LAMS

Remember Connexions? I said about Connexions, a LO repository where content was under a Creative Commons License, that “what I think is really thrilling is the possibility of using these learning objects or modules and set up your own course” as in a puzzle.

I read yesterday in Octeto that LAMS has been released as free software.

And no, it is not yet another LMS, but an authoring tool:

LAMS is a revolutionary new tool for designing, managing and delivering online collaborative learning activities.

It provides teachers with a highly intuitive visual authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities. These activities can include a range of individual tasks, small group work and whole class activities based on both content and collaboration.

And has a serious concern with e-learning standards and so.
Under this ICT4D blog point of view, the new thing is that this should make easier for some people to produce online content for e-learning or other purposes.

Subscription to comments

Today I added Subscribe to Comments plugin. I’m quite sure quite nobody’s subscribed to the comments rss 2.0 feed, but sometimes would like to know of the follow up messages of a comment made on one of my posts.

This is just what this plugin does.

I’ve also customized my own Error 404 page. Some weeks ago I converted all my static pages (abouts, articles, disclaimer) into WordPress Pages, which was a good idea, but had the evident problem concerning old bookmarks and broken links. Redirecting old pages to new ones did not look fair to me. Thus, I deleted them and, instead, customized the 404 so people can easily find again where they where going.

Digital literacy: push or pull strategies?

This is an e-mail I sent to my students of the Digital literacy and exclusion course I’m giving virtually at the UOC. I found it interesting to share with my future myself.

First of all, a digression. Afterwards, an example. Last, a conclusion. (In between, patience: yours ;)

Digression

In marketing, a push strategy is the one a brand designs to push the costumer to buy something by affecting the distribution/distributor. i.e. “this week, 10% discount on lettuces” (discount on lettuces so that they are cheaper than a beef steak and thus people prefers lettuce)

A pull strategy is the one that pursues that the customer himself pulls the demand. i.e. “eating vegetables is good for your health” (thus the customer will buy lettuces instead of beef, because he feels the “need” of it)

Example

In digital literacy issues, we tend to foster “push” type actions, say, “let’s give digital tools to the people of the world so they get free” “let’s make anyone empower him with text processor skills” “let’s make anyone have a computer”. Two problems arise here:

  • we can find someone hammering in a nail with the mouse of his computer… didn’t he need a hammer rather than a computer? The example is – of course – exaggerated but we’re maybe teaching someone Java or PHP programming when, actually, teaching him how to make a very simple web page with a very simple (WYSIWYG) web editor will be enough. And tempting the student to give up because Java was far too difficult for his purposes.
  • The other problem is, simply, that we can give away something that will let the user half way from the start, half way from the goal. Typical example is content: we teach someone to browse the Internet but he does not find content in his mother language (the only one he can speak) that are of his interest. Or he cannot find them. He knows they are out there, but he cannot reach them. What, then, digital literacy for?

Conclusion

Dealing with senior digital literacy programs, whether “grandpa’s page” is interesting at all, whether it is good for an aged person – in risk of social exclusion – to get in touch with friends through e-mail, or if he or she will help grandson with his homework… they are all of them are ways of thinking totally “push”, say, we’re making it easy for senior people to use the tools, we put them at their reach, we make “discounts” on the personal “cost” of using them… and afterwards they will use it on whatever they want. Or not.

The proposal could – for senior communities, but also other communities in risk of digital exclusion – a point of view from the “pull” side, not in competence with the previous one, but complementing it, both good, but normally forgotten.

We’ll soon be able to ask for an appointment with the doctor only through his website. We’ll soon get our X-ray images only by e-mail. We’ll soon have information concerning public administration or elections only through digital media. Or we’ll only be able to follow a course by e-learning means. Etc.

It surely won’t be “only” most of them, but a good bunch of them will.

My question is… do we have to think in training grandpa to make is own website… or train him so he can keep on being a first class citizen, avoiding having his son to read the e-mail he gets in his grandson electronic address?

Education for development

One World Spain posts a list of educational resources to promote cooperation and development.

The sites gathered are mainly in Spanish though there are some in Catalan and it is all about online resources to support education for development. They all look really interesting!

ConsultantCommons.org

Marnie Webb points in his blog towards a post in ConsultantCommons.org.

This is a place I did not know :(

A CompuMentor initiative running on CivicSpace

ConsultantCommons provides an online collaboration space and community for non-profit technical assistance providers to collaboratively build and share knowledge. The goal of ConsultantCommons.org is to provide a resource for nonprofit technology assistance providers to share and develop consulting tools and resources. The system is designed so that consultants can find, contribute and collaborate on tools and information they use to maintain a consultancy and provide services to nonprofits.

Quite young yet. Quite interesting.

DrupalED

More on Drupal as Learning Management System

This time news are DrupalED: “DrupalED is a Drupal-based distribution optimized for use in educational contexts” (from their about page).

[Via D’Arcy Norman]