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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Common Pitfalls of Distance Learning and How to Avoid Them by Lindsey Wright

Today I have Lindsey Wright guest blogging. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

The earliest instances of distance learning — a program of education conducted without the physical presence of the student in a classroom — arose in the 19th century. Carried out through written letters and lessons, these first correspondence courses were made possible by the advent of an organized postal service. In the same manner, new forms of education at a distance have appeared with the development of radio and television broadcasting, electronic mail and the Internet and other transmission technologies. Now, with the ability to stream video information online and even conduct real time video conferences, online education is more popular and more viable than ever. There even exist professional organizations to support this specialized education field. 

However, distance learning is far from perfect. Setting aside the question of whether or not studying remotely measures up in comparison with traditional classroom-based education, there are a few potential pitfalls unique to distance learning that any prospective student considering such a program should bear in mind. For instance, many distance education programs are geared toward providing professional education, rather than purely academic study. While in some cases this may not necessarily be problematic, in others, such as vocational training to work in professional aviation, students may have cause for caution. While every remote professional training program will bill itself as completely legitimate, some expertise is simply difficult or impossible to really acquire without direct, hands-on learning experience. Learning the math, economics, and legal matters necessary to practice accounting is one thing; learning to fly an airplane is quite another. 

Legitimacy is another common concern. Although many established universities and colleges increasingly offer online courses, there still remain a number of unaccredited and sometimes fraudulent distance learning programs. Prospective students must be circumspect in selecting a program, and be sure to conduct thorough background research before enrolling.

Even in legitimately accredited and generally well-run distance learning programs, the relative lack of interaction with instructors and other students can spoil the learning experience for some. Studies of student experience in remote education settings have found that successful distance learners must be strongly self-motivated and able to complete their work without much guidance. For many students, more direct interaction with teachers and classmates is necessary to stay on track and do well in school. Even as ongoing technological developments allow for greater degrees of interaction, they may not sufficiently mitigate this issue.

Finally, even if a prospective student really is well suited to a distance learning environment, their instructor may not be. While most educators have been found to hold a generally positive outlook on distance learning, they are not always enthusiastic about participating in it themselves. Such is particularly liable to be the case with professors at established institutions who are called on to provide remote instruction. Lack of familiarity with the technology, uncertainty about how to apply pedagogy in a remote learning context and difficulty adapting to interacting with students at a distance can all become potentially critical problems entirely out of students' hands.

On the whole distance learning remains a promising and viable mode of education. Not only that, but online schools also provide more convenient and accessible learning opportunities to prospective students. However, it must be kept in mind that there are big differences between a remote learning program and a normal classroom setting in the best of cases. Distance learning students should expect a different educational dynamic accompanied by different kinds of challenges and problems, and should remember that some expertise just can't be acquired indirectly. With a little caution, there's no reason distance learning can't be a significant and useful part of students' educational experience. Indeed, as technological development continues, no doubt remote study will grow more prevalent as well, probably in ways we have yet to imagine.

Many thanks to Lindsey.
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Transition makes enterprise-class learning management available to companies of all sizes

Transition, a leading provider of e-learning products, services and solutions, launches CourseMill for IBM WebSphere Portal - which delivers top-featured learning management without the high price ticket.

Transition has brought together the power of Trivantis' CourseMill and IBM's WebSphere Portal into CourseMill for IBM WebSphere Portal - which delivers high-end learning management features at a far lower price.

CourseMill is a flexible, powerful Learning Management System from Trivantis, the same company which created the Lectora e-learning authoring tool. CourseMill for WebSphere Portal has been specially produced to integrate tightly into IBM WebSphere Portal - making it an ideal learning management system for those organisations with an IBM Lotus infrastructure.

According to Transition's Miles Corbett, CourseMill for IBM WebSphere Portal is especially valuable to those organisations which wish to migrate legacy e-learning content from IBM LMS 1.x and WCL 2.x to a low-cost, high-performance platform. "Organisations using IBM LMS and WCL now have a viable platform on which to base their ongoing e-learning strategy," says Corbett.
Read more... 

CourseMill for IBM WebSphere Portal is available now, from Transition.
For more information go to the CourseMill for IBM WebSphere Portal page on the Transition website.

Related links
CourseMill technical overview (PDF)
Case study: helping Oxfordshire County Council to cut training administration costs and expand its possibilities

About Transition
Transition is an award-winning provider of Lectora and IBM Lotus e-learning products and services. Founded in 1996, the company's customers include ACCA, Baker Hughes, BT, EMCOR, HP, IBM, Rank Group and Royal & SunAlliance. Transition has won international e-learning awards in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2005. Based in Kent, Transition provides e-learning solutions worldwide.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Selective Posting: Willingness to post a message online

Don’t miss this pertinent article, appears in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 16(2), 2011.

