Wednesday, July 29, 2015

And Then There Were Five...

Effective immediately, three of our groups will no longer be reported on in the Group Scoreboard, as follows:

Orkut, final membership 62, Orkut no longer exists
Plaxo, final membership 85, Plaxo Groups functionality has been deactivated
LearningTown, final membership 97, LearningTown no longers exists

Thank you very much for your participation in these groups - please continue to enjoy the remaining five groups - membership counts for the remaining groups will be updated soon.

Ted's Moodle Adventures: Chapter 1: Entering the Moodlesphere

It has been a while since I've posted in this blog - I've been busy with other pursuits, such as teaching my Henrico County Adult Ed (Richmond, VA area) computer classes, and ramping up my math and computer training business, pcLearning4U. In addition, I'm dealing with trying to stay clear of the colon cancer that attacked me last year.

Also, as you may know, I started the pcLearning4U Blog (using WordPress, the other popular blogging platform). As part of that blogging effort, I am chronicling Judy (my wife) and my efforts to learn our Android devices (Samsung Galaxy S4 phone and Tab4 tablet). These blog posts are listed under Ted and Judy's Android Adventures (see the TOC for a table of contents for these posts).

Last but not least, as much as I enjoy teaching classes, I've always wanted to write my own courseware. A number of years back, I briefly took a look at the Moodle open-source online learning platform, and have kept up a light interest in the subject. Then it happened - earlier this month, Dr. Nellie Deutsch, founder and CEO at IT4ALL, posted a link on LinkedIn to obtain a free Moodle site via MoodleCloud. I created my MoodleCloud site, with very little idea of what I wanted to do with this. I then came across a free Teaching with Moodle MOOC course that will get me started - and - this course starts in two weeks. The course covers a lot of the basics, lasts for 4 weeks, and according to the instructors, will take 3-4 hours per work to do. Needless to say, I signed up!

As I progress through my Moodle experiences, I will add chapters on this blog to this adventure story.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Versal

I recently began experimenting with Versal, a new courseware development platform. This platform enables the developer to quickly implement the structure of a course without difficult coding. The platform is still in beta, so there are a lot of problems and limits, but the Help Center is very responsive - I got answers to some concerns and glitches within 24 hours.

To develop or take courses, you need to sign up for a free Versal account, a very easy process.

The good news - you can put your ideas "on paper" very quickly. The bad news - text handling is still very rudimentary, as you will see if you choose to take my demo course (see below)!

There are a lot of "gadgets" included that allow you to display charts, math formulas, etc. When you are creating or modifying a course, you can see the gadgets (you have to scroll to the right to see them all). You then drag the gadget onto your work area and modify as able/desired

As a test bed for Versal, and in support of my business, I've created a brief demo course on how to do word problems that resolve to a quadratic equation.

Please feel free to take this course and let me know your thoughts! There are also some other demo courses accessible from the Versal home page.

Last but not least, Versal is free for now (unless you have a lot of learners accessing the course - see Versal for Teams for more details). The only thing they expect (and this is not required) is that if you use Versal, you act as an informal beta tester and send them any suggestions and issues.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The pcLearning4U Blog, and new services

My company has started a blog, with the very arcane name of the pcLearning4U Blog, which I hope you will follow in addition to following this blog. Note that the company blog has a different look and feel, due to the fact that I am using WordPress!

In addition, I am announcing that pcLearning4u is doing mathematics tutoring! Some of the subjects we cover are:
  • High school algebra, geometry, and trigonometry
  • The SAT college entrance exam
  • The ASVAB military entrance exam
  • The Metric System 
All suggestions and leads are appreciated - thanks!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Congratulations!

Congratulations to the LinkedIn Courseware Development Group for exceeding 2000 members!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sophia

Sophia.

