Blackboard announced today they have bought two similar companies, Wimba and Elluminate. With an aim to integrate into their Blackboard LMS, Blackboard have also stated that they want to retain both Wimba and Elluminate as standalone products.
An interesting move in many ways, there has been a growing interest and increase in use of synchronous tools such as Wimba and Elluminate, as though asynchronous tools that you could use are too “difficult” or “challenging” to use.
Both Wimba and Elluminate reinforce the use of the lecture as a way of delivering learning. Whereas VLE tools such as discussion forums and blogs are much more about learners “delivering” the learning through collaboration and discussion.
However I do wonder of the growth of tools like Wimba and Elluminate is less of a move away from asynchronous tools, but more as a result of an increase in practitioners embracing new technologies. These new users of technology are more comfortable with a technology that replicates what they are use to, rather than try the new pedagogies and ways of working that unknown technologies require.
So what of the Blackboard acquisition? Well technologies come and go, we will have to see what happens! Where is WebCT now?
James, Ron and Lilian just chat about a range of different stuff, basically they meander…
This is the fourteenth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, Half-Term Meanderings.
Download the podcast in mp3 format: Half-Term Meanderings
Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
James is joined by Lilian Soon and Ron Mitchell.
- Geoff Minshull runs DirectLearn and uses WebEx for running online conferences. At the last JISC Conference they also used Elluminate for live presentations.
- Gabbly can be used to discuss a website.
- Feedburner from Google allows you to create a better RSS feed.
- Feeder allows you a lot more control over your RSS Feed.
Recorded during the height of the snow at the beginning of February 2009 the panel discuss the role that learning technologies and communication tools can have in supporting colleges and schools that get closed because of the snow.
This is the twelfth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, It’s Snow Joke.
Download the podcast in mp3 format: It’s Snow Joke
Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
James is joined by Di Dawson, Lisa Valentine, David Sugden, Dave Foord and is joined later by John Whalley.
- The view from Di’s office.
- Ping.fm which can be used to send the same message to various micro-blogging and picture services.
- Spinvox a service which converts audio into text. Allows you to phone into your blog, convert voicemail to SMS, and much more.
- Gabcast is a simple way to make podcasts, by just phoning in…
- Dim Dim is a free to use online conference and presentation tool.
- Elluminate another online presentation tool which was used at the recent LSIS eCPD Launch Conference.
- Instant Presenter as used for the MoLeNET online conferences.
- Oovoo which is an alternative to Skype and can be used for four way video conferencing.
- Ustream is a online video broadcasting service.
John Whalley’s final comment, as I didn’t give him much notice on the podcast recording.
Thought on one thing to do if it snows – have a series of general podcasts prepared on a ‘non-mainstream’ area for your subject, distributed early in the course. Ask learners to review if can’t get in to college.
Apologies for the poor sound quality at time on the recording, which we are putting down to the poor weather!
The 5th February sees the launch of the LSIS eCPD event in London. Not sure how many people will turn up due to the snow. I am thought about not going, though it was aright when I left, it has got heavier back home and even now it looks quite thick out of the train window as I write this.
I am running a workshop at the event which is looking at mobile learning. Unlike the MoD event, this time I have forty-five minutes which is longer, but is still not really enough time!
In the session I hope to get the delegates to discuss and talk about how mobile technologies can be used to support, enhance and enrich the learning experience of learners. I am also hoping (as I have done at previous workshops) the delegates use the same mobile technologies to post their reflections and views online.
The workshop blog can be found here.
The podcast channel (we’re using Gabcast) can be found here.
Some people will be posting to Jaiku and Twitter and I am also hoping to send images to Flickr, as well as video to Seesmic. There may even be some Qik video as well.
Even if you are not at the event, I hope you can still join in with the workshop by contributing to the stuff posted online adding comments, or joining in with the Twitter and Jaiku discussions.
The first session (as is the rest of the day) is being broadcast online using Elluminate and you can find out how to access the online stuff on the ALT website.
If people turn up it should be fun.