Selective Posting: Willingness to post a message online
By Gi Woong Yun and Sung-Yeon Park


The communication environment in CMC is particularly relevant to the discourses of the traditional communication theory, spiral of silence. This paper embarked on the task of developing an experimental research method to test willingness to speak out in the spiral of silence theory on an online forum and to test subsequent attitudinal and behavioral changes as measured in issue position, climate of opinion perception, and message posting. A 2x2 factorial design (congruent messages vs. incongruent messages and anonymity vs. nonanonymity) tested the willingness to speak out on an online discussion forum. The result of the paper suggested a new theoretical framework, selective posting, and called for the modification of the psychological explanation of spiral of silence. 
Read more...  

Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 

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Distance learning centre to offer more facilities to pupils

The Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL), Guwahati, has now several new facilities to offer to the students. The institute which was established in the year 1998 is now ready to provide the learners with best possible support.

IDOL provides support system through printed study materials, SMS service, telephone counselling and an e-learning portal. Now, IDOL is also ready to launch its own community radio centre in the first week of February.

Talking about the radio-service, IDOL director Kandarpa Das said,  "Everything is ready and we are waiting for the launch in the next week. I think it will be a revolutionary step." The institute is also planning to introduce some new courses from the next session and a bigger library is also coming up.

Source: The Times of India  

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iPad vs. iPhone Mobile Learning Research Reveals Differences In Student Behavior

GetYa Learn On (GYLO), an Austin-based educational software company, announced results from research investigating how college students use the iPhone/iPod Touch compared to the iPad while studying for an Introductory Statistics class at Abilene Christian University (ACU).

The app used in the research, “Statistics 1”, is an e-textbook that has been tested for three semesters at ACU and students have consistently reported that it helps them learn statistics and save time.

Statistics 1 App for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad 

During the Fall 2010 semester, students in the class used the app on both iPhones/iPod Touches and iPads. Preliminary findings showed that 60 percent of students reported that for studying and test preparation, they preferred the iPad version because of the larger screen size; however, students reported that having the iPhone/iPod Touch version was equally important because the device is always with them.

ACU and GYLO have collaborated since 2009 to explore factors that affect learning with the iPhone and iPad in the context of higher education. Nihalani and GYLO’s CEO, Dr. Michael Mayrath, will be presenting on the future of e-textbooks and mobile classroom applications at ACU's Connected Summit in late February.

The “Statistics 1” e-textbook app will be on sale for a limited time starting Tuesday, January 25 on the iTunes Store. The app will soon be available for Android devices.

For more information about GYLO, visit

About GetYa Learn On, LLC
GetYa Learn On, LLC is a private company headquartered in Austin, Texas and founded in 2008. The company is comprised of a team of experts from software development, educational psychology, instructional technology, and measurement and evaluation. GetYa Learn On develops innovative educational applications and games based on research in education and instructional technology design.

Source: PRWeb 

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Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Years Later, Challenger's McAuliffe Remembered

Teacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe, who died along with the six other crew members in the 1986 Challenger explosion, continues to inspire educators and students.

Photo: Education Week
Liana Heitin, Associate Editor of Education Week Teacher writes, "Friday, Jan. 28, marks the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. Around the country, teachers—some of them classroom veterans, others too young to recall those terrible moments—will describe the day’s historical significance to their students. And schools, universities, and space-focused education organizations will commemorate Ms. McAuliffe and her fellow crew members with both large-scale events and small tributes."

• At the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Fla., the site of the Challenger launch, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation will gather as many as 1,000 people for a ceremony in honor of the crew.

• The Houston Challenger Learning Center, one of 48 educational hubs of the Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit Challenger Center for Space Science Education, will host a live national webcast connecting students with astronauts.

• At Concord High School in New Hampshire, where Ms. McAuliffe taught, a group of 40 or so teachers from the 1986 staff will convene for a reunion. Retired teacher Susan Capano, who organized the potluck gathering, said she’s looking forward to seeing her old colleagues, with whom she shared the elation leading up to the launch—and then the ensuing shock and grief.

And at a small Massachusetts school that bears Ms. McAuliffe’s name, students will carry out the teacher-astronaut’s legacy by completing sophisticated space-research projects.

Touching the Future
The 8th graders at the 250-student McAuliffe Regional Charter Public Middle School, in Framingham, Mass., have been investigating current space themes—such as new designs for spacesuits, ionized propulsion, and the climate on Venus—by working with experts in the field. The students visited labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in nearby Cambridge, Skyped with researchers in Japan, and interviewed meteor specialists at NASA to delve into their topics.

This Friday, to honor the educator whose name their school bears, the students will present their research at the Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State College, where Ms. McAuliffe received her bachelor’s degree. 
Read more...   

