eLearning entails planning

EARLIER this week I had the privilege of being invited to give a presentation at the Motheo FET College’s eLearning seminar.

A number of speakers were invited from all over the country to share their thoughts and ideas about eLearning and the various options available for an institution that is in the process of implementing an online component into their learning and teaching.

I must say this gave me quite a few things to think about. If I had to make the decisions, how would I plan, implement and grow such an initiative? Deciding on such a platform to manage all your teaching and learning is quite a daunting task.

I realised this is a situation that many institutions and even some schools now face. How do you implement and sustain such an initiative and how do you get teachers and lecturers to buy into the whole concept?

For any school or other institution wishing to go this path it is vital to investigate both the open source options as well as the proprietary platforms that are available.

Keep in mind that your budget may very well dictate the extent to which you can implement it.

You should look at the human resources you have, how much do they know? Do not rush into it. There are many options available that will most probably do what you want it to do. Going with the most expensive option believing it will work perfectly from day one is not the way to go. You will probably have just as many headaches.

Remember any school can implement a basic learner management system free of charge. There are many options available. Why not take the step and start with just one class?

The Motheo FET College will be taking huge strides in the future, and if what I saw at the seminar is anything to go by, it will be to the advantage of each and every student at their institution.

START THINKING GREEN

THE world is embracing the use of greener technologies to not only save the planet, but in many instances to save money. The reduced consumption of electricity is lowering monthly costs and it is vital that we try to go as green as possible when it comes to the way in which we make use of technology.

First of all there is the fact that we should buy computers that are produced by companies that are environmentally conscious. This is very hard to write about as companies are doing their bit in varying degrees. The best bet would be to find out as much as possible about the product you buy and the company that produced it.

The second thing would be to consider reducing the paper you consume. When you buy a new book consider buying an eBook reader and then purchasing eBooks in the future. Students should seriously consider this. If you do the calculations you will see that you will also start to save quite a bit after a while. The initial cost of the device would be more than a book, but after about ten books you will start to save.

The third recommendation that I will have for individuals and companies is to make use of fax to email services. Do not use regular fax machines. You should have the option to print only the faxes that need to be printed. Fax to email services give you a private fax number which is connected to your email address. As soon as you receive a fax you get it in your inbox. Two of these free services you can try is www.faxaroo.com and www.faxineer.com.

Always remember to think twice before printing any document.

Website to help you with your wedding

AUTUMN and spring are the times of year when most people plan to have their wedding. The weather is great and it is not too cold or too hot.

With winter approaching, I am sure a large number of brides are in the process of planning their spring weddings; getting the invitations designed and printed, making sure that they invite the right people and not forgetting the family from far away.

A trend these days is to focus on electronic invita- tions; this will not only save money, but time as well. You are also able to quickly get feedback from everybody you invite.

This entire process was still quite difficult, but I came across a website that was just launched to make your life as a bride a bit easier. I am writing about this now just to give you enough time to get things ready and still have time to get feedback before your spring wedding.

Weduary (www.weduary.com) makes it easy for any bride and groom to build a social and beautiful wedding website in minutes. Weduary is designed with a DIY spirit in mind you can personalise your entire site, from the domain name, to the registry info, to your custom colour palette.

The website includes an area where you can manage RSVP’s, photos and much more. You can even purchase a custom domain and link it to your own webpage on the Weduary.

I love the fact that the invitations can be linked to Facebook and you can then select those guests who are on Facebook and they will receive the emails even if you do not have a physical address or email address handy.

Gesels goedkoper

HOE kommunikeer jy deesdae? Maak jy nog so gereeld oproepe soos voorheen?

Ek het die afgelope ruk besef ek raak effens geïrriteerd met aanhoudende oproepe. Ek luister lankal nie meer na my stemposboodskappe nie en voel deesdae gemakliker om per e-pos, SMS of een van die ander boodskapprogramme op my selfoon te kommunikeer.

Ek verkies natuurlik om deesdae van What’s App gebruik te maak. Indien jy dit nog nie op jou selfoon geïnstalleer het nie, gaan kyk sommer dadelik of dit met jou selfoon versoenbaar is en indien dit is, sal die program jou baie geld spaar. Dit werk net soos ’n SMS maar met baie minder koste. Dit gebruik ook jou telefoon se nommerdatabasis, so jy sal nie nodig hê om vriende se pinkodes of ander kodes in te tik nie. Indien hulle ook die program het, sal jy hulle in die program gelys sien.

Die groot voordeel van die programme is jy steur mense nie. Indien ek ’n boodskap ontvang, kan ek besluit of ek dit dadelik wil lees en wanneer ek dan op die boodskap wil reageer, kan ek tot besluit ek wil die boodskap heeltemal ignoreer. Indien ek ’n oproep ontvang, moet ek dadelik alles los en aandag gee aan die een wat my bel.

Ons lewe in ’n wêreld waarin ons elke dag groot uitdagings aandurf en indien ons vir elke oproep alles moet los, sal ons nêrens kom nie.

Is dit nie tyd dat jy jou onderneming aanpasbaar maak vir navrae wat nie telefonies plaasvind nie? Wanneer het jy ’n SMS-navraag vir jou onderneming ontvang en gereageer? Is dit nie tyd nie?

Dit kan so maklik gedoen word.