Week 2 of the EDC MOOC – E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC #edcmooc

This is week 2 of the eLearning and Digital Cultures Course on Coursera, and I love every bit of content that it being presented. I try to work though it on the Monday, share my ideas on Monday afternoon, and I can only hope that by Tuesday, when others read it, it makes as much sense to them as it made to me here in my little office typing away.

If there is one think I know, it is that the future is truly unpredictable. If we look to the past and the way the future was seen back then… well we do not all own flying cars now do we?
I honestly enjoyed both the first two videos. I did not expect that the video by a glass company would make more sense to me than a video by Microsoft, but it did.

I was quite amazed by the first video. One tends to forget what a vital role glass will play in our future technologies. This is the time to buy shares in glass companies. I do not know if all these technological advances would be accessible to all but would it not be incredible if we all had these gadgets.

The use of technology in the classroom, will truly engage the learners if only the lecturer would use it in a way that actually involves students. I find that even though a lot of technology is already available in classrooms lecturers tend to forget that they are tools to enhance the learning experience and not take over the teacher’s role. It is still up to the teacher to apply these technologies in a way that will stimulate learning and awaken curiosity in the learner, to the extent that the student will want to learn, will want to search for new ideas and would want to use these resources to create their own learning environment.

In the video the students engage with the world through their gadgets and these gadgets engage them to the extent that they share their learning experience at home with mom…with popcorn and everything… a true learning experience that was so engaging that the knowledge became part of the student.

In “Sight”, the gamification aspect of daily life is predicted, and for some reason I almost want to believe that this is what will happen. Maybe not with everybody but I am sure it will be with teens. I hate to think that this is our future. I just hope that the ability to understand and read body language will not be taken over completely by apps. Great twist at the end!

The impact that technological advances will have on the way we learn and also the way we teach will be less disruptive than many would think. The major moves as I see it is the move OUT of the classroom.

Ubiquitous learning, learning where you are and when you need it. Access to content should be wherever you are. Educational resources created by the greatest lecturers in the world and those resources available to all.

I agree with Sharky, Education is currently broken, but not to the extent that it cannot be fix by just changing a few things. Charge for the qualification and not for the information. Make the information available and those who would like to be certified let them pay and get the qualification. Move it to a model where you engage with the content where and when you want and when you believe you have mastered the information, let you also be the one to decide when you want to take the test or exam to see if indeed you did master the content.

Open Education means different things to different people and many of the argument are correct even if they differ completely. To me Open Education is when you are able to access knowledge free of charge, make it your own at a time, place and pace that best suit you. Knowledge should not be owned. Knowledge should be available to all that desire it. As I said previously; Charge for the qualification, and not for the information/education.

Open Education may very well change the world we live in and enhance the lives of so many.

I could say loads more, but I think I would rather stop here.

ALMAL IS FOTOGRAWE EdenExpress JuicyBrain

Ons het almal fotograwe geword. Fotografie was jare terug ’n stokperdjie vir die een of twee mense wat baie geld gehad het vir die beste toerusting en ook wat dit kon bekostig om films te ontwikkel en die foto’s te laat druk.

Ek onthou ’n paar oorsese reise waarvan ek tot vandag toe nie al die films ontwikkel het nie. Ek het heelwat geld gehad om die films te koop terwyl ek op reis was, maar toe ek terugkom in Suid-Afrika het ek net nie in daardie stadium genoeg geld gehad om alles te laat ontwikkel nie. Die films het natuurlik intussen tot niet gegaan.

Vandag het ons almal heeldag baie goeie kameras in ons hande. Feitlik al die nuwe selfone het ’n ongelooflike goeie ingeboude kamera en dit maak dat ons almal ons kreatiwiteit kan uitleef.

Programmetjies (apps) soos Instagram gee elkeen van ons die geleentheid om kreatiewe, oorspronklike kunswerke te skep. Ons kan oomblike in ons lewens vasvang en bewaar en dit met ons vriende deel sonder om te wag.

