Daniel Staemmler

Things about eLearning, Educational Technology, and more…

Networking for Opportunities

Cover of eBook by Steve WoodruffSteve Woodruff published a free available eBook that will give you some instructions on how to network in the age of web 2.0. The eBook with the title “Build Your Own Opportunity Network” is for beginners in this area and will guide you through what is available out there and how much time it will cost you to participate and network.

If you struggle to find out what your brand is you will find at the end of his eBook six question and an elaboration upfront that might help you along the way to figure this out.

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Filed under: Social Networks, Uncategorized, Web 2.0,

Baby Boomers & Generation X is so yesterday. Millennials are next!

I came across this very well put together video a little while ago. It is about the generation that is moving into power as you read this: Generation We.

In 2015 in America (I believe the U.S. that is) 74 Million people are considered to be part of the population group Baby Boomers. They have been born between 1946 – 1964. This group is followed by the Generation X which incorporated all those born between 1965 and 1977. In the eBook “Generation We” by Eric Greenberg with Karl Weber the Generation X group is considered “… a politically and socially conservative cohort that has struggled to define itself against the vast and dominant Boomer group it followed.” I this makes me part of this group. I never considered myself to struggle with my place in society nor feeling suppressed by my parents generation.. However, the new Generation are the Millennials born between the years 1978 till 2000. What this generation has to deal with and what their opportunities are is shown in the video below.

Eric Greenberg is using the online social networking to promote the Millennials as the  Gen(eration) We and to activate members of this section of the population. This generation will be more diverse than any other before (White 63%, Hispanic 18%, Black 14%, Asian 5%).Their education is good and who would have guessed that, they will are also the most wired ones. Interested in more about Gen We? Take a look in to the above mentioned eBook.

All these facts and predictions are of interest when we take a look into online learning and the ease this generation is using technology in the educational field. Generation X needs to shape up to find the right ways to cater towards the next generations needs. a simple PowerPoint presentation based in a flash widget and maybe some underlying sound does not seem to be enough anymore. More so the opportunity for learners to interact with each other and the content itself while learning. Rearranging content while discussing and arguing for the right solution seems more the way to get cognitively involved than simply absorb some fixed and inflexible content.

Filed under: Education, Social Networks, , ,

One question easily answered: What are you doing?

Twitter LogoAfter a lot of things have been written about Twitter and it’s community that answers only one simple question: “What are you doing?” I checked this “… social networking and micro-blogging service“, that even has an entry at Wikipedia already, out. I have to admit that I have checked Twitter out a little while ago and was wondering what makes people interested in continuously post what they are doing right now. For example, are you interested who is having lunch right now. No problem. A visit at Twitterment, a Twitter search service, will reveal who is lunching right now (Source: Binaryplex.com ,Library Clips).  Okay, now the question remains what are people doing right now and where geographically wise are they doing it? The answer is out there and Twittervision.com is a pretty neat mash-up application developed by David Troy that will show what is going on in real time at the Twitter community.
Alright, and for those of you who want to ban Twitter to their Apple Macintosh computer their is the free software application Twitterrific out there (Source: Twitter Blog). If you know of a similar application for Microsoft please add a comment to this post and let other readers know about it.

What makes Twitter so popular? I think it is very simple, we are always interested in what our friends are doing. A lot of times it is “… the first thing we ask when we call someone” (Source: Read/WriteWeb).  A little snipped of text provides us with the real time information and a simple social need id fulfilled.

However, I have not decided yet for myself if I am going to use Twitter to keep my friends and readers up to date with my activities. If so you probably will see it on this blog in one of the sidebars.

Filed under: How-To, Search Engines, Social Networks, Technology, Web 2.0, , , , , , , ,

Social Networking – What's next?

Social networking has taken over and everybody is talking about it. The big players are MySpace, Facebook and on the professional networking end LinkedIn and Xing (former OpenBC), to only mention a few. Are you part of one, two or even more of these social networking? I am! Signing up is easy and mostly done in a few steps but creating your profile takes most of the time a little longer than only a mouse click here and there. However, help is on the way: OpenID. “OpenID is an open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity.” Further information is also available at Wikipedia. However, a recent article in the New York Times discusses the idea of a standardized OpenID which is pushed by several companies. But why? Well, the question is pretty simple, there will be more and more social networks out there. My guess is, that not only classes, universities, schools, and professional networks will be the center of interest. More so private social networks like extended circle of friends, communities, neighborhoods, and families. So who wants to enter all the personal information over and over again? I do not and therefor pledge for an OpenID that will help me to sign up for those social networks I would like to be part of and those I have been invited to.

