EDCMOOC

I’ve started an online course a Massive Open Online Course. #edcmooc Its title is E-learning and Digital Cultures and there appears to be over a hundred participants a good proportion well educated to degree level. We evaluated several videos this week and so far a lively discussion has ensued through threaded comments. (see eCollege.me).

My first comment was:

Very dangerous to give a machine total sway over the way we do things. I still see (or want to see) Technology as a tool. I don’t see it as deterministic. It is my axe head, my flint. These shaped society but did not determine it. The printing press is another technology that shaped society and its attractive to ascribe god like powers to it. It was its use that transformed society, it was not worshipped as a god. To suggest that society is technologically driven, in my view, leaves out the serendipity of the second video. We are so much more than the sum of our media.

The third video in the series is below:

 

My comment was as follows to what is found and what is lost thread:

While its a horrible thought in my view the little bird should have died after banging into the window (not an uncommon occurrence, The figures reported for bird strikes against windows are astonishing. It is often said that between 100 million and a billion birds die in the US each year after striking windows ref: BBC however this was done through extrapolation not fact!. )  as the natural is being sacrificed and ignored in favour of the technological. (see climate change) This is not new as city dwelling has had these problems ( lack of interaction with the natural) since inception. Seen as metaphor the natural is excluded, by choice (?) in favour of the technological; the natural has the power to interrupt the technological (e.g.bird in the machine) and the human agent is oblivious to nature until forced to react (frown) when banged in front of his face. the female has no problem with being unconnected as she has her mobile.  The journey into space may provide “The Big Picture”  but this does not translate into viewing the minutiae which are ignored.Digital education has no final goal where we are all digitally educated, learning is open ended. It is also a process, a very efficient one whereby we can interact quite promptly. It is interactive distance learning. What is missing? For me very little, a pint in the student union bar? Where it is so advanced is this ability to interact, a natural occurrence. Being talked to by lecturer, writing assignments and asking questions is standard fare. Seminars may work through the Google hangout? ( sorry no experience) What we have by writing here is a multi threaded argument whereby we can choose (or not), to respond.. Choice is expanded. Time is elongated. Pace is self regulated.  I completed two Microsoft certified professional courses entirely  online (Moodle) at my own pace. This is a four / five week technologically based course yet so far the “human” touch has not been ignored. We have videos of everyone. I feel quite at home.”He is happy whom circumstance suit his temper but he is more excellent who suits his temper to any circumstance”

David Hume

I also came across this picture, updated Sistine chapel:

sistinetechno

I tweeted it.  #edcmooc

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MOOCs

Infographic: How Many Students Are Completing Free Online Courses?

(that are open to anyone) are more popular than Justin Bieber right now, but, as is to be expected from such a new medium, these online courses have their own share of issues. One puzzling problem is the low completion rates almost across the board. Is the lack of price causing low commitment among students? Are these courses not engaging enough? Are they too long?

MOOCs are too young to have enough real data to figure out this mystery completely. Thanks to education blogger Katy Jordan, however, enough data exists to show that it’s not about course length or number of students enrolled, as shown in our newest infographic: how many students are completing free online courses or MOOCs?

free-online-course-MOOC-completion-rate-infographic

So what is causing students of free online courses to stop short of finishing? Only time will tell. Until then, MOOCs will remain an attractive educational opportunity that few actually take full advantage of.

My view: I have done two online courses using Moodle via FÁS in Ireland,  Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word both of which have been certificated by Microsoft.  Moodle offers a structure that you complete at your own pace, there are no lectures or teachers, however online mentoring is available. There was an exam at the end of the courses taken at an examination centre. . With MOOCs you can only get a certificate of completion. I have a love of learning and if I do not learn something new every single  day I feel the day is wasted. It would be interesting to see the gender and age demographic to throw more light on this. Online courses are definitely the way forward and distance learning has been with us for some time.

Do a Google search to find a course in your country.

Source: http://www.katyjordan.com/MOOCproject.html

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Essential Free Graphics

A good graphics program is essential. Photoshop is used by all professionals and I did a free online course where I learned the essentials. Photoshop CS2 is very old but available free of charge. I use it primarily to make backgrounds transparent. I have a green studio in Second Life (dot) com which makes it easy to make a background transparent. The whole process takes minutes.

hoverboardcs2

hoverboardcs2a

To make a background transparent use the magic wand to highlight the colour range then create a layer. Then go back to the main layer and cut the highlighted background. Save the file as a PNG which preserves the transparency. Once I have the image with the transparency I can add it to any picture I like.

hoverboard2csa

However for everyday work I use Expression Design because it is so much easier to use. You can produce excellent graphics and manipulate  images. You can also import Photoshop. PNG files are great and hold transparency information.  I use it to create text logos and signs. It is made by Microsoft as part of the Expression Studio. The latest version is free.

hoverboarding

You can get Expression Design here 

If you need icons there is a good site here, Click on picture.

20-Flat-Icons-PSD

talk Because I am not very good at Photoshop and Expression Design is so easy to use I import the sheet of icons as a jpgtalk copy  then cut out the ones i want. However you may want to get rid of the background so use Photoshop for that. All this takes minutes. It is worth spending time learning both Photoshop and Expression Design. A lot of my learning has taken place through experimentation.

To capture any image on your computer you can use “Print Screen” top right on your keyboard. If you want to be a bit more sophisticated download and install 4 Shared Shot  . This enables you to have control over what you capture.

ecollege2

TIP: Be careful when you download and install some free programs. The only way they make money is to install add ons. These can be toolbars or set your search engine to one they get commission on. Always install using the Advanced option and deselect the add ons or search engine choice.

Next post HTML.

If you have any questions about any of the above please fill out the form below!

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cPanel

cPanel contains all the utilities to manage your domain. It is very easy to use. There are excellant tutorials on every aspect you need to know. Here’s an animation to give you an idea:

helpcpanel600

There are more tutorials on Help.IrishSecure.com feel free to browse through them. Having your own domain can be as easy as a 2 minute set up of email and a WordPress blog to having a sophisticated web site that you might want at a latter stage.

Feel free to contact me on skype dude.starship (Ireland) or fill out the form below:

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Virtual Classrooms

logobookI am desperate to teach. One way will be to have a virtual classroom in second life. I found such a classroom in my wanderings. AND found a whole world of teaching at Texas State. Here is the classroom I found Set up by the look of it as a Primary School Classroom. ,> you can watch it better on this page<

But Then Dear Readers I returned a bit later to the classroom and found a techy working there. We chatted and they will be using the classroom for teacher training. Another opportunity for Avatar Creations perhaps. However I got a link to a great project they had going in 2011.

Heres An Explanation of it. Sorry about the sound:>

My next step is to visit. I have done a voice over as rhe cones don’t seem to work.

Unfortunately the cones appear to be inactive. Could be my viewer and / or might need a plugin.

HOWEVER as you can see from the first video Second Life has a great academic role to play. The construction of the virtual classroom using modern techniques and make for a truly realistic environment. What I plan is a feature not seemingly explored that of facilitating DISTANCE LEARNING. Watch this space

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