Source: Education Week Teacher

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

McGraw-Hill and Wipro to Develop mConnect -- an Affordable Mobile Learning Platform -- to Reduce Skills Gap in Emerging Markets

The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a premier global financial information and education company, and Wipro, a leading technology solutions provider, will work together to develop "mConnect,(1)" an open-standard mobile learning platform designed to bridge the skills gap in emerging markets.

Photo: Michal Marcol 
India provides an important development ground for mConnect. The country is home to a growing, young workforce hungry for access to high-quality education to improve their career prospects. According to, by 2012, one in five of all mobile phones in use worldwide will be owned by a young person in India. Currently, one hundred million mobile phones are owned by youth in rural areas who use them an average of 5.5 hours per day.

Even within the population of Indian students with access to university education, according to a recent World Economic Forum report on the global talent crisis, only 25 percent of those graduates are considered employable by multinational companies today. Given this staggering data, mobile learning is uniquely positioned to overcome historic boundaries of distance, infrastructure and economic status, and harness the prolific and growing use of mobile devices to engage these myriad audiences.

Additional Facts and Figures about Mobile Device Market:
• There are 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. (Source: International Telecommunications Union)
• In the developing world, mobile cellular penetration rates to reach 68% at the end of 2010—mainly driven by the Asia and Pacific region. (Source: International Telecommunications Union)
• By 2013, the number of smart phones worldwide will surpass PCs, 1.82 billion to 1.78 billion. (Source: Gartner Research)
• There are 833 million cell phone subscribers in China. (Source: Reuters)
•  In India, there are 706 million cell phone subscribers, equivalent to about 60% of the population. (Source: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India)


About McGraw-Hill Education
McGraw-Hill Education is a premier provider of teaching and learning programs for 21st century post-secondary and education markets worldwide. Through a comprehensive range of traditional and digital education content and tools, McGraw-Hill Education empowers educators and prepares professionals and students of all ages to connect, learn and succeed in the global economy. McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 65 languages.
Additional information is available at

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill is a global education and financial information company with leading brands including McGraw-Hill Education, Standard & Poor's, CRISIL, Platts, and J.D. Power. These brands share a commitment to creating a smarter, better world where everyone can succeed in the Knowledge Economy. Around the world, the company is serving this mission by personalizing education around the needs of students, and by providing the financial and business information that markets need to grow. With approximately 21,000 employees worldwide, McGraw-Hill has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Wherever the company operates, it is committed to responsible business practices that enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of the communities where we work and live.
Please visit our website at 

About Wipro
Wipro Technologies, a division of Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT) is the first PCMM Level 5 and SEI CMM Level 5 certified global IT services organization. Wipro Technologies was recently assessed at Level 5 for CMMI V 1.2 across offshore and onsite development centers. Wipro is one of the largest product engineering and support service providers worldwide. Wipro provides comprehensive research and development services, IT solutions and services, including systems integration, information systems outsourcing, package implementation, software application management, and datacenter managed services to corporations globally. In the Indian market, Wipro is a leader in providing IT solutions and services for the corporate segment in India, offering systems integration, network integration, software solutions and IT services.
Wipro also has a strong presence in niche market segments of consumer products and lighting. In the Asia-Pacific and Middle East markets, Wipro provides IT solutions and services for global corporations. Wipro's ADS' are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and its equity shares are listed in India on the Stock Exchange - Mumbai, and the National Stock Exchange.
Please visit our website at

Source: PR Newswire 

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E-learning in Bangladesh by Nahid Akhter

The use of technology in the field of education is becoming indispensable worldwide. The effectiveness of using e-learning tools in the classroom has been studied and proved time and time again.

Photo: The Daily Star 
Studies suggest that effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated. By stimulating the senses, especially the visual sense, learning can be enhanced. It is further suggested that if multiple senses are stimulated, greater learning takes place. Stimulation through the senses is achieved through a greater variety of colours, volume levels, strong statements, facts presented visually, use of a variety of techniques and media. What better way to tingle multiple senses of a student than using technology, especially information technology?

In Bangladesh, however, the use of internet among students is limited to social networking and entertainment. The reason being, lack of appropriate content from the field of education and absence of research based activities and assignments from schools. Inquisitive students often feel lost in the humongous sea of information available on the internet. If they could find something that was close to their school syllabus, they could find it useful and relevant to them.

The Daily Star and Team Creative have jointly launched the country's first assessment website for school students called to engage the Bangladeshi students in using the internet constructively and for education purposes. Russel T Ahmed, CEO of Team Creative says, “Our next generation -- our students will have to face the global competition eventually, since children of their generation in the developed countries are already using technology in their learning process. We need to prepare these students appropriately to face and come out successful in this competition.”