What is Sophia? It is a platform for posting tutorials for various academic subjects, in video, PowerPoint, or PDF format. Where did they get the name? No idea - maybe the originator is a fan of "The Golden Girls"?
  • How much does it cost a student to use Sophia? Nothing. 
  • How much does it cost a teacher to post a tutorial on Sophia? Nada. 
  • How much can a teacher make via Sophia? Zilch.
  • What's the potential for positive name recognition if you post a useful tutorial on Sophia? Priceless.
Take a look at the website:

I've viewed a couple of tutorials so far, including a very good one called Conditional Formatting in Excel, which contains slide and video content. It is very easy to search for tutorials on your favorite subject.

I hope to create a tutorial myself soon. Why do it, if you can't make money via Sophia? Free advertising - you are allowed to mention your business in the tutorial description, as the author of the example above does.

Please feel free to comment.

Thanks - Ted






Monday, September 24, 2012

Pinterest

Hi folks,

A few words about Pinterest. My first thought was "what a peculiar name". I then decided to visit the site, and look at a few pin boards. The concept seemed a bit odd at first - an online version of a physical picture-only bulletin board. When I signed up, this seemed even odder - it asked me what my preferences were regarding art, etc., and I was given built-in people's boards to follow - I didn't realize my taste in art was so avant-garde!

After deleting a few of the follow-ees, and keeping a few that I found aesthetically interesting, I then went about creating some boards of my own, including one for my current place of residence (Richmond, Virginia) and one for my computer training business (pcLearning4U). The interface for adding ones own pictures, and re-using others (called repinning) is reasonably simple. I've also added a board for elearning-related items, and via searches in Google and Pinterest itself, have begun to see if and how Pinterest is supporting elearning/courseware-related efforts.

Much to my pleasant surprise, there is a lot of stuff out there! I had more luck doing Google searches on "Pinterest elearning" and "Pinterest courseware" than searching on Pinterest itself. I am just now scratching the surface of looking into Pinterest's elearning uses. A couple of uses are for lists of available courseware (such as Eric Sheninger's site), and for elearning-related infographics (such as Juan Antonio Ortiz' site).

I'm not sure if Pinterest itself is a good delivery tool for elearning content - at this point, it appears to be more useful as an information organizer, and a very good one at that.

As for myself, my use of this app is just beginning. All suggestions, in particular for the elearning board of my site, are greatly appreciated, as are all general comments regarding this post. If you are interested in keeping up with my efforts, please feel free to follow the board at the link above.

Thanks - Ted


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lectora - a few tidbits

If you are reading this blog, you probably have either used Lectora or know someone who has. Lectora is an excellent courseware authoring tool, by Trivantis. I have had the privilege of creating online courses using Lectora on several occasions.

One nice feature (among many!) is its test building mechanism. Questions can be set up in all the standard formats (multiple-choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank, etc.) with a variety of editing options. Multiple-choice questions, for instance, can have one or more-than-one correct answer. You can also physically edit the question page after you are done, for example, you can move an answer 5 pixels down if it looks better that way.

In fact, Trivantis is so associated with Lectora that they changed their website name to lectora.com!

The above are my opinions - please feel free to submit yours.

Thanks - Ted

Monday, October 31, 2011

Final Eight

To my readers:

We are now down to 8 Courseware Development groups due to the following reasons:
  • Nuvvo has been apparently deactivated
  • Konnects has apparently gone to a paid-membership-only platform
Please continue to join and participate in the other groups as desired.

Thanks - Ted

Monday, October 24, 2011

WizIQ Blog

To all of you who are interested in the WizIQ online learning system:

I am happy to report that they have started a blog - please visit this blog - it contains many interesting articles!

I've also added this blog to the Blogroll,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just Don't Overdo It

Some of you are on Facebook. Most of you who are on Facebook probably like to play games - usually, the price is right (free!). As long as you don't overdo it, I highly recommend The Sims Social from Electronic Arts - you can learn a lot from this game (wow- eLearning!):

  1. The object is to enhance your property (indoors and outdoors), and to maintain it. You learn cooperation because without the help of Facebook friends who also play, you will get nowhere.
  2. You learn organization because various things you buy have to be put in their proper place.
  3. You learn maintenance because various items need to be cleaned and/or repaired, and outdoor spaces need to be kept weed-free.
  4. You learn budgeting because you have coins and points that can be spent in a variety of ways.
  5. You even learn a bit about relationships, i.e., what type of in-game friendships you should have, and should not have, depending on your actual relationships, both online and real-world!