Alles gebeur feitlik onmiddellik. Jy neem ’n foto en stuur dit aan jou vriende. Ideaal hiervoor is natuulik ’n program soos What’s App of dalk BBM vir die van julle wat BlackBerry gebruik.

Webbladsye soos Facebook het ook reeds programme wat jy op jou foon kan installeer om jou foto’s maklik met jou vriende te deel. Die belangrikste om te onthou, is om nie jou foto’s almal op jou selfoon te hou nie. Jy moet dit iewers aflaai na ’n webblad of rekenaar. Jou foon is heeldag in jou hand en blootgestel aan groot gevare. Jy kan in ’n oogwink al jou foto’s verloor.

Geniet al die foto’s wat jy neem, laai dit op en deel dit, maar bewaar ook hierdie oomblikke deur veilig te wees.

Week one of the EDC MOOC – E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC #edcmooc

The Internet can really level the playing field both in life and in education. Yes, I do know that we are not all online yet, but we are getting there.

As this is my first post for the #edcmooc I think it will be fitting for me to just introduce myself in this post that is specifically aimed at this course.

I am Nico Baird and this is my personal blog. I write a number of technology columns and post some of these columns here. I would love this space to be made up of everything I write and all my thoughts, ideas and even things I find online that inspire and direct me. In the past I have created blogs for various projects, but I believe that by focussing on only this one space I will be able to focus more on what I want to present and share.

I am a PhD student at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, in South Africa. I am permanently employed at the Central University of Technology, Free State which is also located here in Bloemfontein as an Instructional Designer. For more general information please click on the About link at the top of the page.

I watched the videos of week one and I must admit I loved them. I honestly think that Inbox is a brilliant representation of how our lives have changed. It is easy to see positive and negative perspectives to this video, but I think that the positives really outweigh the negatives. We are now in a world where technology is really levelling the playing field. The girl not really liking the attention she was getting from the guy. Finding an anonymous method of communication to communicate with someone and then in the end finding that she actually likes the person she is communicating with. The bags is such an incredible way of representing our use of a medium like email or instant messaging to communicate with someone. Stripping away preconceptions and getting down to the communication between two individuals. Even in teaching the anonymity can be greatly advantageous.

From all four videos it is clear that technology is a huge part of our daily lives, there is no way of us ever escaping it. It is clear to me that we need to embrace technology for the good it can do, but we also need to be cautious that we do not depend on it too much. We should not allow it to take over our lives.
I must say I love technology, in life, in teaching, and in almost every aspect of my life, but I do realise I may become too dependent on it.

Well, this is my first post for #edcmooc, I am still finding my feet in this course and hope to interact more and even better in future posts.


Hou die grysstof wakker – EdenExpress – Juicybrain

Ek glo vas dat ’n mens elke geleentheid wat jy kry om iets nuut te leer, moet aangryp met albei hande. Ek is een van daardie mense wat nie sommer sal ophou om verder te leer nie.

Ons lewe in ’n wereld waar daar deurlopend nuwe kennis teen ’n geweldige spoed gegenereer word. Elke oomblik van elke dag is die kennis wat ons reeds het, aan’t verouder. Ons lewe in ’n kennis-ekonomie waar kundigheid meer en meer waarde kry. Goud en silwer se waarde groei nie naastenby so vinnig soos die waarde van kundigheid nie. Ek het die afgelope week ingeskryf vir ’n aantal aanlyn-kursusse wat gratis aangebied word. Die kursusse word gelys en as MOOC’s (Masive Open Online Courses) aangebied.

Die webplatform waarvan ek baie hou is Coursera.org. Registrasie is gratis en jy kan inskryf vir die kursusse waarin jy belangstel. Daar is ’n magdom om van te kies en word deur personeel van van die wêreld se voorste universiteite aangebied.

Die kursusse wissel van bekendstellingskursusse (introduction) tot gevorderde kursusse. Van programmering tot sakebeginsels, algebra tot astronomie daar is werklik iets vir almal.

