Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wordpress as a Syllabus Database

I have not had the time to read this through thoroughly yet, but the idea is just fascinating and promising enough that I'm going to post this one here for possible feedback and to commit it to my archives for future perusal. What a great idea! (Thanks to Stephen Downes' e-mail list!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New resources!

Please take the time to peruse the Source Forge and Open Culture links I just added to our resource list.

Source Forge is a repository of free open-source (nonproprietary or noncommercial) software made available to the public for free! We especially had fun with Celestia, a program that takes its users on a visual tour of the solar system in VERY realistic detail and allows for a variety of levels of space exploration. There is a category called "Home and Education" which is particularly rich but other categories hold promise for usable content as well.

Open Culture caught my eye because James Taylor is offering free online guitar lessons there! I am sure that there is other content there of interest to course developers. Again, the emphasis is on FREE for those tight departmental budgets!

Let me know if you know of any good resources we should add to our growing list! And please let me know if you find anything particularly fabulous in any of those we have already shared.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Alabama A&M Pioneers in e-Learning

I have had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Taylor Byrd, Jr. one time so far, but am looking forward to working with him in coming years. His early work in e-learning at Alabama A&M University no doubt helped lay important groundwork for the current emergence of a formally recognized and supported institutional distance education and e-learning department.

Here is a glimpse into some of the early efforts in asynchronous learning at AAMU.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Grant funding alert!

Help spread the word! There is $300,000 in grant funding available for science and engineering academic programs that serve minorities. Need money to help build your e-learning program or courses in an engineering or scientific field of academics? Here's your chance!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Learning Object Repositories (LORs)

Learning Object Repositories (LORs) are the secret weapon of many faculty online course developers who need to develop a course fast and then consider self-produced enhancements and alternatives later, after the wheel is turning. (In fact, a learning object developer might consider contribution to the repository!) LORs like MERLOT offer a repository stocked full of peer-reviewed "learning objects" (typically interactive multimedia "objects" like instructional video or a flash-based assessment tool, among myriad others with new technology spawning rapid evolution) that can be used by anyone who has a need for the content! Many are officially LORs in their primary mission, but some, like YouTube or i-Tunes U offer a wealth of learning object resources as well. Those LORs like MERLOT which offer peer-reviewed content are especially valuable when one considers the need for application of theories of instructional design.

Check out the lists on the links bar! I apologize for numerous broken links on that directory, but don't want to take the list down because some of them ARE good resources and work well. Those who teach in science, math, economics, accounting or business will be especially interested in the Khan Academy, a surprising free repository with an interesting history and a lot of attention on the national e-learning landscape!

ATTENTION to e-LEARNING ADVENTURERS: MERLOT is recruiting peer reviewers and is registering folks for GRAPE camp, an online training series that prepares participants to serve as content peer reviewers. Join the fun and then let's talk as a group! Please let me know if you take this training through MERLOT! (We hope to offer similar peer review certification training on campus which will be designed just for AAMU faculty and course developers.)

In the meantime, we know that there is content out there for our use which already complies with principles of sound pedagogy/andragogy, accessibility and accreditation guidelines and technological reliability for the learner. I hope that you will help me enhance our list of resources! Please send me your finds!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Alabama A&M University

Hello my new neighbors and colleagues!

I am excited to be joining the Alabama A&M University community! My new role is to assist in the development of a formalized online learning program.

I hope to use this blog to communicate more personally and expediently with the members of my new community as well as the global e-learning community at large. Over time, I have found that the lines that at one time categorized my life, roles, and relationships are blurred more and more everyday with the integration of Web technologies into every aspect of our collective living, learning, loving and working. Our work here will prove to anyone who still holds doubt that the Web holds immense power and infinite possibilities for accomplishing all of these things successfully, sometimes all at the same time!

Please be in touch!