead of the mass media.
I am going to try it, downloading all the three versions: Windows, Mac and Linux.
Posted by Albert Ip at 4:19 pm
I am no medical school lecturer - in fact, I have very little medical knowledge. BoingBoing has two posts related to clinical models today! I think this is a good example of using simulator in training. I don't want by doctor to keep trying to find my vein if I needed to blood test.
Here is another model which may help women learning self examination of the breast.
Posted by Albert Ip at 8:20 am
You are really passionate about helping people learn, right? If not, you are probably reading the wrong blog. Are you feeling that the information passing model of elearning sucks? Want to get the best advice? Read on.
Kathy Sierra from The Creating Passionate Users has written a wonderful Crash course in learning theory. Since she also provided a summary pdf, so let's put her theory into practice.
OK, now print out the first seven pages from this summary pdf. Yes, I know I have been advocating paper-less office, so only the first 7 pages, NOT the whole pdf.
With a pencil in your writing hand (mine is the right hand, what's yours?) and the print-out in front of you, go to Crash course in learning theory and start reading, taking notes as you work thought the post.
Go, read it and come back afterwards. Press that [back] button, ok?
Welcome back, now check your hand written notes. What? You have not got any written notes? Go back, try again.
Welcome back again. OK, compare your hand written notes with the last two pages of the summary pdf. How do you score? Laminate your notes and hang them up in front of you. Read daily!
Posted by Albert Ip at 5:20 pm
via Blue Skunk Blog via ....
The original post is about the difference between learning with technology and without technology.
Doug Johnson added the angle from teachers.
Please make sure you read these lists. Wonderful reading any way.
The cost of a laptop per year? - $250
The cost of teacher and student training? – Expensive
The cost of well educated US citizens and workforce? - Priceless
Posted by Albert Ip at 7:45 pm
a presentation by Thomas Friedman, author of The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century via OLDaily
This is a brillant presentation and worth the bandwidth and time to veiw the whole presentation. If you are going to miss the most, don't miss the last 10 minutes when Thomas talked about how the flatting of the world will affect our future - how to prepare ourselves and our kids to participate in this flattened world.
When the collaborative tools are available to everyone, the difference is in the ability to imagine, the ability to create. It is important to think positive and be creative positively.
Posted by Albert Ip at 4:07 pm
We, elearning professional, use computer and monitors, right? How often do you switch off your computer AND monitor when finished?
I use my laptop mainly these days because I can use both the laptop screen and a second attached monitor so that I have more screen estate. When I am not going to use my laptop for a while, I close the lid which will automatically put it to hibernation. In that mode, my monitor would theoretically auto turn-off and go into standby mode. However, it is still comsuming some power - the standby transformer of the laptop and the standby power of the monitor.
It does not sound saving a lot of energy if the power board can automatically switch off the power supplied to the standby device. But this is what this piece of cool tool does and I think it really matters.
This is so simple. You plug your PC into the main socket, and then plug your printer, scanner, monitor etc into the other sockets. When you turn off your computer, the smart unit shuts the power off to the other sockets. Saves power from constantly-on transformers, saves the environment, and saves lives from electrical fires caused by overheated DC adaptors.
Posted by Albert Ip at 9:50 am
from Information Research, Vol. 10 No. 4, July, 2005
In case you don't know what is GreaseMonkey:
Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension which lets you to add bits of DHTML ("user scripts") to any Web page to change its behavior.
Two scripting extensions have just been introduced for Internet Explorer: Trixie and Turnabout. The Opera browser supports user scripts, and Apple's Safari browser has a plugin called PithHelmet.
Posted by Albert Ip at 9:21 am
via Autono Blogger which leads me to Apcampbell reference to an New York Times article: Houston Ties Teachers' Pay to Test Scores.
HOUSTON, Jan. 12 - Over the objections of the teachers' union, the Board of Education here on Thursday unanimously approved the nation's largest merit pay program, which calls for rewarding teachers based on how well their students perform on standardized tests.
The pay incentives are to be based on three components, or "strands."
One will reward teachers based on how much their school's test scores have improved compared with the scores of 40 other schools with similar demographics around the state. Another will compare student progress on the Stanford 10 Achievement test and its Spanish-language equivalent to that of students in similar classrooms in the Houston district. The third measure will be student progress on the statewide Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, as compared with that in similar Houston classrooms.
