Thursday, December 24

The Very Best From ZaidLearn!

“Strange as it may seem,
no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it.”- Stephen Vizinczey

Actually, as you learn and acquire knowledge and skills, your ego might amplify your confidence, ignorance and pride, which again could hinder you from going beyond what you have already learned. You become stubborn to try new ideas and approaches, because you have reached a level whereby you are comfortable with what you are doing, and it works perfectly fine to you.

After all these years of exploring and settling down with your own style, certainly you don't want to risk exploring new ideas, and perhaps making a fool of yourself. If you have reached such a stage in life or at work, it is perhaps time to rethink yourself. I am kind of referring to myself, too...

Since middle 2007, I have posted exactly 360 posts (including this one), and I suppose it is time to reflect back, and share with you a list of those posts that are probably the best from ZaidLearn. So, if you like ZaidLearn or new to it, I suppose this list would be an excellent starting point. Previously, I created a master list and stories collection, but this time around it will include the best of the best, according to my own little formula, which is certainly not scientific.

After more than 2 years of blogging, including studying other learning blogs, I have come to realize that producing 'hit sensations' is not that difficult. If you really want to generate a lot of hits fast, start talking about celebrity trash, controversy, politics, making big bucks, gaming, cars, hate, religion, race, naughty stuff, etc. If you are reasonably smart you can become a 'Britney' hits sensation in no time (please don't be upset! she can't sing!).

What about education? Tough! What about Higher Education? Are you ____!

However, if you do create relevant monster lists of this and that, you can still be a hits sensation reasonably quickly. Also, many people can benefit from your efforts to summarize the best resources out there into juicy lists. I did that a lot in 2007 and 2008, and a few times in 2009. During the process I discovered and learned plenty, and visitors discovered and learned, and seemed to repay back by returning, referring, tweeting, bookmarking, etc. Great!

However, these days there are so many juicy lists around, and excellent educational bloggers that can swoosh them in no time. So, I am not going to feel guilty about focusing more time on sharing my deep thoughts about learning and education (and posting 1-2 times a month) instead, although my hit rate might be affected. So what!

It has been fun, but life must go on. Interestingly, since ZaidLearn started, it has had visitors from 199 countries and 8,387 cities, which just shows how interconnected our world is today. I thought that there were only 195 countries in the world, but according to Google Analytics there seems to be more than 200. Google has always been innovative, so why not here, too.

ZaidLearn has connected me to many learning professionals around the world, and has been an amazingly enriching learning experience beyond any lecture, tutorial, assignment, project or exam could ever achieve. But, what has been most thrilling, is the conversations sparked from some of my blog posts, which have been conversed in other blogs and sites, and sometimes beyond English in the form of German, Polish, Finnish, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, etc. Luckily, Google language tools has helped me interpret and learn from these interesting conversations.

During this enriching learning process of blogging, I have even angered and insulted female bloggers (unintentionally), slammed CEOs and learning tools, hurt Moodle fans, and even published an e-book consisting of juicy blog posts from ZaidLearn (+119,000 hits!), but that is something to expect if you are really honest about what you think.

In short, ZaidLearn has been a wonderful learning adventure, and below are a juicy selection of the best blog posts from ZaidLearn.


1) 1st E-Book
  • 69 Learning Adventures in 6 Galaxies (E-book)
    A collection of 69 learning nuggets (articles) from ZaidLearn compiled into an ebook. This ebook is divided into six learning galaxies (or themes), which are: Learning, Teaching, Stories, Free e-Learning Tools, Free Learning Content and Free EduGames.

2) Learning & Facilitation
  • E-Learning 2.0 Workshop (Stephen Downes)
    "It would be pretty hard to write a more comprehensive (and kind) summary of my workshop than this by Zaid Ali Alsagoff, who deserves by thanks for acting as my videographer and assistant during the strenuous two-day event. What I like about this post was that the lessons were 'meta' - not so much the bits about web 2.0 technology discussed during the session, but rather about the attitude and perspective on teaching their deployment represents. In my own mind, what we accomplished was best represented in two photos, this one at the beginning of the first day, where everything was ordered and proper, and this one near the end of the second day, where real learning was happening." - Stephen Downes
  • Learning Notes From an E-Learning 2.0 Implementation Workshop
    The main objective of this hands-on practical workshop was to develop an understanding of the implementation and application of e-learning technologies within an institution of higher education. Also, it explored several web 2.0 technologies that participants could use to develop a collaborative online learning space.

