Learning management made fun! * Edu2.0

December 21, 2007

Have you seen Edu2.0, which calls itself ‘next generation education’? If not you should seriously check it out. It gets five stars from this guy and here is a summary w/top five big wins.

Free web-based education site with comprehensive features for teachers, students and parents. Anyone can teach and/or learn using the system, whether it’s at school, at home, or on the move.

It’s mission is to “make teaching and learning more efficient and enjoyable”, which is refreshing for learning professionals, who have been struggling with clunky purchased or home grown LMSs or lack there of.

1. Facebook-like dashboard – Your Home ‘Welcome’ space gives you a quick snapshot of how many classes you created, and/registered in, messages, contributions and even friends. Talk about ease of use for teachers, administrators and students. This is one of the reasons that people are really getting into Facebook. This type of high level connection helps us easily manage all the people we know, things we’ve done and things yet to do.

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2. Web-hosted & Easy to Use – Besides being FREE, which is a BIG, BIG plus, it is web-hosted, so I can take this LMS anywhere with an internet connection, whether workstation or portable device, office or coffee shop. This is the exact reason I started using Google Docs, so I am not tied down to a location and my information can be with me at all times, when I need it. No need to install anything, just create an account and go. It is also extremely user friendly, and is similar to the WordPress model, which makes creating and organizing content simple and fun, which can 100% motivate you.

3. Private or Public, you decide – It has growing repository of free (open) content, which would make Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams proud. As more and more organizations are opening up to leverage external resources, open content is key. At the same time, if you want to keep your (proprietary) content private, you can easily choose to do so, and not risk putting a wall around your learners because they still can access all the other open content along side.

4. Useful Tools – It includes everything you need for your virtual learning environment at your fingertips including wikis, forums, feeds and gradebooks. Besides helping instructors stay on top, it helps learners stay connected and facilitates. participation.

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5. Excellent design – With a pastel color palette, simple icons and round tabs and buttons, it makes navigation quick and fun. Instead of being in a rigid, clunky ‘system’, it feels like you are in a virtual IKEA office, which certainly makes for a comfortable learning environment.


Express your inner bad photographer * Deleted Images

December 11, 2007

Thx to Epic-Fu, one of my favorite sources, for this one…

deletedimages.com – Where you can upload and share images that you would otherwise delete. I have to say I love this concept.

I share the same obscure photographic behavior of my grandfather, who would go to picnics and only take pictures of (up close) flower pedals and wood textures, instead of the ole’ fake smile family shots. Half photographer / half scientist, he was more interested in finding truth in the small and abstract details.

It is amazing what you can find when you lose the big picture and focus on things that you might otherwise overlook. People are loving deletedimages.com because it gives them a platform and permission to do so. Whether it be slightly blurred, accidentally cropped, or over/under-exposed, these images all have stories behind them. Don’t get me wrong, I totally see value in planned composition, and at the same time all things in life naturally have color, line and form, so an unplanned photo opens our eyes to an unintended perspective on the situation, which can be exactly what is needed sometimes.

<< For example, artists have been doing this for years. Check out the album cover for Washing Machine, Sonic Youth


70 Best Ideas of 2007 * New York Times

December 10, 2007

Here are a few (social web) highlights from NY Times Best Ideas of 2007.

MOB JURISPRUDENCE – New Zealand Police uses a wiki.

When the New Zealand police force said they were open to suggestions about how to rewrite national policing laws, they meant it. In September, they posted the 1958 Police Act online and invited Kiwis and non-Kiwis alike to visit the site and type in their own revisions to the law — extending the concept of “Wiki”-style collaborative writing from encyclopedias to democracy.

“The idea was to take something that’s inherently dry and intellectual” like law reform, explains Superintendent Hamish McCardle, who is in charge of the review, “and transfer it to something that’s cool and innovative” — like Web 2.0.

By making the Wiki open to anyone who cared to participate, the police force hoped to make it easy for international law and policing experts to weigh in, as well as those one million or so New Zealand citizens living abroad.

…despite the novelty of the Wiki process, …plenty of old-fashioned checks and balances are in place. The Wiki follows a traditional review process and will culminate in a document that will advise, rather than mandate, Parliament in its decisions regarding the Police Act.

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