e-learning skills gap

I was talking to a colleague the other day. He said that using open source is not because it’s free, rather it may cost more as it needs support staff to have wider and better skills to support learning technologies.

Interestingly, I came across The e-learning skills gap presentation by Clive Shepherd on the onlignment website. On the p32, it pointed out

Barries to the successful implementation of new learning technologies:

  • A lack of knowledge about its potential use and implementation (>65%)
  • A lack of skills to implement and manage e-learning (>50%)

It also provides useful e-books about e-learning. The e-books are not free for download though it says so.


Lambert Academic Publishing – is it a real academic publishing?

Recently I received emails from Lambert Academic Publishing OmniScriptum GmbH & Co. KG.  I was surprised and happy that they came across a conference papers I wrote early this year. They were interested in my original work and publishing it to a book. Although it’s originally a working project report with me as a solo author, I knew I need to get agreement from the department first. With the agreement, I sent the report to the publisher as I’m also pleased to let people view my work and comment on it.

However, some thoughts I didn’t know why but occurred were warning me be careful. Within a week, my own instinct blows my overheated mind away.

  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Why my paper? why me?
  • They responded my emails quickly. By my experience, journal article reviewers will have at least two weeks to review an article. How can they read my whole report in three days without any comment and modifications required, and agree to publish it if I wish?
  • I accidentally delayed to register in their system. They then sent me another email to chase up.
  • Is it proper to publish my working report to a book?  I may need to get advice from professionals in this area.
  • I read their T&C carefully and found it sounds very easy to publish my own book and sale it on Amazon.  It seems all proofreading and quality checking are upon to the author his/herself.
  • My concerns were will people really buy the report if they knew they can get an e-copy from me directly. How many people will buy a report about popular technologies, especially we all know technology changes so fast.
  • I’m confident that my report is useful and good enough to distribute. However, what do I want from this publication? An academic credit? If so, why not go for a more well-known publisher? From academic people’s point of view, how brilliant the book will be? If it’s not good enough, it will add bad credits to my career, will it? For me, having a bad published book is worse than not having a published book.
  • I qualified in Information and Knowledge Management, The ideas such as “intellectual property”, “copyright” and “free information” are always in my mind. I searched online and found a handful of useful blog entries and discussions about this publishing service. It’s confirmed me to some extent.

Resources of free e-books

Seven useful free e-books resources:

  • Bartleby.com publishes thousands of free online classics of reference, literature and fiction.
  • BC Open Textbooks is a project that contributes to the development of an open future for teaching practices and educational resources. I noticed this resource through Professor Tony Bates’ ebook Teaching in a Digital Age.
  • Bean Free Library allows people to read some books online and download in one of several formats.
  • FREE BOOKS TO READ SPONSORS The website creator has listed 6000 free online books alphabetically and it supports “Text to Speech” audio technology.
  • FreeBooks4Doctors is a AMEDEO service for promoting free access to medical books.
  • Open Library is a open project that gathered over 20 million records and has over 1,000,000 free ebook titles available.
  • The Online Books Page edited by John Mark Ockerbloom, a digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • TUMBLEBOOKCLOUD is an online collection of ebooks and read-along chapter books, graphic novels, educational videos, and audio books. Access free. (not all books with a “read online” link work on my PC.)

You can find more from the resources below:

Living Books About Life

Just found a series of curated, open access books about life, funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and published by Open Humanities Press (OHP)Living Books About Life.

The books were produced by a globally-distributed network of writers and editors, and were repacked existing open access science research by clustering it around selected topics with theme about life: e.g., air, agriculture, bioethics, cosmetic surgery, electronic waste, energy, neurology and pharmacology. The Series editors are Clare Birchall (University of Kent), Gary Hall (Coventry University), Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths, University of London).

8 Things eBook Series – CMS

I came across the “8 Things eBook Series” edited by John Mancini. Although it’s about ECM, I found some aspects are useful for me.

  • 8 things you need to know about social networking & content management – but were afarid to ask

50% of content on Wikipedia is contributed by approximately 0.5% of the user base… Ross Mayfield, founder of Socialtext was the first to coin the term “Power Law of Participation”. What is important is to recognize and set contribution targets of your users based for activity, which is much different from consuption targets… Not everyone needs to contribute for the network to derive value. (p.11)

If IT selects a technology that integrates into their existing infrastructure, support issues should be greatly mitigated. Also, selecting a solution that is all-inclusive, rather than having to support specific, individual solutions for every type of social computing (blogs, wikis, microblogging, etc.), can actually significantly reduce support issues and IT upkeep – by consolidating and simplifying the overall social computing experience. (p.15)

Find the hashtags associated with those topics. (p.29, a tip of uisng Twitter)

Don’t just tweet junk. Tweet information that means something. Try to be somewhat educational. TRY THIS SOFTWARE not really worth doing. (p.29, a suggestion of using Twitter)

Governance teams should be staffed 20% by IT, 80% by the business. 80% of the work will be done by IT, 20% by the Business. IT knows what questions to ask, but doesn’t know the right answers. (p.38)

Most people don’t like being told what to do, and this is particularly true of people who thrive in collaboration environments. While most records management systems have A LOT of structure, rules and controls, if you’re going to drive adoption of a collaboration system, you need a lighter touch. (p.39)

  • 8 things you need to know about getting rid of paper

Content is made up of structured and unstructured data, barcodes, forms, emails, voice mails, TIFs, PDFs, and more. (p.3)

  • 8 things you wanted to know about SharePoint – but were afraid to ask

The goal of metadata lies not in the tagging of content itself, but rather in the potential it offers for the improvement of findability via constructs such as navigation. (p.10)

  • 8 secrets of an effective content or records management implementation

When IT departments are no longer bogged down by maintaining servers, installing upgrades, and training users, they can focus on driving a company’s ability to innovate and execute, thereby becoming more strategic and business-critical. (p.19)

A content use tracking system can be a good way to determine important content – less used content is less important. (p.25)

  • 8 reasons you need a strategy for managing information – before it’s too late…

The more efficient and effective data retrieval becomes, the more transparent your life becomes to almost everyone using the Internet. The fundamentals of privacy state that you are the master of your data and have the full right to do with it what you want (i.e., “right to self-determination”). (p.17)

The metadata associated with an electronic document can be just as important as the data in that document because it establishes the context in which the electronic content was created. (p.50)

Don’t confuse “Open Source” with “Free”. (p.57)

Ebooks – Twitter, Social Media

I feel people learn applications on the web by trying and playing with it, for instance, Twitter, Blogging, customising a widget and so on. However, FAQs, the provider’s Help or tutorials will tell you some tips so that you don’t need to search a lot.

Here is an example, the Twitter For Beginners ebook is designed for anyone who is thinking about using Twitter, or anyone who has jumped into the Twitter swimming pool but isn’t happy with their Twitter experience.

After read this book, I had a thinking of my twitter goal, very simple, digging more useful information for my particular interesting, such as learning technologies, social networking, learning repositories. Meanwhile, I learned the free URL shortening services: http://bit.ly and http://tinyurl.com.

You also can get your own copy of Getting Started With Social Media ebook, which is designed for anyone who is thinking about using social media for business, or anyone who has jumped into the social media swimming pool but isn’t happy with their experience or results.