Have fun, and remember, it's only a game!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

More Do-it-yourself eLearning

Recently, my vehicle wouldn't start, so assuming the battery had drained, I decided to jump-start it with another vehicle. I followed these steps:
  • Googled 'how to jump start a car'
  • Visited this site
  • Printed the relevant pages
  • Successfully did the jump-start
  • Drove the vehicle, parked it, tried to start it again, and the battery drained again
It then became apparent after inspecting the battery that the battery probably needed replacement. To disconnect the old battery, and connect the new one, I followed these steps.

  • Googled 'how to disconnect a car battery'
  • Watched this YouTube video
  • Disconnected the old battery and took it to the store
  • Had them test it, and, after confirming its demise, bought the new battery
  • Googled 'how to connect a car battery'
  • Watched this YouTube video
  • Installed the new battery, drove the vehicle, parked it, and it started OK!
The moral of this story is not that I got my vehicle running again - it's that eLearning is all around you, even in this informal form!






Tuesday, May 17, 2011

pcLearning4U Newsletter

To my readers:

As some of you know, I am growing my personal computer training business, pcLearning4U. As part of these efforts, I have started a free email newsletter. The next edition of the newsletter will be published shortly, however, due to anti-spam rules, I have to limit delivery to subscribers.

The good news: subscribing is easy - just click this link and the form will walk you through the very easy subscription process - hope to see you on the list!

Thanks - Ted

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

eFront eLearning blog

I've added the eFront blog to the Blogroll, authored by Christopher Pappas. This is a very good eLearning blog, which features, among other things, Christopher's list of the top eLearning and workplace learning blogs. From the blog, you can also do other things such as subscribe to the eFront newsletter and like the eFront Facebook page.

I urge all my readers to take a look at this site and participate as desired!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

LinkedIn 1000!!

I am happy to report that the LinkedIn Courseware Development Group has reached 1000 members!

Also:
  • There is increased interest in the Nuvvo group
  • I'm adding new people to the Twitter list as often as I can find them
As usual, your input into this blog is greatly appreciated!

Thanks - Ted

Monday, February 28, 2011

The LinkedIn Group is Closing in on 1000 Members, but...

And this is a big but, folks - the other Courseware Development groups are generally not growing at all.

The good news is that my business, pcLearning4U, is slowly improving. The result of this, however, is that I don't have as much time to manage and contribute to these groups. Therefore, I would greatly appreciate your input into the following:

1. I'm going to keep LinkedIn alive (obviously!), also Facebook and Twitter (due to the popularity of these platforms). I'm thinking of shutting the rest down - please make your case for keeping any of the others alive.

2. I'd also like your thoughts regarding items to post to this blog - this is not a one-man show.

Thanks in Advance - Ted

Friday, December 17, 2010

eLearning Guild Facebook Page

For those of you who are members of the eLearning Guild, or otherwise are interested in the Guild:

The Guild is moving its Facebook presence from a group to a page, and they are encouraging people to "like" their page.

For more information, please see this Facebook message.

Friday, November 5, 2010

GoToMeeting

To everyone:

I am thinking of using GoToMeeting to do some remote training. Have you used this application for eLearning? If so, what are your experiences? Also, have you used GoToWebinar and/or GoToTraining?

Please post your comments here. For more information, click here.

Thanks - Ted

Monday, September 13, 2010

Prezi

I'm trying out the free version of Prezi, another presentation tool. Prezi allows you to put together simple presentations using a canvas (rather than successive slides), and pointing to and zooming on various parts of the canvas. The editing mechanism is a bit counter-intuitive (it uses an attached-bubble mechanism similar to mind-maps and fractals). The paid version probably has a lot more features. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Twitter List added to Group Scoreboard

To all:

Due to lack of activity in tweetworks, I've added the Twitter eLearning list to the Group Scoreboard. The tweetworks group still exists.

If you want to be on the Twitter list, please contact me via Twitter (tedkopp).

Thanks - Ted