Source: The Daily Star 

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Aspiring developers to create a video game in a weekend

If you have always dreamt of using your creative talent to make a video game but not known where to start, then join Train2Game’s Game Jam for a weekend of design, development, coding and teamwork.
The event will be held over 48 hours at the University of Bedfordshire from Friday March 25th to Sunday March 27th. Participating teams will have the opportunity to create a video game around a specific theme that will be available to the public to download free on the internet.

The event is being hosted by blended learning provider Train2Game, and is open to anyone over 17 with an interest in game programming, design or art at a cost of£35, with free entry for existing students on one of Train2Game's four courses. All proceeds from the contest will be donated to The Prince’s Trust Charity that helps the development and improvement of young people, and provides opportunities for them to develop to their full capacity.

Budding game developers can enter as an individual or team with up to six members. All individual entrants will be placed in a team that fits their existing skills as a programmer, artist or designer to ensure a good mix of talent that could take the title of Train2Game Game Jam Winners. The University of Bedfordshire's doors will be open to game jammers from 2pm on the afternoon of Friday 25th March for registration, with the theme for the game being announced at 6pm.
Read more... 

About Train2Game
Created in 2008, Train2Game is the only online blended learning college that offers people the chance to qualify as a Games Designer , Games Developer or Games Artist and Animator with a TIGA Diploma and was created to meet the specific industry skills shortages as recognised by TIGA.

Source: MCV and Train2Game  

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Lær matematik på mobiltelefonen — Videnskabsministeriet

"Den 27. januar 2011 fra kl. 10.15 deltager videnskabsminister Charlotte Sahl-Madsen i lanceringen af "Matematik på mobilen", der er en ny måde for danske folkeskoleelever at lære matematik på.", skriver Videnskabsministeriet. 

Med over 100 forskellige e-læringsspil lærer eleverne matematik på en sjov og underholdende måde. E-læringsspillene er gratis at bruge og downloade på elevernes egne mobiltelefoner.

Videnskabsministeriet, Dansk e-Learning Center, Telekommunikationsindustrien, TDC, Telia, 3, Telenor og Unwire har i samarbejde udviklet en portal med de matematiske læringsspil, der er tilpasset folkeskolens klassetrin.

Der vil ved lanceringen være mulighed for at se elever fra Gasværksvejens Skoles fjerde klasse øve matematik på mobiltelefoner.

Lanceringen foregår på Gasværksvejens Skole, Gasværksvej 22, 1656 København V med deltagelse af videnskabsminister Charlotte Sahl-Madsen. Arrangementet starter kl. 09.30.

SkoleMat på mobilen

Relateret links
"Matematik til mobilen" på
Prøv mobil - Test dig selv!

Kilde: Videnskabsministeriet og 

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Google’s Apps Marketplace offers a host of educational technology tools for educators by Dennis Carter, Assistant Editor

"Google opened an Apps Marketplace for educators Jan. 25, creating an online repository filled with learning management system (LMS) software, web-based grade books, and other content that could be shared among an entire school district or college campus with the click of a button.", reports eSchool News.

Photo: eSchool News
The Apps Marketplace’s education category will start with 20 applications from 19 companies, according to Google’s official blog, and the applications can be integrated with existing app accounts, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google docs.

The initial selection of educational technology apps are “just the beginning,” according to Google’s blog. The company soon will make available applications from LMS industry giant Blackboard and test preparation company Knewton.

Source: eSchool News 

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Advantages of Online Learning over Traditional Education by April Davis

Today I have April Davis guest blogging. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

There are many reasons to cheer for online education, and even though this form of learning has been scorned by the mainstream academia and perceived as the poor cousin of education, it has found many takers because of the various conveniences and advantages that it offers. Also, if you examine the underlying issues more closely, you’ll see how online education trumps its traditional counterpart in many aspects.
  • It’s the best way to gain an education while retaining your full-time job. You don’t have to give up your salary in order to further your education, and you could even get your employer to sponsor your degree (which they may not do if you take time off to enroll in a traditional school).
  • You’re protected from the temptations that plague college students – parties, sororities and other social events that don’t allow you to focus on your academic performance and your grades are removed from the online education scene. And with the recent report that finds that students are spending more time on trivial pursuits than on academic excellence, and so are not equipped with the key skills they should learn from college even after two years of school, it’s all the more reason to opt for an online degree that minimizes these distractions.
  • Most online learners are a focused lot – they go back to school because they have aspirations and want to achieve an aim, or they choose to study online because they want to work simultaneously, minimize their expenses, and reduce their student debt. So they’re more inclined to concentrate on their lessons and more driven to achieve success, even against the most insurmountable of odds. Regular college-goers are not as focused; many of them go to college because it’s expected of them and not because they really want to or because they’re hoping to achieve their goals through college.
  • You can minimize your overall expenditure – you don’t have to commute to and from college, you don’t have to shell out money for boarding and food, and you’re spared shelling out for those numerous parties that seem to be a persistent affair on any college campus.
Having said all this, it must be remembered however that online education works only when the student is extremely focused, knows how to balance many things on his/her plate, and is prepared to make a few sacrifices along the way to realize their aim.

