Part 1: Using Facebook as a learning platform

facebook-for-learningLet’s start this post by stating that Facebook was not actually created as a learning platform, it can however clearly be used to enhance and support elearning. Facebook is STILL the most convenient way to get connected to friends, get updated on existing friends, find new people, build relationships and express identities – so the big Facebook advantage is that your audience is most definitely there. Facebook makes it easy to network and interact with other virtual students, and because most people know how to use Facebook they don’t need to become familiar with a new platform.

It’s also relatively easy to create apps for Facebook, making it a great canvas for developers to add cool new functionality and get users involved pretty quickly. We have written about Facebook apps for elearning before in this post!

For those interested in using Facebook with students the following links may be of use: [Resource: Facebook as an “interactive learning resource”?]

1) Stephen Heppell: Using Facebook in the Classroom This page outlines the dos and don’ts of using Facebook with students. Examples include the following (and much more):

  • Do – build a separate teacher page for your “teacher” presence.
  • Do – keep your teacher and personal page very separate
  • Do – post pictures of school/lessons/trips – even diagrams you put on the board (snap them with your phone and post them) – it reminds students that you are there, generates a pride in the school and reminds them that this is not a vacuous space!
  • Don’t – ‘friend’ students yourself – not even as your “teacher” presence.
  • Don’t – accept complete ignorance of Facebook as an excuse for dangerous school policies like blanket bans. Instead offer to be an action researcher, and try it out for a year. Continue reading

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012

It’s that time of year again so just in case you haven’t heard:

  • Voting for the Top 100 Tools for Learning closes on 12 noon GMT Sunday 30 Sept 2012
  • Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 will be revealed on Monday 1 Oct 2012

The following is an excerpt from a post published on the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies blog

This is the 6th annual Top 100 Tools for Learning list [Jane Hart of C4LPT] is compiling from the contributions of learning professionals worldwide – and over 300 votes in so far.

The 2011 list has had over 160,000 views on this website and over 560,000 views on Slideshare, which shows there is huge interest in how these tools can be used for teaching and learning.

Please share your Top 10 Tools for Learning to help [Jane Hart & C4LPT] build the 2012 Top 100 Tools list. Continue reading

From information to knowledge and the democratization of learning

A changing world!

We live in a changing world. We live in the era of the ‘Information Revolution’. For the first time in history billions of people around the globe have access to tons of information digitally stored in what we already call “the cloud”. One could reasonably expect unprecedented growth and prosperity for the global economy!

So, what about the global financial crisis? What about recession and poverty in the most developed economies of the planet, the US and the EU? What went wrong? Continue reading

Learning through Curiosity

I learn each and every day. It may be something subtle; but it always happens. Sometimes I find it hard to verbalize my new knowledge and put it into in words. Not all things can be expressed in the form of communication that we call language.

Interestingly enough each new piece of information can create an enormous wave of side-effects. Things that were lacking consistency inside my brain start to make sense. My neurons make the needed synapses to formulate something new,which on their turn formulates a new understanding or, more importantly, a new idea. The snowball effect can turn one piece of information to a catalyst of self-improvement.

Even if the new information has not such dramatic sequences it can lead to an evenly important side-effect; a tricky little thing called curiosity. My curiosity is less about people personal affairs and more about understanding the grant scheme behind everything. Information is less effective when it happens out-of-the blue, like for example when I read a Wikipedia article in random. Curiosity gives me the proper excuse to join something with immediate practical value with new information and an extended perspective.

I can see this thing working amazingly in practice. Every time I watch a documentary on History channel about a person or a battle, I find myself checking on Wikipedia the related article. Every time I have a conversation that brings up a new and interesting word or concept – even common words like marketing and leadership that I do not 100% grasp – I do the same. Googling and reading has become the natural extension of my everyday learning.

I’ve got a theory[1]that traditional learning is not so efficient because it is separated from real-world context. We enforce people to learn something that does not inspire them;something that has not grown naturally inside them. This may work in theory but in practice is an enormous waste of resources.

Alternatively, I strongly believe that learning institutes (and companies alike) need to create a curiosity-friendly environment. They need to inspire people by, for example, making the right questions that ignite the curiosity process. Nurturing the learning need can make people happier from their training and multiply the outcome beyond our imagination.

[1] This idea has only recently grown inside me through the above-mentioned snowball effect.  I was in Educa-Berlin 2011 where one of the speakers mentioned the need to “pull and not push knowledge”. A sentence is enough to ignite a complex brain process.

How would you go about converting a face to face course to an eLearning format?

Joan T. Cook raised an interesting question at the Instructional Design and eLearning Professionals’ GroupHow would you go about converting a face to face course to an eLearning format?” Several professionals in the Learning industry want to convert their f2f courses into an eLearning format. However, several of them do the same mistake again and again. They believe that by simply moving their content such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, audios, and documents to a Learning Management System that they have converted their face to face courses to an eLearning format. In my opinion, they have converted their traditional courses to an electronic format.

In this post I will present you the TOP 5 tips to Convert your Traditional Course into an eLearning format.

Continue reading