This is what that one slide looked like.
However, since this is a blog where I get to practice my dexterity with words, I thought I'd give a brief description of what each technology can do in the context of ODL before I point you to the online resource. Even though I used a variety of online resources during the workshop, I shall just stick to YouTube videos here as they are a much better way of explaining something. Also it has a bit to do with my laziness as it is always better to let someone else do the hard work to explain something rather than me doing everything. This is where the programmer in me springs to action with Object Oriented Programming (OOP) 101 which goes something like "a good programmer is a lazy programmer who never re-invents the wheel...". Thank god we have YouTube and all those hard working souls who fiddle about with fancy camcorders and spend the days of their lives editing the High Definition (HD) videos for the simple pleasure of seeing them on YouTube. Having said that, I take no responsibility for what is said and done in the YouTube videos included in this post. Although I have gone through them to check for acceptable quality, watch at your own discretion.
Using social networking to support students (facebook)
Just in case you didn't know, facebook can be used for things other than sharing party pics, movie trailers and witty status messages. You can use the "groups" feature to create study groups for your students where they can discuss course related topics, chat with peers, do exam revision, share useful study resources including YouTube videos and get instant updates from the academics via the wall. Two other cool features are the group e-mail address which allows you to communicate with the whole group at once and the docs feature which allows you to create documents and threaded discussions on the page.
How to create a facebook group: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFmwlSIfKLI&feature=related
Using blogging to support students (blogger + facebook)
Blogging is a very powerful tool for sharing knowledge and for kindling discussions. In fact blogging is a license to express your opinion (and sometimes patronise). Blogger (the place you are reading this post) is a great platform for maintaining a blog. However it can be used even better by coupling the blog with a facebook page. This way you can notify your students of what's going on in the blog using facebook. I have found this tactic to be very effective with my Blogger blog: http://www.ishantalksontechnology.com and my facebook page for the blog: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ishan-Talks-on-Technology/206557292720099
How to create a Blogger blog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA4s3wN_vK8
How to create a facebook page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpgx5aXCJzw
Conducting virtual tutorials (WiziQ)
ODL literally means that there is minimum or no face-to-face interaction between the learners and the teachers. However there is no substitute for a good lecture or tutorial in a face-to-face environment. WiziQ is the next best thing as it allows you to conduct a fully interactive class completely online. It allows for two-way audio/video, whiteboard, mathematical equation editor, graphs and charts, sharing of multimedia resources including YouTube videos, PowerPoint presentations, sharing documents... and the list goes on. It will even record your session and allow you to downlaod it to share with your students or put on YouTube.
Features of WiZiQ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXoZ2quQ0CI
How to use WiZiQ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wMjPxs1PEE
Conducting virtual lectures (justin.tv)
If WiZiQ was a way of conducting online tutorials for a closed group then justin.tv is a way of conducting a public lecture for the whole world. You can now broadcast your lecture through an open link.
How to create a justin.tv account: http://www.ishantalksontechnology.com/2011/02/how-to-icast-yourself-for-free-internet.html
How to broadcast on justin.tv: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BQutl5HG50
Collaborating virtually with students (google wave + typewith.me)
Due to the disconnected nature of ODL, it becomes really difficult to get learners to work on group projects collaboratively. Typewith.me and the Google Wave are possible solutions which allow groups of students to work collaboratively on a single project through the internet.
Guide to using Typewit.me: http://www.ishantalksontechnology.com/2011/05/typewithme-virtual-collaboration-made.html
How to use Typewith.me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOybsa4CXII
How to use the Google Wave: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6pgxLaDdQw
Alternative to PowerPoint (Prezi)
In ODL, multimedia plays a big role with respect to getting a point across to the student in a virtual world. However, most of us academics are really monkeys when it comes to spicing up our slideshow presentations with graphics and animations. Prezi is an online tool which allows you to create really cool presentations using the concept of zooming. It also allows you to use and re-use existing presentations in the community. This save quite a bit of design time. It also encourages a community of sharing and openness without giving it a name.
What is Prezi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxhqD0hNx4Q
How to use Prezi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAloWJiCQ-o
How to embed YouTube videos in your course (savetube.com)
Not having enough bandwidth to deliver course content in video format is a very common and effective excuse most of us academics use to cover up our dislike for more work when creating course content. As such YouTube and other online video archives are deemed to be somewhat useless especially in Asian scenarios where bandwidth is still a costly commodity. However we can always download these videos and share them with our students offline. SaveTube allows you to do this. Having said that, please be considerate of the intellectual property of the creators of these videos. You will need to get permission from them before you can use them in your teaching material. There is also the CreativeCommons (CC) license which allows creators to share their work under an open license. YouTube as well as other archives such as Vimeo hosts CC licensed material. These you can use legally as long as you comply with the licensing guidelines.
How to use SaveTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfI3zbPjcXw
The CreativeCommons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DKm96Ftfko
How to create your own videos (xtranormal.com)
Creating videos is not an easy thing to do. You need to have camera skills, editing skills and presentation skills. On top of all of that you need to look good. For some of us who are not that photogenic, animated videos would be the best way forward where you can reduce some of those love-handles using the magic of digital media. But animating a learning video needs a huge amount of skill, time, hardware, software and experience. Not many of us have all of these at our disposal. Xtranormal is an online system which will provide all of these for you so that you can put together a short animated video clip in a few minutes.
What is Xtranormal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siQCK5GnIvQ
How to create a video using xtranormal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5rJu7uS36I&feature=related
Getting student feedback using web forms (google survey)
Getting feedback is always useful. Although there are many paid services out there, many of us can't afford them. Google survey is a free alternative which will allow you to create complex survey forms with logic. It will also save the responses in spreadsheet format on Google docs. Another alternative is to use facebook polls which is also a great way to get feedback especially in your facebook groups.
How to use Google survey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-lNffCvY3A
How to use facebook polls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFXveUzg6-s
Creating a course website (google sites)
Gone those days when you had to be a web designer to create a website. Google sites lets you create a fully functional website completely online using simple drag and drop tools. You can create online course content in no time by using this great service.
How to create a Google site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1B_q_EiVHI
Creating a course group (google groups)
If you are not a fan of facebook groups then you can use Google groups to create study groups for your students. Google groups combine all the great features found in Google docs, sites, blogger and gmail. It is an easy and secure way to manage content and also collaborate.
How to create a Google group: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WxlRC7pUBQ&feature=related
There you have it folks... How a single slide can provide you enough information to better organise and deliver your entire course. Now I shall leave it to you and your imagination to go and teach your students something useful using all of these free to use technologies.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.