Wednesday, 25 November 2009

New book on role-based e-learning (2)

In the book, we talked about different types of rules:

  • Rules of normal social behaviour

  • Rules of physics

  • Rules of engagement within the online role play

  • Rules defining structure and process of online role play

  • Social rules are guides and may be broken. Here is a good example when it should. From the angle of corporate training, what has gone wrong in the case of Qantas? Does Qantas actually know that it is upsetting the people who are generating their "bottom-line"?

    Tuesday, 24 November 2009

    e-book reader, game on

    I have Sony's PRS 505 for a while now and really enjoy reading with it. BUT I still want one with a larger display, color and ...

    My mind was set on Kindle DX, unfortunately, it is not available outside USA and is black and white only. It seems that there will be more choices when DX become available here. I am happy to wait.

    Slashgear reports that Qualcomm mirasol color video ebook readers to ship in 2010. Unfortunately, it seems it will be a 5.7-inch screen which I think is too small for me.

    Pixel Qi is also on track to deliver laptops which are black/white day-light readable and full color with back lighting. At the moment, I am leaning towards a pixel qi enabled laptop with 10-inch screen as my reading device. But I would like to be able to boot to read within 1 sec or two. That would ultimately swing the final choice I am going to make.

    New book on role-based e-learning

    Sandra Wills, Elyssebeth Leigh and I are writing a book on Role-based e-learning to be published by Routledge in the coming June/August. In one of the chapter, I have updated my model on the various dimensions a moderator plays in role play simulation. Previous, I have 5 dimensions:

  • Administrator

  • Guardian Angel

  • Resident Resource

  • Manipulative Devil

  • Improvising Storyteller

  • The new dimension is Institutional Representative.

    As ‘Guardian Angel’ Moderators read communications and observe participants’ efforts to understand the direction in which the action is moving. They assist without intruding. When responding to participants’ requests for help, they do not give instructions. An Angel suggests, questions and prompts, giving equal support to all participants, not interfering to turn the action in a direction they prefer.

    As a ‘Manipulative Devil’ the Moderator may insert additional problems or barriers into the action. These may be part of the design or may be impromptu additions provoked by the need to generate activity, or delay or re-direct attention. Occasionally it may be necessary to prompt for activities that are not legitimate in real life, but are needed for subsequent analysis of their impact on the scenario and/or others’ actions. Thus in Middle Eastern Politics the ‘Devil” may allow things to be ‘done’ that - while not legal - do occur in the real world.

    Being the on-site Teaching/Learning Resource enables Moderators to contribute crucial content knowledge. Selecting the activity, providing essential information at the beginning, suggesting external resources, checking for accuracy in referencing and providing prompts from their expertise are all ways a Moderator enacts this role.

    Sometimes unforeseen game situations create the necessity for scenario modifications or extensions. As an Improvising Story Teller the Moderator can respond to such moments by inventing and introducing reasonable alterations to the original design.

    Moderators must, at time, solve technical issues and assist in relevant skill development. As an Administrator a Moderator may need to do such things as delete wrong or duplicate messages and assist participants to develop technical expertise.

    Finally, learners in an online role play are situated in a larger institutional context, and the Moderator is the Institutional Representative. An Institutional Representative has undoubted power over learners in regard to such things as successful completion of their qualification.  However, since role play puts learners in a contrived context, it is important they know that, as long as they are ‘in character’, their enactment of the role will not adversely effect their study or career goals. Suggestions, given from within this dimension, need to be offered as choices. As Institutional Representative, the Moderator also monitors and ensures completion of participation obligations.

    The particular power of this model is its flexibility in guiding choices about the range of dimensions via which a Moderator can respond to the action and the needs of individual participants. Table 5.4 outlines some of the factors involved and the following examples illustrate the process in action. A Moderator may use the ‘Manipulative Devil’ role early on to provoke a degree of confusion among participants so that they are unable to rely on their ‘taken for granted’ assumptions about how things ‘usually are’. And it can re-appear later on, as participants are settling into routines, and again unsettle them so they are alerted to the value of constantly looking beyond the ‘known and familiar’ on a regular basis. Similarly the ‘Guardian Angel’ may appear as guide and mentor more than once – and in different disguises.

    Monday, 23 November 2009

    Blocking News from Google, who will get hurt?

    MICROSOFT has held talks with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp over a possible plan for the software giant to pay the media company to remove its news websites from Google. [source]

    The source cited the biggest beneficiary to be the newspaper. I do not agree. In fact, it will spell the end of news paper.

    News are everywhere, news agencies competing against each other, bloggers "reporting" live and new microbloggers such as Twitter. When are blocked from indexing by the default search engine, it will just not be visible to millions of online reader who only read online news, like me.

    The only viable business model of online news is advertising, just like paper-based news which depend overwhelmingly on advertising already. Cutting readership is cutting revenue stream.

    Good luck with News Corp if they really go ahead with M$'s plan.

    Local dad spoke only Klingon to child for three years

    I don't know what I can say about this.

    I know that a child will develop its intonation at the early age and will be very difficult to change later in life. I myself is a good example of speaking broken Cantonese-toned English. I also know that a child can simultaneously master several different languages almost effortlessly at the early years.

    However, is it best for the child to teach her a language which has very limited real life use?

    Wednesday, 11 November 2009

    Typist still exists today

    This Taiwanese student earns his school fee by typing. Only $40 Taiwan dollar (US$1.24) per 1000 words. But he can so 137 words per minute.

    This girl does 616 words in 1 min. 11.03 sec, averaging at 520.2 words per minutes.

    How long does it take to type a-z?

    What about 0.3 sec? The following video shows a 5-year in Taiwan using all his 10 fingers.