This guest post is contributed by April Davis, she writes on the topic of Accredited Degree Online .

About Accredited Degree Online

Mission Statement:
Students are attending online colleges and universities in increasing numbers every year. Yet not every college is regionally accredited, and some are not even nationally accredited. Unfortunately, schools themselves have not been forthcoming with this information. As a result, I have created this website in order to provide students with the tools that they need to figure out whether the online degree they plan to obtain is accredited, if so by what body, and what the significance of that accreditation is.

Submit your Question: 
The online colleges are only loosely regulated, and relying exclusively on schools themselves to explain their accreditation status and its implications is leaving thousands of students confused or misled each year. As a result, April regularly answers students questions about online schools and whether they are accredited via email at Contact{at}AccreditedDegreesOnline{dot}org. If your question is new or interesting and applies to many schools generally I will request to add your question to our FAQ so that other students can benefit from this information as well.

April welcomes your questions and comments at her email

Many thanks to April.
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Online flexibility has rising appeal by Andrew Trounson

THE effectiveness and efficiency of online learning will come under increased scrutiny during the review of teaching funding.
The scrutiny comes as people start asking whether face-to-face learning is more expensive to deliver.

Curtin University's director of e-Learning Tony Herrington argues there is no basis to downgrade the worth of modern online learning and that it demands the same funding priority as face-to-face.
He also argues academic teaching load is the same whether the students are in a real classroom or online.

Associate Professor Herrington said the emergence of face-to-face online learning through software such as Skype and virtual classrooms is making the differences between the two teaching methods irrelevant. The flexibility that online provides digitally savvy students is increasingly attractive, he said.

He also believed online learning can be superior to face-to-face environments if students are left sitting passively in lecture theatres.

Source: The Australian 

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Research: Blended Learning and the Rise of Online Learning in K-12 Education

In the best-selling education book “Disrupting Class,” the authors, Clayton Christensen, Michael Horn and Curtis Johnson predicted that by 2019, 50 percent of all high school courses will be delivered online.
Today, co-author Michael Horn, executive director of Innosight Institute, and Heather Staker, a senior research fellow at Innosight Institute, released new research in conjunction with the Charter School Growth Fund and Public Impact, which expands on this prediction and documents the rise of blended learning.

Blended learning is defined as any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.

“U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently described a ‘new normal,’ where schools have to do more with less,” said Horn. “Blended learning will play a vital role, as school operators must rethink education’s structure and delivery with the new realities of public funding.”  
Read more... 

About Innosight Institute
Innosight Institute is a nonprofit/nonpartisan think tank based in Mountain View, Calif. whose mission is to apply Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen’s theories of disruptive innovation to develop and promote solutions to the problems in education.

About Charter School Growth Fund
The Charter School Growth Fund invests philanthropic venture capital in the nation's highest-performing charter school operators to dramatically expand their impact on underserved students.

About Public Impact 
Public Impact is a national education policy and management consulting firm based in Chapel Hill, N.C. which helps education leaders and policymakers improve student learning in K-12 education
Related link
Blended Learning and the Rise of Online Learning in K-12 Education (PDF)

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns
By Clayton M. Christensen, Curtis W. Johnson and Michael B. Horn

Applies Bill Gates' theory of 'disruptive innovation' to a much-needed evolution in educational technologies - offering opportunities and challenges for the business community. This book shows how tomorrow's innovations in education will change the way the world learns - and what businesses can do to meet those changing demands. 
Buy the Book   

Source: Business Wire  

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Improving the E-learning Experience with web-based tool -

ShowDocument is a service which allows professionals, teachers and students to collaborate using a variety of tools such as whiteboard, a text editor and more. Files can be uploaded, edited and saved offline or on our secured storage system. Opening a session requires no installation, and can be done directly from the main site at

Photo: ShowDocument
In a White Paper (PDF) ShowDocument describes, "Learning is a deeply personal act that is facilitated when learning experiences are relevant, reliable,and engaging and different kinds of learning demand appropriate strategies, tools, and resources.

It is clear that a variety of technical and pedagogical features are vital when designing an effective e-learning platform. An e-learning platform should also allow students and teachers to communicate using text, voice and video; upload and co-edit text documents; and simultaneously view and annotate a wide range of computer files, including images, forms, video clips and web pages.

ShowDocument is a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) e-learning application. ShowDocument provides students with advanced real-time communication and collaboration tools that enable them to initiate and participate in fully-synchronized ‘face-to-face’ online meetings with teachers.

ShowDocument is hosted on the Internet and accessed on demand - which requires no configuration or maintenance by technical personnel, and no purchase, download or installation, by e-learners and e-teachers. Created by HBR Labs, ShowDocument provides the opportunity to create an effective e-learning platform for a variety of educational communities. In sum, the ShowDocument e-learning platform takes a learning approach to e-learning.

