Tuesday, April 20

Facebook for Learning? Boleh!

Click here to view the Articulate version


This week's learning session explored Facebook and how we can use it to facilitate learning. As expected, thanks to the juicy topic 'Facebook', we had a full house (e-learning lab, I mean!). Only 25 were allowed to register, but we ended up with 32 participants, which just illustrates that Facebook is an interesting topic.

For those of you who missed the learning session, here is the slidecast version from SlideShare:

Based on our recent poll the majority of both Academic staff (66.7) and students (67.8) that participated think that IMU should use Facebook for e-learning.

But, where to start?

To get your Facebook social learning space moving, why not for starters create a 'Facebook Group' (especially if you want to have a closed group)?

Here are two screencast tutorials exploring how to create a Facebook Group and how we could use it to facilitate learning:

Part 1 - Creating a 'Facebook Group'

Part 2 - Exploring Facebook Group Features


Why not combine Moodle (E-learning Portal) and Facebook to facilitate online learning environments that sizzles :)


If you are wondering how long it took to record the narration (audio) for the 'Facebook for Learning? Boleh!' presentation (41 min) and the two (2) screencast tutorials (5 x 2 min = 10 min), it took actually a whole day. I started 9.30 am in the morning, and completed all recordings by 7.30 pm in the evening. If we minus the lunch break and prayers, I probably spent 7.5 working hours to record the above.

The toughest part was recording the 2 screencasts, because I initially had no clue of what to record or say, and I didn't finish them before 4 pm. I used Screenr (a free tool) to develop the two screencasts, and it is a very user-friendly tool to record anything happening on your screen (other screencasting tools).

Though, Screenr has three (3) major minus points. One, is that you are limited to recording 5 minute sessions (perhaps positive in terms of instructional design and forcing you to be more precise and concise), and that can get annoying if you are recording and just cannot make the 5 minute time-line. If you listen carefully, you will notice this on both the screencasts I recorded. I had to also re-record twice, because I just missed the time line. I suppose I need to chunk it up more in the future, and perhaps use an audio script.

Now, that leads us to the 2nd minus point, which is that you cannot edit what you have recorded. Meaning basically that you have to perfect your recording, or keep on recording until you are satisfied. Post-editing, ability to zoom, adding annotations, and desktop version (offline) would be great, but I suspect Articulate is saving that for the commercial version in the near future. Let's hope I am wrong :)

Thirdly, you cannot record another screencast, while you are uploading and publishing the first one (please correct me if I am wrong!). And if you have a slow connection, now that gets annoying! There should be a feature allowing you to record another screencast, while waiting for the first one to be uploaded. Now that would be useful!

But, besides that Screenr is great. Alright, let's move on! As for recording audio for the presentation slides used during our Facebook workshop, I used Articulate. Since the slides were ready, and I had some idea what to say (no audio script though, which is obvious!), so I managed to record the narration for the presentation (including adding animations and annotations) in roughly three (3) hours. Meaning, it took roughly 4.4 times longer to record, compared to the presentation's actual length (41 min). Not bad, but certainly I would love to do it faster. Practice, Reflect, Improve, Practice, Practice...

Besides publishing the Articulate version, I published the podcast version, and extracted the audio, which was uploaded and synchronized to the SlideShare version, to create a screencast. Finally, I uploaded both the MP3 and Articulate version (Zip format) to the Internet Archive enabling anyone to download both formats and explore them further offline.

A quicker approach would be to simply video record the workshop and dump the recording on the web. The approach I took was certainly more exhaustive than simply video recording the workshop, but in the long run this approach could perhaps add more value (learning) and spark more interest to whoever is exploring.

What do you think? :)


hariyanto blog said...

very nice information. thanks zaid

Nor Fadzleen said...

Thanks for the post. I adore Facebook and I use it to interact with my students/ex-students. Now I have better ideas in using Facebook for collaborative learning.

Unknown said...

Not a comment on Facebook. Just do not know how to contact you to introduce a new tool for teachers at http://www.slidego.com. Hope you try it out and feed back.

Carlos said...

...7.5 working hours?!!!
Guao! Not bad. You are really a hardworker.
Thank you very much for this presentation about Facebook and the use for formal and informal learning. I think it is also the right moment to discuss about Facebook and learning, or maybe it is the right moment for me :-)

Great the "reflection"! That is what I call "share knowledge". Thanks!

Time2Act said...

brilliant Zaid, Thank you. In fact I was working on something similar "in Arabic" but you gave me a shortcut. Of course rights are reserved and I will refer to the source where I get use of your great effort.
Well, my feedback is that Slideshare or Youtube are much better than Screenr. Maybe my internet connection is not well (and really it is in Saudi Arabia)but Screenr does hang many times. I think Jing with Youtube, Or what you do with Slideshare, or even Camtasia may be better media unless you have a point which I couldn't notice.

ZaidLearn said...

Dear Yasser Massoud (Time2Act),

Thanks for all the feedback. However, I believe we should not compare YouTube and SlideShare with Screenr (except for access), because it is like comparing dogs with cats (purpose and functionality?).

Also, Screenr allows you easily to post to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/imuelearning with basically one click, which I have done.

But of course we could compare it to Jing and Camtasia :)

Anyway, no time for that now :)

Thanks again for your feedback and reflections.

Warm regards,