Interested in creating your own social network that you are in control off? Here is one of my earlier entries that describes one option on how to do so.

As a side note, this somehow reminds me a little bit of the idea and discussion about global ID and how Google is or can be a part of it. John Lanchester wrote a pretty comprehensive and interesting article about it that I enjoyed reading.

Filed under: eLearning, Social Networks, Web 2.0, , , , ,

List of Open Source eLearning Tools

Open Source tools are great and there are a lot of them out there that help you to develop eLearning modules / online courses. There are also listings and comparison tools available that go way beyond of the list I came up with in this post but more about that a little later. First of all start with some definitions of what I am talking here about.

There are Content Management Systems (CMS), Learning Management Systems (LMS) and there are Learning Conten Management Systems (LCMS). In general CMS are being used to handle huge amount of data / content on rather bigger websites. The main focus of this software application lies in his capability to handle different versions of documents, multi user workflow and last but not least to publish data / content. In contrast a LMS combines the six following features: (1) registration, (2) scheduling, (3) delivery, (4) tracking, (5) communication, and (6) testing. An LCMS is more of a hybrid of the before mentioned two systems. It combines the learner administration features of an LMS with the content creation capabilities of a CMS. For further and detailed information please go to http://www.e-learningsite.com/lmslcms/whatlms.htm.

The following list is not restricted to L(C)MS and the order is random:

  • Drupal, a CMS that includes blogging and discussion forums. I know that Drupal is used at different universities. Read more about experiences here. Drupal also undergoes evaluation at the University Duisburg Essen in Germany (site only available in German).
  • ATutor is an LCMS that states it complying with the W3C WCAG 1.0 accessibility specifications at the AA+ level and adopts IMS / SCORM content packaging specifications.
  • Moodle, which probably is the most well known LMS that is available as an open source application. I have used moodle during my job at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg to deliver online courses and at my current job here at Shanti’s L.I.F.E. Institute. The setup is not that difficult on a Apache server. I must say though that this LMS seems to be better of use in the academic area since a lot of times progress is being measured by grades.
  • Bazaar is a CMS with the intention to deliver course ware, function as a portal or any other myriad type of web based projects. More information also available at SourceForge.net.
  • Elgg is a social networking platform that brings learners together and enables people to create and share their content. To check out the functionalities of the Elgg software join Elgg.net.
  • ILIAS is an LMS developed since the end of 1997 at the University of Cologn, Germany.
  • dotLRN supports eLearning and digital communities. It has been originally developed at MIT.
  • Bodington is an open source Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) / LMS that is being developed at the Oxford University in England.
  • At UCLA ClassWeb is designed to let instructors create and control class websites.
  • COSE (Creation of Study Environments) is a VLE developed and designed at Staffordshire University.
  • CAUCUS is a web-based eLearning classroom and discussion platform.
  • Whiteboard Courseware System is targeted towards colleges and universities.
  • MimerDesk is a web-based collaborative learning and groupwork environment designed for personal management, computer-supported collaborative learning, carrying out projects, and setting up communities.
  • Sakai is a collaboration and learning environment.
  • Manhattan Virtual Classroom is an open source course management system that runs on Linux and other Unix-like systems. It is developed, designed, and used at the Western New England College.
  • Caroline is another eLearning application that is developed from teachers to teachers. What I like about this application is that it takes a pedagogical model of eLearning into consideration to support the learning process.
  • Colloquia is a Learning Management and Groupware System.
  • LAMS is a toll to design, deliver and manage online collaborative learning activities. Interested in more information?
  • Fle3 is a Learning Environment developed and designed at the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
  • NICENET’s Internet Classroom Assistant (ICA) is a free web-based learning environment for classrooms, distance learning programs, and collaborative academic projects.
  • … Please feel free to continue this list by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page.

There are a lot of websites out there that also cover this subject. Please have a look at kinoe’s list of free tools or the listing of the e-Learning Centre in the UK. Another great website to compare different L(C)MS is available at the EduTools Homepage just follow the link to Course Management System on this site. Jane Hart, a learning and performance technologist, publishes on her website a directory of free E-Learning Tools. Another list of open source course management systems is available through EdTechPost Resources.

