Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gagne, eLearning Tools, and Personal Information Management

I have blogged many times about various Personal Information Management (PIM) tools like:

  • RSS Feeds and Google Reader
  • Social Bookmarking and Diigo
  • Reference Management and Zotero
I have tried to put it all together into custom workflows like:
Google Reader >> Zotero>> Tablet 

Recently I have been doing several faculty development sessions on eLearning tools.  Some questions I often get asked are:
  • What are some tools and apps that we can use for eLearning
  • There are so many tools.  How do we organize (storyboard) our eLesson?
To answer these questions I decided to put together a demo lesson on PIM using eLearning tools and used the age old Gagne's 9 events of instruction model to help build the storyboard. 
So here is the demo.

How I set it up:
  • Engage - Animated video (GoAnimate), Cartoon (makebeliefscomix) and Interactive image (Thinglink)
  • Goals - Flowchart (Lucidchart) and a (Camtasia) screen capture of a narrated PowerPoint animation
  • Activate prior knowledge - Google images (used advanced search to get images labelled for reuse)
  • Content - YouTube videos, Videos with embedded questions (Ted Lessons), blogs
  • Practice - Flashcards (Quizlet)
  • Assessment - HotPotatoes Quiz
Still have a few steps (events to cover) but it was an interesting exercise.  The part that I could not include was the collaborative learning since this is not going to a real course with real learners.  If it was, I could have used Tweetchats, Google+ Communities, etc to add a collaborative element.

Hope this will be helpful to others!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Are we close to being GOD?

Ignore the title, I am NOT a creationist but the title makes sense if you remember that a large number of people believe that a supreme being created humans.

2 pieces of information caught my eye this week.

And last year IBM Watson was able to beat 2 champions at Jeopardy. 

Putting these together let my imagination make the next leap to connect the missing links.  

But lets start with the background:

  • 3D printing is taking off in a big way.  Recently, Gael Langevin posted about how he had created a 3D printable robot that could move and follow voice commands.  The best part of the story is that you can download the files for the project as they are "open source". 
  • So now anyone with a 3D printer and some skills can assemble a robot that talks, moves and obeys voice commands.
  • The DNA project will require help from a company that can create synthetic DNA strands.  They would make the strands in the right sequence using a cipher to convert bits (1 and 0's) into the ACGT nuleotides.  Once you have the DNA you need a sequencer to read the sequence and then convert it back to binary code which can be read by a computer.  
  • DNA is a very efficient way to store information.  1 gram of DNA can store as much information as can be burned on 1 million CD's
  • DNA does not require any energy.
  • The cost of DNA sequencing is dropping and in a few years we will probably see these become mainstream.  
  • Next combine the DNA sequencer with the robot and store the DNA containing the worlds information on it, and power it with IBM Watson's AI and you have something close to a human being?  There is just something amazing thinking about DNA storing all the necessary information on board a humanoid that can speak talk and respond to voice.
  • Sure there are lots of missing pieces still but we do live in exciting times!