Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Viewing Things from the other Perspective

This week am participation in an eLearning training workshop in a different role. Whileas for the last few years I have been participating as a trainer/facilitator, I have a rare moment of sitting back and be trained. It is a wonderful time to reflect on my training - approaches, procedures, traits. I must, however, admit that most of the things on the training programme are something I am well acquainted to. Nonetheless, am taking it as an opportunity to add or learn something probably new, of a different approach to doing the things that I think I do best.
I am also taking it as an opportunity to be away from my common ground, and reflect on other things i.e making my mind wander to lands where I can get new ideas away from the pressures of the working environment.
The only unfortunate thing is that for some reasons (wierd and incomprehensible), I cannot use my laptop in the training room. Something that am finding so hard to stay without....but am trying. I will soon be posting some reflections on what I will learn from this workshop.

Monday, March 05, 2007

When iLife did not come to life

A while ago, I talked of a presentation that I was tempted to go. I did go, and I have been fighting the temptation not to write about it. The reason I did not want to write about it is because it confirmed my worries about any presentation by Marketers and while doing their business.First, they use research to inform their marketing. For example, in the presentation I attended by Apple, research has shown that by the year 2009, more than 50% of training will be hybrid and that 80% of students will be using mobile technology. Secondly, use of 'big' and 'unclear' words to confuse their 'prey'. For example in the presentation there was the use of hybrid (denoting the various modes of delivery of learning materials), click and brick (denoting online for clicks and classroom based for bricks teaching and learning). Thirdly, and related to the one above, using catch words - hyped. One specific quote is "Teaching the google-eyed YouTube generation". Another part of the presentation I did not like is getting ideas from other people without attributing the source (O'Reilly's Web 2.0)
Despite all this, I agreed with the presenters on principle that we need a whole new infrastructure for teaching and learning that should include: a collaborative environment, use of rich media in the classroom, learning focused on outcomes, the use the tools that the students are familiar with, and ability to deliver learning when, where, and how it is best received by the intended audience.
In the course of the presentation, there was supposedly to be a demo of the iLife (I did not get to see it) which did not succeed because "the resolution on the computer....and his 'not working for apple'" and after all the person doing the "presentation was an educators not a techie". Its description looked like it might be a good thing but am not ready to dispose my computer for a Mac. I can do most (if not all) the things cataloged as the edge of iLife with my old laptop - using a number of Free and Open Software as I will discussing soon.