‘iPad Curriculum’

‘iPad Curriculum’ is a blog about how iPad apps can be used as learning tools. See:

iPad Curriculum

I think this is a great example of the development that can occur once a device has been created. Once its built, people start looking at different ways it can be used, and now more and more people are starting to look at how tablets and mobile devices can be used for education (among other things).

To find more education iPad apps, try www.apple.com/education/apps/. For Android devices, see market.android.com/apps/EDUCATION


Libraries and technology

Libraries may be thought of as ‘old school’ and to have little to do with technology, but this is not the case. Have a look at the following links:

As Wi-Fi Havens And E-Book Centers, Public Libraries Aren’t Going Away Soon Fastplanet article

Through the looking glass and beyond smh.com.au article

Victorian Association for Library Automation (VALA)

Public Libraries Victoria Network – ‘Technology’ page

Khan Academy

The ‘Khan Academy’ seems to keep coming up whenever comments are made about tech and eductaion. A “not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere”, they seem to be a well known player in the movement for free education. See the links below for more info:

Khan Academy

They have their own YouTube channel, see:

Khan Academy YouTube channel

The great thing about having a video explaning the content is the ability to rewind and re-play when the individual requires. Its a bit more difficult to get the teacher to re-wind!

‘Angry Birds’ as a learning tool

Many people have played the ‘Angry Birds‘ game, but does it provide opportunities for learning? Yes, according to a post on the iLearn Technology blog. See the post at the link below:

Using ‘Angry Birds’ to teach maths, history and science

The outcomes for the target group of learners seemed to be very good. Learning resources can be found almost anywhere!

Implications of ‘free’ learning

We have done a few posts recently on this aspect of free/DIY higher education. It included information about free courses and free resources. What does all this mean for ‘traditional’ education providers?

It depends. Providers such as TAFE’s and those offering practical skills will always have a place. While you can read all about making stairs or welding gates, it is still much better to be able to learn in a practical setting with someone who knows how to do it. But for others, it may have some impact on the numbers of students, and as the margins get smaller, this may mean that some courses don’t get to run. And the more that happens, the less flexibility there is, and the more learners will look for other options such as online courses!

While it may not be having a measurable impact at this point, as learners increasingly demand learning when it suits them, the providers will have to change. In the short-term, part of the answer lies in providing good quality delivery with staff who are committed to meeting the learners needs. In the longer term, business models may need to change so that content is free, but the providers charge for assessment services.

Another option is to work out where the free courseware matches curriculum/training package needs. Why can’t learners be given credit for what they do via free courseware? Providers can tell the learners what free courseware relates to their courses, and then the learner enrolls with the local provider to get the rest of the content. After completing the assessment processes, they can be issued with ‘the piece of paper’.

This means that everyone wins. The learner gets greater flexibility, and instead of free courseware being a threat, it actually saves the provider having to develop resources for that component of the course.

‘Free’ university, free courses

Continuing with this aspect of free/DIY learning, some more links are below. The first two relate to a ‘tuition-free’ university (there are fees for application and examination processing):

University of the People

University of the People helping Haitians learn

The next two links are to free online courses:

MIT Open Courseware

The Open University

And then there is iTunes U, which contains “more than 350,000 free lectures, videos, films, and other resources — from all over the world.”

Teach anything online?

If you have some skills or knowledge that you want to share, how would you go about it? The most common way is to become a teacher at a school or learning institution. However, technology has created new ways for people to share their skills and knowledge.

The link below is to an article highlighting different tools that can be used by ordinary people with something to share:

Teach anything online (mashable.com article)

(or should it be ‘Facilitate anything online’!)