Related links
Document Sharing and Web Meetings with a Single Click
Watch a Demo Video 

About ShowDocument
We specialize in providing free and low-cost online collaboration solutions, including document sharing, web meetings, and shared whiteboards. Meet your colleagues, clients and fellow students online with ShowDocument.
ShowDocument is a product of HBR Labs, a company that was founded in 2007 on the belief that in order for an interconnected world to work, people will need to use the web to meet and collaborate on projects.
And participating in a web meeting means more than just talking or listening in. It means working on files together, brain-storming withinteractive whiteboards, sharing documents and images, watching videos together, and a whole lot more.
One of the challenges of globalization is that it means people will access the web in many different types of environments. Students go online in coffee bars that tend to have unstable Internet connections. Corporate employees access the web from behind rigid firewalls. Many users will be prohibited by office policy (or by the age of their machine) from downloading plug-ins or software.
So HBR Labs set out to design a platform that eliminates all obstacles to online document sharing and collaboration. And that’s just what we did with ShowDocument (as well as with our sister product for corporations, VeriShow).
ShowDocument is a collaboration platform that lets you conduct web meetings with anyone anywhere anytime. All you need is a computer and a connection to the Internet. It’s quick and easy to use. Our business model is Freemium. We offerfree document sharing along with affordable feature-rich subscriptions. And ShowDocument requires no fussing with software or plug-ins to use. 

Source: ShowDocument 

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Why Online Education Will Attain Full Scale by John Sener

The Sloan Consortium’s Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks examines the potential of online education.

The latest Sloan Survey of Online Learning revealed nearly 30 percent of all college and university students now take at least one course online. As adoption of online learning continues to increase, issues related to scale, such as quality, access and acceptance, become paramount. In the latest issue of the Sloan Consortium’s (Sloan-C) scholarly periodical, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN), experts describe the practice and potential of online education.

JALN Volume 14, Issue 4, begins with an article titled, “Why Online Education Will Attain Full Scale,” by John Sener, who reasons online education “will soon become a routine, commonplace, and integral part of the educational experience.”

Online higher education has attained scale and is poised to take the next step in its growth. Although significant obstacles to a full scale adoption of online education remain, we will see full scale adoption of online higher education within the next five to ten years. Practically all higher education students will experience online education in some form during their collegiate career, and college students will be able to take online or blended degree programs and certificates in almost any subject. Full scale online education will occur as the result of compounded growth, increased familiarity and acceptance, various models of scalability, and possible wildcards which may accelerate growth. Online education will also attain full scale by becoming fully integrated into mainstream education. This transformation is necessary for online learning to reach its potential to improve the quality of education.
Read more...  

JALN access is free to members and non members can purchase individual pdfs or print copies.

Source: Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN) 

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How to predict the future with game theory by Professor Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

Virtual Professors showcases the most interesting free online college courses and lectures from top university professors and industry experts.

Virtual Professors writes, "Hailed as “the new Nostradamus,” Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has been shaking the world of political science to its foundations with his predictions of world events. His systems based on game theory have an astonishing 90%+ ratio of accuracy and are frequently used to shape US foreign-policy decisions on issues such as the terrorist threat to America to the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Considered by many to be the most important foreign-policy analyst there is, it is no surprise that he is regularly consulted by the CIA and US Department of Defense."

In this lecture below Professor Bueno de Mesquita looks at what is needed to reliably anticipate and even alter events in any situation involving negotiation in the shadow of the threat of coercion. He will demonstrate how to bring science to decision making in any situation from personal to professional.

Predictioneer: How to predict the future with game-theory

About Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Bruce is the Julius Silver Professor of Politics and Director of the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at New York University and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also a partner in Mesquita & Roundell, LLC (212 632 3950; contact, a New York-based consulting firm that uses game theory models he developed to assist corporations and the U.S. intelligence and policymaking community in complex negotiations involving mergers and acquisitions, litigation, regulation, and national security matters.

Bruce received his doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan in 1971 and a doctorate (Honoris Causa) from the University of Groningen in 1999. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, a former Guggenheim Fellow, the 2007 recipient of South Korea’s DMZ Peace Prize, and the recipient of many other academic honors for his teaching and his research.
Read more... 

The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future
By Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

The Predictioneer’s Game uses game theory, which is a fancy label for a simple idea – people compete, and they always do what they think is in their own best interest – and its insights into human behavior to predict and even engineer political, financial, and personal events. The forecasts derived by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita have been employed by everyone from the CIA to major business firms, and have an amazing 90 percent accuracy rate. This dazzling and revelatory book shares his startling methods and lets you play along in a range of high-stakes negotiations and conflicts.

