Archive for August, 2006|Monthly archive page

Increasing the Strategic Value of Learning Organizations

CLO Magazine offers a free web event on September 6, 11 am Pacific / 2 pm Eastern:

http://tinyurl.com/eckys

I wonder if they will also be talking about infomal learning!

At the moment it hearts most …

Just having finished participating in today’s bus-ride I would like to get two ideas off my mind:

  • Jay, you are on the right track (my opinion). But the moment it hearts most – and that we feel to never get to reach the goal – that is where we are very close to getting a BIG step ahead. So please just keep on going.
  • How about asking the questions the other way around – instead of what is web 20 going to bring us: asking something like ‘how do we make a community participate’ or ‘how do we make an audience in a conferencing event interact’?

Both these questions are very central to what I am doing at the moment.

I have so far got very much out of your UnWorkshop thanks to your personal involvement and thanks to you team. Looking forward to our next steps.

Do you need a Break Timer?

The Break Timer is used to show remaining time of a break within a webconferencing event.

We show it as an application sharing: http://www.teachforce.ch/vcr/tools/BrkTimer.html

Tool to reduce the size of a PowerPoint presentation

Sometimes we face a situation where presenters in a web event bring their presentations (as big as 30-50 MB) and we have to transport them in a webconferenencing event.

What I am using to reduce the size of the presentation within less then one minute is a tool called nx PowerLIte (http://www.nxpowerlite.com/index.php?ld=n ). As a result presentations are often reduced by 80-90 % of their original size without any reduction in quality)

Scheduling a meeting via Doodle

This is another web service I like: http://www.doodle.ch/index.php.en Doodle helps scheduling meetings – it’s simple, quick, and free.
If you look at ‘What else?’ you can find a link to a second polling format called AnyDoodle.

Sending large files

If I have to send a large file to someone I use http://www.yousendit.com (the free service allows up to 100 MB).
P.S.: To write this post I am using the WordPress Sidebar (Firefox Extension) from https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2996/

Wiki as a personal Dashboard and more …

Maybe I have also come a bit behind the schedule. But there is so much to see, analyze and/or test in this UW so that I could spend my whole week exploring new interesting things. But there are still some other things to be done to earn a living 😉
During last week I have started my own personal Dashboard on pbWiki and I am starting to love it. Every day I add something from my old different places an repositories and enter it to my new ‘Startpage’ of my browser.

The bike ride with Harold and Barb also gave me some new ideas and viewpoints on how to organize and get my personal development going (I still like Jay’s expression: ‘Getting better at getting better!’ – Jay, if I will be quoting it, I will certainly give the credit to you!).

Harold has given me some insight into his process of collecting, analyzing and publishing information. I am not sure if I recall all the steps but shall make use of his generous offer to contact (Skype!) him whenever I feel that he could help me. I think that this attitude I feel throughout the whole un-program represents a very high service level and we should all motivate our escorts by making use of it!

We had also discussed tracking of quotes: If I include a link to another WordPress blog this link should be seen on the other blog as a comment. So let us just test that with Eddie:

PLUS as an exercise for myself and to document the process for Eddie who has posted on his Blog

“… and added a file to my edit and those items are no where to be seen. … ”

I will now add a pdf file out of an actual project we are working on and add a link to it on this post:

Visual Moderation by Stephan Ulrich / Teachforce (document in German, English version not available yet) – Visual Moderation

I shall now document the process on our Informl Wiki. See you …

What has been of value to me so far in the UnWorkshop?

Looking back at the last two weeks since UW3 has started:

  • I have seen some things I had already looked at.
  • I have been able to do a closer look at Blogs (and to some extent on Wikis) and how they could be used in UnTrainings (and in trainings)
  • Aggregators – so far – have been my most important progress
  • Thanks to the tinned contents available ‘for free`- and without limitation’, I have been able to looking at Personal Knowledge Organization and I am very interested in this upcoming topic
  • Ease of use in Webconferencing is of great value. And – should there be a solution to overcome all the distracting ‘who is making this noise?’ and ‘how can we mute/unmute?’ or ‘who is speaking?’ – even at a price, should we not go for it instead of wasting our most valuable moments in-synch?
  • Communicating with our group spread over the whole ‘Village’/Globe is fascinating and inspiring to me.