Posted by Albert Ip at 6:34 pm
Here at my uni, we seem to operate under a “not invented here” motif, i.e., if it wasn’t created by me, I’m not going to use it in my class.
your competitor does not have to fail for you to win. Conversely, you don't have to fail either. Your failure, in fact, can hurt your competitor. It is better, the authors assert, to have both cooperation and competition.
Posted by Albert Ip at 10:07 am
Clickable Culture has a post describing the bad feeling left behind to the Second Life citizens by a real life company carrying out a failed experiment in Second Life.
I don't have any details about the experiment and hence not in any position to make any comment.
However, I know that there are many educators, tempted by the low cost availability of virtual world are looking at virtual worlds as a platform for teaching and learning.
I have been, and am now still not convinced that a virtual world with citisens of anything beyond your own class will be a good platform for simulations, role play or rule-based for educational purposes. I would question the wisdom of dropping a learner to the deep end of the pool in order to teach swimming. The very nature of simulation is to reduce the complexity into a certain level which will provide a reasonable challenge to the learners, yet provide a safe environment for making mistakes and not overwhelming with complexity beyond the current level of the learner.
A persistent world, by its very nature, will have different levels of sophisticated participants. This is not necessary not a good or bad thing. However, from a teacher's point of view, getting the group to focus on specific agenda will become more difficult once people beyond the class participate in the activity. In the virtual world, some of the dangerous acts would have less consequence, we may, hence consider virtual world meeting the requirement of providing a safe environment for making mistakes. Unlike simulation which start from fresh everytime, the persistence of the world will mean any mistake will presist as well. Again, whether such persistence of mistakes is good or bad for instructional purpose is very much depend on how it is being used.
I am not drawing any conclusion at the moment. This serves as a "progress report" of my effort to understand how virtual world may be used educationally.
Posted by Albert Ip at 7:58 pm
via Clickable Culture
For those like me who cannot read any Spanish, there is an abridged English translation to the essay accompanying the event:
- Part 1: Reverse-engineering; the reward of defeat; new systems of social justice.
- Part 2: Simulated violence to denounce real violence.
- Part 3: Educating with games. Against the simplification proposed by the game industry.
- Part 4: Case-study of two proposals.
- Part 5: Recommendations, diffusion, investigation.
videogames are a great medium to convey political and social messages because they can relate between themselves hundreds of variables in the same time. It doesn't mean that games can model perfectly a society, but at least, they can help players get a better understanding of complex situations.
Posted by Albert Ip at 7:43 pm
What I am not happy about is the reporter who reported this story in the first place and the "quality checking" procedure of the publishing "journal". This should not have been published in the first place AND it does not have any value for the general uninformed readers.
Rather, I would like to use this as a springboard for another topic.
In the Slahdot discussion, b17bmbr (608864) said,
I am a high school teacher (seven years junior high 3 years high school) and have yet to find a piece of software that is effective and better than a more traditional approach.
Posted by Albert Ip at 7:21 pm
by Shannon Drake
Games are addictive for the same reason anything pleasurable is addictive: Our brains give us little pats of wonderful chemicals when we do enjoyable things. Sometimes the wiring wins.
Posted by Albert Ip at 8:26 pm
I have urged people to stop the debate and get real. I don't know why I am on this again. Perhaps my interest is still alive. Perhaps it is from David Wiley which I cannot afford to miss.
Those familiar with my work will notice that David's argument is almost the same as mine. You don't expect I have something to add, don't you? WRONG! Read on.
Back to the present. David wrote about "localisation" in his post. I suppose by localisation, he did not mean translating an English webpage to a Chinese webpage. If I have read him correctly, localisation means modifying the learning resource (or whatever you want to call it) to fit the learning context at hand. He cited resources in format such as "Flash files, Java applets, Photoshop images with many layers, and the like". To me, localisation means the ability of *any* educator to take a digital learning resource and makes the necessary changes herself. Is that a big ask? Yes, it is. Frankly, with my technical skills (I wrote Fablusi all by myself) and daily work related to learning technology, I am not confident to say that I can do that. The creation of Paul's graphing tool is not just programming skills in Director. It also involves good understanding of mathematics and digital graphics.
So, what is the next possible scenario?
What about creating a webpage with all these wonderful resources embedded within? Yes, that's much closer to the expected skill set of educators.
