Archive for April, 2011

Improving Education with Web 2.0 tools

Education is becoming more dynamic, networked and increasingly electronic. We live in a world of Internet social networks, blogs, digital audio and video content, etc. On one hand it allows to have unrestricted access to the world’s best educational resources on the other side look as all this variety and trained to use it – Oh, how easy!

For a teacher, the task today is not only to provide students with the knowledge in accordance with the approved curriculum, but to teach them the methodology of learning and self-education. To teach them the necessary skills to work with information, ability to interact effectively with colleagues, through modern IT, and the ability to constantly evolve and learn independently. To work effectively you must use all the achievements of modern educational technologies and appropriate instrumentation, that allow us to work faster and more convenient with the information to plan their work, maintain communication with students and colleagues, to empower the educational and scientific activities, create and live with the times.

Overview of existing Web 2.0 technologies

Let’s see what kind of “modern technology and tools”. Certainly in the first place, this technology Web 2.0. and E – Learning. By the way, what is it?

Well, this is the second generation of Internet services, which is based on collaboration between users to create and share content.
In this sense, Web 2.0 – a new internet, which makes its users, rather than separate “dedicated” (administrators, web designers, etc.), Communicate and work together is the motto of this new technology!

After all, we know that in the course of joint activities – people learn best. Here theory and practice of works together. Professional knowledge and skills, and qualified to discuss and defend their views, and introduction of new system, etc.

So, what are the tools of this technology that can be used by teachers right now and for free of cost?
Let’s start them in order and try to combine them into groups.

1. For the planning of educational work:

Google Docs is free of cost application, refers to online services to work with documents and includes the ability to work with text documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms for interviews, etc. File created in Google docs remain stored in cloud, can be viewed from anywhere, shared easily with students, and finally also have feature to download a copy of your material.

Another tool for planning training sessions are services to create mental maps MindMeister (knowledge maps, mind maps). Knowledge map helps to organize a plan of educational activities in the form of networks, hierarchical or arbitrarily connected nodes (events). Basic principles of mental maps are quite simple:

The main theme is placed in the center of the leaf, branch off from it all the other elements.
Instead phrases are written only in keywords, which have the primary meaning.
The main branches (elements) are added to images, links, files and other items.
Project planning can be done using another free tool Gantter, where your every action or event unfolds on the time grid to perform. Although, it is separate service but can easily integrate with Google Docs for collaborative work and replace the need of Microsoft Project.

2. To develop training courses:

Udutu, a free service for the development of electronic courses. Development of course using Udutu does not require knowledge of programming. All work is done by visually constructing the course, adding different elements and content. Created a course, you can place on the Internet or saved on a computer. Or you can use Udutu online to educate students on courses designed by you.
At the same time you can save Udutu electronic courses in various formats, including in the international standard SCORM.

3. To store & share the information:

The most well-known online stores include:

DropBox – Best suited for drag and drop, folder/file sharing directly from desktop feature. Read more about using Dropbox.
4. For immediate release:

On the Internet there are many services that can be used to distribute educational materials (text, image, audio, video, etc.). The most famous of them:

Slideshare, Scribd – services to accommodate the presentations ppt (with an import of your own Internet resource)
Youtube, Vimeo, Google Video – Services to post a video (with the possibility to import your own online resource)
5. For the learning process:

There are more than 50 sites for Web -conferences (webinars), video and virtual classrooms.

The most famous are: Adobe Connect, E-Works, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, WiZiQ, V-class, VideoPort and others can extend the capabilities of the classroom, involving them students who can not physically be in the audience but have access to the online broadcast of educational lessons. – open educational interactive video library. Allows you to watch educational films on various subjects including Maths, Science and arts.
6. For the control of knowledge and testing:

There are many solutions that automate the creation of different sort of tests. For example , services

7. Tools for Collaboration:

Wikis – Web sites, the structure and content that users can work together to change, using the tools provided by the site. Wiki invites all users to edit any page or create new pages using standard web browser without any of its extensions.

The most popular free service for creating wiki resources are:

Blogs – mini-sites, usually on specific topics. Platform for the deployment of blogs:

Twitter – a micro-blogging system that lets users send short text messages (up to 140 characters), using a web interface, SMS or third-party client software.
8. Full distance learning system:

In fact, distance learning – the use of any technologies that allow for learning when teachers and students (the student) are separated by distance and/or time. It is possible as the work through a network Internet and via local computer network.
The most known and used this:

Moodle, Sakai, OLAT, Dokeos, Docebo, LRN and others.
The most widespread system Moodle , because they first came to the market. Among the most promising new and include:

Distance Learning System SharePointLMS – an innovative design, LMS based on advanced Microsoft technology – a system of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007/2010.
Distance Learning System JoomlaLMS – a collection of powerful tools for remote education system based on open source Joomla CMS.
Distance Learning System WebTutor allows you to organize the planning, conduct and analysis of user training through e-learning courses, as well as to provide communication and information exchange between learners, teachers, experts and system administrators.
One of the sample project include the use of WordPress CMS and respective plugins to provide features such as instant assignment upload by faculties through e-mail, attendance, downloads, video tutorials, time-table, calendar of events, online books, e-newsletter and Google Apps to provide personalized e-mail, calendar and docs services to faculties and students to collaborate effectively. This can be viewed at
Another project under development is Global Virtual University

ASP.NET 4 includes a feature called SQL cache invalidation. Before ASP.NET 2.0, cachingthe results that came from SQL Server and updating the cache based on a time interval was possible — for example, every 15 seconds or so.

This meant that the end user might see stale data if the result set changedsometime during that 15-second period.In some cases, this time interval result set is unacceptable. In an ideal situation, the result set stored in thecache is destroyed if any underlying change occurs in the source from which the result set is retrieved — inthis case, SQL Server.

With ASP.NET 4, you can make this happen with the use of SQL cache invalidation.This means that when the result set from SQL Server changes, the output cache is triggered to change, andthe end user always sees the latest result set. The data presented is never stale.

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