Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week 3 R685 Web 2.0 - Ebooks

This week's course readings were a series of articles related to the emergence of eBooks and readers.

One of the articles e-Book News contained news clips of multiple types of e-reader technologies. Given the prices for some of them, buyers should be careful to pick one that has a potentially long life from a technological platform standpoint. Sony Reader Daily Edition, Eco Reader, Samsung SNE-50K, Merlin, iRex, Astak Pocket Pro..... The list of available options is pretty long. Which is best, which will survive, which technological platform will survive?

E-readers seem to offer a lot of PC-based technical features allowing users to manipulate, annotate, store, search. I see these features much the way I see music libraries, playlists on an MP3 player or iPod. Lots of potential, but I still see a gap in usability regarding reading as you would with a paper book. Screen size, contrast still aren't equivalent to reading a book. But these technical gaps will likely be overcome. In class chat this week, Dr. Bonk mentioned user interface designs that might fold out. We also talked about designing e-Books so they were adapted to a user interface instead of converting paper-based books to digital formats. Interesting thoughts.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I've continued to develop my understanding of the implications of Web 2.0 via the R685 course forums and chat. I'm beginning to appreciate the enormous quantities of information and learning opportunities available.

Recent readings point out that learning will include significant amounts of informal, on-demand events. This is a departure from the structured, formal, university course scenarios I've grown accustomed to over the years.

But I now see informal, on-demand not necessarily meaning just surfing the web and finding cool stuff. Instead informal can have a general learning objective and the learner can use the web to add to that objective incrementally with nuggets of knowledge gathered throughout the web.

This afternoon I read an article by Dr. Bonk called " An Open Letter to the Learners of This Planet." In it he suggests that so much is happening that "traditional learning is integrated into the virtual and informal......" I wonder if there will be universities that provide less formal instructional content to their courses but provide credentially to students and evaluation once students satisfy learning objectives by gathering instruction directly from web sources?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 1 R685 Web 2.0

This is my first post in an Indiana University Instructional Systems Technology graduate course on Web 2.0.

This will be my first experience trying out web 2.0 technologies like blogs, video blogs, podcasts, wikis, etc. The class has 11 people most having worked for some years so we'll be able to share work experience and discovery during the semester. It should be a lot of fun.

The course R685 titled the World is Open with Web Technology is starting at a fast pace with lots of options for weekly readings. Professor Bonk recently published a book called The World is Open. It is a very interesting read reminding me of the World is Flat by T. L. Friedman. Dr. Bonk speaks of enablers for the web being "pipes, pages and a participatory culture." Dr. Bonk describes these events in Friedman terms as "triple convergence." I'm hoping to understand the implications of this thought as the semester progresses.

This week represents two mileposts for me, my first blog and first FaceBook page. I hope to experiment with the other web 2.0 technologies as the semester progresses. More later.