Revealing the origins of game theory and the advances made by John Nash, the Nobel Prize–winning scientist perhaps best known from A Beautiful Mind, Bueno de Mesquita details the controversial and cold-eyed system of calculation that he has since created, one that allows individuals to think strategically about what their opponents want, how much they want it, and how they might react to every move. From there, Bueno de Mesquita games such events as the North Korean disarmament talks and the Middle East peace process and recalls, among other cases, how he correctly predicted which corporate clients of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm were most likely engaged in fraudulent activity (hint: one of them started with an E). And looking as ever to the future, Bueno de Mesquita also demonstrates how game theory can provide successful strategies to combat both global warming (instead of relying on empty regulations, make nations compete in technology) and terror (figure out exactly how much U.S. aid will make Pakistan fight the Taliban).
Read more... 

Related link
The Predictioneer’s Game

Source: Virtual Professors and The Predictioneer’s Game  

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Upside Learning Releases Free ebook: LMS For Training Companies - Then & Now

Combining its vast expertise and knowledge in the LMS domain along with robust experience in serving training companies across the globe, Upside Learning has announced the release of its FREE ebook titled ‘LMS for Training Companies - Then & Now’.
Authored by Amit Gautam, Director of Technology Solutions at Upside Learning, this eBook is targeted not only to the people in the training industry, but also to others in the Learning Management domain.

From a time when human mediated training was the norm in training companies to today, when technology enabled training has taken a centre stage in managing training, Learning Management Systems (LMSs) have come a long way since their inception. So has their role in training companies. 'LMS for Training Companies - Then & Now' is a compelling book that takes a comprehensive look at the LMS from the perspective of training companies.

Amit Gautam, Director of Technology Solutions at Upside Learning and author of this eBook commented, "As technology continues to evolve and become more pervasive, learning and its different styles undergo a proportional change. Learning Management Systems too have undergone a significant transformation over the past couple of years and are poised to transform further. The eBook drills down into this significant journey of the LMS and helps you understand why training providers had to break away from their core competency of classroom training and the ever changing and evolving role of the LMS."

Download your FREE copy of 'LMS for Training Companies - Then & Now' from the Upside Learning Website. 

For more information visit the website: 

About Upside Learning

Established in 2004, Upside Learning is a globally recognized leader in training outsourcing, LMS solutions, custom eLearning development & mobile learning solutions. With a collective experience of 600+ person-years, it has successfully completed more than 300 corporate and academic projects for over 150 clients worldwide.
The company’s product & services portfolio ranges from Custom eLearning to Catalog Courses, Mobile Learning to Blended Learning, Learning Management Systems to Technical support services tailor-made to an organization be it an Enterprise, a SMB or a Training Company.
Upside Learning has been consistently picking up awards & other recognitions every year, including the most recent, 3 Brandon Hall Excellence in Technology Awards for its flagship Learning Management System – UpsideLMS and Deloitte’s Technology Fast1600 Asia Pacific Program award.
It is its constant endeavor to develop advanced & innovative learning solutions to provide cutting-edge solutions to its clients thereby impacting their organizational learning and hence, performance.

About Amit Gautam  
Founder and Director of Technology Solutions at Upside Learning, Amit Gautam is the techie and brain behind the multi award-winning Learning Management System - UpsideLMS.
He leads the Technology Solutions team and has played a key role in bringing an innovative approach to the traditional Learning Management System. An MBA from IIM Lucknow, he has been associated with the eLearning domain for last 10 years, has twice served as a judge for the Brandon Hall awards, and is an active contributor to many eLearning forums. 

Source: Online PR News

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New evolving robots crawl before learning to walk

Roboticists are applying the way we learn to walk as humans to robots, hoping to improve their movement and behaviours by enabling them to change their form as they learn to move.

Photo: The Next Web
Just as babies learn to crawl before they walk, a new line of robots at the University of Vermont are able to walk by learning from successful movements. This happens because their unique design makes it possible for them to change form as they learn to walk. In the study, the robots wear a brace that gradually tilts their body and bends the legs, while the robot’s controller searches for successful movements. The robots begin in a crawl-like state and squirm around like a lizard on floor until they can figure out how to properly walk.

Josh Bongard, leading the study on these evolving robots, is a roboticist at the University of Vermont. He released his discoveries earlier this month to the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Related link
Bongard mentioned on a recent science podcast.

Watch an overview video of Bongard's robot simulations.

Source: The Next Web 

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Prof. Karim's One Stop Learning blog

What do you know about educators in Higher Education in Malaysia?

Zaid Ali Alsagoff, ZaidLearn writes today, "I am always thrilled to discover new edublogs from educators in Higher Education in Malaysia passionate about sharing their learning discoveries and journeys. This blog by Prof. Karim has already been around since November 2010, so it is not totally new, but without doubt worth sharing here. Interestingly, we met during a workshop (National E-Learning Road Map) late last year (2010), and have since communicated through Twitter and e-mail, but ironically I didn't really discover his juicy blog until today."

