Monthly Archives: February 2010

Enzo’s Weekly Twitter Updates

Is HTML5 the Future of eLearning?

In the past few years we have seen the rise of the Apple (iPhone/iPod/iPad)  vs. Adobe (Flash) wars. For many reasons (that I don’t agree with), Apple doesn’t seem to want Flash to be enabled in their mobile devices even though many websites rely on the technology to deliver interactive experiences.

Accessibility (for users with disabilities) is also a challenge when using Flash to create interactions in websites in general and in eLearning courses.

HTML5 seems to solve some of these problems by allowing universal access to interactive screens that you would normally see only in Flash. See these HTML5 interactions by Remy Sharp.

Now, a simple question (maybe not so): are eLearning professionals going to embrace HTML5 and wean from Flash altogether?

Finding Alternatives to Software and Websites You Need

People often ask me how I know so many different tools and website off the top of my head. Normally, when someone says they have a problem I feel compelled to ask them if they know “such and such tool” right away. For one thing, I love gadgets, tools, websites. The useful kind, that is. Secondly, I love to stay in touch with the latest in technology. In order to do that, I often try new sites, sign up for betas, and visit sites that aggregate news and lists of tools and useful websites.

Here is a short list with some websites I visit regularly just by curiosity or when a need arises (e.g. “I need a free alternative to software [such]“).

Alternativeto.net – This website lists software (and web applications) that are similar to other resources you may know. For instance. if you are interested in an alternative to Photoshop, you can search for Photoshop on the website’s main page and be redirected to a list of similar tools, all tagged with relevant keywords. Each tool you decide to find out more about has its own page with:

  • links to the developer’s website for downloads and documentation
  • feature set
  • platform (Windows, Linux, Mac, Web),
  • community ratings,
  • comments by other users that have the software,
  • whether it is open source, commercial, or free of charge.

See this sample search for Photoshop.

Similarsites.com – The name says it all: Similarsites lets you find alternatives to websites you already know. The search results and information provided here are by far less comprehensive than what’s seen on Alternativeto. However, it does provide a quite accurate list with links to sites that are similar to the one you searched for in their database.

osalt.com – osalt lets you search for open source alternatives to commercial software you may know, and vice-versa.

Go2Web20.net – This website is a great aggregator for Web applications. The search is very comprehensive with very well-delimited tags. Even though the name is a bit dated with the “2.0″ designation there, their are constantly adding new websites to their database.

Listio.com – Very similar to Go2Web20, Listio keeps an excellent list of Websites and Web applications. The difference here is that Listio is more community-run. À la Digg, people post, vote, and comment about websites they find useful. When you find a Website you like, Listio shows you a list of similar ones.

KillerStartups – Another community-submitted, community-voted list of useful Websites and Web applications.

 

Tip: you can also just do a Google search with the name of a tool or website you know + “alternative.” For instance: photoshop alternative.

 

 

Enzo’s Weekly Twitter Updates

Enzo’s Weekly Twitter Updates

Enzo’s Weekly Twitter Updates

Time to Know – Interactive Core Curriculum

Time to Know is a startup company providing interactive core curriculum for the 21st century.

Using Constructivism as it departing point, Time to Know employs a blended learning approach to delivering State-standard core curricula. The program promises to foster critical thinking, independent learning and better outcomes through an inquiry-based discovery process.

Instead of the traditional authoritative role, teachers using this program are supposed to take the active role of a facilitator while students explore and learn.

T2K: a Paradigm Shift in K-12 Education from Time To Know on Vimeo.

Project Wonderland’s Future

The Project Wonderland development team just found out that development resources will no longer be applied to the project, Sun/Oracle resources that is.

However, the avid team plans to keep up the great work they have done so far counting on the open source community. The team wiill soon release Project Wonderland v0.5 Preview Release 3 this week.

Nicole Yanchelovich (project lead) reminds us of the countless university projects and corporations utilizing Project Wonderland as a virtual world platform and several companies offering Wonderland-based services. Also  noted in her post on January 30, 2010, is the power of the community that keeps the project alive and she calls for participation:

“Any concrete help you can give us would, of course, be welcome, but what we are asking for now is your moral support and your continued participation in our thriving community. Let’s stand together in our determination to keep this project moving forward. If you would like to contact me privately, please feel free to do so at nicoley @ dev.java.net.”

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