  • Salman Khan Uses Microsoft Paint to Inspire Learning

  • Crashing The Workshop To Capture A Great Learning Moment!

  • 10 Secrets To Great Teaching (SlideShare presentation with audio narration)

3) Resource Lists
  • A Free Learning Tool for Every Learning Problem?
    A collection of the best free learning tools using a Q&A approach.
    It has proven to be the most popular post on this blog, and has been featured in more than a hundred blogs and sites around the world. Also, you might want to check out the delicious version, which includes more tools, but does not filter them out using a Q&A approach post.
  • University Learning = OCW + OER = FREE!
    A compilation of 250+ University learning related OpenCourseWare (OCW) and Open Educational Resources (OER).

4) Fun!

Yep, this is basically the outline to my 2nd E-Book. Just need to add an introduction and conclusion and it is ready to be published to the world (or whoever is interested!). It is certainly an enhancement to the first one (filtering out really crap, adding it with better crap!).

Finally, what learning tool should I use to publish it (Scribd again)? Wouldn't it be cool, if we could simply add the blog post links, and on-the-fly an e-book will be generated, which we could then edit, add, and fine tune further. Do such publishing tools exist? Any suggestions?


Nor Fadzleen said...

Just to let you know that I've gained so much juicy tips on how to teach via zaidlearn. Keep on blogging and sharing your thoughts and experience!

ZaidLearn said...

Thanks Nor Fadzleen for your positive feedback :)

Here is a more visual presentation of this post (which is also embedded into this post):

Having said that, your blog 'Learn, Teach, Love'

is designed very well, and the fact that you are using it to share your teaching and learning experiences is wonderful.

Keep it going, and let's get more educators in Malaysia into reflective blogging to improve the teaching profession as a whole :)

aprillins said...

Phew you got so much tips, easy to understand with images.. thank you for posting such a good article :)

zulian said...

interesting tips huh..

Anonymous said...

Hi Zaid
Really looking forward to the 2nd ebook and thanks for assembling such a wealth of useful and informative articles.

Wondered whether you were familiar with the concept of the 'unbook' by Jay Cross? ( Sounds a little like what you're hoping to achieve here?

Thanks again.

ZaidLearn said...

Hi Ian,

thanks for the feedback and 'unbook' (Heard of it, but never really sat down to think about it!).

Though, I am not sure if you should look forward to the 2nd e-book (from ZaidLearn), because it might not have a flow, which we usually associate with books :)

Perhaps I might go for clusters of related stories, similar like the ZaidLearn blog posts, which people can use and assemble according to their interest and needs.

Actually, still exploring, but in the mean time, I have just shared a visual collection of ZaidLearn articles (SlideShare version), and...bla...bla

Anyway, the most important thing is that other people are benefiting from what we write and share. Money and fame can come later :)

Thanks and I will explore 'unbook' more now :)


Unknown said...

I was very impressed with your blog so that Page rank is 7. salam kenal from my blogger Indonesia. visit my blog also

MancingGembira said...

wow, this is amazing blog. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

Yasser Massoud said...

Hi Zaid, I'd like to thank you a lot for great effort you have here. In fact I get much use of it inside my community and the tips you explain help me to spread culture we miss here. May Allah grant you more TAWFEEQ.

Seti@wan Dirgant@Ra said...

Good morning
It's nice to visit for the first time into your blog, which contains the complete knowledge and information is very important.
Hopefully I can learn a lot dati your writing.

if you do not mind so good as a visit behind
Happy Nice day

Learn English said...

Thanks a lot for the information and tips about learning and teaching English, As Nor Fadzleen said keep on blogging :)