Indien jy nie nou in een van die kursusse wat daar is belangstel nie, moet jy net oor ’n paar weke weer gaan loer, want daar word deurlopend nuwe kursusse bygevoeg. Die meeste van die kursusse sal ook vir jou ’n sertifikaat uitreik wat vir jou van waarde kan wees as bewys dat jy die kursus voltooi of bygewoon het.

Gaan kyk rond en geniet elke oomblik van elke kursus waarvoor jy inskryf.

Look for the best deal – EdenExpress – JuicyBrain

I started this year off by moving from my cellular provider of about 15 years to a new provider. For many years I have seen that some of the other providers provided better deals to their customers and after reading online that my provider is the most expensive, I just decided to take the leap.
I did not want to lose my number and I was really thinking that it would be a huge job and struggle to port my old number to the new provider. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that it only takes an SMS to do that.
I would therefore like to recommend that you no longer cling to your old service provider just because you do not want to get a new number. When you reach the end of your contract, feel free to shop around for the best deals that are available out there. Especially take into consideration the fact that your data consumption on your mobile device will increase dramatically in the next two years and you need to prepare yourself for that.
Many operators count on the fact that you do not want to take the risk of losing your old number, so you just keep renewing your contract. I can assure you that moving your number to a new provider is easy and quick and you need not worry.
When shopping around, also remember that some providers give you free minutes and others give you a monetary value that you can use on the contract before you are charged.

The difference is, the cost per minute of these calls could end up being only a few free minutes. Do your calculations and shop smart.

A look ahead towards 2013 – JuicyBrain – EdenExpress

As the end of 2012 draws near, it is time for us all to look back over the year that has passed and to think about what we have achieved.

It is also a time for us all to think about next year and the things we hope to accomplish in the New Year. I will try to provide you with technology and web advice that will help you achieve some of these goals and maybe make your life just a little better through the use of technology.
At this time of the year I always love to look ahead and think about what we may see on the technology front for the next year.

I believe that 2013 will see the announcement of the new Apple television set. For many years there have been rumours that Steve Jobs believed that the interaction between humans and television sets are flawed and should be more instinctive. I believe that in 2013 Apple will finally announce this new television set. Whether we will be able to afford it is another question.

Next year more televisions will have Internet-enabled capabilities and we will see a huge increase in the way we consume content on our televisions from the Internet. Some televisions already have these capabilities, but it will become the norm.

I think in 2013 we will see the end of most video stores and music shops. Yes, it is sad, but with South Africans finally being able to legally buy music and movies online through iTunes, I cannot see how these stores will be able to survive.

The other innovations and exciting developments in 2013 I will share with you as the year progresses.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a technologically enhanced new year.

iPhone 5 Finally here!

The iPhone 5 is finally about to arrive in South Africa and as a huge Apple fan, I have already ordered my phone. It has been a long wait, but this week all the cellular companies announced that the iPhone 5 will be available on the 14th of December.

Not only is the phone fitted with the retina display as with the iPhone 4S, but it now has a faster processor which greatly enhances the speed at which applications can execute tasks. I have found, as the functionality of apps increase and as new apps evolve, they need a bit more processing power to enable fast results and loading times.

The list of new features in this phone is way too many to list here, and I invite you to visit the Apple.com website for more information and also a list of features in the new phone.

I also have to mention that I strongly believe that if you still have an iPhone 3 or iPhone 4, you should consider upgrading immediately. But if you have an iPhone 4S and you are still in a contract, there is no reason for you to upgrade too quickly. The one thing I love about Apple phones is the fact that the operating system is backward compatible and you can enjoy the features of the improved operating system, even if you do not have the latest and greatest model.

If you have one of the previous iPhone models, remember to update your operating system on a regular basis to enjoy the great features that are now available in the new system.

To those of you on holiday waiting for the new iPhone to arrive, make sure that you get it before Christmas that would truly make it a wonderful festive season!

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