Monday, December 31, 2007

Buy only what you NEED

This is something that has kicked around in my head for many years and i try an practice it every day... This 20 minute flash video explains why.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Composing free and open online educational resources

I just signed up for this course about developing OER. It is very similar to what I was proposing in my paper titled "Utilizing Open Educational Resources for International Curriculum Development". I believe this will be an excellent course as I have been following the work of Teemu for a while. He also posted a comment to one of my blog posts a while ago. So it would seem the seven degrees are reducing...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The OER4D Program

So I finished another paper and put it over on my academic blog. The paper is more of a proposal for a new university level program about utilizing OER for development. Or in other words it is an Open Educational Resource (OER) about how to create, eruse and alter existing OER. I believe a course like this is overdue. So I've written this proposal and if all goes well, I hope to start building the resource in the new year.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Why a Learning Systems Architect?

So I was prodded into making a defense for my new role of Learning Systems Architect… Here is my rant of a response, enjoy.

Nobody apparently needs!?! Everybody needs! They just aren’t aware of it yet. But they should be, and will be. What sort of organization? Any organization engaged in the knowledge based economy and want to encourage their employees to self construct knowledge and thrive within their organization. See John Seely Brown; The organizations internal pain would be
  1. employees seeking more interesting opportunities elsewhere, 
  2. a general erosion of an organizations ability to identify and create new knowledge at an ever increasing rate… 
  3. let your mind wonder…
A Learning Systems Architect works as the implementer and technical eyes / expert for the Chief Learning Officer. The Chief Learning Officer makes sure the organization has everything (politics, budget, infrastructure, knowledge, etc) in place to be a learning organization. Otherwise, the organization dies… The World 2.0 is here, knowledge doubles every 18 months, 1.3 billion youth will emerge from the developing world in the next 10 years to fill an estimated 380 million new jobs, only 130 million university seats exist today in the developed world, where will the 130 million (10% of the 1.3 billion) of the developing world students get their education? When all the seats are occupied by developed world students? Answer: the learning organization with a learning infrastructure built by a Learning Systems Architect…

Thanks again for prodding me to clarify… Please, prod me again. This is known as socio-constructivist learning. It is a core theory that a Learning Systems Architect builds a learning eco-system…

Monday, February 05, 2007

Learning Systems Architect

Learning Systems Architects perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Collect and document user’s requirements and develop logical and physical specifications
  • Liaise with clients, product managers and senior management regarding the feasability and design of product development
  • Research, evaluate and synthesize technical information to design, develop and test computer-based learning and instructional systems
  • Develop data, process and network models to optimize architecture and to evaluate the performance and reliability of designs
  • Ensure that performance, scalability and extensibility requirements of the product are gathered and met
  • Plan, design and co-ordinate the development, installation, integration and operation of computer-based learning and instructional systems
  • Assess, test, troubleshoot, document, upgrade and develop maintenance procedures for operating systems, communications environments and applications software
  • May lead and co-ordinate teams of information systems professionals, interactive media developers and instructional designers in the development of courseware and integrated information systems
  • May research and evaluate a variety of learning management systems, interactive media software products and software frameworks.
Employment requirements
  • A bachelor’s degree, usually in computer science, computer systems engineering, software engineering or mathematics
  • Post-secondary education and experience in education and learning theory within K12, adult and life long learning.
  • A master’s or doctoral degree in a related discipline(s) may be required.
  • Experience as a computer programmer and software designer is usually required.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Job Description

I am looking for a new job. I have just spent a year in St. John’s Newfoundland on a paternity leave and doing some instructional design and workshop facilitation. My family has now returned to Vancouver. I have fired up my networking engine and have begun to send out emails and contact people I know in Vancouver. One of those people; Troy Angrignon after receiving an email from me asked for me to be more specific to what I was looking for. I know what I am looking for; I’d like a job as a Learning Systems Architect. A formal job description of a Learning Systems Architect doesn’t exist, so I am going to write it myself. After some reflection and some google searches I came across a few web pages that I will use as reference to build this job description;
  1. The Canadian National Occupational Classification site;
  2. The Learning Systems Architecture Lab;
  3. A Senior Architect position description I pilfered from
    desire2learn (I wish they had an office in Vancouver);
  4. A description of a Learning Technology Systems Architecture
    (LTSA) put together by the IEEE;

Monday, January 08, 2007

Recording a Lecture

I’ve been giving some thought to recording lectures using a voice recorder and lapel mic. Once you get past the argument of whether you believe this is a good idea or not, here are a few suggestions;
  1. Number and Title your slides and refer to the title or number during the lecture - this keeps listeners on the same slide
  2. Re-state all student questions before answering them.
  3. Pause your recorder when a large pause occurs due to an activity.
You may want to consider getting an audio editor like audacity to increase the volume of your MP3 recording and editing out the long pauses… Don’t spend too much time editing, this can become a time hole. Posting the MP3’s to odeo can also be a good idea for it could attract more attention to your work.
Having lectures posted as MP3’s, slides and lecture notes provides the ability for students to review and reflect after the lecture. This provides a new way for students to deepen their learning.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I’ve chosen Ubuntu

I’ve chosen Ubuntu linux as the OS for this Moodle project. Why Ubuntu? A number of reasons;
  1. There has been a lot of positive buzz about Ubuntu on slashdot and other locations
  2. Getting started is really easy, I also visited the redhat, suse and BSD sites and found the Ubuntu site provided the easiest UI. (I believe a products website / UI says a lot about the product.) I will also admit it was a toss up with OpenBSD…
  3. I like the idea of supporting a Linux product from the African continent
  4. I like their idea of a version specifically for education
  5. Their support seems to be consistent and integrated across versions and releases
The server end-point is a LAMP server. So once I have all this up and running, I’ll make another post regarding the experience.