After all these listings there is still a decision to be made if you’re in the market for an L(C)MS. Maybe you find some help by using the tools at the EduTools Homepage or you also can check out this step-by-step guide from the e-learningsite.

Filed under: eLearning, How-To, Social Networks, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your own Social Network

Logo of PeopleAggreagator Marc Canter is the CEO of PeopleAggregator a website where you can create and run your own social network. You either can decide to run a social network on their webserver or you download the source code and run it on your own. Marc Canter strongly believes that the future does not lie in big gigantic social networks like MySpace. No, more so that there will be millions of networks that connect 25 to 150 people with each other, e.g. families and communities. A big plus about creating your own social network is that you determine what kind of content is displayed and what the rules are.

What I like about PeopleAggregator is that you own the data that you feed into it. Whenever you feel like you have to move on you can take it with you. Even though I have no MySpace account I think it will be difficult to take all my friends and content with me once I decided I want to move on.

Filed under: Social Networks, Web 2.0, , , , ,

Zweitgeist – Web 2.0 is alive

Zweitgeist LogoDid you ever wonder who is looking at the same website you do right now? There might be a solution for you out there which is called Zweitgeist (German for second spirit). You install a piece of software on your PC (Apple Macintosh is not yet supported), choose an avatar that represents you in your second, virtual life and voailà it shows up on every website you are looking at right now. This gives you the opportunity to meet other fellow surfers on the same website and communicate with them.

The concept is sort of like the one of Second Life. The difference is the existing World Wide Web is used as the virtual world instead of some “second” world developed by a company. What I like about this Web 2.0 Application is that it allows you to get in touch with people that have similar interests as you do.

I have to admit I have not fully explored Zweitgeist since I am working on a Mac and unfortunately it is not supported for now. If you had any experience with Zweitgeist already or try it out let me know how it worked for you? It could be a cool feature for people who run a blog and can directly and live interact with their site visitors.

Filed under: How-To, Social Networks, Web 2.0, , , , , , ,

Edumio, the Digg Website for the Academic Field

Logo EdumioWho does not know the Website Digg.com where you users can vote for stuff they found on the web and that they want to promote. I have to admit that I have never used Digg so far. However, I just ran across a website named Edumio which basically works like Digg.com only that it targets the academic and educational field. Edumio offers the opportunity to share resources and meet other who have a similar interest. Well, the later one I found already at the CiteULike website.

Using Google with the term “edumio” today resulted in 120 pages that mention/link the website. Nothing compared to the 35 million and more websites that have been returned when I googled for CiteULike. However, we’ll see what will happen to Edumio and there service to digg academic and educational resources/article. – Happy Digging!

Filed under: Social Networks, Web 2.0, , , , ,

2006 in Review: Social Networking, Web 2.0, and many more

Once again is social networking in the Headlines. News.com from CNET just posted a special coverage taking on to review the year 2006. And guess what, social networking, Web 2.0, and more once again (see prior post on Time Magazine) are on the spot. The reviews range from headlines “social networking catches fire” over “Google shows Web 2.0 folks the money” till “Going mobile, in a big way“. I guess it is this time of the year to look back and reflect on what happened. All section of this series have an overview on the left site of the page and link to articles throughout the year that mark a step in the development in the featured field. 

For those who are looking for a quick read-through on what happened in 2006 in the field of social networking, Web 2.0 and others should definitely stop by and browse through these reviews.

Filed under: Social Networks, Web 2.0, , , ,

Web 2.0 on the Cover of Time Magazine

Time Magazine CoverAt the end of the year 2006 Web 2.0 clearly made a difference since it puts the user in the center of the web experience. Time Magazine nominates YOU, the user, as the person of the year. The title of the cover story “Time’s Person of the Year: You” leaves no doubt about that.

In addition you find an article about 15 people in the December 25th issue that are the web generation’s movers and shakers. Furthermore Time Magazine John Cloud writes about the YouTube Gurus and how they changed the way we, the nominated person of the year 2006, see ourselves. There are also plenty of photos and videos in regard to the YouTube phenomenon.

Filed under: Social Networks, Web 2.0, , , ,

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