In my recent spurt of motivated energy and brainstorming how to incorporate technology constructively into daily life I’ve begun a search for some software.
Primarily goal: To allow instructors of a lesson to interact virtually with their students/learners via the internet.
- Lesson-oriented organizations. So a course/class/subject can be split into individual lessons.
- Access to supplementary materials to the lesson including but not limited to: text documents, presentations, pdfs, images, videos, sound files.
- Quiz/Test software.
- Multi-user chat software with a live blackboard/whiteboard application.
Here’s what I’ve found so far:
Moodle: This is mostly an install it and host it yourself learning platform, however apparently there are some freely hosted installations available to run your own courses on. It’s pretty feature rich from what I’ve read, but I haven’t tried it yet to see if it’s actually usable yet.
Lectureshare: Lectureshare much less feature rich than Moodle, but it doesn’t involve the messiness of installing and hosting yourself. It is extremely straight forward with what it offers: Free hosting of course materials. Specifically you can host documents, videos, and sound files.
Other ideas: One could make a blog and have users subscribe to it via rss/atom feeds. The instructor could post course lectures/material on the blog and the students could be allowed posting access as well. This would allow for a rich interactive net discussion/dialog. Youtube and Houndbite are freely available for uploading video and audio media respectively. Twiddla is looking to be a nice whiteboard/paint chat program.
And when in doubt, use google docs.
All said, I havn’t found the ultimate free service yet. But with a little bit of patience and some good ideas you could set up a well hyper-linked blog that ran your courses. The only thing I havn’t been able to find a good application for is testing. If you know of one, please post to comments. Furthermore if you know of any good all-around free services post that too.