Social Media & Learning, HTML 5, Brain Training, & Wikis
If the US intelligence services - notorious for keeping a tight grip on information - have been convinced that sharing information more widely is a good idea, why is that, and what does it have to do with learning?
The answer is that sharing information is one of the ways in which we learn naturally, possible the most natural way of learning we have. After all, when faced with a problem the instinctive reaction is to ask someone for help. Do they have an answer? Do they know someone else who does? Have they met similar problems before?
Those of you have heard of HTML 5 will know it's a new version of HTML and XHTML being promoted by Google and Apple in a bid to move the web away from proprietary technologies like Flash, Silverlight and JavaFX. It makes HTML more powerful by adding new elements like video and audio. A list of new elements in HTML 5 can be found here at IBM's site and the draft specification is available here at W3C's site.
HTML and Flash are most commonly used today for developing elearning content. HTML is used for simple 'page-turner' type of courses while Flash is used for interactive courses that contain animations and/or audio. Like most other eLearning developers, we prefer developing content using Flash over HTML because HTML can't support rich vector graphics with animations essential for delivering an engaging learning experience.
However HTML 5 has the potential to change all that. If developers can create animations, play audio and video without having to depend on Flash or Silverlight that would excellent. HTML 5 is particularly useful for organizations with 'no plug-in' policy because it will render natively in HTML 5 capable browsers. Also HTML 5 would help create more platform independent applications which can run across browsers eliminating the need for testing on multiple browsers.
The best memory enhancer is exercise, Snyder says. [For more on exercise and the brain, see "Fit Body, Fit Mind?'] Secondarily, a good diet and an active social life have brain benefits. Does software improve on those standbys, he asks? "Frankly, I have my doubts. The evidence isn't in."
One of the best web tools available to businesses for enabling teamwork and collaboration is the wiki. Few things speak more to staying in the flow of one's work than just clicking "Edit This Page" where you see something that needs to be written or re-written. Though Wikis have been around since the 90s, their potential for business collaboration has made them more popular in the business world over the past few years.
While a wiki can let project documentation grow organically as a project unfolds, it is like any tool and needs to be used the right way to get the most out of it. If you're thinking about using a wiki in your team's toolkit for the first time, keeping a few points in mind will help everyone get up and running without tripping over the changes that the wiki way brings to project documentation.
Some great articles, thank you for sharing.
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