My Conclusions so far:

  • I have learned most, where I did have the most UnComfort (My inner question must have been: How can I make effective use of all the blogs I am interested in – so the web-based aggregators seem to me to be a great solution and I am looking forward to making effective use of it).
  • I have been experimenting with a personal Snip-Snap (an interesting technology combining Blogs and Wikis from Fraunhofer Institute: http://snipsnap.org/space/start) server on my local computer but see much more potential in a web-based personal Wiki to access my treasures from any computer in the world (first steps with pbwiki done – but still some work to be done)
  • One of my core tasks in my business is to support leaders/moderators of Webconferencing events to activate participants in live events. If some 10-20 people are spending 2 hours each to participate in an event, technology should not be worth it to spend any minute. Without that: It is still demanding enough to activate participants and to compete against all other events in their surroundings (incoming mails/IMs etc.) – and I think that Jay, Harold and Judy are doing a great job – what if we could get rid of technology?
  • So I would still advocate for a professional solution as long as the ones ‘for free’ are payed by us in terms of time and nerves. I am ready to deliver the proof on our Interwise server (Ben Wechsler – could you mange to use a Virtual PC on your Mac?)
  • Maybe the most important part: I start getting to know the people in our UW. The ones who do communicate, it is what they are communicating (blog, wiki, mail and skype) that allows me to get to understand and thus to know. Is this the beginning of the process from dormitory township to the ‘Global Village’ – our community?

Thanks to our escorts on the bus, on the bikes and between our rides and to all the passengers. I am looking forward to an even more active and interesting communication amongst us.
See you, hear you and/or read you …

Conferencing – Features and Quality

I am referring to our Skypecast Aug 8, 2006.

Conferencing has come to be more than pure phone conferencing. When I hear statements starting with: “This is XYZ speaking” I do not feel we are in the age of web-based communication:

What I do like about Skypekast:

  • It is free
  • You can see the participants-list
  • You can see if you have been muted and can ask for the Mic to be opened by the host
  • It can be accessed from different platforms (I heard that someone had been connected from a Mac)

What I would like to see improved in Skypecast:

  • Why does the system not show ‘Who is speaking’?
  • Voice quality (refer to the short mp3 redorcing)
  • Distinction between Skype and Skypecast (two tools with such a similar name – but seem to be completely different and still using the same software on my computer)

What have been your obserbations?

P.S.: I am also testing the ‘Uload File’ function of this tool by adding a short mp3 file I have created as a recording using Audacity. (Upload did not work: “File type does not meet security guidelines. Try another.) My solution: I did upload the file to my Moodle server and have published the link to that URL.

P.P.S.: O.K. I am not that objective – I am partnering with Interwise as a Certified Training Partner! Interwise is offering “Unlimited Confereincing” at a fixed price (but not for free). I am open to deliver test events to show you how it works.

How about Taging linear Content (Audio/Video)?

In the recordings published on the Informl Wiki I have come across Jay’s metaphor of ‘Trees’ and ‘Leaves’ leading to a distinction I like very much: ‘Knowledge’ / ‘Meaning’.

Now coming to my observation with regard to the format the content is being delivered (Breeze Recording): Jay did publish the whole presentation on Tags (32 minutes) and the core part of it with the Trees/Leaves slide (5 minutes) as an excerpt. Thank you for that service – it will allow me to refer to just this slide.

But what could I do if during the long recording I came across an important point I would like to refer to later? Is there any way I could ‘tag’ the particular sequence (the slide in the Breeze recording, the frames in a video or the range on the time-line of an audio file)?

Thanks for your input if you know of any such possibility.

P.S.: With this post I am also using the ‘Optional Excerpt’ functionality of WordPress to find out what the displaying consequences are on the article published.