What is Ubuntu – a FREE Operating System

* for followers of this blog please also refer to my new website eLearn Hub

ubuntu logo

If you’re looking at this you must be interested in Ubuntu/Linux/some kind of open source software.

Ubuntu is a free open source operating system. It is FREE, you can get it off the Internet, and there are no licensing fees – YES – NO licensing fees. Free to use and free to share with your friends/colleagues. It’s also free/open to go into the back end and have a play around.

Why doesn’t everyone use it? They don’t market and a lot of people are convinced by marketing, they are free so don’t spend money on anything unnecessary.

Is it as good as Mac and Microsoft? Yes, it is. Take this from someone who has used both Mac and Microsoft for years and is now happily converted to Ubuntu. Ubuntu is super easy to use and has a large group of computer tech nerds who constantly work on improvements.

Just to reinforce the reliability of free open source software: free open source software runs 75% of the worlds stock-exchanges including New York and London. It runs our air traffic control systems and nuclear submarines through to the special effects in Avatar. Open Source Software runs the majority of the Internet. Google, Amazon, Facebook, ebay and Twitter all run on the Open source platform Linux. 95% of the worlds supercomputers are Linux. Android is Open Source.

Many people support free and open source software in the business and education setting. There is help if you need it.

But for some reason many people still believe buying proprietary software and paying hefty licensing fees is a good idea. Go figure.

ubuntu advert

For further information about open source in education check out this article on Fedena, a fully customisable open source operating system in India, it’s just been introduced and already seven million students are using Fedena hosted on a cloud.

* This post originally appeared on eLearn Hub.  Click here for original post.

 

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What is course authoring software and is it for me?

Authoring software is a tool used to help develop your course presentation. It doesn’t help plan your course or develop your learning goals with plenty of fun and intellectual creativity, what an authoring tool does is give you the ability to be creative with the delivery of your course.

Authoring software (or development tool or platform) allows you, or a group of people working together, to integrate different media with a professional presentation. Depending on which software is used you can integrate and develop all sorts of different media (videos, games, animations etc) to make interactive learning opportunities. There are almost no limitations.

You can customise your content for your business or training organisations needs. Want those logos everywhere? Need to have layout, colours, fonts consistent with other areas of the organisation?

Different software will give you different formats to publish the materials. These options are usually to insert into a webpage, save to disk and to export in various different formats. Some software will also assist with being published to a SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) package.
 
The great thing about using some kind of authoring software or tool is that you don’t have to be a programmer to get your course content looking primed, smooth and ready to go.
So, what kind of software do you need?

It depends entirely on the needs of your course. If you’re following the very popular and successful MOOC style of course you might just need to use video and forums and might not need any additional software. Check out Coursera to see how their courses are hosted.

Powerpoint could be considered authoring software. Powerpoint can have video and sound as well as many different word and still image features and can also be easily converted into video.
Over the next few weeks I will explore features on different tools. In the meantime the best thing to do is plan your course and explore the media and interactive features that are best going to help achieve your aims.

Remember – it doesn’t just have to look good, it has to be effective!

Here’s links to some popular Authoring Software:

http://exelearning.org/wiki

http://course-genie.software.informer.com/2.0/

http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate.html

http://www.articulate.com/

http://rapidintake.com/overview

http://courselab.com/db/cle/E746101340F8075FC32571690042CB16/doc.html

Check out the original article on eLearn Hub

How to put a course online

If you’re thinking about putting together an online course there are many things you need to think about, but, THE FIRST thing you need to do is actually take an online course.

There are many free online courses, check out Coursera, P2PU or have a look for different MOOCs. Also check out my previous post on Khan Academy and Sophia. These sites (and others) host hundreds of free & pay for online courses.

The next best thing is to write down, or somehow record the following:

WHY do you want to put a course online?

WHO is your audience?

WHAT do you want people to take away from the course?

HOW do you envisage delivering the course?

These are baby stepping stones, putting a course online means you can offer heaps of full learning experiences, it’s not just about slapping a video on the internet.

Watch this space for more information, in the meantime go ahead and take that course – BE the student.

 

TTT – Top Tech Trend: Zero Marginal Cost Education

Education is undergoing a ‘massive change’. How many times have you heard that?

This article on changing education HAS attracted my interest. It seems that Zero Marginal Cost Education IS one of the top ten tech trends that interests venture capitalists at the Churchill Club (a Silicon Valley group encouraging innovation & growth). How do we know this? It was voted on in a recent tech trends gathering – see link here.

It’s probably very self explanatory: high quality low cost education enables everyone who can’t attend a top tier university, whether financial, time constraints, distances etc, to easily access educational facilities.

There are a lot of books online and Wikipedia answers almost every question you might have, but education is about learning not just accessing information. Collaborating and interacting and working together through online spaces enables people to learn and can break through previous learning constraints and barriers. It’s great to see that education is being recognized as a major tech player.

Go Go Online Education!

Top Tech Trend Zero Marginal Cost Education

MOOCey MOOCers

Check out this new MOOC website where you can go to find out more about the latest MOOC happenings.

MOOC me

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, MOOC’s are a Massive Open Online Course, most of the time they are completely free – bonus!

What happens is, you sign up and get confirmation with links and support information, there are webinars and content each week followed by online discussions.

The biggest hurdle is transitioning from being a ‘lurker’ to an active participant.  I have spent a lot of time lurking through discussions looking for that place where I feel I fit in before participating.  Sometimes there can be a lot of contributors and so a lot of information to go through.  The best way to handle it is to find topics that interest you and respond to what people have written, contribute to a discussion.

Why do I like MOOC’s so much?  It’s because I get the chance to connect with like minded people and have meaningful discussions.  People can be anywhere in the world and we’ve got the opportunity to connect in a relevant learning space.

Take from it what you like, but give it a go.

MOOCers – everyone’s doing it!

Khan Academy Reforming Education or an Inevitable Progression?

Reading through this article in the USA today about the Khan Academy and getting excited about online progression in education and how it supports classroom teaching, inquiry learning and how the model can be transferred to higher level education.

Khan Academy is an online education non profit, no stock options or financial incentives they don’t even have advertising on their website, they seem completely focused on their mission statement “providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”.

It all started when Salman Khan started tutoring his cousin online, another cousin wanted the same support so Sal put it onto a youtube video for easy access and voila, it took off, now there are over 3000 online videos for anyone to access – including students, teachers, tutors etc.

Is this changing education? Is this doing away with the textbook?  Does it change the role of the teacher?

I think the Khan academy is a wonderful resource and model of a resource we should all take advantage of it. Online resources are easier to access and unlike text books can be updated  with relevant information.  After teaching in English speaking schools in South East Asia I learnt that many textbooks, although full of great information, can be irrelevant to surrounding circumstances and views, also difficult to find and expensive to import.  We would always be looking for other resources and Khan academy is definitely one of these.

Khan Academy is a great resource for facilitated inquiry learning.  Current teachers should now be looking towards guiding rather than instructing, supporting adventures and inquiries into ideas rather than following a strict outline.  Salman Khan is giving everyone a fantastic resource to be able to facilitate learning and I think this is an inevitable progression that should be extended to adult institutional learning.

Click here to read the article

Click here for Khan Academy’s website