I realised that creating "content" is the easy part. The demanding skill is in creation of interesting interactions either among the students or between student and content. I believe it is still true today. One of the contributing factors to the success of blog in education is the easy of creation and use!
To me, in the term "learning object", we should emphasis on the "object-oriented programming" characteristics of object. These objects should have well defined "behaviour" and can be easily controlled by external parameters or commands. In addition to the graphing tool, what about an image viewer which will show different layers controlled by the students or the teacher while within the context of the learning at hand? Easy to create, yes. Can anyone just rip out one in an hour? I don't think so. I believe a lot of teacher will find this object very useful!
The ultimate ideal is all these wonderful "learning objects", when embedded in a webpage will behave co-operatively. That's the "virtual apparatus framework" dream.
*Fritze, P. & Ip, P. (1998). Learning Engines - a functional object model for developing learning resources for the Web. In T Ottman & I Tomek (Eds.), Proceedings of ED_MEDIA & ED-TELECOM 98 Conference. (pp. 342-7). Frieburg: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.
Kennedy, D. & Fritze, P. (1998). An interactive graphing tool for Web-based courses. In T Ottman & I Tomek (Eds.), Proceedings of ED_MEDIA & ED-TELECOM 98 Conference. (pp.703-8). Frieburg: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.
Ip, A. & Fritze, P. (1998). Supporting component-based courseware development using Virtual Apparatus Framework script. In T Ottman & I Tomek (Eds.), Proceedings of ED_MEDIA & ED-TELECOM 98 Conference. (pp. 597-602). Frieburg: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.
Posted by Albert Ip at 12:41 pm
I have been very interested in virtual world such as Second Life and its application in education and training.
My argument has been that it would be better to activate the learner's imagination to create the reality rather than designer's imagination. However, again as I always maintain, it is a matter of choosing the right tool for the right job.
Today, I have posted Looking beyond 2020 - rendered physical reality in Learning 2020. With the advent of rendered physical reality, the matrix of tools obviously increased and we need to think beyond the current box.
Posted by Albert Ip at 12:09 pm
Since I wrote Knowledge and Information, are they the same?, I am becoming more and more uncomfortable when these two terms are used interchangeably. A strong feeling is growing inside me that said without a proper understanding of the difference between externalised information and internally coherent knowledge that we have, it would be very difficult to fully understand how learning may be best advanced. I am not a philosopher, so I don't know much about any previous debate/discussion in this area, if you can point me to any resource, it will be highly appreciated. Anyway, the following paragraphs explain why I am feeling so uneasy about this.
The essence of the "knowledge" and "information" distinction is the recognition of the boundary between "me" and "the rest of the world". Knowledge is part of me (obviously one other part is the material (my body) which supported my biology existence), my being, my conscienceness. This knowledge has been built to the current state via all the sensory inputs that I have been able to utilise.
I am not a good writer. I know prefectly well that the words that I put down do not reflect 100% what I really want to say. I also know that the way you interpret these words may be quite different from how I have interpreted and will interpret these words. I also know that no matter how hard working I am as a writer, I will never be able to write down ALL of my knowledge. So as externalized information, all my writings combined will only represent a small part of the knowledge that I have.
Since the start of humanity, we have been trying to externalised our knowledge and trying to pass that onwards. With the advent of printing, these externalised partial knowledge (information as I prefer to call them today) of many great minds have been accumulating faster and faster, to the point that I will never able to read them all and hence will never be able to incorporate them all into my knowledge. With today's technology, lots of them are at my finger tips. I will be contantly enchanted and enlightened by more reading and hence extending my knowledge. But before I get the chance to read them, these externalised information, remains as "non-knowledge" to me.
Does this great collection of manifestations constitute as knowledge? If I own a copy of such manifestation, can I say I own that knowledge? Or, can I say I know the "partial knowledge the writer tried to manifest in that information"?
So in order for a piece of information to become part of my knowledge, I need to exert certain effort to make that information cross the "me" and "not me" boundary AND incorporate that into my current knowledge.
I suppose "learning" is this effort.
Pedagogy is the art of
I prefer not to call this process as knowledge transfer. Obviously, giving a learner a pointer to some information is only a small part towards helping the learner to learn.
Posted by Albert Ip at 5:05 pm