Blended Learning Course week 1

I decided to learn more about blended learning, so started the MOOC “Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started” run by the University of Leeds. Taking MOOC is a great way for me to reflect on what I know and refresh my knowledge. It does take time, but it provides an opportunity for me to learn the topic systematically for free. Many thanks for the course creators.

After the first week, I think my view about blended learning changed a bit. It seems technology has an important role in this type of learning. Nowadays technologies become more developed for people to use, so why not adopt some to enhance teaching methods and learning opportunities?

I wonder if taking the MOOC is blended learning? It may not as the course does not have face-to-face sessions. However, from the point of using technologies to facilitate learning, it does use technologies to blended different methods and enables learning.

We have looked at five benefits of blended learning – flexibility, active learning, personalisation, learner control, and feedback. We have discussed the issues encountered in learning and the benefits that blended learning can resolve. We have reviewed a few case studies of blended learning and share views about them. I like this week learning particularly on aspects as follows:



Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pinboard. It is a way to help people to organise their information and share with others. 

TNS: The Science Network

The mission of The Science Network (TSN) is to build an online science and society agora, or public square, dedicated to the discussion of issues at the intersection of science and social policy. By engaging a diverse community of concerned constituencies in conversation, on and offline through signature meetings, video programming, and in developing partnerships with public television stations, TSN is creating a scientific no-spin zone – a trusted destination free from the tyranny of the sound bite.

Be careful when sharing becomes easier

I saw this video about social networking and online privacy from an event of the Plymouth University. It shows people what they should put online and what they need to be aware of.  Have a look at “EFF’s Top 12 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy” written by Stanton McCandlish in 2002 and “Fact Sheet 18: Online Privacy: Using the Internet Safely” from Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Then I found “EPIC Online Guide to Practical Privacy Tools” provided by Electronic Privacy Information Center. Will try some tools on the list, especially the Disk Encryption.

This video was made by Viewbix, a tool which supports videos hosted on YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. It’s free and easy to use. It seems much better than LinkedTube which is a Flash widget that adds link and sharing options to YouTube videos.


Learning in social networks

The Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is a grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements.

OpenStudy is a social learning network where students ask questions, give help, and connect with other students studying the same things. Our mission is to make the world one large study group, regardless of school, location, or background.

HippoCampus is a project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE). The goal of HippoCampus is to provide high-quality, multimedia content on general education subjects to high school and college students free of charge.


Crowdsourcing: is it something new?

I came across two conferences:

Crowdsourcing” is a new term for me although it’s been defined in 2006 by Jeff Howe. However, is it something new? Is it different from open communities? With my little curious, I found: Jeff Howe’s presentation, What is Crowdsourcing video and Crowdscourcing 1-5 by microengagement.

The key ideas behind are:

  • open call
  • undefined
  • sharing
  • participation
  • online communities