Running a slick install of WordPress helps your readers and your hosting. So what can you do to improve load times and ease the strain on your server? Here are the plug-ins we have found useful. Continue reading
Having trouble grasping new technology? Go about it like a kid.
Whether we are just starting out with e-learning technology or have been taking distance education courses for years, we are always faced with a constant stream of new technology to understand and utilize in order to get things done. Many of us grew up with the internet, and many others watched it grow and slowly begin to change our daily lives. This is something that, once in a while, we mention to our kids. Trying as hard as possible not to sound like we’re lecturing about walking ten miles to school in six feet of snow, we say that, even just fifteen years ago, there was no iPod. This is something that your kids could really care less about, as they pore over their own tech gadgets, learning processes and finding features that you never even knew existed.
So, how is it that kids can learn new technology so quickly? It can seem so complicated for us to break down, and our kids seem to pick up a never-before-seen gadget or game and learn the thing completely within the hour. When it comes to learning new technology, this is actually no fluke. The way a child goes about learning technology is very different from the way an adult faces it. And, we have to admit, there is something to be said for how quickly kids can grasp tech nuances. With that in mind, if you want to forever change the way you see new technology, take a cue from the children in your life, and try things a little differently.
First, start with an open mind. This is the most important difference between the way adults and kids look at technology. Kids start from a place of openness and slowly learn new technology as its very own entity. Adults start with a mindset that is automatically trying to define something new by comparing it to what they have seen and experienced before. This is the first way to limit yourself when it comes to learning new technology. Next time, don’t box in a new product or method by trying to characterize it. Simply approach it with a completely open mind, and you may begin to find ways to use this technology that you have never considered.
Second, explore. When you approach technology with an open mind, you need to forget everything that you already know. Instead of automatically trying to find the area for search, or data storage, or video-making, pretend that you have no idea what this product is actually supposed to do. Just explore it, instead, and it will present itself to you, rather than the other way around. It is by exploring that we are able to truly learn.
Third, let the technology teach you. You don’t need a user manual for technology to present itself to you. The best way to learn is by doing. So simply allow a program to walk you through its intended use. This will make you more connected with the technology and more able to use it with finesse and ease. Instead of figuring out what you want to do with the technology and then learning the processes for those one or two goals, you will be able to learn so much more by exploring and learning from the technology itself.
Finally, play. You can’t learn if you’re not actually interested in what you’re doing. If you’re learning a new technology, try to generate some form of challenge in what you’re doing. Maybe you simply want to beat your own best score in a new game, or maybe you want to figure out how to do footnotes in the fastest way for your writing style. Challenge yourself to do your best, and you will be mobilized to use the technology to its fullest capabilities.
While there is no way we can completely erase our adult natures and grasp technology with exactly the same ease as a child, the most important thing is not to let yourself feel overwhelmed by it. Simply let go, explore, let it teach you, and have fun, and you’re sure to have an experience with new technology that you’ve never had before.
It’s not uncommon for any type of educational or training course to be made up of one hour sessions. This is also the case for modern eLearning courses designed to leverage technology to assist with the learning process
Students attend these sessions, participate and do their best to retain the information being presented to them, and then once the hour is complete move on to other activities in their life.
But just how long and how much money does it take to create that one hour course? A lot more than many would think!
A study in 2010 was conducted by the Chapman Alliance that polled 249 eLearning instructors that discovered just how much time and money was going into preparing these one hour learning sessions.
Time Spent Preparing
An interesting part of the study is that they asked participants to break down how much time they spent preparing for a basic one hour eLearning session. On average, instructors spent a total of 79.1 hours preparing into these different categories:
- Front End Analysis: 7.88 Hours
- Instructional Design: 10.88 Hours
- Storyboarding: 9.03 Hours
- Graphic Production: 8.66 Hours
- Video Production: 3.49 Hours
- Audio Production: 5.47 Hours
- Authoring / Programming: 13.42 hours
- QA Testing: 5.12 Hours
- Project Management: 5.08 Hours
- SME/Stakeholder Reviews: 5.59 Hours
- Pilot Testing: 3.43 Hours
- Other: .96 hours
It’s clear that significant time is spent preparing for an hour long eLearning session. I was most surprised to see the low time spent on Video Production. My only assumption would be is that most instructors are not using video often in their courses and thus spend less time on it.
This is especially interesting to me given the popularity of video on the internet and how often individuals turn to YouTube for Visual Instruction and to learn how things are accomplished.
How Much Does This Cost?
Spending 79.1 hours preparing for a single hour of course instruction is going to have significant costs related to it. The survey participants estimated that in total, creating a one our basic learning session costs them in total around $10k dollars. That’s a significant investment that should require organizations to be sure that these courses are re-usable to help decrease the cost impact over time.
In contrast to this, the study shows that a single hour of Instructor-Led Training costs slightly less than $6k. This is significantly less of an investment than an eLearning course.
An hour session of eLearning takes significantly more time and money than many would expect. Instructors and eLearning Authors spend hours and thousands of dollars creating the material that students quickly learn during these courses. With the time and cost requirements to create learning as high as they are, it makes the investigation of blended learning approaches an attractive option, especially if the learning courses are not being created for large scale implementation and for repeat courses.
About the author: Dan Hinckley is technology enthusiast who works with LeanForward, an elearning solutions company, and George Mason University.
Source Citation: Chapman, B. (2010). How Long Does it Take to Create Learning? [Research Study]. Published by Chapman Alliance LLC. www.chapmanalliance.com
Discover the remarkable possibilities when web 2.0 tools are combined into rich project-based learning.
What you’ll cover:
- Learn the potential of combining web 2.0
- Dive into web 2.0 combining with an introductory project
- Continue learning with a more involved project
- Explore the endless possibilities of a complex project
It’s been over a year since this post was originally written so we thought it was time to look it out and dust it off.
Here’s an updated look (8 Apr 2012) at free LMSs
Many institutions and small education businesses are turning away from costly proprietary software for their Learning Course Management System (LCMS). They are turning to free / open source solutions instead. Here we look at the options available.
Education is facing a number of significant challenges. Recent waves of global uncertainty coupled with local crisis and government reforms are reshaping the tertiary education landscape. In the backdrop of these challenges new digital technology is enabling new models of teaching and learning. Yet, serious questions remain over the sustainability of these new models and the claims about the potential of new technology, especially in the face of deeper challenges.
The aim of the 2012 ascilite conference is to explore some of these challenges and to better understand the complexity of sustainability in its widest sense. The basic premise is that what happened in the past is no longer a reliable guide to the future. Click here to access the official conference website
Monday 19 March 2012 – Call for papers opens
Friday 15 June 2012 – Deadline for submission of full and concise papers & symposium
Friday 15 June 2012 – Deadline for all workshop proposals
Friday 10 August 2012 – Deadline for all poster proposals
16 August 2012 – Completed reviews sent back to authors
30 September 2012 – Deadline for submission of revised papers
30 September 2012 – Early bird registrations close