Related link

Source: ZaidLearn

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DuPont Sustainable Solutions Introduces the DuPont™ eLearning Suite: The Next Generation of Scalable, Enterprisewide Online Learning

DuPont Sustainable Solutions has released the DuPont™ eLearning Suite, the company's next generation of the Coastal eLearning System. By combining customizable, engaging content and scalable applications, the eLearning Suite enables organizations of all sizes and in all industries to standardize training across multiple locations and job titles and measure results.

Photo: Coastal Training Technologies
The DuPont™ eLearning Suite, which includes the Learning Management System (LMS), Interactive Courseware and the Authoring Tool, simplifies and accelerates the delivery and management of online and classroom learning. It provides role-based access, a multi-language interface, customizable reporting and many other features that allow training at the local level with tracking and reporting that spans the enterprise. Training administration is centralized and provides global reporting from any browser at any location.

The Interactive Courseware offers more than 1,300 timely and in-demand courses that incorporate compelling content and sound instructional design delivered with the highest production values. Courses are available in 20 languages and can be customized to include organization-specific video, graphics and training points to increase relevance to audiences. Also, training can be sequenced with prerequisites to assure progressive employee development. The suite standardizes training with forced mastery through testing.



About DuPont
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
We continue to offer organizations one of the industry's most powerful suites of blended learning solutions — including instructor-led training, online training and traditional media. With a comprehensive library of 7,000+ products covering six key content areas and available in 33 languages, we provide our worldwide clientele with compelling and site-specific training that helps meet their complex training needs.

Source: Training Press Releases .

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Computer game could improve decision making by Steve Bush

Queen's University Belfast researchers have developed a prototype game to help improve decision making skills in all aspects of life.

It could be built on by commercial games manufacturers and turned into an e-learning or training tool for professionals and for the general public, said the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which supported the research.

An example of suitable dilemma is: You're late for a train. Will you be able to catch it if you run? Or will that result in the stress of wasted effort?

"To maximise your chances of reaching the right decision, you'll need to take into account all information available to you - which may change minute by minute," said EPSRC. "It helps if, using this information, you try to make an appraisal of your chances, which will be more accurate if you take into account how you tend to interpret such information, based on previous experience. For example, maybe you know whether you tend to be over-or under-confident in similar situations."

About the “World of Uncertainty” game
Every day we face uncertainties of different levels. Most of the decisions we make have some unknown or random component. If the decision is required on repeated events we can base our judgment on frequencies or probabilities. For example flipping a fair coin, we know that the objective probability of it falling on heads is 0.5 or in other words chances are 50×50. When objective probabilities cannot be known, a decision maker can express her/his personal uncertainty by subjective probabilities. Basically, this is a quantitative answer to the questions such as “What is a likelihood of a certain outcome”, “What are the chances that you are right?”, “How sure are you?”, “How confident you are on a 1 to 10 scale?” The answers to such questions are subjective and cannot be right or wrong. If you know much about subject matter your estimation might be more accurate. But subject knowledge or expertise is not enough for communicating subjective probabilities. It is important to have “normative” skills. One of the most important indicators of “good” subjective probability estimation is calibration. Good calibration means minimal over or under estimation.
Our game aims at training these normative skills in the players. It allows you to explore your own confidence in your own knowledge, receive detailed feedback and learn from calibration charts.


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Website Helps Home Schooled Kids Get Their Education on the Go

Knowledge Quest Inc., a leading provider of online educational resources and curricula for the home schooling market, has just launched website to help home schooled kids identify and use the best mobile technology applications for schoolwork.

Many kids today are techno-savvy and carry mobile smart-phones and other handheld devices for communication, but are they using the latest mobile technology apps for education? A series of surveys conducted by Knowledge Quest in 2010 revealed that while kids are enthusiastic about mobile applications, they don't necessarily know how to identify and use them for educational purposes.

The new site allows visitors to browse by subject, such as math, science and language arts, or by company and price. Many of the downloadable applications are free, and those available for purchase currently range from .99 cents to $4.99. Developers and publishers of educational applications for the iPad or iPhone are encouraged to submit their applications to the site so the selection of downloadable applications will continue to grow.

About Knowledge Quest
Knowledge Quest, Inc. is dedicated to helping homeschooling families succeed. For 10 years, Knowledge Quest has published a large selection of history and geography curricula for the homeschooling marketplace (
In the last few years, Knowledge Quest has expanded by offering online assistance to homeschooling parents teaching the elementary and middle grades, as well as high school level material (, As new and experienced homeschooling parents are using more technology than ever, Knowledge Quest is seeking to provide an online location where parents can find, rate and review the best mobile apps available for educational use (

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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